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Neurotic for the people
They were the great lost band of Irish post-punk. Now, after years in the wilderness, Paranoid Visions are back, with typically uncompromising things to say about the state of Modern Ireland...
Olaf Tyaransen, 25 Oct 2012
One cold, wet and miserable evening in the autumn of 1998, colourfully monikered punk rocker Deko Dachau (probably not the name on his passport) returned to his Dublin flat having spent the previous six weeks touring Germany with his band Striknien DC. There was a life-changing note pinned to his front door.
“It was from my landlord and it said, ‘I gave you a month’s notice. The police will be here at 3 o’clock tomorrow. You’re out!’” the 48-year-old vocalist recalls. “He was fucking all the tenants out. He had given me notice. I’d been away so I hadn’t known.”
Deko hadn’t a penny in the pocket of his bondage pants at the time. “The tour actually went really well. Except the label we were with had fucked up. We had no product to sell. So I basically came back home with nothing.”
Within 24 hours, he was homeless. “It was that quick. Suddenly I was out on the fucking road.”
He had no family to turn to. Deko is from “the flats” and had spent most of his adolescence in state institutions. “My family was smashed to bits. There’s seven of us and none of us ever even went to the same fucking school. I couldn’t go to anybody in my family for help.”
The next 18 months of his life were an ongoing nightmare. “I was on floors, I was in the park. I slept up in Mountjoy Square for six months. I was ashamed. I didn’t want to tell anybody. I didn’t want to believe it myself. It’s a catch-22. Once you haven’t got a job or an address, you can’t sign on – so you don’t get money. You’ve got to stay in a hostel with the biggest scumbags of the earth. It’s a pity they are that way because they were probably human once, but they’re retards now. Junkies that will just go through you.
“I didn’t get one bit of help off the system,” he continues. “I didn’t even get as much as a fucking coat off them. They told me to live in this hostel, which I refused to do. I went up there one night and I almost killed this bloke who I found going through my pockets at 3.30 in the morning. There’s no real help – that’s just an official fucking myth. It really is a hard place to get up off.”