On the morning of May 18, 1980 — well before daybreak — Ian Curtis died by suicide, one day before the groundbreaking band he fronted — English post-punk pioneers Joy Division—was scheduled to board a transatlantic flight to the states for the start of their first North American tour. Curtis, 23, hung himself in the kitchen of his Macclesfield, U.K. home, exactly two months to the day before the eventual release of Joy Division’s second LP, Closer — their follow-up to 1979's debut Unknown Pleasures. Joy Division wouldn’t survive Curtis' death, the culmination of his depression with his chronic epilepsy worsening and his marriage falling apart. Merely four years after forming, Joy Division’s surviving members closed the books on the band and subsequently metamorphosed into synth-pop pioneers New Order. Despite releasing only two studio albums and a mere barrage of posthumous demos, Joy Division influenced an entire generation of musicians — a legacy that endures even today, 40 years after losing their singer. Countless musicians — including innovative rockers, such as Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails and even hip-hop icons like Lupe Fiasco and Tyler, the Creator — have cited the brooding, introspective, evocative songs of Joy Division as a salient influence on their own tunes. (Danny Brown named his 2016 album Atrocity Exhibition after Closer's famous opening song.) Curtis’ unique, somber, swaggering voice and astonishingly emotive lyrics perfectly complemented Peter Hook’s throbbing bass lines, Bernard Sumner’s spacious guitars and atmospheric keys, and Stephen Morris’ bombastic, thumping drums, all creating something novel and sempiternal — something timeless. To celebrate Curtis’ lasting memory and his stunning contributions to the music world, SPIN reached out to a number of musicians — including one of his former bandmates — for thoughts, insights, and impressions on Joy Division’s overall impact, as well as Curtis’ immense talent. The following reflections are in their own words. Peter Hook Founding bassist, Joy Division and New Order Stefan Bollmann Ian was very, very serious as a musician. The most serious and intense and passionate man about the band. But outside of that, he was absolutely very chameleon-like in that he could mix and talk to anybody. Very, very accommodating and very, very nice. The only time I’d ever seen him get angry was when he was drunk. As a bandmate, he was perfect because he was so serious, he was so interested, and he was a great fan of Joy Division. He was probably the biggest fan of Joy Division of all of us. Any time that we started to feel a little overwhelmed, shall we say — the fact that we were going nowhere, or the frustrations involved—he would always be the one to grab hold of you, and go, “Don’t worry, we’re gonna be massive. We’re going to tour America, we’re going to be touring Brazil,” and la di da di da. The thing about Joy Division was it was actually quite pure, and it was a very rock-and-roll ending, which people like, sadly. The members of Joy Division were never around to sully Joy Division’s memory — say, for instance, in the way we have New Order’s. Very self-destructive and its really, in my opinion, it’s really fucked New Order up for all our fans. The arguments between us. But luckily, we didn’t have those arguments in Joy Division, so it’s kept it a very underground, very cult-like group. The thing is, we never achieved any sort of success while we wrote all our music. When “Love Will Tear Us Apart” was a hit, the group didn’t exist. It had gone. So, it is a very unusual situation. If you look at, like, the way the Doors have an impact, and Iggy Pop and the Stooges … they actually played for a long time and achieved a lot of success. And Joy Division never achieved anything, particularly, while they were functioning as a group. In a funny way, I suppose, that that worked for us, in keeping the memory pure and keeping it alive. The music is fantastic, even if I say so myself. People use it as a template for post-punk rock, and the music, it really belied our age, considering we were 20 when Unknown Pleasures was released. There aren’t many 20-year-old groups that I can quote that have made an album as serious and as moving and as archetypal as Unknown Pleasures. You know, we were idiots, making fantastic music and Martin Hannett was more than happy to tell us. You know, “You’re fucking idiots. How you make this music is beyond me.” In a way, that was part of the lightness of Joy Division, was that we weren’t precious about the music—we were giving tracks away. “Digital” and “Glass” went on the Factory sample. Never released. We didn’t bother. Gave “Atmosphere” away. Gave “Autosuggestion,” “From Safety to Where” away. We didn’t release “Digital” as a single, as we should have. We just didn’t care. We were happy and had the strength to know that, every time we got together, we would write another song. It was that subconscious strength that was incredible and enabled us to be very flippant in what we did with the songs. It was nuts. We gave “Dead Souls” away. It was like, “Yeah? Really?” “Don’t worry about it we’ll just write another one.” Joy Division were writing a song a week, and nothing was a strain. It was easy. Joy Division was the