Vampire’s Ball Interview with Andi Harriman

By Logan Lanphere (First Avenue Marketing Intern)

I had the chance this week to ask DJ Andi Harriman a few questions ahead of Vampire’s Ball (a costume dance party dedicated to the music and style of goth subculture in the 80’s) at First Avenue on Saturday, August 26.

-What inspired you to write Some Wear Leather, Some Wear Lace, and will any of its material be covered in the pre-show lecture?

Andi: My main inspiration came from the desire to give back to the music that meant so much to me. 1980s post-punk and goth helped me through some pretty terrible times in my life so I felt that the only way I could return the favor was to write a book - as far fetched as that may sound. I was doing tons of academic research on the subject anyway and noticed there was a lack of published works on the 1980s goth subculture. There seemed to be a lot of writing on 1990s goth but not as much emphasis specifically on the first two waves of post-punk music - I also focused on a worldwide scale rather than just on London and the UK in general (of which there’s mountains of documentation).

Yes, there will be many photos and excerpts from my book in the lecture. It’s titled “Goth 101: A History of the Post-Punk and Goth Subcuture 1978-1987” and is a light overview of the subculture I put together based on the results of the intense research I conducted for the book. I like to make my lectures interactive and fun, it won’t be your typical lecture, I promise!

-Are there a few artists we can expect to hear at Vampire’s Ball?

Andi: I would definitely bet on hearing a lot of late 80s synth wave such as Depeche Mode, Propaganda and Book of Love - I won’t give away all my secrets though. I’m very excited for this set!

-What is one of your favorite things abut hosting Synthicide in Brooklyn? How is that night different/similar to Vampire’s Ball?

Andi: I think my favorite part about Synthicide is the ability to bring 80s synth, industrial and EBM music into more of a techno setting - I love mixing genres. The best moments are at 330 am when it’s just myself and the hardcore dancers who are excited about everything from Stacey Q to really hard industrial techno. I also love giving a platform to artists and DJs who might not have one otherwise.

I have a feeling the crowd at Vampire’s Ball will be just as enthusiastic as my Synthicide people. I’m doing an all 80s set with a mix of familiar hits, underground classics and some of my favorite somewhat unknown tracks. Though Synthicide has a very heavy 80s lean to it, I do play lots of current music - I suppose that is the biggest difference between the two.

-How did you get involved with Vampire’s Ball, and why?

Andi: I think Grant and I have toyed with the idea for a while and it finally came in fruition! I love what Grant is doing with Dark Energy - I’m honored to be a part of it. My favorite part about lecturing and DJing is meeting likeminded people, having conversations about music and sharing experiences… how could I say no?

-What are you most excited about playing our goth dance night?

Andi: One, having the opportunity to play at such a historic venue - it will also be the biggest place I’ve played in thus far! Also, being able to discover a new city and goth scene is exciting, I like comparing places to NYC.

Check out Andi’s set and her lecture, as well as Justin Strauss, Necronancer, Angelica Ottavia, and Stainless Steel Providers in the Mainroom on August 26. Get your tickets!