"Making of" stories

An Appointment with Fate

Part 3: the recording of Fate/Hate

Tim Allison: We’d made a demo of Fate. I’d been listening to a lot of electro, and we did a new version with a sequencer.

Peter Hook: John Brierley used to pin all the singles up on the wall. I listened to them all, in the downtime. There was you, and another group I picked, The Singles, ‘cos the title of their song was Adolf Hitler, who were interesting. I was always very receptive then, like the Happy Mondays gave me their tape. I used to acquire it all.

Paul Trynka: We’d sent demos to Aaron Sixx at Aura, who had Nico and Annette Peacock, and he offered us a deal for Fate. He didn’t want to rerecord it, he wanted to use the demo, then later asked if we could get Hooky to mix it. Hooky would send me these very kind, very thoughtful, very practical letters and send me New Order tapes. This in itself was very moving, seeing them move beyond what they’d done before, in particular Temptation, which at the time was exactly where we were trying to go, with all those sequencers. He was happy to do whatever – and also said he’d get Factory’s lawyer to look over the Aura contract. Then he said, “why don’t you put it out on Factory Benelux?” Which is what happened.

Nyam Nyam, the 4-piece line-up, summer 1983, from left Paul, Tim, Trevor, Steve

Tim: It was just brilliant. It was just one of those things. I said this to Trevor at the time, even though I was only a year younget than you two, being from a different background, having the privilege to meet Hook at that young age. You two were more level-headed. I was, Oh My God.

Peter Hook: For New Order it was a very interesting period, you were completely workaholic, all four of us were. In an odd way, you weren’t going enough with New Order, So you were happy to do more. It was an odd thing.Being in a group is all about compromise. And one of the problems with me in New Order was that Bernard thought that compromise meant he’d get his own way – he thought compromise was something you lot did. So also, as a producer you get to enjoy yourself, to be the lord of the manor. And to play with all of the toys. So I remember we used a lot of New Order great on Fate/Hate.

Paul: Hooky arrived with the TR808 programmed, plus the Blue Monday Oberheim drum machine and their Prophet 5. He suggested a new bass part and extended the song to around eight minutes, while telling us all about what he’d been doing with Arthur Baker.

Steve Jessop: It was weird. But it was great. He did knit it together like a jigsaw, while he was probably learning about producing.

Tim: Someone had a brief case, can’t remember who. And there was a little revolver in it. And a big bag of white stuff. Which is quite funny. The first night we slept in the van. I remember going out with Steve to find a swimming pool to freshen up, then Hooky took us in on the second night. We slept on his floor and he made bacon sandwiches for breakfast. I used his toothbrush. A good, genuine, generous person.

Steve: Hooky was all one had expected really… a bit frightening, a bit untouchable but once you got to know him he was and is a great guy.  It was a different way of recording for me and all of us I think.  Hooky loved to play around and use every available track on the desk…it was a confusing whirlwind as one kept thinking ‘ when are we going to play our song?’, but he loved the machines and New Order were pretty much the pioneers of all that.  Brilliant really. Like many things, it was only when it was over that I realised just what a cool experience it had all been – even making up for sleeping in the van!

Paul: Maybe the best bit about it was how he’d keep you on edge, get you out of your comfort zone, keep trying things a different way. So you’d do the vocal, then he’d say, double it, put another one on top, or Trevor would play one bass line, that was all worked out, and he would change it. But he wasn’t at all intimidating or starry, just practical.

I couldn’t really get a guitar sound at Strawberry, the room was big and seemed to suck out the sound, and I was trying take after take, it wasn’t really working. Hooky came out of the control room, offered me a stick of chewing gum, and said, “those last couple of takes are sounding a lot better.” Then he walked back, across this huge recording area, and just before he opened the control room door, called out, “still sounds shit, mind.”

Trevor Simpson: On Fate he said, Your original song is four minutes, this will be eight minutes. I’ll point when I want you to play and just play something. I felt relaxed around him, he was an open bloke that wanted the best for the song.

Hooky: You seemed like very nice boys. Middle class. The keyboard player seemed posh. It was an absolute pleasure to work with you. You listen now and it’s so long, but in those days that was the fashion, it was all about the 12 inch version.

Tim: It was really weird. It was also a massive step up going to Stockport to record, although it did feel like a New Order side project in some ways, there wasn’t a lot of guitar left on there, and also there’s only Steve’s snare, no other drums. It wasn’t quite us, but it was great, a fantastic experience.

Paul: The fact it wasn’t how we did it before was the point. I didn’t really miss the guitar, ‘cos the whole point was to get a different take, a different view. I didn’t really like the singing, ‘cos the main vocal got corrupted, but for instance Hooky picked random words, sampled them, and splattered them all over, the Voodoo bits, it was great. In the same random Factory way, the title got changed too, to Fate/Hate. Liz, who designed the sleeve, found this book on occult symbols, which are plastered all over. Then of course when it came out, a good few months later, it reached several dance charts, most likely due to Hooky’s name. When Beggars Banquet heard we were making this single, having dithered for ages, they suddenly decided to sign us for the album.

Much later, Hooky said, well, Factory Benelux would have given you more money for an album than Beggars. We were, What, you wanted an album, why didn’t you say?

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