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