INTERVIEW: An interview with Ian Curtis. Fully transcribed for the first time—Says He’s a fan of Bauhaus.
To celebrate Ian Curtis’ 58th Birthday last year, we at Post-Punk.comtranscribed the above BBC Blackburn interview, which is one of the few recordings of Ian being interviewed. To the surprise of many, when Ian discusses shopping for records, one band that comes to mind for him happens to be Bauhaus, which he seemingly thought were from London.
Here is the full transcription below with some modifications for clarity:
WHAT SORT OF RELATIONSHIP DO YOU HAVE WITH OTHER MANCHESTER BANDS?
We tend to be pretty isolated now really…apart from the Factory groups. We have a lot to do with the other groups on Factory. We tend to play a lot of gigs with them and … there’s other things like erm the Durutti Column LP – the sandpaper sleeve – we stuck that on. So everyone there, with each other, and groups they got booked with, groups like the Buzzcocks, that we knew when we started really. You know when we sort of see them, we talk to them, but it’s not very often. We’d like to, you know, see a lot more of other Manchester groups. Any other groups in general.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE STATE OF NEW WAVE?
Don’t know. I think it’s, a lot of it tends to have lost its edge really. There’s quite a few new groups that I’ve heard.. odd records. Record or have seen maybe such as, eh, I like, I think it’s mostly old Factory groups really, I like the groups on Factory; A Certain Ratio and Section 25. I tend not to listen, when I’m listening to records, I don’t listen to much new wave stuff, i tend to listen to the stuff I used to listen to a few years back but sort of odd singles. I know someobody who works in a record shop where I live and I’ll go in there and he’ll play me “have you heard this single?” singles by er the group called The Tights, so an obscure thing … and a group called, I think, er Bauhaus, a london group, that’s one single. There’s no one I completely like that I can say “well I’ve got all this person’s records. i think he’s great” or “this group’s records” it’s just, again, odd things
DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS OF GIGGING OUTSIDE THIS COUNTRY?
We’ve played in Europe already in Holland and Germany and we are going to America. We’re only going for er, I think they wanted us to go for about 3 months or so [laughs] , but we’re only going for about about 2 weeks, 3 weeks, and Rough Trade will probably be organising that. I think we’re going with Cabaret Voltaire. I like them, they’re a good group [laughs], I forgot about them. Yeah but, we tend to do what we want really. We play the music we want to play and we play the places we want to play. I’d hate to be on the usual record company where you get an album out and you do a tour, and you do all the Odeon,s and all the this that and the others. I couldn’t just do that at all. We had experience of that supporting the Buzzcocks. It was really soul destroying, you know, at the end of it. We said we’d never tour … and we’ll never do a tour I don’t think – or if we do it won’t be longer than about two weeks.
WHAT IS YOUR SORT OF RELATIONSHIP WITH FACTORY RECORDS
It’s very good sort of friends everyone knows each other it’s all 50:50. Everything’s split.
DOESN’T IT IT SEEM A BIT INSULAR SORT OF BEING IN THE FACTORY SORT OF SET UP?
Don’t know. I suppose to somebody looking at it from the outside i suppose it is really
I mean you’re not pressurised into having to sign … like you know get a normal record company – they’re always looking for the next group for the next big thing … you know … to bring the record sales in and for them to promote and everything…but Factory just sign who they want to, put records by who they want to out, package it how they want to, you know, how they like doing it. It’s just run like that. You might get sort of a spurt of 3 singles out – you might not see anything for the next 6 months. You know. I like the relationship.
YOU HAVE A COUPLE OF TRACKS ON THE THIRD FAST EARCOM, WAS IT? OR IS IT THE SECOND FAST EARCOM?
Yeah. It’s the second one, yeah.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH FAST? AN EDINBURGH COMPANY?
Yeah, it was when we started playing; we played a few dates with The Rezillos. Bob Last was their manager at the time and he talked then about setting up a record label. And he wanted us to do a single for them. But due to Factory coming along and other things – he did things with Gang of 4 and The Human League first and got tied in in a sort of management way with The Human League – I think he manages another one – it never came about. When we were doing the album we had quite a few tracks left over; we recorded 16 in all and just cut 10 and our manager, Rob Gretton, had talked to him about certain things and we’d always sort of kept in touch. He mentioned his idea for Earcom and we just offered him the 2 tracks to put out on that. Cos we like to get everything we record out one way or another, like we’ve done the Earcom, we’re doing the Sordide Sentimental thing, which are a French limited edition magazine-cum-record thing. There are two tracks on that that will be coming out that won’t be on an album or a single. It’s just that we like getting, you know, as much stuff out as we can, really. In some form or another. You know, it’s often hard with Factory because obviously they’re limited financially. I mean you can’t just put out a record, you know, when you’ve got other things planned. So with no room on the LP, we tend to look for other outlets for them, really. See what we can do.
WHERE DO YOU SEE OR WHERE DO YOU FEEL YOU WANT JOY DIVISION TO END OR GO TO?
I just want to carry on the way we are, I think. Basically we want to play and enjoy what we like playing. I think when we stop doing that I think, well, that will be the time to pack it in. That’ll be the end.
Transcription helped by the fine ear of Iain Johnson (many thanks Iain!).
Follow – > www.songssmiths.wordpress.com
Like -> www.facebook.com/songssmithssongssmiths