easiest band for writing I’ve ever been in. I’ve never been in any easier group to write. New Order was fucking murder. Freebass, murder. Revenge, murder. Monaco, murder. You know, Joy Division, fucking dead easy. Bastard! Typical, isn’t it? You find something that great … and what was interesting, from a writing point of view, was each member wrote completely individually of all the other members, and yet, when you put it all together, it was incredible—a strong, perfect fit. It was amazing. We couldn’t believe the difference when we got to New Order. It’s mind-blowing. grand mals were becoming debilitating. He was having to be carried off stage. Literally, I would have to sit on him for an hour, holding his tongue, until he stopped fitting. The longest one he had was an hour, which was in Brighton. And as soon as he’d recover, he’d just shrug it off, and go, “Don’t worry, stop worrying about me. Everything’s fine. Get on with it.” And we’d be like, “Wow.” It’s a mind fuck. This guy was on the floor, he couldn’t speak, he couldn’t stop shaking … and now, he’s there telling us he’s alright. He would never, ever, ever stop. Just kept going. Ignored it as much as he could. He never wanted to let you know. It wasn’t him who’d cancel the gigs when we had to cancel them. It was everybody else. “You can’t do it, Ian. You’ve got to stop.” “No, no, we’ll be alright, don’t stop.” Ian was actually quite normal. Bernard and I were really bad . I mean, we did it all the fucking time, and the more cruel and awful they were, the better. We had grown up with that. It’s a Northern English thing, and Ian joined in it. He wasn’t like that before we met him, but when we met him, and took him on board, he became just like us. We would play jokes … mad, crazy shit, all the time. And when Annik appeared, he went back to boyfriend mode, so he didn’t do it, and would get upset when Bernard and I did it. He was great fun to be with, and he was always trustworthy. That golden period—when he was well and the band were together—and nothing got in the way, it was probably the best time of my life, to be honest. It’s the best time I’ve had in a group. I’ve not been in a group like Joy Division since, and it’s always lacked something and been much more difficult to be in than Joy Division was. He was great to have in your corner as a group. Whenever you got down or whenever you got upset, it would always be him who’d pick you up by the scruff of your neck, and be like, “Come on!” He was fantastic at that and also, he was very funny. He was very easy to be with and he didn’t mind taking the piss out of himself, which was one of the good things. He was a great character. I think that sometimes his frustrations would get the better of him, especially when he was drunk. But for the most part, I remember him as a fond friend and definitely a very fond work colleague. Every time I hear a Joy Division track, I fucking miss him. I miss him like crazy. Because music used to be so easy. And now, it’s a lot more difficult without him. Even though you’ve achieved and you’ve moved on, you know those wonderful days of sitting there, in a practice room, freezing your bullocks off, coming up with “Twenty Four Hours” or “Insight” or “Shadowplay” or “Love Will Tear Us Apart” or “Atmosphere” or “Dead Souls,” these songs that have shaped music and still shape music now … to us, we were just knocking ‘em out, in a freezing cold rehearsal room, where we’d write great music together, the three of us, and then Ian would get an old shitty plastic bag, full of bits of paper, and he’d get one out and read it and it’d be “Isolation.” He’d get another one out and read it, and it’d be “She’s Lost Control,” and you’d be like, “Fucking hell, is he for real?” My memories of him are extremely fond and I take great delight actually in going up to see him, I take great delight in celebrating his life’s work. Music like that is bigger than all of us. It will outlive me, it will outlive you, it has outlived Ian, and it is a wonderful position to be in, to be so proud of something that actually is so pure, in a way. I am not proud of New Order; we made some great songs, but I think their behavior has been unbelievably nasty towards each other. I think it spoiled everything for a great many, many people. And really, I am so happy we didn’t manage to do that to Joy Division. That makes me very, very happy indeed, for Ian, more than anything. Moby Jonathan Nesvadba Joy Division inspired me in so many ways. My top 3 influences would probably be Brian Eno, David Bowie and Joy Division — possibly Joy Division/New Order. The influence is ongoing and broad. Back in 1980 or ‘81, I had a few friends, and we were all sort of admitting to each other we liked new wave and punk rock because that was still sort of a dirty, embarrassing secret at the time. My friend Dave, his family had a little more money than the rest of us, so he could actually afford to buy albums, and one day, somehow, he came back from New York City with three records, and one of them was Joy Division’s Closer. The first song I heard was “Atrocity Exhibition” and I didn’t love it. I remember he had the first Devo and the first Gang of Four record, too, and I was way more excited by Devo and Gang of Four, based solely on hearing “Atrocity