A Dj A Day: Parma Ham (Republished)
(This interview was originally published March 23rd 2018. Everything is as it was then. We just added more photos and a link at the bottom)
Is there a meaning behind your Dj name?
I appreciated the way early punks nicknamed themselves such as Amyl Nitrate or Poly Styrene, so I went for Parma Ham. It’s kinda gross, but also humorous, but also a comment on me as a consumable item despite my agency as a human.
You co-run a Night called "Coven", tell us about that?
Coven is a performance based night existing at the intersection between outsider art, underground subculture, queerness and BDSM. This manifests as we put on unusual drag, fetishistic conceptual shows, rituals, bands and durational performative works. I DJ the whole night mixing together goth, death rock, postpunk, queer and dark techno. I think it’s super important to bring art into the clubs and make sure our artists have a space to perform. Goth is an incredible subculture; but we don’t give as much credit to its artists as we do for it’s musicians and fashion designers. Below are some images from the last Coven, it’s a visual feast! (3rd March 2018).
1st photo: Venus Raven, 2nd Photo: Rodent DeCay, 3rd photo: Aurora Gazm and 4th photo: Venom Black Widow
If you could be any mystical creature; what would you be and why?
Baphomet embodies both genders and symbolises balance. They also get a hard time from Christians for being a cult leader.
So you Legally changed your name to "Parma Ham" for Facebook but now the meat Consortium in Italy wants to sue you?
Ok this is a story! Facebook banned me some years ago as there was a point where everyone had to use their real names, of course my Facebook name was Parma Ham -and they questioned it. They insisted I send a copy of my passport that proves my real name is Parma Ham in order for me to have access to my account again. I fought against it, but it was going nowhere, so in an act of rebellion and ego (I was NOT to be beaten by Facebook), I legally changed my name to Parma Ham.
More recently the Consorzio di Parma (the manufacturers of the Italian meat ‘Parma Ham’) in Italy wrote to me demanding I change my social media names and give them my website, or they will sue me for intellectual property infringement on their trademark. I can’t speak much about this as it’s ongoing, but naturally I have absolutely no intention of doing what I’m told to, particularly by a conservative multinational company.
Do you have a go-to set list? What's the first three on it?
I can’t pick three so here’s five I’m currently obsessed with:
Cupio Dissolvi - Qual
The Broken Ones - Diva Destruction
I Wish I Was A Girl - Wasted Youth
Gutter Glitter - Switchblade Symphony
What kind of music do you spin?
The usual goth, post punk, early EBM and death rock mix, but I try and play as many female fronted bands as possible as they are often left behind. I also like to slip in dark techno and something very gay like Divine. I’m pretty good at adapting.
When are your next Dj gigs?
I’m co organising a night called Resurrection which is on March 31st in London at Electrowerkz. The night will be in memory of Rozz Williams who committed suicide April 1st. The band Veil of Light are playing, and we have 3 ritualistic performances from Artists between 1-4am.
In first photo: Dahc Dermur VIII will be performing
So we know you DJ, but tell us about your day job? Do you enjoy it?
Ok I’m not saying this for vampire points, but I can’t work in the day, I’m so lethargic. I only work at night from home, and as a freelance producer in contemporary art. I plan the running of exhibitions and the publishing of books. I enjoy it and it means I get to travel. I think working in art propelled me to program performances into my club nights.
So you are planning an Exhibition of your own work? Do tell.
Ive been making some pretty huge installations made of hair. People think my hair on my head is big, but honestly it’s entirely restrained as my style has to be functional as I go out like this. Without the need to get into taxis, fit through doors, or even be wearable I could make hair even bigger.. so I’m planning to do an exhibition in 2018 with an insane amount of hair. And smoke machines.
Your hair! Oh my gosh your hair is the talk of the town and the talk of the internet. So, many want to know; how do you get your hair to do the things it does?
My innocuous instagram videos have gone viral 3 times now, with the first one getting 70 million hits. I was not expecting that reaction at all, fortunately for every death came 100 positive comments. My hair is very normal to me, and that’s why it probably keeps getting bigger and wilder. I’ve completely lost touch on what’s big now.
How many cans of hairspray does this take? Do you even use hairspray? Or are you using "Goth Juice, made from the tears of Robert Smith's?" As Noel Fielding once said.
It takes 2 large cans. The goth juice is actually the suffering it takes by lifting my arms for hours on end to fix it. I’m also heavily inspired by our miserable existence, and it’s for that reason i want to make life more interesting.
I have naturally big curly hair; sort of like a less exquisite version of Pete Burns crimped hair, my hairs so big it has secrets. But, your hairs so big it probably hides more then secrets! Are you hiding unanswered questions to the universe in your hair?
People often lose their self respect and it turns up in my hair a week later.
Many want to know; How long does it take to get your hair like that? Is it all your own hair and how long does it stay up for?
A couple of hours to fix, I use extensions to make my hair thicker, and it can stay up for days, but realistically it’s just too difficult to get around.
People want to know; what do you love about djing? Is it being able to get people to dance?
I think to keep Goth going it’s important to bridge the gap between the old 80s scene and the new. I don’t think Goth can exist on nostalgia alone, it has to be relevant to young kids : it has to be dangerous and wild again.
Last question; we'll sort of. Leave us with a quote:
Oscar Wilde said “To define is to limit”
Once you define things you can limit its possibilities because you are caught by definition. I live my whole life trying to eschew definition - with my name, career, ambiguous sexuality and gender .. it’s the most freeing place I could be.
We added extra photos below because why not?
Here is a link to their website: https://www.parmaham.tv/