The sad loss of Joy Division’s singer Ian Curtis put an end to one of the most imposing bands of the era. The group’s dark and twisted punk sound engrossed audiences in a captivating and menacing way. It was something Stephen Morris, the band’s drummer, thinks the group would have eventually left behind.
He, instead, believes Joy Division would have eventually taken a different direction, employing some of the methods of the remaining members’ other group, New Order, and one other British rock stalwart, Radiohead. The conversation came after New Order reissued their second album Power, Corruption & Lies.
The band’s album, released in 1983, is seen as the moment New Order truly grew out of the Joy Division shadow with their prior LP acting more as a hangover for those days.
The chat swung around as NME asked whether Morris felt Joy Division would have followed New Order’s path towards a brighter, more sparkly sound. He was quick to put the brakes on that theory, “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.”
The publication pushed on the theory and wondered whether it might have taken similar shape to Radiohead’s seminal LP Kid A, to which Morris replied: “Yes, something like that!” It’s clear that the Britpop-birthed band had a deep affection for Joy Division and New Order too, covering the group’s classic ‘Ceremony’ in their 2007 webcast which you can hear below.