WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PICK UP A CAMERA?
"Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints."
I'd say it was "girls" to be funny, but actually - well, I was given an old 35mm camera by a grand aunt of mine when I was very young, it was totally manual and mechanical of course, and I loved it immediately! I started bending light from the get-go. I first learned to develop black and white film via my high school art courses, using photography as an art tool. A little later I started to shoot models wearing the chainmaille jewelry and accessories that I was making and selling at ManRay and through Hubba Hubba and other clubs and boutiques of that nature (goth, fetish, magick). I stopped making maille ten years ago but then I started showing my art prints in clubs and galleries and had some work published in papers like the Boston Globe and the Weekly Dig. I did a series of covers for the Boston Phoenix "Erosphere" section at one point (and managed to keep my copyrights, lol). Fast forward and I'm still shooting, still learning - I've interned and assisted with some awesome photographers working in different genres, I think it's good to have repertoire… but to answer the question squarely, it's always been a deep desire to capture beauty and make art with whatever is at hand, however it can become art. I think I'm finally starting to get OK at it.
Major influences : Edward Weston, Horst P Horst, Clarence John Laughlin, Ansel Adams, Richard Kern
WHAT PARTICULAR CHALLENGES DO YOU FACE WITH EROTIC PHOTOGRAPHY AS OPPOSED TO OTHER GENRES?
Well, my aunt won't let my uncle look at my DJ websites because she's so afraid there will be pictures of naked women on them, lol. The attitudes toward sex and body image are seriously warped in this culture, religious taboo and all that. I suppose there are potential clients that would be reticent to hire anyone shooting controversial material, but I use that as a filter - I'm very open about who I am and what I do, it's not really a challenge for me - "I'm ok, you're ok".
DO YOU PREFER TO SHOOT WITH FILM OR DIGITAL?
Well film has really gotten hard to contend with, since many of the film and chemical makers simply do not make the products anymore. I miss Polaroid, Edwin Land was a genius and I marvel at what he brought to photography and medicine.
Digital is convenient I guess, but film was visceral. Digital is less about being able to shoot well or make art in the darkroom, it's left photography as the raw material for Photoshop, instead of being an end unto itself… it has utterly deleted the art of Printmaking, but opened up new possibilities for image manipulation.
Fundamentally though, light and lens are light and lens. There's been a lot of different ways to use them to make pictures, and I imagine that what formats we use now will be obsolete even sooner, but the principles and physics are the same.
HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN FETISH/BDSM?
Even when I was a kid I felt different, I was jealous that girls had such great clothes. I've always been attracted to the fashions and the glam, the sublimated sense of aesthetics. Nagel and Beardsley probably had something to do with that, definitely rock and roll, and gender blurring figures like Bowie, Annie Lennox and Grace Jones. I saw Rocky Horror first in the Village when I was 14 or 15 - at 19 I started a Rocky Horror shadow cast in Paramus, NJ (I played Frank). Around that time, I went out to a lot of gay clubs as well as playing in rock clubs like Studio One or parties at Limelight, so got exposed to a lot and much more comfortable with feeling "different".
DO YOU ENJOY FETISHISM/BDSM PLAY IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE, AND IF SO WHAT ARE YOU INTO?
I definitely do, it's like spices in cooking. More B and D than S/M, I'm not very submissive but have enjoyed being on both ends of the whip. I've also been very very involved with the fetish scene in Boston and to some degree NYC and beyond, dj'ing and producing events. I was a fixture at Manray for many years, and then ran a night called Haven for seven years as a weekly party, it was the biggest regular alternative dance event in New England at the time. That was a good safe place for people to be expressive, and for me to be expressive too. :)
DO YOU THINK PINUP AND FETISH ARE BECOMING PART OF THE MAINSTREAM CULTURE?
It cycles. Right now Rhianna is singing about S&M, 20 years ago it was Madonna singing about it. Mainstream designers cycle in and out of bohemian and goth influences, pinup and rockabilly have been popularly matched. There's a lot of cross talk I think, and I like when it pops up in the mainstream because it means either new blood in the scene from that, or that the scene is elevated for it, less taboo. Let's face it - the whole world is having sex, just some of them do it better, sublimated fetish is like expertise, making sexuality and sensuality into art.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER CREATIVE MEDIUMS YOU WORK IN?
I'm a dj by trade, a veteran professional with thousands of gigs under my belt. I play alternative clubs and do events like the Salem Vampire's Masquerade Ball, but I also specialize in weddings (cool weddings, lol) and do events for boutiques like Sephora and H&M. This fall I dj'ed for Steve Madden in NYC for Fashion's Night Out, and I headlined Dracula's Ball in Philly on Hallowe'en night. It's been a hugely diverse career.
I used to play the drums, now I sequence drums, I make some original music and do audio editing and production. My first single in 2006 somehow made the top ten on the Myspace unsigned artist charts. I recently finished a remix of "Stigmata" by Ministry ["dj addambombb's stronger than gothstep mix"], and I've always got new dj mixes for people to listen to!
I paint a bit, I used to make jewelry out of silver or steel, I do all my own graphic design and pick up some side work doing that. I'm a novice beekeeper, I'd like to do turtle rescue and If I had a lot of money, I'd buy up Everglades property to protect as much as I could from development and sugar farming. Really, I'm a frustrated entrepreneur, my mind is forever rolling over possibilities and I want to do a little bit of everything, I've aspired to be my own produce and to be creative in all aspects of life. Angels, contact *this guy*.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LIKE?
Honestly I like all kinds of music. My heart is rock and roll and my soul is island dub (I grew up on the southern coasts of Florida). I love electronic music, I love old school swing and jazz vocals like Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Prima, goth, industrial, Motown and soul, breakbeats, backbeats, backbreaking beats, I love music that makes me move and that moves me. I'm a total disc digger, and I'm always looking for awesome new stuff, new sounds and trends that aren't trends yet. I'm really into musical histories and the way music evolves and changes with technology.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO FOR FUN?
I'm pretty outdoorsy, very green, some of my friends call me a "health nut" but I'm not exactly a gym bunny… I like to ride my mountain bike and go rollerblading or swimming or canoeing or walking, but I'm not into races or competitions. I love to cook, I eat vegan and organic and I think about food a lot. I'm a voracious reader. Voracious. I like to do creative things, I like to help my friends do creative things. I like to take care of my clients and love my dj business! I like to go places I haven't been, to see the art museums and galleries and architecture in the cities I visit on tour, I like to go to parties and meet people that are doing creative and interesting things. I love good coffee and green grass, fresh water and the little things that make life sweeter. I have a deep love for the sciences and read about brains a lot, I do a lot of philosophizing. I'd like to publish a book of my photographs at some point. Mostly, my life is music and pictures, living my story as it unfolds, and mostly, I'm having fun. :)
See more of Addam (AKA DJ Addambombb):
http://www.addamidiom.com (pro dj site)
http://www.djaddambombb.com (club dj site)
http://www.thewickedparty.com (fucking cool)