Monday, December 13, 2010

Tattoo Guru- Brandon Bond

Brandon Bond the mother fucker we all love to hate.Yes we know Brandon
saved the Pit bulls,is an absolute marketing genius,is rumored to have
left his wife for a midget,but I feel these are the things that the
press has fed off of,or maybe the opposite what Brandon has fed to the
press? What the fuck do I know?

What most people don't want to know,or realize is Brandon is actually
a very kind,and sweet person.When Brandon called me I answered my
phone to a "This is Brandon Bond" I wanted to reply with "Yea,and this
is Geena Fkn Russo,should I act all impressed now?" I bit my tongue
,and began our interview with the stigmatization everyone attaches to
Brandon.After two hours into our four hour conversation I simply
interrupted him,and flat out said "I'm sorry I was such a bitch to you
at first,but I just was sure you were a straight asshole." His reply
"Oh,I fucking knew that,and I was damn sure I would prove you wrong."

Ladies and Gentleman, I give you the real Brandon Bond.

GFR:Tell me about you,the real you?

BB: My brain doesn't stop moving. I am working towards slowing myself
down. Most people have to try and motivate themselves to do anything,
I have to actually force myself to stop. To sit down and take it all
in. When Zeke Owens worked with us here at ALL OR NOTHING, he told me
"Don't live for this shit (tattooing), it will kill you and ruin your
family". I took that to heart, he is an incredible man, who has
tattooed longer than I have been alive. I have lived for tattooing and
nothing but tattooing for almost 20 years now, and I am forcing myself
to slow down. As I type this, and prepare for our Amsterdam trip later
today, I'm looking out a window at a wild turkey in the North GA
mountains. If I gave two fucks about being "famous" or whatever, you
would see me at every single convention getting my picture taken with
everyone. I have not been to a tattoo convention in 3 years. I believe
that artists have misinterpreted messages sent into the universe
directed at the CLIENTS of the world. As to my personal interest in
articles, awards, and bullshit: I listened to Zeke.

GFR:Twenty years of tattooing is a long ass time.What are some of the
changes you think you've help make to our industry?

BB: I have seen a LOT of changes. The main difference that stands out,
and that I believe we had a profound influence on, is the fact that
Charity is now a common word in tattooing. When I started with bikers,
drug dealers, pimps and ho's, charity was not a word in our
vocabulary. Now I see "Toys for tots", bike runs for fallen officers,
abused animal fundraisers, donations for child cancer, in tattoo based
promotion all the time. This Christmas was the best one yet for that.
I clicked on my MySpace and saw like 3000 charity events at tattoo
shops. While I would never take credit for that, it is awesome to see
how constant and prevalent it has become for us as an industry.
Charity used to be a bad word that incited argument.

Early on I did some charity auctions,and stuff publicly, and all we
got initially was hate mail. "You scumbag, you're keeping that sh*t".
I believe it was when one of our artists' children was diagnosed with
cancer that it really took on a life of its own. The whole industry
came together to help! We raised some money for injured soldiers, a
tattoo artist who had a bad car wreck, and did toys for tots, all
while filming the animal charity movie (Vicktory to the Underdog), and
all of a sudden the incoming mail changed. It was people with their
own ideas on who to help, how to help, or asking what they could do to
help US!

All of a sudden, I understood what "My Name is Earl" is actually all
about. Now I fucking love that show. "Hey Crabman!" But the point is
that now it's trendy to do this and before it was only thought of as a
scam. "Do good and good things happen".

GFR:How does you wife handle all the constant rumors that surround your life?

BB: She handles it better than I do. She laughs about it. She has
actually had people come up to her and be all, "Are you ok? I heard
Brandon was in jail". Or "I heard Brandon got shot", or, well, you get
the idea. I don't like it when people talk about me at all to be
honest with you. It was a weird side-effect of becoming successful
that we did not foresee. She does not get involved with my work in
anyway. I separate the "family" and the "marketplace" in my family.
She is a civilian and in no way involved in anything "tattoo". I think
she is just now figuring out what has happened over the last 8 years
or so. It still amazes her when people stop us and get a picture or

GFR:Tell me about some of the regrets you have when it comes to the
decisions you made career wise?

BB: If I could do it all over again I would have done a lot of things
differently, too many to list here. I wasted a lot of time, and
overdid it a bit. I did not realize how successful we had become until
recently, but we were still pushing hard. I would have backed off
sooner, and been more careful about how I promoted our shop. Honestly
I was just trying to do whatever we could to get asses (clients) in
the seats. Apparently the "straight A kid" still gets beat up in

GFR:At what point do you feel people stopped seeing you,and just
starting seeing the person they believe you are?

BB: Just before I opened ALL OR NOTHING I was touring and winning a
lot of awards at shows. Articles were flowing like water. That was
when everyone started treating me differently, people that knew me
before all that especially. I didn't change, they did. No one likes
the smart kid until test day. Then they all want to cheat off your
paper. I see it still to this day. It is unfortunate.

GFR:Do you feel with the mass amount of exposure you've had over the
past few years people have come to not take you as seriously?

BB:People take me way to seriously now. It's the opposite. I can't
just do whatever I want now because it all gets retold a zillion
times, changed, and ends up with me fucking a midget or something. I
have never been serious about anything but tattooing. Now everyone
gets real serious when they meet me, it's lame. Just like YOU did when
I called you. All I said was "hey its Brandon Bond", and all of a
sudden I could hear the scorn and disdain pour back at me through the
phone, yet you had never even spoken to me. Weird huh?

GFR:So when you contacted me for an interview you explained you
haven't granted an interview in two years.Why now? Why Tattoo Guru?

BB: I read some articles you did with various artists. I appreciate
the uncensored and raw aspects of what you are doing. I also liked
that it was a venue to reach more artists than clients. Messages to
clients are way different than messages to artists, that is just the
food chain of what we do. A LOT of artists seem to be unaware of that,
but it is a fact. The lion deals differently with other lions, the
zebras just get eaten.

GFR:So you catch your wife in bed with five midget's.What's next?

BB: The pistol I wear everyday ironically holds 12 rounds. I shoot
them all twice, including her. Then I tweet about it and ask everyone
how to clean up midget blood. She is short as well (5ft) so all of
them would fit in my car at the same time afterwards.

GFR: That was my fuck with your day question. Did it?

BB: I think your "fwyd" questions are priceless, I was looking
foreword to mine. It's weird how people talk to me about midgets all
the time? What is that about huh? I'm 6 ft tall!

GFR:I give you fifty words,any fifty words to express your self,and GO!

BB: Tattooing is changing, weather we like it or not. The influx of
mainstream interest, and people who really wouldn't even be tattooing
if it were not for tv shows and bands is taking it's toll. It's like
the flood in the bible, "get in the boat or you will drown". But even
Noah had a slew of haters.

GFR:Bodyguards? (first thing that comes to mind when you hear this

BB: Like as in condoms and gloves?

Brandon I must say your a really not the dick head I had expected. I
loved talking with you. I feel like I walked away from this interview
with a new out look on how things can be so easily jaded.Thank you so
much for your time.I loved talking with you,for the simple fact you
are one funny mother fucker.

BB: Thank you for the interview, and for the talks, I look foreword to
meeting you and your family in person.

~Geena Fkn Russo

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