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Paranoid Visions Interview

18/09/2006

Was it a hard decision to bring the band back together, and who is playing with the band these days?

getting back together wasn't a hard decision at all. We had reformed back in 1996 to play on a couple of dates on the sex pistols filthy lucre tour and had played a handful of gigs at that time, then we just let it slide for a while and got back to play with the damned in 2001 and the wasted morecambe gig that year...then let it slide again. We kept talking about playing again but it wasn't until Toxic wanted to put out our back catalogue and we reckoned we should get together to launch it that it actually happened. The level of interest and the
reactions were so good that we decided we would just keep it rolling along until we have achieved everything we want to.

The line up of the band now is
Deko: vocals
P.A : guitar
Joe libido: Guitar
ke 7: bass / guitar
sarah bellum: vocals
beano: drums / bass
paul o'tician: drums

How has the bands views and sound changed over the years?

in the early 80's, like most of our peers we subscribed to a crass type of ethic. Over the years I for one, haven't really changed my stance but have used it as a platform to base my life around...albeit in a more unorthodox way. I feel that the "there is no authority but yourself" philosophy is what has made me what I am, what I have, what I do and what I feel today.

The bands sound has eveloved and de-evolved over the years. In the 80's, all our records were the sound of a band who had no formal training and limited skills trying to make the best of their ability to create interesting and different music to the general norm within and outside the punk rock scene. The nearest thing we could have allied ourselves to was the dead kennedys as we shared a common sense of mischief and less of the hard line pseudo angry stances adopted by many bands at the time. We had always aspired to sound like bands such as killing joke, gang of 4, siouxsie, magazine etc...but simply couldn't play that well...so our own style was born. Later in the early 90's, we had a new line up and whilst the music was quite accomplished, the song structures were more about 3 chord tricks played with a bit of style. This new line up is the first in 16 years to write new material and for once the ability matches the style and aspirations and I am finally very confident about where we are going musically...totally uncomprimising, but only because we want to do it that way rather than it being the only way we can do it!


What has been the high point and lowest point of the bands history? Would you do anything different?

High point and low point are about the same really in one respect. In 1987 we were riding the crest of a wave in Ireland with a hit single and a hit album under our belts without bowing to any industry requirements, pressure, interference or necessity...we existed in our own little punk rock world with what we assumed was a big gang of mates who turned up for our gigs, blagged records and then went home to listen to a "real" band they really liked instead of us. However, if we had thought about it, we had been selling upwards of 1500 records in a country where a big seller was 500... pretty soon the "cool" studenty "lets latch on to the next big thing" wankers decided we were yesterdays news and the same type of right-on crusty wankers decided we were now popstars. As our notoriety had spread, so had the negative angles..I remember deko and caff having a few people trying to start fights on them for no reason..just because the recognised them from the papers. I also remember stories accelerating like chinese whispers..."deko beat me up...!" when in reality a bloke with paranoid visions on his back told him to fuck off. It was a wierd time really and while its nice to have success and recognition, its not a thing that we were courting or looking for.

regrets..i've had as few, but then again to few to mention!......maybe when we didn't bother to return the calls from CBS and Virgin. Maybe not though! Maybe sending our american record label a master tape of some old material rather than the material they had just paid the recording bill for resulting in us falling out with them! ...then again...maybe not


How has the scene changed since you first started? What changes have you seen in your audience?

theres a lot more people with shaved heads these days...skinheads really had it right didn't they...never go grey or bald! Or the damned....greased back hair, berets, sunglasses, make up......it all covers up the bald spots and wrinkles doesn't it, who would have thought they would have had that sense on longevity about their image and careers!

the scene now seems to have a lot more genuine fans in it, its not a fad nor a fashion these days. The right on wanker element seems to have diminished, although I suspect a revival of those tossers with " X" on their hand who don't smoke, drink, drug or fuck is just around the corner.

Its also got a lot more organised..the web is a marvelous thing and access to bands, music, downloads, festivals, information is brilliant. The diy element of the punk thing is so so important and the internet gives direct access to that. Theres a lot of people who grew up with the anarcho influence who took it to the next level in terms of setting up diy businesses...like this website, like as lot of the booking agents, labels, promotors like daz and toxic john, radio
shows etc...its fantastic really and much easier to get yourself heard .


You mention on your website, new releases are on the way. What can people and expect and when?

we have so much stuff to release!

firstly we have a new single, missing in action, to be released soon backed with a lump of other tracks from other releases. There is a new album being recorded and its all either brand new material, older material that never made it past the demo of live stage, or in one case a re recording of an old song we do much better now. The album is called "40 shades of gangreen (alternative national anthems)" and we expect to have it out after xmas.

Also we are compiling 2 outakes, wierd stuff, unreleased and unheard stuff albums called "venom in de skies" vol 1 and 2...theres some mad stuff on that including along lost radio session that is really good. theres a proposed split live album with P.A.I.N recorded at a gig we did with them in Dublin this year and we are now re-releasing our "bollox 2 xmas" album which has 20
classic xmas numbers trashed both musically and lyrically...such as 12
months at xmas (on the fist day of christmas my true love gave to me..a day on the piss for free), hosanna in a hiace, the classic wombling merry christmas reworked as drunken merry christmas, white christmas (may all your christmases be shite) etc aswell as deko's 20 minute story of xmas-the joey and mary chain. We love this album...buy it from punkoiuk.co.uk!

How did you go about starting a Record Label and is it something you would do again?
for us there was never any option considered...it had to be putting records out ourselves with licencing deals. I am really glad about it now as it means we have full ownership in every way shape and form of everything we ever released. It was a simple thing really....book recording time ourselves, pay (or not pay) the bill ourselves, send a master copy to whoever we were dealing with and request a load of copies as part royalty payment so we could bang them off in ireland!

These days, manufacture and distribution deals are harder to come by, so now we just press the cds ourselves...would love to find someone to license them as its very hard to tap into a certain network of distributors and stuff still needs to be in the shops......any offers?

How much has being from Ireland influenced the band?

quite a bit.

we were certainly isolated from the uk scene and had major trouble trying to get regular gigs, giving us more time to write and develop a style...a lot less hectic (one year we played only 3 gigs).

there was always a certain level of small mindedness and a huge U2 fallout in the music scene and that gave us something to kick against.

Its also a lot easier to become a big fish in a small pond so the scale of the band was dispraportionate to the uk and european markets

Please tell the readers 5 facts about the band they will not know?

we have had 7 bass players, 6 drummers and 6 backing vocalists
deko hates everyone equally
jello biafra used to like us
U2 said we were "supposedly irelands answer to the clash...but are a load of rubbish really"
johnny rotten has a paranoid visions t shirt
Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2006.

releases mentioned above.

we will be playing London we hope later this year with pain and dirty love

we will be playing at the wasted party in october

planning a smart arsed xmas t shirt


Any final comments?
many thanks for the interest and stuff....buy our stuff from punkoiuk, log onto www.paranoidvisions.com
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