On the morning of May 18, 1980 \u2014 well before daybreak \u2014 Ian Curtis died by suicide, one day before the groundbreaking band he fronted \u2014 English post-punk pioneers Joy Division\u2014was 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\u2019s second LP, Closer \u2014 their follow-up to 1979's debut Unknown Pleasures. Joy Division wouldn\u2019t 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\u2019s 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 \u2014 a legacy that endures even today, 40 years after losing their singer. Countless musicians \u2014 including innovative rockers, such as Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails and even hip-hop icons like Lupe Fiasco and Tyler, the Creator \u2014 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\u2019 unique, somber, swaggering voice and astonishingly emotive lyrics perfectly complemented Peter Hook\u2019s throbbing bass lines, Bernard Sumner\u2019s spacious guitars and atmospheric keys, and Stephen Morris\u2019 bombastic, thumping drums, all creating something novel and sempiternal \u2014 something timeless. To celebrate Curtis\u2019 lasting memory and his stunning contributions to the music world, SPIN reached out to a number of musicians \u2014 including one of his former bandmates \u2014 for thoughts, insights, and impressions on Joy Division\u2019s overall impact, as well as Curtis\u2019 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\u2019d 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 \u2014 the fact that we were going nowhere, or the frustrations involved\u2014he would always be the one to grab hold of you, and go, \u201cDon\u2019t worry, we\u2019re gonna be massive. We\u2019re going to tour America, we\u2019re going to be touring Brazil,\u201d 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\u2019s memory \u2014 say, for instance, in the way we have New Order\u2019s. Very self-destructive and its really, in my opinion, it\u2019s really fucked New Order up for all our fans. The arguments between us. But luckily, we didn\u2019t have those arguments in Joy Division, so it\u2019s 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 \u201cLove Will Tear Us Apart\u201d was a hit, the group didn\u2019t 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 \u2026 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\u2019t 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, \u201cYou\u2019re fucking idiots. How you make this music is beyond me.\u201d In a way, that was part of the lightness of Joy Division, was that we weren\u2019t precious about the music\u2014we were giving tracks away. \u201cDigital\u201d and \u201cGlass\u201d went on the Factory sample. Never released. We didn\u2019t bother. Gave \u201cAtmosphere\u201d away. Gave \u201cAutosuggestion,\u201d \u201cFrom Safety to Where\u201d away. We didn\u2019t release \u201cDigital\u201d as a single, as we should have. We just didn\u2019t 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 \u201cDead Souls\u201d away. It was like, \u201cYeah? Really?\u201d \u201cDon\u2019t worry about it we\u2019ll just write another one.\u201d 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\u2019ve ever been in. I\u2019ve 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\u2019t it? You find something that great \u2026 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\u2014a strong, perfect fit. It was amazing. We couldn\u2019t believe the difference when we got to New Order. It\u2019s 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\u2019d recover, he\u2019d just shrug it off, and go, \u201cDon\u2019t worry, stop worrying about me. Everything\u2019s fine. Get on with it.\u201d And we\u2019d be like, \u201cWow.\u201d It\u2019s a mind fuck. This guy was on the floor, he couldn\u2019t speak, he couldn\u2019t stop shaking \u2026 and now, he\u2019s there telling us he\u2019s 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\u2019t him who\u2019d cancel the gigs when we had to cancel them. It was everybody else. \u201cYou can\u2019t do it, Ian. You\u2019ve got to stop.\u201d \u201cNo, no, we\u2019ll be alright, don\u2019t stop.\u201d 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\u2019s a Northern English thing, and Ian joined in it. He wasn\u2019t 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 \u2026 mad, crazy shit, all the time. And when Annik appeared, he went back to boyfriend mode, so he didn\u2019t 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\u2014when he was well and the band were together\u2014and nothing got in the way, it was probably the best time of my life, to be honest. It\u2019s the best time I\u2019ve had in a group. I\u2019ve not been in a group like Joy Division since, and it\u2019s 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\u2019d pick you up by the scruff of your neck, and be like, \u201cCome on!\u201d He was fantastic at that and also, he was very funny. He was very easy to be with and he didn\u2019t 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\u2019s a lot more difficult without him. Even though you\u2019ve achieved and you\u2019ve moved on, you know those wonderful days of sitting there, in a practice room, freezing your bullocks off, coming up with \u201cTwenty Four Hours\u201d or \u201cInsight\u201d or \u201cShadowplay\u201d or \u201cLove Will Tear Us Apart\u201d or \u201cAtmosphere\u201d or \u201cDead Souls,\u201d these songs that have shaped music and still shape music now \u2026 to us, we were just knocking \u2018em out, in a freezing cold rehearsal room, where we\u2019d 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\u2019d get one out and read it and it\u2019d be \u201cIsolation.\u201d He\u2019d get another one out and read it, and it\u2019d be \u201cShe\u2019s Lost Control,\u201d and you\u2019d be like, \u201cFucking hell, is he for real?\u201d 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\u2019s 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\u2019t 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 \u2014 possibly Joy Division\/New Order. The influence is ongoing and broad. Back in 1980 or \u201881, 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\u2019s Closer. The first song I heard was \u201cAtrocity Exhibition\u201d and I didn\u2019t 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 \u201cAtrocity Exhibition.