Exhibition.” Between me and my friends, all totaled, we maybe had 15 albums. And so, if you had an album, if it didn’t make sense to you, it was your mission to spend time with it until it made sense to you. We didn’t have the luxury of Spotify or the radio. If you had an album, and you had a lot of free time, you just listened to it over and over again. So, I taped Closer and realized the rest of the album is so much better than that one song. The rest of the album, as you know, has such depth to it and it just gets better and better with each song. Closer almost transcended the realm of music and records for me. There are those records that are so precious to you, that they sort of cease to be records. You don’t think of them as collections of songs, you think about them as an adjunct of yourself. And then, of course, my friends and I obsessively tried to find out anything we could, and I saved up to buy Still, the double-vinyl, and at some point, picked up “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” which is actually my least favorite of their songs. Then, New Order started, and we started obsessively buying their 7-inches and albums. I was obsessed with Ian Curtis growing up. Him, Ian McCulloch, and John Lydon, especially the first two Public Image Ltd. albums. And then the Bad Brains sort of tangentially in there as well. I can’t count the thousands of hours I spent, as a high school or college student, listening to Joy Division at home, walking, on my bike, getting other people to listen to it, and by 1984, 1985, New Order had risen to such huge prominence that it felt to me, and I worked in a record store at the time, people had sort of forgotten about Joy Division. Now, every hipster movie you see, someone’s wearing an Unknown Pleasures shirt. Ian is such a unique figure because he didn’t have the most beautiful voice. He was a remarkable singer who didn’t have a great voice. But it was the lyrics … and now that I know more about him, it doesn’t make sense to me that he would come up with these lyrics. The New Order guys are nice, goofy guys. I imagine them in the ‘70s going to punk rock shows, wearing leather jackets, and drinking beer. And how that phenomenal poetry came out of it … no one else in that milieu, like the Buzzcocks and the Fall, the Damned, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Clash … no one attempted to write lyrics like that, and no one even came close. I can’t figure out how this kind of tough, punk rock kid wrote some of the most beautiful lyrics in history. One of my most wonderful musical experiences came when I was on tour with New Order, and for the last show, I talked them into playing a Joy Division song with me. Billy Corgan and John Frusciante came out and played guitar, but technically, for six minutes, I sang a Joy Division with Joy Division. It was “New Dawn Fades” and we were rehearsing, and Peter Hook goes, “Well, we haven’t played this since Ian was alive.” The other thing was, they couldn’t remember how to play it. So, I had to teach a Joy Division song to Joy Division. I basically sang a Joy Division song with Joy Division after teaching them how to play a Joy Division song. Richard Patrick Singer, Filter Myriam Santos The first person to show me Joy Division was Trent . Trent turned me onto two bands that completely changed my life. One was Pantera, and the other was Joy Division. You know, U2 saw Joy Division and they were like, “We’re changing our sound.” And that’s when they went into the more higher-end guitar sounds … like, they were kind of punk, but fast, happy punk. And then, they hear “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and they were like, “Fuck that … we gotta change it up.” They adjusted their sound and that’s when they did Boy, and they were more “new wave” than they were punk. At first, when I heard “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” I was like, “I don’t know if I’m digging that.” I had to get used to Ian’s voice for a second. And Trent literally was like, “Why does everybody have to be cool? Why can’t he just be accepted for who he is?” I was like, “Fucking you just said that? The meanest person I have ever met in my life — the most cutting, like meanest son-of-a-bitch I have ever met in my life just said, like, ‘Fucking hold off on ‘em.’” I listened to it, and the shit is fucking great. He’s like, “Well, it’s New Order.” And I was like, “Really?” And he goes, “Yeah, it’s Joy Division without Ian Curtis. Ian Curtis hung himself.” I was like, “Oh my God!” Admittedly, I was late to the party, because New Order was fucking massive during the ‘80s. But Joy Division were absolutely influential for me. Dave Pirner Singer, Soul Asylum Tony Nelson Somewhere in the ‘80s, someone gave me a mixtape of — I guess — their favorite Joy Division songs. And, it got quite a bit of play. I never had much info … all I had was the cassette tape, so I didn’t really find out a whole lot about the band until a bit later. That was a very mysterious tape, you know. It didn’t have a lot of writing on it or anything, but I listened to it a lot. And we covered “Love Will Tear Us Apart” for a while and I saw New Order play. For a band that released only two records, they made quite an impact. Especially that design . What is