Back in season four, we were first introduced to Walter “Sausage” Frank, a Las Vegas based tattooer with 14 years of experience in the industry. And after winning four challenges that season, Sausage ultimately placed second in the competition to the late Scott Marshall. Fast forward to season seven, Sausage was brought back to the competition as a veteran and managed to snag another win before being eliminated in episode nine alongside fellow heavyweight Jime Litwalk. Now, Sausage is back to the Ink Master set, this time as a coach for the women’s team alongside fellow veteran Duffy Fortner. We had the pleasure of speaking to Sausage about what’s changed since he last appeared on our television screens, the biggest challenge of being a coach, and the best advice he gave to the contestants still in the running.
What’s happening in your life since last appearing on Ink Master?
The last time I was on Ink Master was season seven and since then, Joey Hamilton, from season 3, and I have opened up two more shops here in Las Vegas. Revolt Tattoos has three shops in Las Vegas and we’re working our tuches off to keep ourselves busy.
How did you feel about being contacted to come back for season 12?
When I first appeared on season four, I had a huge fan following of people hoping that I was going to win. And so, when Ink Master reached out to me for season seven, I was super honored to have another chance to come back. Now for season 12, out of all the people who have ever appeared on Ink Master and to be one of the artists selected to come back, I felt honored honestly. They could have chosen anyone, but for them to reach out to me was pretty cool.
What was your first impression of this season’s theme, battle of the sexes?
I thought that it was awesome. When you watched the earlier seasons of Ink Master, you’d see that it was very male driven. And it wasn’t until Ryan Ashley came aboard in season 8 that audiences saw the strength in female artists out there. So to see the battle of the sexes, you’re going to see exactly how strong women can be and that it’s not a completely male driven art form. I think that the ladies out there are just as strong as the guys, even though the guys have had control for quite some time now.
What’s the biggest challenge that you encountered as a coach?
I think that the biggest challenge as a coach was trying to get everybody to think as a team, even though tattooing can tend to be a very individual job. When you try to get so many people together and think as one, that’s the biggest challenge because there are some people who work better by themselves, people who work better with a couple people, and people who definitely have a team mentality. The biggest challenge is trying to get people to think as one, rather than individually.
Based on your experiences on season’s four and seven, what advice did you give to the contestants?
My biggest advice for the contestants was to let them know how Oliver, Nunez, and Navarro think, and what it is that they look for. Yes, your challenges can be hard, but this is what you can look forward to. Even though you might be on the bottom, this is what you can say in order to make yourself look good. If you’ve won, this is how you can do a skull pick. I wanted to give them a preview of what to expect from the judges and how the competition really works.