Have you designed any of your own tattoos?
I haven’t designed any of my own tattoos, but I have done six tattoos on different people. On Rick Thorne I did a stick figure eagle that said “I fly solo” after he broke up with his ex-wife. Then another guy in Boise, Idaho, Tony Adamson—who had done the tattoo on the back of my calf that says “Until the wheels fall off” with a burning wheel—on him I did a script tattoo that says “Until the ink runs out.”
When Ryan Dunn passed away there was speculation on the internet about whether or not it was fake, particularly because of the film he had coming up, Living Will. You were just beginning the process of grieving for your friend while all of this was happening. Were you aware of it?
I still hear about it to this day. And everybody still comes up … it was weeks ago and people still … It sucks. I mean, even on the internet for a while I was considered dead. When I hear people outside of my family circle or my friends, I just kind of listen to the TV, know what I mean? To me when people are talking it’s just words coming out of their mouth. I think some people do it to get a reaction out of you, and I’ve learned now that it’s better to keep quiet than to give somebody a reaction. Then it’s like fuel to them to continue and continue. So I just say, “Okay. Let people say whatever they want.”
It seems that in this day and age with social networking, everyone’s life is out there. Do you think that is just part of being a celebrity and not worth fighting against?
Yep. When I was growing up I read an interview about Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers. He’d been recording all day and he had just sat down to eat and a girl came up who wanted his autograph and he burst out, “Leave me alone.” For someone who read that when I was younger I thought, “Wow, he was a dick right then.” [But then] I sat back and thought, You never know, he probably hadn’t eaten in eight hours, he was bombarded by a hundred people, and you don’t see all that. It’s not, “He hugged and kissed 20,000 people.” I’ve had to stand back and eat somewhere too, and someone is like, “Hey! Hi!” and I’m like, “Yeah, hi.” Right then and there they don’t know that I found out that Dunn passed away or that something happened. And then they’re like, “Oh my God, I saw Wee-Man and he’s a jerk. I said hi and he just shrugged me off.” And then that gets blasted on Facebook and Twitter.
Let’s talk about the portrait tattoo you got in tribute to Dunn that reads “Random Hero!” Who did that for you?
My buddy Grant Cobb from Spotlight Tattoo did it, and he’s an amazing portrait artist. I thought that if it was the opposite and I passed away, Dunn would have done the same thing. Dunn passed away and I had stayed home all day, and by the next day I’d texted my friend Grant and said I wanted to get Dunn tattooed on me. He goes, “You know what? I was thinking about it but I didn’t want to bother you. I thought you’d want that done.” I looked up photos and thought, What photo totally reminds me of Dunn and that look he had? I found that one where it’s a real close face portrait with a cigarette in his mouth giving an “I’m pissed off” smirk-look. I was like, That is totally Dunn right there. If anybody looks at it they know it’s Dunn.
He definitely looks a bit surly.
Yeah, he’s Dunn, know what I mean? He was one of the most sweet-hearted guys in the world, do anything for anybody. But of course when you first see him he’s always going to be like, “Yeah, what’s up, fucker?” He’s that kind of guy. So the picture totally comes off that way, and that’s what I was looking for when I wanted to do this.
On Twitter you posted a video of you getting the tattoo. You wrote that you wished you were getting the tattoo because you had lost a bet.
Yeah. I wish it would have been that way. I fucking miss that guy a lot.