that? Is that … something, or is it a design? Anyways, the kid that gave it to me was into Alien Sex Fiend and whatnot. He was a very dark dude. He was what they would call “goth” these days. And that sort of added an extra layer of mystery to it — this dude with heavy makeup on hands me this tape that didn’t really say anything on it, and it leant itself to the whole mythology of something. I was like, “Where was this coming from?” Joy Division absolutely inspired me creatively, because it didn’t really fit in with most of the … I thought I probably would have had that covered once I figured it out. It was like, “Where the fuck was I?” But, yeah, by the time I had the record, it just had a completely different kind of a demeanor to it, a different kind of a feeling to it. It wasn’t like the Sex Pistols and it wasn’t like the … I mean, the band I bring up is the Fall, because I believe they were around at the same time but didn’t sound anything like Joy Division. They don’t even evoke other Manchester bands for me. So, they just kind of don’t fit into a category that … well, I’m not digging the categories anyway, but I didn’t go, “Oh man, Joy Division must hang out with The Damned.” It just sort of had this loner thing to it that I definitely identified with. It definitely had a dark edge to it, and it was mysterious. It makes me go, “Where the fuck are these guys from?” It evokes more questions than answers. They were amazing. The song “They Walked in Line,” that one really got me. That one made me go, “What else do they got?” It just made me want to dig deeper. Steve Von Till Guitarist, Neurosis James Rexroad The first time I heard Joy Division, I probably didn’t get it. There were only a few freaks in my high school who listened to weird music, and there were a few of us who were into the heavier stuff — some kids were more punk, some more metal. The other couple of freaks were what we called “goths” or whatever back then. We all started sharing our stuff at around the same time, and it all really cross-pollinated. As I got old enough to understand some of the more emotional depth of what I was looking for in music, there was one point at which I went down that road, and Joy Division, to me, was honest and pure. They were one of the few bands of any genre that sounded like they came out of nowhere. You don’t hear their influences. But they really sounded like … you listen to the punk of that time, the pub rock that sort of predated them, and stuff like that, and it’s like, “Where the hell did this come from?” It has such a different tempo, such a different attack. And mostly, for me, the sonic nature of what they were, those melodic bass lines that kind of paved the way for other bands that kind of took that as a kind of a lead thing … that kind of driving sound. As a guitar player, I have always liked textural guitar players—ones that know how to leave space—and those Joy Division tones leave a lot of space. They’re still edgy and dirty, but they’re not full-on distortion and they’re not clean and pretty. They’re kind of icy, and they cut, but they leave a lot of space, to where the notes hang out and that reverb extends, and just the emotional depth of what the songs make you feel. I like how it’s open for interpretation. The lyrics and the music certainly paint a scene, but you’re not a voyeur witnessing someone else’s life. You are able to put your own experience into it because, like great poetry, it’s left vague enough for you to apply to your own experience, and the music just sets that perfect tone to do so. The way Neurosis were influenced by Joy Division was not so much that we wanted to borrow anything stylistically, but that we wanted to be one of those bands that paved our own way, that forged our own path, that sounded like we came out of nowhere, by being able to paint an emotional tone and give a really deep human emotional experience with music. We covered “Day of the Lords” a long time ago before we really became ourselves. For only two proper albums and all the demo releases that came out, they covered quite a wide territory in a couple of years. I was always partial, from a guitar angle, to “New Dawn Fades,” with that emotional progression—again, with space—and single notes, not big old chords, and just a beautiful, hypnotic tempo. Vocally, Ian had some depth. I think he really came into his voice. What a great voice! Vocally, I like the atmosphere. That just makes you want to turn on the eye fountain. The music, it felt classy — it felt literate. It had a level of sophistication that the Sex Pistols and the Damned didn’t necessarily have. They were truly the first ones to trudge that sonic path, and I am forever grateful. Cities Aviv Mia Camille I got into Joy Division when I was 14 through a Russian music website. At the time, my friends in school would predominantly exchange 2000s-era street punk, emo, or classic bands, like the Sex Pistols. Joy Division stood out to me because it accurately captured a foreign yet familiar sense of tragedy and dread. Ian’s death further catapulted the sorrowful tones into an odd, tangible dimension for me in my formative years. I was personally marked by the band’s ability to project this striking form of dissonant soul. Their music will remain infinitely relevant