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MONACO New Order's Bassist doubles up

Act: MONACO Label: Polydor Project: album Songwriters: Hook/Potts Publishers: Warner Chappell Released: June 9 1997

There must be some genetic explanation for the tendency of members of New Order to break away to form duos. It began with Bernard Sumner's collaboration with Johnny Marr in 1989 as Electronic and continued when Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert mutated into The Other Two soon after. Now the bizarre love triangle is complete with Monaco, featuring erstwhile bassist Peter Hook and fellow Mancunian David Potts.

The pairing's first single What Do You Want From Me, released next week, is an absolutely massive pop song. Already enjoying radio airplay across the board it is stamped with Hook's unique bass sound, an outrageously catchy chorus and, perhaps inevitably, a strong resemblance to New Order that fails to detract from its triumphant appeal. "It's amazingly strong and it's destined to be a big hit," says Polydor A&R director Paul Adam, who signed Monaco after hearing a demo sent by Charlatans manager Steve Harrison of Dead Dead Good. "I put it on and the first track I heard was the single and that was enough for me."

Hook has teamed up with partner Potts before, in the early Nineties when the latter joined the New Order man's 1990 spin-off project, Revenge. The two kept in touch and began working again a couple of years back. For Paul Adam the music had to stand up in its own right because making mileage of Hook's past was never going to be enough. "I'm a New Order fan and Hooky's playing is so distinctive, but it was the quality of the songs that grabbed me. I didn't want to sell a band on an old one, that would be going backwards," he says.

The duo wrote and recorded God's Own Stash in Hook's 16-track home studio before recreating the songs in 10 weeks over the summer in Lincoln and Chester. The final mixing was completed by Alan Meyerson who worked on Technique, the sort of record both parties agreed they were striving to match. "I only formed Revenge to play live really, the music came second. It worked much better live than on record. We went all round the world with it so it was fine. This comes from a different perspective," says Hook. "We've enjoyed the writing process. It came together quite naturally and we've deliberately taken our time because everything about Revenge was rushed.

This is a labour of love."

For 41-year-old Hook, who appeared to be languishing in limbo, Monaco is a new challenge. "I'm not hungry but this feels very fresh and very different from New Order. I certainly didn't expect people to be as interested in this record but the response from everyone has been amazing."

Where Revenge was a deliberate attempt to forge a greasy rock'n'roll monster, Monaco plays to the duo's strengths. Hook's bass playing is instantly recognisable and gratifyingly prevalent, Potts' programming and guitar playing is neat and poppy, the shared vocals naggingly familiar, the songs strong on melody and rhythm. The results are impressive on tracks such as the disco monster Sweet Lips and the Charlatansy Comin Round Again.

"David loves bass and he badgered me to put more on the songs. With Revenge I wanted to play that angle down because bass was what I did in New Order," says Hook. "Of course it's also what I do best so his instincts are to have plenty of it which is right. David pushes me in that respect. People think it's my band and I've shaped him but he's the serious one, I'm the flake."

If any question marks exist over Monaco they concern the unclear future of Hook's previous band. But while the bassist refuses to rule out another New Order album in the future he maintains, "New Order used to be the most important thing for me and the other stuff was a sideline. Unfortunately for New Order this is so enjoyable it takes precedence.

The tables have turned for me and if they call I won't come running. I am much more interested in making this succeed, I'm very proud of it." Hook says. " I get up in the morning and feel good about myself. New Order hadn't given me that feeling for a long time."

by Mike Pattenden


David Potts

While NewOrder were enjoying the peak of their success in the 1980's, David Potts was working in a Manchester record shop, enjoying 60's classic rock and playing guitar in his spare time. Potts began working in Peter Hook's studio in late 1989 as a helper, and gradually saw his association with Hook grow to the point he was touring with Revenge in 1991. One year later he played guitar on the 'Revenge' EP "Gun World Porn." Described as an organized, enthusiastic hard worker, Potts role has increased to the point that the now fresh 27 year old co-wrote most of Monaco's "Music For Pleasure" album with Peter Hook, as well as sharing the vocal duties. His singing is amazingly reminiscent of Bernard Sumner on some tracks with comparisons to Oasis on others.

Monaco: pull out your New Order discographies, kids

By EAMON JOYCE  (A&E Editor)


June 13, 1997
Monaco: "Not The New Order Of New Order," Says Peter Hook

Now that Peter Hook -- of New Order and Joy Division fame -- has a new band, Monaco, he admits that he misses playing the old New Order stuff. However, don't expect to hear any of it during Monaco's forthcoming U.S. tour in support of their debut album, Music For Pleasure, due July 1 on Polydor/ A&M.
"You really can't do something like that, 'cause it's not fair to Pottsy [Monaco guitarist/ collaborator David Potts]," says Hook "It's a difficult thing, that's the sad part of it. You have all those songs and you can't play them again. But you have to move on, don't you? Monaco is not the new order of New Order."
Monaco recently finished up a short European stint with the Charlatans U.K., where at one gig the Charlatans covered New Order's "Lonesome Tonight." "[Charlatans singer Tim Burgess] was disparate to sing a New Order song," Hook relates. "So we brought him onstage and he did 'Lonesome Tonight.' He did it really well. I was proud of him."
As far as another New Order album goes, Hook says it's not totally out of the question, even though he hasn't spent much time with his band mates in the past several years. "I haven't seen them since the Republic tour," he says, "but it's like when you guys don't see your family all year long then you go home for Thanksgiving and it feels natural again. That's what it's like. It's a family thing."
Look for a forthcoming story in allstar about Music For Pleasure.

Copyright © 1997 N2K Inc. All Rights Reserved


Monaco on Billboard AUGUST 02, 1997


Manchester, England's New Order was electronic long before electronica was cool, churning out such studies in finely tuned pop precision as "Bizarre Love Triangle," "True Faith," and "Regret." The author of the singing basslines on those songs (and the cult classics of New Order precursor Joy Division) was Peter Hook. After his last band's halcyon days, he tended to distance himself from that distinctive, high-toned style as well as the techno-pop hooks borne from it. But with his new project, Monaco, Hook has made a rapprochement with his past.

"With Revenge, my group from a couple of years ago, I went out of my way to sound different," Hooks says. "But my new partner in Monaco, David Potts, was a real fan of those old records, and he persuaded me to 'play bass like in the New Order days.' And it was a good idea. Now I'm playing to my strengths rather than my weaknesses, and I'm really quite proud that the new record sounds like New Order." No. 25 on Modern Rock Tracks, Monaco's glittering "What Do You Want From Me?" comes from the duo's aptly titled Polydor debut, "Music For Pleasure."

The music echoes Hook's past affairs with more than just buoyant basslines, as it juxtaposes dancefloor energy and grand melancholy with characteristic flair. "I'm partial to the edge that comes from setting uplifting music against lyrics that are more down," Hook says. "I guess that's an English thing. Unlike Americans, who often look on the bright side, we English tend to think that even if everything seems OK, it's bound to go wrong soon."

In an optimistic mood, Hook notes that since Joy Division's debut in '77, he has seen "all the Manchester bands come and go," adding that he knew Noel Gallagher back when the nascent Oasis leader "swept up at the Hacienda" club.

"Oasis even opened for Revenge in '93," he says. "Maybe I'll let them do the same for Monaco."