He recruited a drummer (faux Stephen Morris) and a guitarist (faux Bernard Sumner), but the hardest part was finding someone to channel the iconic frontman Curtis, who famously hanged himself in 1980. That is, until last December, when buddy Branch, formerly of a Christian rock act, wandered into practice and heard the other three practicing. "I'd heard them before, but I'd never really dug in," Branch says. "I went home and started learning the songs one by one, and it's become a huge obsession."
His practice has paid off — the band's YouTube videos show an almost creepily authentic facsimile of the band, from minimalist stage gear (oxford shirts, slim pants, etc.) to the minimalist background projections they were known for. Branch looks more than a little like Curtis himself and has perfected the latter's deep vocal intonations and famous spastic, herky-jerky dance. So much so, one worries he might have an accompanying epileptic fit for historical accuracy.
The rest of the band, meanwhile, hangs in that loose, angular pocket, the guitar slices and turned-up bass moving the classic songs along over their signature tribal drumming. "A friend of mine from Tampa is 42 and an old dark-wave fanatic, and he came to see us and said it was like seeing Joy Division in 1978," Scott says. "It was the biggest compliment of my musical career." But isn't it a little funny to have the biggest compliment of one's musical career come after playing someone else's music? "In a way, I guess," he says, "but hey, it's Joy Division!"