You wouldn’t know it from his ragged, goofball public persona, but Bam Margera is quite the workhorse. In addition to his “Viva la Bam” TV show, his DVD series, his popular video game franchise and his ever-expanding line of skateboarding paraphernalia, he’s also got a whole bunch of other projects set to drop.
The first is Viva la Bands (which hits stores Tuesday), a 21-track CD/DVD collection of Bam’s favorite acts, which of course includes his brother Jess’ band, CKY, and Finnish goth-rockers HIM, whom Margera seems to shout out at every single opportunity, but also a whole lot of other, lesser-known bands that Margera grew up listening — and skating — to.
“I’m a skater, so music is everything for me,” Margera said. “That’s what gets me pumped up to jump down a flight of stairs. Bands that I like mean so much to me that I thought one day, ’I need to have a CD of my favorite songs by my favorite bands, and just have everyone see it.’ Because all the bands I like are pretty much from Scandinavia or England, and you really can’t hear them over here.”
Those bands include Finland’s Children of Bodom, England’s Viking Skull and Norway’s Turbonegro. And while many people may have no idea who those acts are, that’s kind of the whole idea.
“All these bands have #1 hits in Finland, but you’ll never hear them here. I take those songs and bring ’em here to show everybody. I mean, they sing in English,” Margera said. “But they never sign those acts here. And it’s so frustrating, so I have to take the matter into my own hands.”
And he’s applied that method to his TV show too. In recent seasons Bam has booked a lot of his favorite acts on “Viva” — like HIM, Clutch and Cradle of Filth (who will appear on the upcoming season) — in an effort to raise awareness and record sales.
“I always love having a band come on and play. Like, with Cradle of Filth, they have such a diehard fanbase, but they never play them on the radio,” he said. “So if I have ’em here, there’s a bunch of 13- to 20-year-olds that are going to find out about them here. So it’s a good marketing campaign for them. It’s a no-brainer.”
And when he’s not playing publicist, Margera is stepping behind the cameras to make another film (after 2002’s “Haggard”), but this time he’s getting a little serious, with a dark comedy called “The Dream Seller,” based on the misadventures of his roommate (and “Viva la Bam” regular) Brandon Novak.
“Novak was going to be a professional skateboarder — Tony Hawk signed him and everything — but being that Baltimore is the heroin capital of the world, he got introduced to it at the age of 14, and he did it for 10 years,” Margera explained. “So it’s all about the things that happened to him. Like, he’d fall asleep in the bed of a pickup truck in a parking lot, because he saw a blanket in the back. And then the guy would start driving to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, like three hours away. It’s so ridiculous, so you’ll laugh and you’ll cry a bit too.”
Margera said “The Dream Seller” will be available on DVD in June 2006. The new season of “Viva la Bam” kicks off Sunday.