Catching up with Bam

Catching up with Bam

Interview by Jack Spilberg

When did you get time to film your part for the new Element video that’s coming out?

Every time I go to Europe, if I’m directing a music video or filming for the show, I always reserve three or four days for nothing but skating. Most of my tricks for my part are from Prague, Spain, and France. Every time I watch foreign skate videos they always have the sickest spots. We filmed at some pools over there; I’m psyched on my part.

Did you get to see the video yet, even though it’s not out yet?

I’ve seen a really rough cut and I like everybody’s parts, everybody did a really good job. That kid Nyjah, the little kid with the dreadlocks, he’s fucking good.

Are there any other standout parts in the video you can tell us about?

You know who’s really good is this kid Brent Atchley. He just has the sickest, most unique style. He wears, like, Asics and tight rolls his pants. You’d think that sounds crazy, but it looks sick when he skates. This kid wearing tight-rolled pants with Asics doing sick backside tailslides. I never thought I’d be into that but I am.

Will there ever be another CKY video?

I don’t think that’s going to happen just because of the eight lawsuits that I’m dealing with because of those videos. I was like seventeen when I made those, throwing sodas at ladies who worked at Wendy’s and stuff. Now these people are realizing that I have Lamborghinis parked in my driveway and shit, so they want a piece of it. Even people that just happened to be in the background are trying to get a piece of it. It’s just a lot of paperwork and bullshit that I don’t feel like dealing with anymore.

So you’re just sticking with the MTV show?

Yeah, I power out all these episodes, and if lawsuits happen, then it’s their problem. I can simply just film and be happy.

What can we look out for with the new season of Viva La Bam kicking off in April?

One thing we already shot for the fourth season was when I created my own state. It’s just a bunch of shitty trailer parks all stacked up on top of each other. Everybody from the crew has their own trailer and we built a spine ramp in the middle, it was so much fun skating it. Maldonado and Kerry Getz came and did some tricks. Brandon Heroin Novak came, too; he actually lives at my house now.

How are things going with your Sirius satellite radio show?

That’s the best. For one hour a week I play five songs, anything I want, and we talk about anything we want. We don’t have to watch our mouth, it’s fucking great. It’s a perfect reason to get all my friends together in one room and just talk about what’s been going on. I can’t believe I get paid to do that.

Are you working on any other movie projects?

Actually, when I get some spare time, there’s a movie I wrote a little while ago called Kiss A Good Man’s Ass that I’ve been dying to do, but every time we take breaks from filming Viva La Bam, it’s always only a two-month window. We could probably power out a movie in two months, but it’s just not enough time, I need three months at least, so I’ve just never had a chance to do that movie. Also, Brandon Novak has actually been writing a book about his life, and we’re going to make a movie about that when we have time. It’s just so good, it’s about how Bucky Lasek discovered this little kid skater (Novak) who has the sickest style on a mini ramp ever, and then he tries heroin at the age of fourteen and just goes through the craziest times. It’s actually going to be a comedy because it’s just so ridiculous some of the situations he got himself into. Besides that, I directed some music videos lately. There’s a lot of new stuff coming out that I’ve been shooting videos for. HIM’s coming out with a new album. CKY’s gonna have a new album, too.

Have you been approached for any major movie cameos or roles?

Yeah, but I just turn itt all down really. It’s cool to do a cameo or something, but I just like to do what I’m doing right now. I’d rather do my own stuff rather than do somebody else’s. Doing that movie Grind was pretty fun, but I’d rather fucking drive a car across a frozen lake just to see if I could make it across. I just come up with these concepts like, “How about you MTV guys put a skatepark in my driveway, and they’re always just like, “Okay, so now when MTV’s gone I have a skatepark in my driveway that I didn’t even have to pay for. It’s great, so I’m just gonna keep doing this.

The first few seasons of Viva La Bam are coming out now, too, what kind of features are going to be in the bonus footage?

The DVD always has extra stuff, especially extra skating. We had Danny Way come over to the house, and you know, the show is only 22 minutes long with commercials, so when Danny Way does ten awesome tricks in the driveway we can only show four because there’s also Colin McKay and Kris Markovich that we’ll have to show in that episode. It just sucks when we’ve got someone like Donny Barley doing a crazy heelflip manual down a gnarly thing that we built and it doesn’t fit into the show. I can only argue so much, I’m always saying stuff like, “What?! You didn’t fuckin’ put Donny Barley in the show? Are you out of your minds?! They’ll tell me, “Well, you don’t have enough time … It’s just one big argument. There’s a lot of skating in the DVDs, stuff we couldn’t fit in the show. There are all kinds of collages, like when we went to New Orleans with Hawk, Tim O’Connor, and Barley. There’s probably like a whole disc of just bonus footage.

Was there a point where you realized you were getting really big and becoming more famous?

I don’t know it’s been such a slow process really. I rode for Toy Machine and then I jumped over to Element and I made CKY videos and then jumped over to Jackass and more people started recognizing me from that. Next thing you know I got my own show on MTV. I haven’t really had time to think about it just because I’ve been so busy with things. As soon as I get bored filming the show, I start skating. Then if I get bored skating, I’ll do a music video. I like being busy, I pretty much film everything. I feel like if I film everything that happens every day, then I’m bound to get at least one good thing per day.

Do you enjoy being a celebrity?

I love it, I definitely would rather have it this way than any other way, but it does get annoying at times. I gave the skatepark in Westchester twenty grand to build proper ramps so I can skate them all the time, but I can’t even really go there because if there’s 50 kids there, they’ll all want an autograph and chitchat all day. They’ll think I’m a dickhead if I’m like, “Dude, let me just skate. I have one hour to skate, let me just skate this mini ramp and street course it’s nice that you want my autograph, but if I have to do 50 of them then that’s my whole hour that I could’ve been skating. So I just can’t do that, I’ve got to wake up at like six in the morning and go there. It’s a pain in the ass. That’s why I’m thinking about building a crazy spine ramp in a warehouse in Westchester and give the key to Kerry Getz and Maldonado and we’ll just go there whenever we want.