With such a compulsive desire to take things to the utmost extremes, attention-seeking nutter David Blaine could do well to take a few hints in making his stunts a little less boring to watch. He could pierce both his lips with a knitting needle like Pancho for a start, or gobble down a ‘pubic pizza’ like Joycey. Or how about U-nailing his cock to a plank of wood like Pritchard? Nah, I thought not. These guys live it and breathe it 24/7 so it was of no surprise to find Pritchard a little worse for ware when we meet for this interview.
“I’m still recovering from last night”, he skulks, backstage at Reading festival, a HUGE bright red bump visibly protruding from his forehead following Dirty Sanchez’ stage show the night before that saw him attempt to smash 12 floor tiles on his head, the fool. As we make our way round to their MTV caravan his eyes bulge open as I pull up a seat for him. “Oh, no no I’m alright standing thanks”, his awkward posture serving as a reminder of his infamous ‘sandpapered-arse’ trick that has left him with painful, bloody butt-cheeks for the next two weeks.
“Some woman backstage had a go at me for doing my sandpaper ass and my head,” he winces. “It’s like, why worry about it? I’ve enjoyed it, I’ve had fun. I do what I do, you do what you do.”
Such altercations seem to be a way of life for the four members of Dirty Sanchez who attempt to defy the human body’s pain threshold through stunts that blur the line between facetious fun and utter stupidity so much that it’s pretty much erased. It’s fitting then that four guys who live such a rock ‘n’ roll life would be into such suitably rocking music. During their stage show Iggy Pop could be heard blasting out of the speakers although Pritchard says he would have preferred some Motorhead, Slayer or Black Sabbath instead.
“I like old rock. None of this Blink 182 and all that typa shit. I can’t stand ‘em.”
DiS: You would have liked Winnebago Deal then – loud, fast, mean, dirty rock ‘n’ roll.
Pritchard: “Really? I was too busy drinking.”
DiS: It was Dainton’s birthday yesterday wasn’t it?
Pritchard: “Yeah, it was his birthday yesterday and for the first time in about six years after a night on the piss he’s woken up the next day and carried on drinking. And he’s a fuckin’ nightmare, which is why I’m not with him at the moment.”
This, dear readers, is quite understandable. At various points throughout our interview the comical exchange of “Pritchard!” and “What?! Wait a fuckin’ minute!” between them both, not to mention the lost-looking Pancho, stumbling around trying to make sense of everything around him makes me feel like I’ve stepped out of reality for a short while and into the crazy, crazy world of Dirty Sanchez. Which may go some way to explain the perpetual grin on my face. It’s a world all four of them have been living in pretty much all their life, although for Pritchard the time he jumped from a third floor classroom window, not for a dare but for fun, was probably the starting point.
DiS: What would your schoolteachers tell me if I asked them what you were like at school?
Pritchard: “They’d most probably tell you that I was thick as two short planks; never concentrated; more interested in fuckin’ around and havin’ a laugh, which is what I do now.”
DiS: Could do better then?
Pritchard: “Ah, definitely yeah. My school report was never a good one, I always regretted it.”
DiS: What do you all do for a living outside of Dirty Sanchez – I know you all do various things.
Pritchard: “Well me and Dainton own a clothing company called Stimulus. I work for a shoe company called Globe shoes and do the team managing, organise demonstrations and tours and everything. Plus I’m a professional skateboarder and I work for MTV as well. So a bit of a delboy.”
DiS: What was your first reaction when you first saw Jackass?
Pritchard: “Ah I loved it. Just typical skateboard humour. It’s what skateboarders have always done for years, until the TV station clicked onto it and came up with Jackass. I’ve met a lot of skateboarders who’ve looked at it and thought ‘fuckin ‘ell I’ve been doing that for years.’ It’s just that they were lucky; they got picked up first. So yeah, good luck to them.”
DiS: How did MTV get involved with you lot then? I presume they somehow got hold of the infamous ‘Pritchard Vs Dainton’ video?
Pritchard: “Yeah, someone in MTV got a copy of ‘Pritchard Vs Dainton’, showed it around MTV, then MTV head-hunted us and found us. Our aim wasn’t to go out and be like ‘ah, let’s get a TV show’. We were just lucky.”
DiS: Has there been any instances where you’ve been filming and someone’s almost come to blows with someone else. There was that one time when Joycy was getting a bit lairy after you spilt something on his Burberry jacket.
Pritchard: “Well, that’s Joycy. He likes to laugh at people doing the stuff, and he likes to see people doing the stuff, but when it comes down to him actually doing it he’ll chicken out. When it actually comes to you playing the prank on him he doesn’t like it. But as for me Dainton and Pancho we’ll play a prank on each other… you expect it back and they expect it.”
Pritchard and Dainton have been professional skateboarders for a number of years but the exposure that Dirty Sanchez has given them has seemingly turned them into celebrities overnight. And that’s after just one series (repeated constantly almost every day) that not only features their infamous stunts but which also attempts to delve into their private lives too through interviews with mates, girlfriends and even their parents. ”There’s nothing to hide,” shrugs Pritchard. “I’m a pretty open person anyway. I’m sure all the boys are as well.”
DiS: Has there been any particular point where you’ve suddenly realised ‘shit, I’m famous’?
Pritchard: “More recently yeah. It’s weird because in a way me and Dainton were sort of famous through skateboarding so we’ve sort of had a little taster of it anyway. I s’pose it’s good in a way cos it’s sort of trained us up in dealing with all that type of stuff. But yeah, it’s nuts. Fuckin’ crazy. Unbelievable.”
DiS: Have you had any bizarre fan experiences as a result of all this attention?