\u201d Between me and my friends, all totaled, we maybe had 15 albums. And so, if you had an album, if it didn\u2019t make sense to you, it was your mission to spend time with it until it made sense to you. We didn\u2019t 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\u2019t 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 \u201cLove Will Tear Us Apart,\u201d 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\u2019t 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\u2019s wearing an Unknown Pleasures shirt. Ian is such a unique figure because he didn\u2019t have the most beautiful voice. He was a remarkable singer who didn\u2019t have a great voice. But it was the lyrics \u2026 and now that I know more about him, it doesn\u2019t 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 \u201870s going to punk rock shows, wearing leather jackets, and drinking beer. And how that phenomenal poetry came out of it \u2026 no one else in that milieu, like the Buzzcocks and the Fall, the Damned, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Clash \u2026 no one attempted to write lyrics like that, and no one even came close. I can\u2019t 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 \u201cNew Dawn Fades\u201d and we were rehearsing, and Peter Hook goes, \u201cWell, we haven\u2019t played this since Ian was alive.\u201d The other thing was, they couldn\u2019t 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, \u201cWe\u2019re changing our sound.\u201d And that\u2019s when they went into the more higher-end guitar sounds \u2026 like, they were kind of punk, but fast, happy punk. And then, they hear \u201cLove Will Tear Us Apart\u201d and they were like, \u201cFuck that \u2026 we gotta change it up.\u201d They adjusted their sound and that\u2019s when they did Boy, and they were more \u201cnew wave\u201d than they were punk. At first, when I heard \u201cLove Will Tear Us Apart,\u201d I was like, \u201cI don\u2019t know if I\u2019m digging that.\u201d I had to get used to Ian\u2019s voice for a second. And Trent literally was like, \u201cWhy does everybody have to be cool? Why can\u2019t he just be accepted for who he is?\u201d I was like, \u201cFucking you just said that? The meanest person I have ever met in my life \u2014 the most cutting, like meanest son-of-a-bitch I have ever met in my life just said, like, \u2018Fucking hold off on \u2018em.\u2019\u201d I listened to it, and the shit is fucking great. He\u2019s like, \u201cWell, it\u2019s New Order.\u201d And I was like, \u201cReally?\u201d And he goes, \u201cYeah, it\u2019s Joy Division without Ian Curtis. Ian Curtis hung himself.\u201d I was like, \u201cOh my God!\u201d Admittedly, I was late to the party, because New Order was fucking massive during the \u201880s. But Joy Division were absolutely influential for me. Dave Pirner Singer, Soul Asylum Tony Nelson Somewhere in the \u201880s, someone gave me a mixtape of \u2014 I guess \u2014 their favorite Joy Division songs. And, it got quite a bit of play. I never had much info \u2026 all I had was the cassette tape, so I didn\u2019t really find out a whole lot about the band until a bit later. That was a very mysterious tape, you know. It didn\u2019t have a lot of writing on it or anything, but I listened to it a lot. And we covered \u201cLove Will Tear Us Apart\u201d 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 \u2026 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 \u201cgoth\u201d these days. And that sort of added an extra layer of mystery to it \u2014 this dude with heavy makeup on hands me this tape that didn\u2019t really say anything on it, and it leant itself to the whole mythology of something. I was like, \u201cWhere was this coming from?\u201d Joy Division absolutely inspired me creatively, because it didn\u2019t really fit in with most of the \u2026 I thought I probably would have had that covered once I figured it out. It was like, \u201cWhere the fuck was I?\u201d 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\u2019t like the Sex Pistols and it wasn\u2019t like the \u2026 I mean, the band I bring up is the Fall, because I believe they were around at the same time but didn\u2019t sound anything like Joy Division. They don\u2019t even evoke other Manchester bands for me. So, they just kind of don\u2019t fit into a category that \u2026 well, I\u2019m not digging the categories anyway, but I didn\u2019t go, \u201cOh man, Joy Division must hang out with The Damned.\u201d 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, \u201cWhere the fuck are these guys from?\u201d It evokes more questions than answers. They were amazing. The song \u201cThey Walked in Line,\u201d that one really got me. That one made me go, \u201cWhat else do they got?\u201d 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\u2019t 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 \u2014 some kids were more punk, some more metal. The other couple of freaks were what we called \u201cgoths\u201d 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\u2019t hear their influences. But they really sounded like \u2026 you listen to the punk of that time, the pub rock that sort of predated them, and stuff like that, and it\u2019s like, \u201cWhere the hell did this come from?