The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


New Order Confirm More New Music On The Way
Jude Rogers , September 10th, 2020 14:06

More new material due from Manchester's finest

New Order's Gillian Gilbert has revealed more about New Order's new single 'Be A Rebel' in advance of an exclusive tQ interview about the new, definitive edition of New Order's 1983 masterpiece, Power Corruption & Lies – and her husband Stephen Morris has suggested New Order are planning more music.

“It's a very summery record, isn't it?," Gilbert says of 'Be A Rebel', which was released on Tuesday (September 8) following a mysterious social media post featuring the band's name, the date, and an image of a murmuration of starlings. "We started it when we were doing [2015 album] Music Complete. It was one of those songs that we thought didn't really go with the rest of the album. We revisited it when we got offered the Pet Shop Boys tour, as it sounded quite up, and doing the Pet Shop Boys tour was quite a different thing for us, very up. I mean, they have a massive stage set with two of them, and then there's us – we're just a band!"

If it hadn’t been for the small issue of a global pandemic, New Order and the Pet Shop Boys would have just started their joint North American tour last Saturday in Toronto. New Order were playing their own tour in Australia back in March when that country's government announced a ban on non-essential mass gatherings on over 500 people. "We cancelled a gig on Saturday, we flew home on Sunday, they shut down [that territory] on Monday," Gilbert says. "It felt unreal at first, but we just got out in time. We were dying to get home."

Quickly realising how the rest of the year would pan out in reference to future gigs, they realised it would be good to bring out this single anyway, "especially as Bernard finished the lyrics after we got back." Unusually for Sumner, they strongly resonate with our times: "This world can be a dangerous place/ But it's all we got, and it's quite a lot." Not able to meet up together, the band put the single together remotely, helped along by the fact that Gilbert and Morris have a home studio, as do Sumner, Phil Cunningham and Tom Chapman. "It's quite a good way of doing it for us, anyway," says Gilbert. "We did it all really simply, sending files to the next person, simple mixes, adding on parts, just emailing comments. If you get something really bad, you get the phone call with us," she laughs. "We didn't do that!"

The single arrives forty years after Rob Gretton suggested to Stephen Morris that his girlfriend joined the band. This happened in early October 1980; Gilbert played her first gig with them at Manchester's The Squat on the 25th of that month. "Weeks felt like months in those days," she says. "It was so soon after Ian had died, really. It's amazing to think it’s been that long."

Morris also speaks to us briefly, adding that New Order have "sat down and talked about doing more stuff. There's a will for us to do something else, and as the tour with the Pet Shop Boys isn't happening now, we'll have to do something else. In the middle of all these box sets and live DVDs, we should have something new in there to surprise everyone, shouldn't we?"

'Be The Rebel' is out now on Mute. Jude Rogers' interview with Gillian Gilbert about Power, Corruption & Lies will be published on The Quietus later this month