“Had Joy Division continued, we would have gone in more of a Radiohead direction,” says drummer

"It would have been atmospheric, but rhythmic I suppose," drummer Stephen Morris tells NME

Joy Division drummer Stephen Morris has told NME that he imagines that the band would have gone on to sound like Radiohead, were it not for the death of frontman Ian Curtis.

The surviving members of Joy Division went on to form New Order following Ian Curtis taking his own life in 1980. Morris was speaking to NME about New Order’s classic second album ‘Power, Corruption & Lies’, when asked if the more colourful and dancier direction of the record was one that Joy Division might have eventually taken if the band had continued.

“We were into Kraftwerk and general electronic music,” Morris told NME. “Had Joy Division continued, we would have used a lot more electronic music – but probably in a lot more of a, dare I say it, Radiohead direction rather than straight-ahead dance. It would have been atmospheric, but rhythmic I suppose.”


Asked if he imagined that sound would be similar to that of Radiohead’s seminal electronica-based record ‘Kid A’, Morris replied: “Yes, something like that!”

The band described ‘Power, Corruption & Lies’ as the first record where they truly “became New Order’, following its predecessor ‘Movement’ living in the shadow of Joy Division and Ian Curtis’ death.

“As much I enjoyed ‘Movement’ musically, the process was a bit harrowing,” Joy Division bassist Peter Hook told NME. “Half of the stuff was left over from Joy Division and the other half was us desperately trying to learn how to be half as good as Ian Curtis. It was a fraught process, to say the least.”

He continued: “People didn’t want us to forget about Joy Division. That’s what we were trying to do. We could have grieved for Ian for six months – we could have grieved for a year – but we thought that we would lose everything. As you get older you realise that you didn’t have to rush.”


‘Power, Corruption & Lies: The 2020 Definitive Edition’ by New Order is out now. As well as sharing new single ‘Be A Rebel‘ and launching a collaborative sportswear range with Adidas, the band also recently released their legendary greatest hits collection ‘Substance’ on streaming services and rescheduled their show at London’s O2 for next year.

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