Peter Hook on his son Jack Bates being bassist for The Smashing Pumpkins

"Billy Corgan is a massive Joy Division fan - and he repaid me by stealing my son!"

Peter Hook has spoken of what it means to have his son Jack Bates performing in the current touring line-up of Smashing Pumpkins – as well as teasing that he may join the band on stage at their Wembley show tonight.

The Joy Division and New Order veteran had his son Bates perform in his band The Light, before losing him to the current incarnation of the reunited Smashing Pumpkins – joining founding members Billy Corgan, James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin alongside longtime collaborator Jeff Schroeder.

“Billy Corgan very kindly helped The Light out when we first started, and New Order when we came back,” Hook told NME. “He’s a massive Joy Division fan, and he repaid me by stealing my son! It just goes to show that you can’t trust anybody!”

“I must admit that my son’s taste in music is a lot ‘harder’ than mine. He’s a massive fan of Smashing Pumpkins, Queens Of The Stone Age, people of that ilk. For him, this is a dream come true. They did 55 American arena dates playing to so many people. They’ve got so much work lined up, I don’t know if I’ll be getting him back for a while.”

Hook continued: “He’s having a lovely time, he’s a chip off the old block. He’s the best bass player I’ve heard for a long time and I’m immensely proud of him. Billy has been absolutely wonderful.”

Hook recently joined the band on stage to perform with Smashing Pumpkins at their 30th anniversary show. Asked if there are plans to perform with the band again, Hook replied: “There has been a rumour of it. They’re playing Wembley, and I’m certainly on call. It’s a pleasure to play with Billy. If [Corgan] offers, I’ll be there straight away.”

Smashing Pumpkins live on Fallon

Speaking of the decision to have Bates on bass in the current Pumpkins line-up, drummer Jimmy Chamberlin told NME:”It was always going to be Jack. He’s a great musician and that was the deciding factor. Jack played with Billy and Jeff on the Manson tour. He’s entrenched in the band and knows the songs.

“The way that Jack plays is very reminiscent of the way that Billy played bass on a lot of the early Pumpkins stuff because he and James were really big Joy Division and New Order fans. A lot of those bass parts were mimicking Peter’s playing.”

He continued: “To have Jack, who’s obviously genetically linked to Peter, there’s a real strange uncanniness to it. I mean it in the best possible way. Jack just gets how to play that stuff, which you can only get from being Peter Hook’s son! You don’t think about it until you’re on stage, then I’m like ‘Holy cow, this sounds so good. It sounds so right’. He’s a young man but his ability and perception is well beyond his years.

“We just played with Peter at our 30th anniversary show. We played a couple of Joy Division and New Order songs and it was amazing. He’s obviously a legend but also one of my all-time favourite people and bassists.”

Smashing Pumpkins will return to the UK to play London’s SSE Wembley Arena tonight (October 16). They’ll also be playing a show in Bologna, Italy on October 18. Tickets to all shows are available here.

Peter Hook Presents Joy Division Orchestrated will take place at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Friday July 5. Tickets are available here.

Meanwhile, Peter Hook & The Light will also embark on a 2019 UK tour to perform New Order’s ‘Technique’ and ‘Republic’ in full. Full dates are below and tickets are available here.

Thursday February 7 2019 – NOTTINGHAM Rock City
Friday February 8 2019 – HOLMFIRTH Picturedrome
Saturday February 9 2019 – LEEDS O2 Academy Leeds
Thursday February 21 2019 – COLCHESTER Arts Centre
Friday February 22 2019 – BRIGHTON Concorde 2
Saturday February 23 2019 – CARDIFF Tramshed