He is now three years clean and sober after years of addiction and drinking.
Chris is marking the fact by joining seven other recovering addicts in Brighton on Liberation Through the Looking Glass, the first ever vinyl release from the not-for-profit record label and live music company We are Not Saints.
It is an album inspired by how it feels to be in recovery during lockdown – performed by musicians who have found healing in music.
Alongside Chris, the tracks feature artists Callum Johnstone, Full Spectrum, Annie Murray, Jim Trickster, Helena B, 40 Wildsages and Man Like Malcolm, all artists who have struggled at some point with their addictions. It all adds up to a genre-spanning collection of pop, indie, soul and singer/songwriter originals.
Chris, who went to St James School and Chichester High School for Boys, came into recovery when he found the 12-step fellowship in Brighton. As soon as he did, after not picking up a guitar for ten years between the ages of 30 and 40, his creativity returned tenfold. He is now writing songs for his band and also solo.
“It all happened through lifestyle really. Just growing up I started off drinking in pubs, and it just escalated from there. I was a functioning addict. I had a family and two children and a long-term partner, but it was just one of those things that took over my life… from the age of 20 until I found recovery at the age of 41.
“It was years of the party lifestyle and going out to clubs and then when the children were older, it was just drinking at home. I am not sure I was very pleasant to live with. Me and my partner broke up when I was about 40 and then I moved to Brighton to find recovery.
“Me and my partner are really good friends. We see each other quite regularly. I suppose we are together but separate. We both needed to find ourselves.
“But I suppose I realised that I couldn’t go on any longer. It got to the point where I either carried on or just changed my life around. I made a conscious decision to move to Brighton to clean up my act. It was time to grow up and be an adult… at the age of 41.”
Inevitably, it was hugely difficult: “I was living in my car. I was still working, and I was going to the fellowship meetings every day. Brighton has a lot of fellowship. I was very lucky. I went to the meetings, I got myself a sponsor and I did it online as well. I just got myself clean and I have moved into a place. Now I live in a flat.”
And Chris is now convinced: he is totally over the temptation to slip back: “It is in the past now. It is just weird to think that I was like that once.”
He is delighted to have worked on the album, also creating the sleeve design.
We Are Not Saints, based in Brighton, was established in 2018 by Chris De Banks who himself had struggled with addiction over the years.
As for Chris’s stage name, Deiphos Jay, it’s his daughter Sophie’s name backwards contained within the word DJ: “She is really proud of that… and proud of the way I have turned things around. It is amazing what you can do… and the creativity has just come back so much.”
The album is availbale from www.wearenotsaints.co.uk.