Stephen Morris (musician)

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For other people named Stephen Morris, see Stephen Morris (disambiguation).
Stephen Morris
Stephen Morris performing with New Order, 2012.jpg
Morris performing live with New Order at Mechanics Bay, Auckland, New Zealand, in 2012
Background information
Birth name Stephen Paul David Morris
Born (1957-10-28) 28 October 1957 (age 58)
Macclesfield, Cheshire, England, United Kingdom
  • Multi-instrumentalist
  • composer
  • record producer
  • music programmer
  • remixer
  • Drums
  • percussion
  • keyboards
  • synthesizer
Years active 1977–present
Associated acts

Stephen Paul David Morris (born 28 October 1957) is an English multi-instrumentalist, composer and record producer who is best known for his work with the rock band New Order and, previously, Joy Division. He also wrote and performed in The Other Two, a band consisting of Morris and his wife, Gillian Gilbert. Morris also participated in the New Order spin-off band Bad Lieutenant. He is known for his precise drumming that seamlessly weaves with New Order's and Joy Division's drum machine sounds. Stylus Magazine ranked Morris No. 5 on their list of "50 Greatest Rock Drummers of All Time".[1]


Stephen Paul David Morris was born on 28 October 1957, in Macclesfield, Cheshire, England. He attended the King's School, Macclesfield,[2] as did Ian Curtis who was also in Joy Division. After Joy Division (then called Warsaw)[3] tried three other drummers, they eventually recruited Morris, who responded to a wanted ad posted in a local music shop.[4]

Morris is noted for his "machine-like" skills as a drummer, which he credits to krautrock influences.[5] During Joy Division recording sessions with Martin Hannett, Morris was asked to record his parts one drum at a time so that Hannett could have complete control over the production.[3] He also took an early interest in drum machines,[6] combining them with traditional drumming on many Joy Division and New Order releases.

Although he is primarily a percussionist, Morris also plays keyboards and synthesizer.[3]

Early on, Morris was a contender to become New Order's lead vocalist, and his vocals can be heard on some early live tracks. He also contributed musically to as-yet-unreleased demos by Quando Quango. He played drums on the song "Soul Kitchen" by Echo & the Bunnymen when they and New Order were both recording at Amazon Studios in Liverpool in 1986,[citation needed] a time when Echo & the Bunnymen did not have a full-time drummer. New Order were recording Brotherhood while Echo and the Bunnymen recorded their eponymous fifth album.

During a hiatus from New Order, Morris and Gilbert formed the side project The Other Two; together they have released two albums as well as various remixes and soundtrack work.[7] In 2007, Morris and Gilbert remixed two tracks for the Nine Inch Nails remix album Year Zero Remixed.

In June 2009, during New Order's second break-up, band members Bernard Sumner and Phil Cunningham, along with Jake Evans, formed a new band called Bad Lieutenant. Morris recorded drums on several songs with the band,[4] and joined their line-up for live gigs. Bad Lieutenant released their debut album Never Cry Another Tear in 2009 and toured from October 2009 to April 2010. They began work on a second album, but are presently on hiatus.

New Order reformed with a new line-up in the summer of 2011, and Morris returned to playing with New Order.

Personal life[edit]

In 1979, Morris was questioned about the Yorkshire Ripper case. Joy Division's touring schedule happened to be similar to Peter Sutcliffe's movements which led to the police's suspicion. Following gigs in Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds and Manchester, both Morris and bass player Peter Hook were questioned.[8]

Morris is married to fellow New Order member Gillian Gilbert. The couple live in the village and civil parish Rainow, in Cheshire and have two daughters, Tilly and Grace.[9]

Morris is a fan of science fiction, particularly the TV series Doctor Who. He has a full-sized Dalek replica in his rehearsal room, which Sumner has called "the sixth member" of New Order.[10] As a hobby, Morris owns several military vehicles.[11]


With Joy Division
With New Order
Main article: New Order discography
With The Other Two


  1. ^ "Stylus Magazine's 50 Greatest Rock Drummers – Article". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  2. ^ "Steve Morris at Speakers' Club". King's latest news. Retrieved 2016-01-24. 
  3. ^ a b c "STEPHEN MORRIS Interview | The Electricity Club". Retrieved 2016-08-27. 
  4. ^ a b "DRUM!Magazine". Retrieved 2016-01-24. 
  5. ^ Telekom (2011-06-28). "Tanks for the Beats: An Interview with New Order's Stephen Morris". Retrieved 2016-08-27. 
  6. ^ "Stephen Morris on Joy Division and New Order: How the studio shaped the sound". Retrieved 2016-08-27. 
  7. ^ "The Other Two | Biography | LTM Recordings". Retrieved 2016-08-27. 
  8. ^ "Peter Hook discusses being questioned during Yorkshire Ripper hunt". CMU. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  9. ^ Sawyer, Miranda (2015-09-27). "New Order: 'There's no point in just staying together for the kids'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-08-27. 
  10. ^ "Bernard Sumner Is Glad the Failed Marriage of New Order Is Over". Spinner. 7 April 2010. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  11. ^ "Radio 4 – Saturday Live – Home Page". BBC. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 

External links[edit]