not a member? click here to sign up
Listen to the lions
In 1982, a band emerged on Dublin’s northside that would go on to write some of the biggest songs in the Irish rock canon. Still going strong thirty years on, Aslan are about to embark on their busiest period ever. As they ready themselves for the fray, the iconic Dublin rockers tell their remarkable story.
Olaf Tyaransen, 18 May 2012
“We did our first tour of America, just before we split up,” he recalls. “We were with Capitol in America. I think New York was the first date and in each state you go to there’s a record company rep meeting you. So the rep meets us in New York and gives us a gram of coke and two bottles of champagne to welcome us. So we’re going, ‘Fucking excellent!’ So then we get to Boston and the next guy says, ‘Did Olaf look after yez in New York?’ We went, ‘Olaf’s a fucking gem, he bought us a gram of coke and two bottles of champagne’. Yer man buys us an eight-ball and three bottles of champagne! The next guy buys us two eight-balls and six bottles of champagne. By the time we got to Los Angeles... (laughs).
“We got back from America and the lads all went, ‘That was great – now let’s get down to work!’ But I was fuckin’ gone. I came back and the first thing I did was go straight from the airport to Ballymun to score. That’s the difference. Some people can use drugs recreationally. I couldn’t.”
Not that it was needed, but being a moderately successful rock star gave him another excuse to travel the road of excess. It didn’t always lead to the palace of wisdom though...
“I bought into the whole sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll thing,” he admits. “Keith Richards, Lou Reed... I loved all that shit. I ate all that shit up. Both my grandfathers died of drink, literally keeled over in pubs, so alcohol was a real bogey thing to me. So to me drugs were cooler. I started off smoking hash. Now, I don’t believe in the gateway thing – if the gateway thing worked then anybody who starts off drinking wine is gonna end up
“But when I started smoking hash first, it did give me a kind of insight for writing. From an artistic perspective, it gave me more of a creative kind of well to draw from. So I kind of thought, ‘Well, maybe if I take heroin...’ Believe it or not, I believe that heroin or coke can be recreational drugs, but for people like me it can’t be. I’ve got this disease of addiction.