because each song is crystallized by its own cold and beautiful history. Jamie Stewart Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, Xiu Xiu Shomei Tomatsu People don’t make music that good who are that old anymore. Hip-hop is an exception, but yeah, that just doesn’t happen anymore. I always forget that Ian Curtis was that young. I look at other 23-year-olds and I just … they’re just at a completely different stage of life, and I think, “Well, here’s one of the greatest singers in modern music history and one of the greatest lyricists in modern music history, who died at 23.” That’s like, you know, Rimbaud style, or something like that. I’m in my early 40s so, I really got into music pre-internet as a teenager. And as a very young teenager, there was a show on MTV called 120 Minutes and there would be the “Atmosphere” video on frequently. Which is a beautiful and very strange and slow video. And I didn’t know who they were, or understand their connection to music history because there were a number of New Order videos on — I didn’t understand the connection — but both of those bands really resonated with me, before I really had any idea who they were. And this is going to sound like I’m making this up, but this is exactly how it happened. I grew up in the Valley in Los Angeles, and there was a record store that I think doesn’t exist anymore called Tempo on Reseda, and I was just like, “Today, I am only buying records that have no title on the front and that the covers are all black or all white,” and I obviously bought Unknown Pleasures, not knowing what it was, and I bought Low-Life by New Order and a couple of other records. I put it on and was like, “Oh, this is that band” and the songs were different — “Atmosphere” wasn’t on that —but I recognized the singer and the style, and it was from then that both of those bands became slowly, but quite deeply, enmeshed in my musical consciousness, and very definitely my informative years. I’ve been tremendously influenced by Joy Division. In profound ways. Vocally for sure, Bernard Sumner’s playing, Peter Hook’s playing, Martin Hannett’s production, especially. Lyrically, not initially, but in the last few years, a lot more so, insofar as that, if you just read any Joy Division lyrics, they’re not particularly narrative or linear, but they all have very specific feelings. You know that it is about something very real and something jarring and, for the author, something very specific. Even though it doesn’t necessarily say this happened and this happened, and this happened as a result of that, which is a lot how I, and still do to a certain degree, only wrote lyrics like that. And then, in the last few years, I’ve been a little more flexible with that and adapted Ian’s model of that. For me, I know very specifically what it’s about, and kind of trying to write something that has a tone or a feeling, even if it’s just somebody who is reading or happens to be hearing it, that it’s not initially as obvious even though the emotionality from the Joy Division songs is very much there. So, I try to emulate that. They have never not inspired me, I think, in any band that I have ever been in. There’s always been an aspect of something they have done insofar as the sounds they have used, how all of the parts are extraordinarily catchy but also incredibly simple, which is something I have always tried to strive for, based on their initial inspiration. They didn’t really look that cool. At that time, I was also getting into the Cure and Bauhaus and a lot of the 4AD bands — the Bad Seeds. They all have a look, you know — they were dressed for their music and Joy Division just sort of looked like some schmoes. And because of that, it made it seem — I mean, I totally think the Bad Seeds and the Cure and Bauhaus looked super fucking cool. But it made Joy Division seem that much more real to me, because—not that the other three bands I mentioned are steeped in artifice — but because there’s a look, there’s a little bit of a distancing going on there, which can be great because it can make the music seem that much more kind of magical. With Joy Division, it was just there. Any of those guys could have worked at the university library and you’d never notice them, ever. But they were changing music history. I have always thought that was pretty wonderful. Steve Austin Singer, Today Is the Day Nathaniel Shannon Joy Division’s been one of those bands that I grew up with—I was actually around back in the day, in the ‘80s and ‘90s. I relate a lot with their lead singer. For some reason, I’ve always had a heartfelt affinity for Joy Division. I was a pretty hardcore goth freak right when I got out of high school for like two or three years. The clubs that I would go to, they would be ripping Ministry and the Cure and Depeche Mode and Joy Division. For the true goths, Joy Division was like, that was like the soundtrack of your life. A lot of people look at them, and go, like, “What is going on here?” There’s some really simple music and straightforward rhythms and stuff, but they represented a certain fucking group of people—young people who had almost developed a condition called anhedonia, which is a state of not being able to feel joy or pain or pleasure. You are just nothing, you have no