You may know him as a professional skateboarder, but you more likely know him as one of the legendary Jackass crew members, or the dad-slapping, Don Vito-jiggling, mom-torturing punk-ass son on MTV's Viva La Bam. That's not all the snake-fearing Bam Margera involves himself with though. With ties to just about everyone in the heavy metal community, Margera has been making his own tunes for a while now, and not under the alias of his cKy project's spawn Gnarkill, but as Fuckface Unstoppable, a somewhat serious heavy metal band.
Margera just recently released a new FFU self-titled double album, featuring a whole bunch of artists including Cradle of Filth, Viking Skull, his brother Jess Margera's band cKy, Guttermouth, Lionize, Black Cowgirl, The Company Band, Devilment, and while we're fucking at it, even some Gnarkill. Although this is one of the only things he does that doesn't come with a "don't try this at home" warning, maybe it should. While most of Bam’s music is all over the place, like himself, some of his tracks are surprisingly listenable and even rad.
We had the chance to chat with Margera about everything from the new double album to soundtracking his shows and skate videos and making fucked up music videos. What will he do next? Well, at least according to Viva La Bam's opening credits, whatever the fuck he wants.
Noisey: You’ve been fucking around with music since the cKy tapes. Was it something you always enjoyed or was it just for laughs back then?
Bam Margera: Yeah I’ve always been around it, you know? On my show, I’d always have bands play and I’d have to fight with MTV to get Clutch and Turbonegro on because they didn’t even know who the hell they were. I was like, “That’s the point.” [Laughs] And then my brother’s band, cKy, I’d go on tour with them, so yeah. I’ve always been around it and then the opportunity came. I was hosting some battle of the bands thing up in New England and then I got up and sang some songs and then decided that I should keep doing this. Back when we were fucking around with cKy, we started out that band Gnarkill and just had fun with it, and yeah, it was more just getting drunk and recording songs on my tape recorder and people wanted more of that so then I just kept going with it and started Fuckface Unstoppable.
Do you take your music seriously now?
Yeah, I mean, I just want people to have a good time at our shows. It’s like a party, you don’t know what’s going to happen. Every night’s different. I might have Alissa from Arch Enemy come up and sing Turbonegro with us, you know, every night’s totally different. I want people to know that every time they come see a show, they’re going to see something totally new.
Tell me about your recent music video for “Evil Voices,” which had a ton of producers, as always with most of your stuff. How did that come about?
We were on tour and we had just played LA. We had just recorded that song before tour and had a day off and so we just ended up going to the Salton Sea and I know a bunch of people in LA with drone cameras and stuff like that so I just thought it would be perfect. So we just pulled the tour bus into the middle of nowhere and there was some guy digging a fucking hole and another guy juggling alone and you see this million dollar tour bus pull up and they didn’t even bat an eye. The guy just kept digging his hole and this guy kept juggling alone, next to a trailer. And this was a six-feet deep hole, so I don’t know who he was burying or what was going on. It was then I knew it was perfect, perfect location for a video shoot.
Where do all of your friends in music come from, from HIM to Clutch to The Faint, to nearly everyone else within the metal spectrum?
Just from travelling. Every time I’m travelling doing skate demos or when I was in Jackass and we flew to Europe to promote it, I’d find out about bands like that and then I’d just become friends with them. I’ve always been into music. My brother kinda went the music direction and I went to skateboarding and the two worlds are bound to collide at some point.
How closely related are music and skateboarding?
It’s a huge thing, I mean, it’s a make or break thing in skate videos. If you pick the wrong song for your part, it makes your part kinda shitty, you know what I mean? You have to pick the right shit. If I’m doing an Element video and I have some fucking badass Motörhead song playing then that makes it that much radder. If you’re about to fucking kickflip 20 stairs, you need some gnarly ass shit playing. [Laughs]
Do you get involved with soundtracking the shows you’ve been on like Jackass and Viva La Bam?
I would have to fight people the whole time at MTV because they were trying to play me their bullshit music that they had lined up and I was like, “No, this scene needs a Clutch song.” Finally they stopped fighting with me and I basically played the whole Blast Tyrant album on Viva La Bam and that made people go seek out Clutch. I’m not into the whole “Oh, no, Green Day has a song cued up for one of our shows!” Well, Green Day is fucking doing just fine, and Clutch is a fucking badass band from Maryland and they need promotion. I was like tearing my hair out with these people and finally they just gave up and let me play my own shit. I definitely feel it added to the show. It’s like when you watch a movie, the soundtrack could make or break the movie. When I’ve been picking the soundtrack for my upcoming film, they’ll just be scenes that I’m editing and I’ll know what song needs to be where and that’s just how it goes. If I’m watching footage when I’m editing and I hear a song while I’m editing it, that’s just what I’m going to do, and luckily, I know a lot of these people so it’s not a hurdle to get them to provide the music.
You recently enlisted Mastodon’s Brent Hinds to play the part of your departed buddy Ryan Dunn in your upcoming film. How did that come about?
I did the Soundwave tour in Australia with cKy and I met Brent there and I dunno, we just hit it off. Everyone would just joke that he looks like Ryan so much that it just made sense to call him up because I had a part in my new movie where it’s like a dream sequence kinda thing and Ryan comes to me when I’m sleeping and suggests that I do all this shit and I figured what better dude to play that then Brent? [Laughs] His face tattoo right off the bat reminds me of Ryan. He would do something like that.
Mike Haskoor has a sunroof Lambo too. Follow him on Twitter - @Tweetskoor