New Order's Bernard Sumner reveals he's had coronavirus

14 November 2020, 12:00 | Updated: 17 March 2021, 18:30

Bernard Sumner in September 2019
Bernard Sumner in September 2019. Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

The Joy Division legend has just got over a case of COVID-19: "I'm very lucky," he says.

New Order frontman Bernard Sumner has revealed that he's recovering from COVID-19.

The singer and guitarist - who was also one of the founding members of the legendary Manchester band Joy Division - told the station The Current in Minnesota that he was "one of the lucky ones" and that he knows people who have sadly died after contracting the virus.

"I got it three weeks ago, from someone who worked here actually," he told presenter Jill Riley from his home studio. "My voice is a little bit gruff,but I didn't get it too bad, so I'm OK."

"I was one of the lucky ones," he went on. "I've heard some horror stories about it, I know a couple of people who've died from it. So I'm very lucky.

"We've got a real serious second wave here. It seems like Russian roulette, you can get light symptoms like me, or it can kill you. It's crazy."

Get the latest information on COVID-19 from the NHS

Interview with Bernard Sumner of New Order

The musician explained some of the symptoms he'd experienced, saying: "I just felt extreme fatigue, like a a real hangover. I still can't smell anything.

"I felt like something was having a got at my system. I had a little bit of a temperature, but not much. Then it went away for four days... and then came back for four days. And when it came back, it was more severe."

New Order had lined up a number of live dates for 2020, which were all either cancelled or postponed until 2021 when the pandemic began. On the schedule was a series of US shows with another classic electronic pop act.

"Us and the Pet Shop Boys were both gonna go on tour together and it was all sold, everything was done and dusted," Sumner said. "Then this horrible virus came along and just stopped everything in its tracks. We also had to postpone a Japanese tour, and a short Australian tour."

New Order's last show before lockdown was at Melbourne's Sidney Myer Music Bowl on 14 March and the group were set to perform a headline show at London's O2 Arena in October - which will now take place on 6 November 2021.

New Order - Be a Rebel

In the meantime, the veteran band have issued their first new material since 2015's album Music Complete. Titled Be A Rebel, Sumner says: "It's quite a positive song, so it's nice to come out with a positive message. It's unusual for me to write a positive song! A freak of nature. It's very optimistic.

"It's difficult working together as a band, because we can't go into our rehearsal space together. It's been a downtime year. We're limited in what we can do."

A new podcast, Transmissions, tells the story of Joy Division and New Order, with contributions from the band and guests Liam Gallagher, Johnny Marr, Bono, Damon Albarn and more.

Transmissions Episode 2: Unknown Pleasures

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