Pritchard: “I’ve got somebody stalking me at the moment via email and all that. You just deal with it. I mean you go to a club and everybody’s ‘fuckin hell, Dirty Sanchez, Dirty Sanchez…’ constantly as soon as you walk in to the moment you go out. But then, everyone buys you drinks! I don’t mind as long as everyone’s nice, it doesn’t bother me.”
Their newfound reputation as some of the funniest, and coolest, people in the UK has lead to some inevitable offers coming in from people eager to cash in on the Dirty Sanchez phenomenon. Pritchard has been pictured next to a generously proportioned glamour girl in the Daily Sport and has even been a poster pin-up, wearing just a cowboy hat and codpiece in an advertising campaign for safe sex in bus shelters across Wales!
“I got an email from the Welsh assembly saying that that poster was the most replaced poster that that company has ever had to replace in the world. And I went ‘what the fuck??’ It only meant to go up in Wales and they put posters up all over the world – America, Australia, Europe…”
DiS: So there could be young girls in America with your poster on their bedroom wall?
Pritchard: “Or old men! I dunno, God knows who’s pickin’ em up. I look rather camp in the posters so it most probably is puffs.”
Along with Dainton, Pritchard is currently doing shows at Walkabout pubs during Fresher’s Week in addition to a regular feature in Loaded Magazine. That is, if they can stay alive long enough to make it regular, as anyone who’s heard about their pint-smashing exploits in Newquay will attest. Due to appear in the November issue of Loaded the idea was to drink a pint as fast possible and smash the glass on their respective heads. Except for Dainton that didn’t go entirely to plan.
“Oh shit, he ended up in hospital!” he gasps. “He was on a drip. He lost that much blood he was on a fuckin’ drip, ha ha! Knobhead. It’s about time he learned to fuckin’ smash a pint glass on his head properly!”
DiS: Didn’t the guys from Loaded panic just a little?
Pritchard: “Oh we told them, ‘if there’s blood or whatever it won’t go wrong, it won’t go wrong’. And then what happens? Better pictures though. Blood, guts… fuckin’ top!”
DiS: I’m surprised you can still feel any pain, the amount of stuff you’ve done to yourself.
Pritchard: “Well that’s why I do it. There’s no point doing something if you can handle the pain, cos you don’t get a buzz off it. The only reason I do it is cos I try to beat my brain to actually… like if I’m gonna, I dunno, go in a frozen river like I did in France. I don’t wanna do it, but if I can battle my brain to say ‘go on’, and if I can get myself round to doing it then that’s where I get my rush from. I told my head to do it and then I’ve done it. Whenever it comes round to the point when I say ‘nah, I can’t do it’, I’ll do it.”
DiS: But when you’ve done it and you’re in excruciating pain, do you not just turn round and think ‘nah, stuff this’?
Pritchard: “Ah there’s loads of times when I’ve said that. Like when we did the stinging nettles [a stunt which involved rubbing nettles on every possible area of the human body, including the inside of the mouth] I was like ‘fuck, I’m not doing that again. No way.’ 12 hours of complete and utter agony. I couldn’t sleep, tongue swelled up… everything. The whole body was fucked. Couldn’t go to bed, couldn’t do fuck all. Fuck dock leaves man. Dock leaves – that is such an old wives tale. Fuckin don’t work at all, or vinegar or piss, anything – it doesn’t work. Me and Dainton had a bath in vinegar and piss and it did fuck all – it was minging!”
DiS: But it is funny though when you look back.
Pritchard: “Well course it is yeah!”
DiS: You’ve been pretty close to death on occasion so what would be your epitaph?
Pritchard: “’Sleep when you’re dead’, as Bon Jovi said. ‘Sleep and you’re dead’. ‘He Came, he saw, he conquered’. ‘Life’s for livin’, not for chillin’. Remember that one. You’re on this Earth and the one big try, you’ve gotta make the most of every single bit of it, whether it’s fuckin’ hurting yourself or whatever. People always have a go at you for doing certain things, like that woman backstage. It’s like, what are you on about? I could have a go at you sitting in an office all day behind a computer. I don’t do that. You do your thing I do my thing. As long as I don’t harm you or anyone else. What would you rather me do? Be a violent man and start beating everyone up, or would you rather me beat myself up?”
DiS: Surely people should expect to be shocked by Dirty Sanchez.
Pritchard: “If you’re gonna go see Dirty Sanchez you know what’s going to happen.. It’s gonna be nudity, pain, blood… like it or lump it. If you don’t like it then fuckin’ don’t watch it. I’m not forcing you to!”
Pritchard promises that there will of course be more of the same in the next series, (he’s 99% sure there will actually be a next series) although MTV haven’t informed them of what they have planned just yet. “It involves a lot of pain again, a lot of funny antics, a lot of pain, just the usual.”
With the notoriety he’s got for his antics so far though, together with the inimitable camaraderie of all four members, you’d think he’d be commanding a lot more money for his public appearances, let alone his life-threatening stunts. But for Pritchard the thrill is payment enough.
“It’s hard to explain. I mean, most people won’t do it unless they get paid ten grand for a fuckin’ three hour just turning up or whatever. I’ll do it for a hundred quid, call me stupid but I just enjoy doing that type of stuff. A hundred quid and a beer and I’m happy. I think people are pushing it a bit these days but there we are. I mean, I wouldn’t mind if someone said ‘I’ll give you six grand and a beer.”
And quite rightly too. As Pritchard is besieged by autograph-hunters and other members of Dirty Sanchez, I step out of the Sanchez world and leave him to powder his nose before the impending onslaught of Metallica (“two hours of Metallica! Fuckin’ right on!”).
Don’t try this at home? Don’t be so stupid.