Bam Margera Interview
Exclusive interview by Daniel Robert Epstein, contributing editor
Recently, Bam Margera's neighbors tried to shut him down. Don't worry, though; that issue is settled, and we should expect new episodes of Viva La Bam early next year. Margera's latest project is Tony Hawk's Underground 2, in which the player takes on the role of a rookie skater who is kidnapped and is entered in the World Destruction Tour skate competition, led by Tony Hawk on one side and Bam Margera on the other. We caught up with Bam between projects.
UGO: How's it going?
Bam Margera: I've seen better days, because I have a broken foot right now.
UGO: What happened?
Bam: I was on this dirt bike ready to hit a jump, and this other guy on a four-wheeler was drunk and not paying attention. So he crushed my foot right before the jump.
UGO: Are you borrowing Don Vito's little cart to get around?
Bam: No, I was using some crutches, but now I'm just limping around.
UGO: Who has been taking care of you?
Bam: My Aunt Boof comes over and cleans up. She's just as fat as Phil and Don Vito. My whole family is a bunch of characters.
UGO: Did you have to go into a studio and put all that motion control stuff for the video game?
Bam: We already did all that stuff for the second video game. So it's mostly dialogue, and lots of photos of my face.
UGO: What weapons do you get to use?
Bam: I don't know. I know I get to do all kinds of goofy tricks and stuff. That's what I worked on when I was there. We have weapons this time?
UGO: I know you use a two by four and a can of gasoline.
Bam: Oh! I know about that, but I wasn't sure if we had guns this time or something.
UGO: Have you ever skated with a can of gasoline?
Bam: No, but I want to play the game. Hopefully, they will send me a copy soon.
UGO: Your dad is in the game, too.
Bam: Yeah, I didn't even know about that, because I was in Europe. I went back to California to work on the game, and I was like, "What's Phil doing in here naked?"
UGO: Do I get to beat him up in the game?
Bam: I'm sure you do. I don't think he could skate.
UGO: I wish Don Vito was in the game with the little cart.
Bam: I know.
UGO: Are you a big fan of video games?
Bam: Only a select few. I really like ATV Off-Road Fury, Grand Theft Auto and the Tony Hawk games. I was way addicted to Grand Theft Auto to the point where I had to give away my Playstation for a while.
UGO: Do you actually play Grand Theft Auto or just run around causing havoc?
Bam: I don't follow the missions whatsoever. I just like to shoot people and steal their cars.
UGO: Will you eventually get your own official Bam Margera game?
Bam: Yeah, I was actually discussing it with my manager, and we're coming up with a concept. We're filming so many shows for MTV right now that I don't have time to do anything else.
UGO: So the show is coming back?
Bam: Oh, yeah, we have two more seasons and then two specials. We're going to be filming up until Christmas.
UGO: I read that you were having trouble filming at your house.
Bam: Yeah, but that was just a bunch of paperwork. I bought this house to film, and that's how I paid for it. The neighbors could be as mad as they want, but I'm not running a business at the house. It's just a location. It will never get me out of here, because I don't have offices set up at my house, and that's what the township thinks.
UGO: So MTV bought the house?
Bam: I bought the house, but MTV pays for a rental fee.
UGO: Your show is the dream of every kid who grew up setting things on fire; it's just a house to mess up.
Bam: Oh, yeah, I have 14 acres and seven of the acres are pure woods. The other day, we just plowed it all down and made a track for our dirt bikes. We built this huge ramp about eight feet tall, and we've just been putting bricks on the gas pedals of the cars and letting them launch over the garage. One was a big disaster, and it went straight through the garage, ruining lots of stuff like my good chainsaws.
UGO: What's going to happen in the TV specials?
Bam: We've been pounding out so many episodes and having so much fun that I thought we could get two specials out of it. I'm not going to be filming my next movie until the beginning of March, and I hope to be skating by then.
UGO: What is the next movie?
Bam: It's almost like a sequel to my movie Haggard, and it's called Kiss a Good Man's Ass. I can't wait to film it.
UGO: Is this a plot-driven movie?
Bam: Yeah, it's about this guy who invented this thing called the garbage juicer. You can take garbage and mash it into the trash can, and it has three spouts. You can choose delicious root beer, grapefruit juice or kerosene. This businessman steals the invention from him so the guy spends the whole time trying to dick the businessman over.
UGO: How can your parents live in the house?
Bam: They only live here when we're filming the show. In the past two months, we've had some time off, so they go back to our other houses.
UGO: Have you ever really hurt your dad when you punch him?
Bam: One time, I threw these bananas at him. It hit him in the face and he was really mad. He said he was going to quit the show.
UGO: When your parents are on your show, don't they know you are going to mess with them?
Bam: Not really. For instance, tomorrow we are going to Europe to film an episode, and I'm sure April has a feeling some kind of hijinks is going to happen, but she doesn't know what it is. We are going to be there for two weeks, and she doesn't know which day we are going to pull a prank on her.
UGO: Your parents are really good sports.
Bam: They kind of have to be, because if I wreck the kitchen, it's still my kitchen, so they have to deal with it.
UGO: Is there stuff that's too nuts to get on the air? Is there going to be a too hot for TV-type DVD?
Bam: The DVD of the first season is coming out really soon, and there is a lot of bonus stuff and extended episodes.
UGO: What do you think of Wildboyz?
Bam: I've seen, like, three or four episodes. It's pretty funny. But I got a little tired of seeing some African safari every episode. They are always messing with animals, and I wish they would switch it up a bit. All around, it's pretty funny. When Steve-O got bit in the ass with the scorpion was hilarious.
UGO: Who is crazier, you or Steve-O?
Bam: I think Steve-O is completely out of his mind. He's a whack job.
UGO: What would you be doing if you weren't doing what you do now?
Bam: Probably movies, whether onscreen or directing.
UGO: You seem to really like directing.
Bam: Yeah, I directed Haggard, and I directed some music videos for CKY, Clutch and a band from Finland called HIM.
UGO: Do you ever see yourself not being on camera and just directing?
Bam: Maybe if I make it to 40.
UGO: What superpower would you like to have?
Bam: I would probably like to fly around.