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Bobby Lee Black Interview

30 June 2020 No Comment

title (1)Bobby Lee Black is an actor, writer, film maker, artist, stunt man, pro wrestler and overall a seriously impressive dude.  His current project is a comedy feature film he is producing and starring in about a tattoo shop  called what else, “The Shop”.

Tell us about some of your experiences in the music business

BLB: I started working heavy security for a band called Mortuary guarding the stacks from moshers.
One time this guy comes bouncing around the melee and got too close so I dropped him. He got up and
back into the throng and was gone. When he came back around I got ready to take a shot from him, but
he just yells “awesome bouncer dude” throws up devil horns and was gone again.

In Maui I was working security at a bar called ‘Tiger’s’ where I spent one long night trying to protect an
inebriated Dave Mustaine from his adoring drunken public. I briefly managed a psychobilly band
called the Downshifters that had a tune called “Elvis’ last hit was the floor” they were crazy. After that I
became a radio DJ in Hawaii.

How did you get into radio?

BLB: I started doing radio after I did a commercial for my tattoo shop and somebody heard my voice
and wanted me to do a commercial for their business. I went from Saturday night’s to Sunday mornings
to morning drive and then the afternoon drive. I got to hang out with Jefferson Starship, Crosby stills
and Nash, America, Arlo Guthrie, Carlos Santana, Van Halen, the Eagles and Bob Dylan; didn’t really
hang out with Bob Dylan he hid inside a tent the whole time he was there but we did a show together. I
also hung out with the chili peppers when Dave Navarro was with them.

I understand that you tattooed Dave Navarro

BLB: I gave Dave Navarro his 5th or 6th tattoo back when we were youngsters. I tattooed dog the
bounty Hunter’s kid Leland back before they got famous. I’ve tattooed every part of the human body
except the tongue and the eyeball. I used to be in the magazines and at all the invite-only tattoo
conventions like the tattoo tour with Denis Dwyer and JD Crow. Actually I’m producing a full length
feature film that’s a tattoo shop comedy.

theshopposter (1)What’s the movie about?

BLB: Myself and Mason have been friends and Coworkers for almost 20 years, but with rising
rents and a bad economy their Tattoo business is struggling, So they decide to bring on another
artist and a body piercer to help pay the bills.

Egos and personalities clash resulting in an ongoing attempt to drive each other nuts in this
workplace comedy like no other, loaded with a delicate balance of witty dialogue, crude humor,
drama, and heart, THE SHOP will make you laugh, then cry, then laugh some more.

What gave you the idea for a tattoo shop comedy?

BLB: Roughly two years ago Italo Ganni, my partner in Chamber Piece Films LLC, wrote and shot a
pilot for a would be comedic tattoo shop centered series called “The Shop.” It was very well received
on social media platforms and generated a great deal of interest in the upcoming series. Sadly the series
was never funded and the project was shelved. Flash forward a couple years and the same writer,
completes a script for a full length feature based on the same characters and premise.

Who is your audience?

BLB: Absolutely everyone! Tattoos have blown up on the pop culture scene and have taken over
current media. Social media pages for tattoo culture are numbering in the millions of followers. On top
of that 36 percent of Americans 18-25 have at least one tattoo. The tattoo industry is the sixth fastest growing retail business in America. There are more than 147 million tattoo related searches each month
on Google. Then there’s Miami Ink a major network ran this reality TV show in their shop. It was a
huge success and it changed everything. Nine years later, Miami Ink had six seasons and has been
aired in over 160 countries. Spin-off shows based on other shops (NY Ink and LA Ink, most notably) as
well as Contest-Format shows (Ink Master) have also been largely successful.

Who’s doing the soundtrack?

BLB: We are very lucky to have two international acts; MF Rukus and The Enigma have both agreed
to their music being used for the soundtrack and they will also be in the movie portraying themselves.

Who else is in the movie?

BLB: First and foremost is The Enigma, then there’s me Bobby Lee Black, Ben Hilzer, Dustin
Shelbourn, Heath Heine, Omid Harrison, Ryan Seemy, and Zac Rush, all seasoned actors, and the two
newcomers Jarred Graves and Morgan Garcia along with a cast of other characters that will crack you

Tell me about The Enigma.

BLB: The Enigma has done a number of TV shows including Penn & Teller: Bullshit! and The X-Files,
where he played a character called “the Conundrum”, loosely based upon himself. There’s even a toy
based on this character as part of their X-Files action figure line. This character was also prominently
featured on the X-Files pinball machine.

He’s been doing music since he was six. In 91, he got his start as a member of the Jim Rose Circus, he
performed around the world until 98, touring with acts such as Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Korn,
Godsmack, and once opening for David Bowie. Then he toured with Katzen, playing music and doing
sideshow performances under the moniker “Human Marvels”. He performed at Universal Studios
Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights event in fall 2007 with Serana Rose, performing various tricks with
fire, electricity, power tools and blades. He has also performed at Detroit’s Theatre Bizarre. All that and
he’s probably the most recognized tattoo celebrity alive!

What are your plans for the movie once it is shot?

BLB: Under normal circumstances it would be off to the festival circuit with hopes of finding
distribution. But in the current world environment festivals aren’t an option. Luckily we’ve got
connections with three distributors and the drive in circuit is quickly coming back creating an equitable
platform for national distribution that we will be taking advantage of.

So have you got everything nailed down for the film?

BLB: We are still looking for a few select people to come on board as producers to help fulfill our
budget requirements. But we are fully cast with a primary cast of 33. We have 26 backgrounders. We
have all of our locations signed. We have 100% of our logistics locked down. We have craft services
signed and we have a full crew as well.

How can people find out more about The Shop film?

BLB: Just go to www.TheShopFilm.com

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