Friday, September 10, 2010

Three Worlds Collide: The Implosion Of A Supergroup

"It's like siphoning petrol - sometimes it can blow up in your face" - Peter Hook
Freebass - Gary Briggs, Mani Mounfield, Peter Hook

Manchester's All-Star Bassist Uber-group Freebass, consisting of New Order's Peter Hook, The Stone Roses' Mani Mounfield and The Smiths' Andy Rourke, only weeks before the release of their LP, have issued a statement confirming that they are no longer set to continue as a band.


"Recent events have made Freebass entirely unviable as a band, and with this in mind, it has been decided that the project should be shelved, rather than placed on hiatus while members pursue their other interests. The band would like to take the opportunity to thank friends and fans for their support and interest, especially on the UK tour in June 2010. We also hope that people will enjoy the album, which concludes five years of work and treat it on its own merits. No third parties were involved or harmed in the break up."

The band's debut, Two Worlds Collide EP was released a month ago through a partnership with Hook's new label Hacienda Records and US indie 24 Hour Service Station. The EP featured guest vocalist Tim Burgess of The Charlatans UK, Pete Wylie, Howard Marks and Hook himself. A digital single, "You Don't Know This About Me", featuring vocals from Burgess and remixes from legendary producer & remixer Arthur Baker appeared at the same time.

Freebass' debut album It's A Beautiful Life is scheduled to be released in Europe later this month and worldwide December 7th by 24 Hour Service Station with a bonus disc including the Baker remixes, the Freebass Redesign EP from The Beatles 'HATE' producer Fritz von Runte, and Instrumental Versions of the Two Worlds Collide EP.

A series of outbursts by Mounfield on the website Twitter accused 54-year-old Hook of exploiting the memory of the late Ian Curtis, his former bandmate in Joy Division.

Yesterday, Hook told Yorkshire Evening Post he was baffled by Mounfield's outbursts. "I don't know what's brought it on unless someone's kidnapped his phone and is playing a cruel gag", he said.

He'd been unable to contact Mounfield but suspected "the problem" was connected to a number of offers he had received to perform the Joy Division album Unknown Pleasures in its entirety.

"It's interesting to get this criticism from Mani when he's doing (a live revival of the 1991 Primal Scream album) Screamadelica himself," he said. "I'm very proud of the Freebass album," he added. "Playing Unknown Pleasures I'm very proud of. I've got nothing to complain about."

Mounfield's comments had been "an unfortunate bit of timing" with the record, which has taken five years to complete, so close to release but, he reflected: "When you have people like Mani and Rourkey (in a band) you're going to have a volatile mix. It's like siphoning petrol - sometimes it can blow up in your face."

Although it saddens us to announce the implosion of Freebass, hopefully fans of the individual members will appreciate the music they made while together as rare collectibles from an eclectic Super-group.