Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives


Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures

This is very introspective. Some of the gigs were like temples where you’d go and worship and listen to some really philosophical stuff. Here was a young man who was very concerned with the internal mechanisms of the emotional process. And I know Ian Curtis was very influenced by Berlin-period Bowie and Iggy and he was also a Morrison fan.

When you listen to Unknown Pleasures and Closer, which are records which I’ve played over and over and over and over and over and fucking over for hours, while musing over the words and getting lost in it. It’s almost like it’s a tantric ritual. For want of a better phrase, he had the finger of God pointing at him. With the ailments that he had, in some other time he’d have been considered a spiritual misfit. And his seizures were tied in to his psychology and his karma.

If we’re really going to consider lives, we’ve really got to get into the esoteric stuff. It’s like, do you want to order on the menu or off the menu? I want to go off the menu. I don’t want the same old processed shit; I want to find out what the fuck is going on. That’s why when I was going through my rites of passage, The Clash and the Pistols – I was abso-fucking-lutely a devotee. When I was younger and I started to connect and the rubber hit the road, for me it was Joy Division.

I remember sitting at the table watching So It Goes while I’m having my dinner and I’m going, ‘What. Is. This?’ It was that transcendent experience of, ‘This is something beyond!’ And people are going [adopts whiny Northern accent], ‘But it comes from Manchester’ and I’m like, ‘Why not? Why can’t a prophet be born in the industrial North West of England? Why does he have to come from some exotic location? Why can’t he come from Manchester? Where are the rules and regulations?’ He was a modern day Buddha. He was confused and conflicted and everything around him was telling him he shouldn’t be the way he was.

His lyrics are fucking profound. ‘New Dawn Fades’ – that’s just it for me! He’s just laying it down and everybody knows what he’s talking about. I mean, that title! Fuck!

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Lord Spikeheart, Tom Ravenscroft
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