Interview: Big Grey from Fire Tusk Pain Proof Circus

I caught up with Fire Tusk Pain Proof Circus’s very own Big Grey to discuss the finer things in life. For those wondering – he really is a hardcore mental clown man. With petrol-scented fire breath.

So do you like getting hurt or do you simply do it all for entertainment purposes?

Yeah I absolutely love it! To me, this sort of thing is just normal; I do it all the time. When I’m at parties or raving at techno nights, I always give things a go. It’s just a natural thing for me to do.

How many hours a day do you spend practising your acts?

To be honest mate I don’t spend any time at all. Maybe I’ll do a couple of hours before a show. Basically I spend my time drinking and fucking about and generally having a good time. I chuck knives at people in my normal life! I reckon that if you’re focusing and thinking too much about things like the knife throwing then it can become too much; you become nervous and that. If you just get tanked beforehand you can do it more naturally. I’m not trained or anything. They say I’m shit at knife-throwing cause I keep missing!

Right. So do you see other people’s acts and say ‘I want to do that’, or does your show develop organically and independently?

We make up all our ideas ourselves. A lot of what you see is completely invented by us – for example the trick where we balance the lawnmower on my chin and fuck about with it. We’re the only ones who have done that in the world. Also with things like the knife-throwing, we are one of the only people in the country doing that. There are very, very few practising knife-throwers in the UK.

How about the glass-walking bit? Was that real glass or sugar glass?

Real glass! We don’t use any fakery at all. Someone gets injured every twenty shows or so. It’s part of the job. We all get injured – that’s what we get out of it.

So where can our readers catch you next?

Well our next show is in Oslo but you can usually catch me doing all sorts of things. I’m always going to punk gigs and raves. I’m a hunter and I’m a martial artist, but I do love doing these shows. I love the massive ones – we played to 65,000 people with Take That in Milton Keynes and 55,000 at the City of Manchester stadium. They were fuckin’ awesome.