Haus: Where did the name Pam Van-Damned come from?
Pam: It was put together a few years ago. When I first joined Facebook, I didn't want people to know my real name, so I used the name Pam Grier - she's my icon because she's this amazing kickass blaxploitation action star. Once I started to get booked for things, I began to feel weird about using someone else's name. It wasn't my own name; I'd just used it to hide. So I decided to take some of my other icons and put them all into one name: Pam Grier, Jean-Claude Van Damme, The Damned, the song 'The Damned' by Wendy O. Williams and the Plasmatics. My name is a combination of all these people who give me power every day, who I've rolled all into one and now I use to pretend to be a superhero.
Pam: Well you could say that as well...
Haus: So despite your affiliations with the Drag Scene, you say that you don't identify as a drag queen, faux or otherwise. Why is that?
Pam: Some people linked me as a faux queen because there's not really that many of them in Manchester. There are a few groups and they're all brilliant women, but I never felt like a part of that. Firstly, 'faux' means fake and I am not a 'fake queen'. I don't understand why you would identify as a fake queen when you're as real as everyone else. I just wanted to be a performer.
Haus: So if you were to actually try and give yourself a label, what would you call yourself?
Pam: Banshee warrior from space.
Haus: That's as good a label as any.
Pam: I try not to label anything that I do, or who I am. I've never done that. Proper drag queens have a separation between their drag and themselves and I've never had that. Faux queens do. I'm Pam Van-Damned every day. I wake up Pam Van-Damned. I put the same makeup on. There's nothing more over the top about her than me.
Pam: The only people who refuse to call me it are my old friends, who don't accept any bullshit. Everyone else does. But my best friend Michele shouts at me and says "I'll never fucking call you Pam!" But my name has been Pam for a long time now, even though it's not official. Though I was going to get it changed for Christmas!
Haus: As a present to yourself?
Pam: I just thought it would look really cool on bank cards. Then I'd be 100% Pam Van-Damned. I like that I get to choose who I want to be though. In comic books, superheroes sometimes choose who they want to be and they put the ideal person together for themselves and I just fancied doing that for myself. People who knew me before Pam know that I was always creative, so I've always been myself, but Pam Van-Damned is exactly who I want to be.
Haus: In the past, you have been a major part of the recently dissolved Tranarchy. What was it that led to the dissolution of the collective?
Pam: We had always wanted to be ten steps ahead of the curve. With the current Drag Boom in Manchester, we began to feel like we weren't doing anything fresh anymore or giving anyone a platform, because that platform was already there for them. So we decided we didn't want to just fade out and instead go out with a bang. It was an impulsive decision to do it with Zombie Pride - a lot of people said "We would have come if we'd known it was the last Tranarchy night". We always ran on impulsive decisions, doing what we felt and having true punk ethics. It felt right because we are all working on separate projects and they were all taking a lot of time. And it had come full circle as well; it started with Peaches Christ (Joe and Niall had the idea for Tranarchy that night) and then it finished with Peaches Christ four and half years later. And now we're planning to do something a bit more educational and workshop based in the new year. Nothing was bitter, nothing ended on a bad note and we were quite happy to just end on a big huge bang of a party. And now, we can actually go to other people's nights now! I've been going out so much, I want to die!
Pam: I'm making an album. I've been writing for about six months, have a bunch of songs - mostly heavy metal/rock 'n' roll - and music is becoming more important to me than ever. It has always been important for me, but this year I was beginning to hear songs in my head that weren't songs I was listening to and realised that these might actually be my own songs! I'd never found song-writing easy before, but this has been happening really organically and I've been training my voice to wail like Metallica. I'll be recording some tracks with Kurt Dirt next year and hopefully putting a small LP out. It's very aggressive. I've done a few performances now and it definitely feels right. I've been smashing up some watermelons with samurai swords and at Zombie Pride I got myself covered in blood and I just loved it. I'm all about heavy metal anyway...
Haus: So why not join in?
Pam: Exactly. So that's my project. To make an album. And save rock 'n' roll.
Haus: Single-handedly. So what do you have in store for Mother's Ruin this week?
Pam: Mother's Ruin is my favourite thing to do in Manchester, so I wanted to put together something really special. I think I have... it involves murdering Santa Claus and spending the rest of the night snorting cocaine... which is icing sugar by the way.
Haus: Well don't tell us anything more! It sounds sensational and thoroughly in keeping with what we know of Pam Van-Damned.
Pam: Guitars and mess.
Haus: Or guitars and meth?
Pam: Imagine! This booty wouldn't survive if I was on meth. I wouldn't take meth because I'd be scared of losing my ass!