Photo by Cap Blackard
New Order signed to Mute Records back in September with the promise of new music. Now, in an interview with Rolling Stone, the band confirms that it intends to release a new full-length album, their first since 2005’s Waiting For The Sirens’ Call, in the autumn. (In 2013, the band released the rarities collection Lost Sirens.)
New Order’s 10th studio album will be its first without founding bassist Peter Hook, who has been embroiled in a contentious feud with his former bandmates since the band’s breakup in 2007. As a reflection of that, the band — now comprising Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert, Phil Cunningham, and Tom Chapman — has been exploring new configurations in the studio, with members often switching instruments between songs. “The lines have gotten a bit blurrier than they used to be,” Morris explains. “We’ve become songwriters instead of instrumentalists.”
According to Morris, the record also makes full use of readily available technology, including modern drum and synth programming. These elements have shaped what the band is already describing as a “heavy electronic sound with melodic guitars and an orchestral feel.”
(Read: New Order’s Top 10 Songs)
Adds Sumner, “Some people may say that electronic music is cold and unromantic,” before referring to the band’s hit song “Blue Monday” as an instance of “how a song can be both robotic and emphatic.” While he thinks the concept is “true in a way,” computers nowadays are “able to translate exactly what your brain is thinking. That’s exciting. It’s what we were trying to achieve in the 1980s.”
So far the band’s work has yielded a few new tracks: “Singularity” and “Plastic”, both of which they debuted in concert last year, and “Restless”, which features Tom Rowlands of The Chemical Brothers. As Morris explains, though, he’s not sure “we’d ever finish if we didn’t have someone to tell us to stop,” citing Mute founder Daniel Miller as a creative sounding board. “It’s hard to let something you’re working on go.”
Below, watch the band perform “Plastic” during a show in Chicago last summer.