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Local punkers to debut TV show in August

It’s official: Dirk Vermin and Rob Ruckus are going to be television stars.

The premiere of A&E’s new buddy-comedy show Bad Ink — centered on Vermin, the Pussykat Tattoo Parlor proprietor/artist and frontman of veteran punk act The Vermin, and his BFF and bandmate Ruckus — is slated for 10 p.m. on Aug. 11. The premise allows Vermin and Ruckus to call out (and potentially help) individuals with shitty tattoos. We got an on-the-set Vermin to fill us in.

Were you hesitant about being on reality TV?

I did a thing on Miami Ink that left a bad taste in my mouth. I run a real tattoo shop, and at first I told them I wanted no part of it. Then I researched more about [Bad Ink production company] Sharp [Entertainment] and they’re amazing. I realized they’re real. It’s the big time, and it was worth looking into.

I was resistant up to the second meeting. I’m a private person and this is all my life, as a father and a business owner, and I’m handing it to the world, trusting this company not to make me look like a fool.

Who wanted to make sure all sides of your life, like family, were represented?

That was them. I didn’t want my family life portrayed at all. I wanted to keep my kids out of it. But they aren’t babies anymore, and I saw the care they took with them on the show. Something like this hasn’t really been shown before, and they’re giving me a chance at so much more depth, letting me be myself. It isn’t a drama show. Ruckus and I don’t get in a fight on one episode and make you wonder if we’ll be friends the next.

With you and Ruckus, it has to be funny.

It’s as funny as a sitcom, and I say that with gigantic balls. We’re in situations with strangers with bad tattoos and just riff on it. It doesn’t feel formulaic. It’s a tattoo show, but it’s so much more. You don’t have to have tattoos to think it’s interesting or funny. It’s a lot like a Vermin show because you have that play between me and Ruckus. It’s [like] Martin and Lewis, or however you want to look at it. The improv is there, and they just let us run free. STAFF

For more info, visit the show’s Facebook page. For the full interview and additional coverage, visit our Culture Alert blog.