feeling, and Joy Division was a pretty damn punk rock thing in a lot of ways, because that music they made built tension, and they definitely coined their own thing. They had their own style, and their own identity, and the identity that Joy Division happened to have represented the disenchanting, angry, hopeless youth. When you listen to the music, the honesty of who those dudes were comes through really, really clear. And you can’t help but connect with it. They are an iconic, legendary band, because they had their own thing. I always felt like what I took from them, inspirationally, it was about the mood and the concept of the band itself, that sense of feeling lost and hopeless. With “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” there is something so beautiful in that song, because you could try to describe that situation in words or poetry a million different ways—when you care about somebody, but you’re in love with someone else, and they’re in love with you, yet, that love has become so intense between the two of you that it will also be the thing that ends the relationship between the two of you. That’s a real complex and tricky thing to express in words in a way that makes sense but also carries the feeling. That song, just in the way he describes the ongoing situation and then, going into the chorus … it just seems like the perfect poetic way of putting that. If you’re feeling a little heartbroken or a little down or hurt by somebody, you can’t listen to that song without feeling that emotion and understanding what he means. Charlie Looker Vocalist, Psalm Zero Meg Wachter I wasn’t exposed to Joy Division until I was 20 or so but they kind of blew my mind, the way you get your mind blown when you’re 14. When I was 14, my mind would be utterly rearranged every two weeks by some new record. By the time you’re 20, it maybe happens twice, three times a year. I guess it all depends on how young at heart you are. But when I heard “Disorder” and “She’s Lost Control” on Unknown Pleasures … I had already been into dark music, like Swans, and, through the metal angle, I was into Godflesh. Then there was Depeche Mode and the more romantic side of what you might call goth music. But when I heard Joy Division, it was really pretty different, actually. The total coldness of the music … that is adjective one with them, almost. To me, that coldness is depression that’s distinct and different from sadness or anger or rage. Depression is a colder state, because, sadness and anger and those emotions—jealousy, even—these negative emotions, they’re painful but depression is beyond pain. It’s a numbness and a lack of affect and a deadness. If you’re angry, at least there’s passion there—it’s fiery instead of cold. Even sadness, there’s a warmth to it, because there’s at least some kind of hope. It isn’t despair, in the same way. I felt it in my own life, depression, and in the music. And depression is like this nihilist fact of meaninglessness. I don’t struggle with depression anymore, but I know that feeling, where you sort of feel voided of human emotions. They had a certain influence on me with the way that they use political aesthetics, even though they weren’t a political band at all, as far as agendas. What I mean is, they used fascist imagery, and their name: Joy Division was a division of sex slaves to serve the Nazi elites. Their use of political aesthetics, but only in the service of, not subscribing to those ideals, and not supporting those ideologies, but using that aesthetic to express personal despair. Depression itself is Hitler, and takes you over, like a totalitarian state. My favorite lyric from them is “There’s no room for the weak, no room for the weak” . He bellows that, man, and that’s a very fascist, Übermensch kind of thing to say. It’s cruelty, sadism, destroying those weaker than you … but when he is singing that, you know he isn’t identifying with the master—he is identifying with the slaves. A lot of culture has been sort of catching up with them since then. In the past 40 years, there’s been this general neoliberal world order … its sort of moved to this place where, for certain classes, it’s very despairing. He articulated this working-class despair, insomuch as the working class was ahead of the curve about how dark the world can be. They were tapping into this ascendant neoliberal thing and really seeing how fucking dark it was for what it was. People are now just kind of catching up. Jeff Wilson Bassist and guitarist, Chrome Waves Marrow Photography I think the relevancy of Joy Division so many years later is multifaceted. To me, they're one of the pioneering bands dealing in intimate, personal demons, which is only exacerbated in the legendary tone and cadence of Ian Curtis. They're also one of the first bands I can recall putting the bass and synth upfront, without the pretentious cheese and bombast of a band like Rush. Their influence can be heard throughout the last several decades in the new wave scene of the 1980s, the goth and industrial-tinged music of the '90s, Interpol and their numerous clones of the 2000s, to the recent releases of bands like Beastmilk and Grave Pleasures. I've personally gone as far as to cover "The Eternal" and name my label and screen printing business after the band.