In the last 30 years, very few bands have been able to carry on successfully without their iconic frontman like New Order. The band, then known as Joy Division, was two weeks away from touring the acclaimed Closer album to American audiences when frontman Ian Curtis committed suicide.

Although New Order eventually toured and played Joy Division songs around the world for nearly 30 years, legendary bassist Peter Hook felt that their overall contribution wasn’t enough.

“The decision to revisit the Joy Division material wasn’t made lightly. It was to celebrate 30 years of Ian Curtis’ life, which I felt was severely neglected by all of us in New Order,” Hook says. In 2010, two celebrations were planned in the UK to commemorate the 30 years since Curtis’ death. Both celebrations never came to fruition. Hook felt it was his responsibility to celebrate his past in a manner he never could with New Order.

Hook used his worldwide DJ stints to gauge interest in Joy Division. He says he “infiltrated” different countries as a DJ first and then as a member of his new band, the Light.

“When I first came to do the celebration, I didn’t envisage singing, myself. I thought I’d play bass and get guest vocals,” Hook admits.

“[The public’s reaction] was quite negative before we played it. It was really difficult to persuade people to help. They sort of headed to the hills. The only one with the gall big enough to do it was Rowetta,” Hook recalls.

Rowetta – of Happy Mondays and “The X Factor” fame – helped Hook explore Joy Division material in a completely different way. The two released the 1102/2011 EP in May that was both in tribute to Curtis and Hook’s longtime friend, Rex, who had also committed suicide.

Rowetta’s version of Curtis’ vocals takes on his same haunting qualities and helps transform the music into a contemporary gloomy atmosphere.

“The reason we did the [1102/2011 EP] is that I was very pleased with Rowetta’s take and emotion and the passion she put into it, which I felt was completely different to [Curtis], but valid.”

The Light will play 13 dates in North America, including Mexico and Canada for the first time. In addition, Los Angeles is the only city on the tour where both Unknown Pleasures and Closer will be played in their entireties.

“I’ve always had a wonderful time in Los Angeles. Since the early days of KROQ, the way we were supported in Los Angeles was very pure,” Hook shares.

Hook’s decision to revisit Joy Division material isn’t such a hit with his former band mates, Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris. Since Hook’s departure from New Order in 2007, all three members have argued back and forth in the media over whether or not the band is actually over. Hook contends it is, while Sumner and Morris don’t.

Hook feels that the lack of empathy between Sumner and Morris won’t lead to a New Order reunion anytime soon. The lack of communication between the three has stalled the release of leftover songs from 2005’s Waiting for the Siren’s Call.

Half of the 22 songs recorded during those sessions made the album. It was always the group’s intention to release the leftover material, but they disbanded before doing so. The leftover music harks back to New Order’s Technique era.

“The ball is very much in their court as to what happens with these things,” Hook adds. “But we’ve opened the floodgates, and we’re planning to bring the whole music out at the end so people can have it.“

Hook hopes fans will be able to obtain the music not only because New Order promised it to them six years ago, but because he views it as a historical document of music. Releasing it would wipe the slate clean and perhaps pave the way for a reunion someday.

“At the moment there are no bridges being built, no empathy, and the others seem very upset that I’m doing Joy Division stuff, which is ridiculous because they’re playing Joy Division and New Order,” Hook adds. “[But] time, as many people have proved, is a great healer, and if the Eagles can manage that, then I’m sure New Order could.”

Peter Hook and the Light perform Sept. 14 at the Music Box and Sept. 16 at the El Rey. For more information, visit