\u201d 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 \u2026 that kind of driving sound. As a guitar player, I have always liked textural guitar players\u2014ones that know how to leave space\u2014and those Joy Division tones leave a lot of space. They\u2019re still edgy and dirty, but they\u2019re not full-on distortion and they\u2019re not clean and pretty. They\u2019re 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\u2019s open for interpretation. The lyrics and the music certainly paint a scene, but you\u2019re not a voyeur witnessing someone else\u2019s life. You are able to put your own experience into it because, like great poetry, it\u2019s 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 \u201cDay of the Lords\u201d 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 \u201cNew Dawn Fades,\u201d with that emotional progression\u2014again, with space\u2014and 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 \u2014 it felt literate. It had a level of sophistication that the Sex Pistols and the Damned didn\u2019t 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\u2019s death further catapulted the sorrowful tones into an odd, tangible dimension for me in my formative years. I was personally marked by the band\u2019s 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\u2019t make music that good who are that old anymore. Hip-hop is an exception, but yeah, that just doesn\u2019t happen anymore. I always forget that Ian Curtis was that young. I look at other 23-year-olds and I just \u2026 they\u2019re just at a completely different stage of life, and I think, \u201cWell, here\u2019s one of the greatest singers in modern music history and one of the greatest lyricists in modern music history, who died at 23.\u201d That\u2019s like, you know, Rimbaud style, or something like that. I\u2019m 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\u00a0and there would be the \u201cAtmosphere\u201d video on frequently. Which is a beautiful and very strange and slow video. And I didn\u2019t know who they were, or understand their connection to music history because there were a number of New Order videos on \u2014 I didn\u2019t understand the connection \u2014 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\u2019m 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\u2019t exist anymore called Tempo on Reseda, and I was just like, \u201cToday, I am only buying records that have no title on the front and that the covers are all black or all white,\u201d 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, \u201cOh, this is that band\u201d and the songs were different \u2014 \u201cAtmosphere\u201d wasn\u2019t on that \u2014but 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\u2019ve been tremendously influenced by Joy Division. In profound ways. Vocally for sure, Bernard Sumner\u2019s playing, Peter Hook\u2019s playing, Martin Hannett\u2019s 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\u2019re 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\u2019t 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\u2019ve been a little more flexible with that and adapted Ian\u2019s model of that. For me, I know very specifically what it\u2019s about, and kind of trying to write something that has a tone or a feeling, even if it\u2019s just somebody who is reading or happens to be hearing it, that it\u2019s 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\u2019s 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\u2019t really look that cool. At that time, I was also getting into the Cure and Bauhaus and a lot of the 4AD bands \u2014 the Bad Seeds. They all have a look, you know \u2014 they were dressed for their music and Joy Division just sort of looked like some schmoes. And because of that, it made it seem \u2014 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\u2014not that the other three bands I mentioned are steeped in artifice \u2014 but because there\u2019s a look, there\u2019s 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\u2019d 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\u2019s been one of those bands that I grew up with\u2014I was actually around back in the day, in the \u201880s and \u201890s. I relate a lot with their lead singer. For some reason, I\u2019ve 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, \u201cWhat is going on here?\u201d There\u2019s some really simple music and straightforward rhythms and stuff, but they represented a certain fucking group of people\u2014young 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\u2019t 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 \u201cLove Will Tear Us Apart,\u201d there is something so beautiful in that song, because you could try to describe that situation in words or poetry a million different ways\u2014when you care about somebody, but you\u2019re in love with someone else, and they\u2019re 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\u2019s 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 \u2026 it just seems like the perfect poetic way of putting that. If you\u2019re feeling a little heartbroken or a little down or hurt by somebody, you can\u2019t listen to that song without feeling that emotion and understanding what he means. Charlie Looker Vocalist, Psalm Zero Meg Wachter I wasn\u2019t 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\u2019re 14. When I was 14, my mind would be utterly rearranged every two weeks by some new record. By the time you\u2019re 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 \u201cDisorder\u201d and \u201cShe\u2019s Lost Control\u201d on Unknown Pleasures \u2026 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 \u2026 that is adjective one with them, almost. To me, that coldness is depression that\u2019s distinct and different from sadness or anger or rage. Depression is a colder state, because, sadness and anger and those emotions\u2014jealousy, even\u2014these negative emotions, they\u2019re painful but depression is beyond pain. It\u2019s a numbness and a lack of affect and a deadness. If you\u2019re angry, at least there\u2019s passion there\u2014it\u2019s fiery instead of cold. Even sadness, there\u2019s a warmth to it, because there\u2019s at least some kind of hope. It isn\u2019t 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\u2019t 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\u2019t 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 \u201cThere\u2019s no room for the weak, no room for the weak\u201d . He bellows that, man, and that\u2019s a very fascist, \u00dcbermensch kind of thing to say. It\u2019s cruelty, sadism, destroying those weaker than you \u2026 but when he is singing that, you know he isn\u2019t identifying with the master\u2014he 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\u2019s been this general neoliberal world order \u2026 its sort of moved to this place where, for certain classes, it\u2019s 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.