Lane Pittman took to the streets to fight off Hurricane Matthew armed with a flag, a pair of shorts and his flowing ginger locks. The video, set to Slayer’s magnum opus “Raining Blood,” lasts 10 seconds. It blew up, and that’s an understatement. “Had a request for some hair action during the ‘cane,” Pittman wrote on his Facebook page. “I granted it.”
This isn’t his first brush with fame, as Pittman was notably arrested for playing the national anthem too loud on the Fourth of July in Jax Beach last year. I caught up with the Florida Man who’s been called an American hero too many times to count.
You’ve had a big week huh?
Pittman: Yeah. It’s been quite salty.
Can you just walk me the situation of why you did that?
Pittman: Man there was a whole lot of aggression coming out with this hurricane. They were saying my house is going to be under nine to 12 feet of water, we‘ve got everyone on the dadgum news telling me how terrible it’s going to be. We were pretty much preparing for the apocalypse. I’m coming out and I’m going to rep’ America and my freedom till I dadgum can’t do it anymore. So, I went out there and blasted some Slayer and turned up in the middle of it.
Why did you pick “Raining Blood” as your theme song?
Pittman: If I’m going to go out into battle, that’s the best theme song you could ever blast when you’re squaring up with a hurricane.
How many f—s did you give when you headed out there?
Pittman: I guess I gave zero.
Where were you at?
Pittman: I live in the Isle of the Palms area. Really close to Beach Boulevard Bridge. Pretty close to the coast-type of neighborhood.
Did you guys get hit pretty hard?
Pittman: Yeah. That was the gnarliest storm I have ever seen ever come through here. It was flooding pretty badly. We could have saved somebody if we wanted to, my dad’s got a high-water vehicle. But we were like, “Nah, we’re going to leave it where it’s at.’’
The video spread like wildfire. How does it feel to know that millions of people have seen it now that it’s plastered all over the internet?
Pittman: Yeah. It’s pretty weird. I thought I was done going viral after last Fourth of July, which to me was pretty cool, I had a lot of people reach out to me on that. Definitely more so in this situation. Apparently it’s popped off in Brazil. There are a lot of Brazilians that have been watching my stuff. They seriously love metal down there. They’re pretty rad people.
All these celebrities shared and retweeted: Tosh.O, Foo Fighters, Slayer.
Pittman: Easily the best was the tweet the Foo Fighters put out. Literally no context at all, just my name all caps. I was like Dave Grohl knows who I am. It’s just ridiculous.
— Foo Fighters (@foofighters) October 10, 2016
Did you happen the see the iteration of your video that was set to Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic?
Pittman: If there’s one that can compete with being better than the original, it’s definitely the Celine Dion one. It made a totally different twist on it. It made it look majestic as crap. It was awesome.
You were able to represent America without getting arrested this time.
Pittman: This was a little different. Yeah. It’s just that I love America man. I’m opening up for the Oktoberfest coming up on Saturday. That’s like the coolest feeling ever, to go out and play the national anthem. All the way down to wearing American flag socks when I substitute teach. I rep America wherever and whenever I can.
I saw videos on your Facebook page of you headbanging in London. Can you go into what that was about?
Pittman: Me and my buddy wanted to go to the U.K. He had this idea like, “We should just go headbanging at every sweet place out there. It’s so metal.” He’s bald so he had to bring this massive black wig everywhere he went. People [saw us] wanted to join in, and we jokingly were trying to find Emma Watson.
Yeah. I noticed the Emma Watson fixation.
Pittman: Emma Watson — that’s my girl.
Back to the video, have you ever felt more alive?
Pittman: Have I ever felt more alive? There’s a few moments when things seem pretty surreal, but that was like the one and only time I was going to release. It was like an adrenaline rush when I was out there, just in the middle of that hurricane, wind flapping. I was like, “I don’t give a rip about you Hurricane Matthew you’re not taking my freedom, my joy. You can take away this property, but you know what man, I’m still kicking and you’re not taking me out.”
Was it spontaneous?
Pittman: It wasn’t planned at all. I had to teach my dad to film. I was like this is how you do it, wait for it to come up and hit the button.
The video was posted by people who knew you so many times, what were the reactions from your friends like?
Pittman: I got a wide variety of friends here at the Beaches from super-churchy friends to people that go to the bars four times a week. They all think I’m famous. I don’t think I’m really that famous. I can’t really get on my Facebook sometimes it starts melting down, like I can’t even open it up. There’s a lot of love and outreach for it. It’s cool walking into places and people are like, “Are you that dude with the flag?”
What’s your biggest takeaway from this whole thing?
Pittman: In 10 seconds you can impact a crazy amount of people. That’s literally all it is. It takes one little act, then people can get behind it. If it’s something that people can rally behind, then you can see the numbers of how many people can stand behind something like that. So, I think that’s pretty cool.