Ever since he was a teenager, Bam Margera has been finding new ways to get in front of an audience.
First, he was a skateboarding prodigy who was good enough to turn pro at age 13. Then it was the CKY prank videos he created and starred in. Those became an underground sensation.
All that landed him a spot on MTV's “Jackass,” where he beat up his dad, Phil, while he was on the toilet. That was a rocket to stardom and three successful “Jackass” movies.
Margera took some time off after his friend and “Jackass” and “Viva La Bam” co-star Ryan Dunn was killed in a car crash in 2011. Now he's back with a new band that's touring internationally and a new documentary in the works. “Bam's Bad Ass Game Show,” where contestants perform “Jackass” style stunts, premiered on TBS last month.
He'll visit Tampa on Sunday to meet fans before a nine-match card of Florida Championship Fighting at The Dallas Bull, beginning at 5 p.m. He'll also play the Orpheum in Ybor City with his band (which has a name that can't be published here) on Aug. 11.
Margera called the Tribune from his home in West Chester, Penn. to talk about his refreshed return to the spotlight.
TBO.COM: What are you working on right now?
BAM MARGERA: I'm making a movie called “I Needed Time to Stay Useless,” it's sort of documenting my career and going on tour with my new band, and some darker stuff. I kind of got lost in a bottle when two of my friends died, but doing this is like therapy. I just signed a record deal and the album comes out May 27.
TBO: Are you getting some good footage on tour?
BM: We were touring in Finland and I was there shooting (“Jackass” co-star Brandon) Novak on this highway and this guy hits my leg with his car. There were four lanes! I was like “you could have easily just went around!” So the guy got out and threw a punch and me and Novak just beat the crap out of him. Then he went to his trunk, probably to get a gun or something, so we took off running. That's the opening scene of the movie.
TBO: Have you spent time in Tampa?
BM: I used to skate the Tampa Pro contest all the time. It's one of the bigger ones, there's a huge one in Europe and then there's Tampa Pro, those are probably the biggest. My brother's band CKY has played in Ybor before. I always have a good time.
TBO: So how did you become the singer in this band?
BM: Basically, I was getting hired to do a lot of bar appearances, and there was this tour I was doing and it had a battle of the bands, and I got sick of sitting there drinking and watching, so I started getting up and doing some songs. I put the band together with my brother, he's from CKY, Waldie, he's from Viking Skull, and Alex from Guttermouth. I basically assembled a cast of musicians I dig. We do some originals, some covers. It's punk rock and hardcore.
TBO: I heard the shows get pretty wild.
BM: You never know what's going to happen. Sometimes I Taser my drummer (seriously, there's video on YouTube). He started getting tired of that though, so I had to give him a break.
TBO: You're appearing at an MMA event, have you been in a lot of fights?
BM: I have. I have to be really careful. I can't throw the first punch. A lot of people try to fight me, just because of who I am, or they see dollar signs. Luckily Novak has nothing to lose, so he'll jump in and get beat up.
TBO: Will there be more “Jackass” movies?
BM: I've been talking about doing another one with those guys, I don't see why it wouldn't happen.
TBO: What was the best "Jackass" idea that never got filmed?
BM: I always wanted to take one of those playground rides that spin around and tie it to my Lambo(rghini) and take off, but nobody was ever willing to get spun around like that.
TBO: How about one that you filmed, but it didn't make it into the movie?
BM: There's a million. Once me and my brother got this really shady looking murderer van, and we put Ryan (Dunn) in a plastic bag with fake blood and pulled into downtown West Chester where there's a ton of people and we pulled him out and hit him with rubber crowbars and threw him in the dumpster. For some reason I guess the test audience was turned off by it.