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Tattoos and metal are natural bedfellows. This is especially true in Neurosis' Scott Kelly. When he plays live, it's hard not to notice the spiderweb design that covers the top of his picking hand. Ouch!

Etan Rosenbloom has done a fantastic interview with Kelly about tattoos here.

An excerpt:

I knew where I was going. I tattooed my hands when I was 15. I wasn't looking back. I knew what I was going to do - I was totally committed really early. Once I figured out what was there, I knew that music was what I was going to do, and I just had to figure out how to do it.

Notice that Kelly starts out talking about tattooes, but segues into talking about music. To him, they're the same: "I knew what I was going to do".

This interview, along with some friends who have tattoos that actually mean something, has revived a long-dormant interest of mine in tattoos. As a child, many of my favorite musicians had prominent tattoos. Those old enough might remember the shirts (Blue Grape, perhaps) one could buy that mimicked people's tattoos - Phil Anselmo, Henry Rollins, and so on. That still seems like a stupid idea, but then again, people wear professional athletes' jerseys, and that kind of identity theft is culturally acceptable.

I once interviewed Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal in person. His many tattoos seemed not to have any rhyme or reason, so I asked him about them. He said that each one was a souvenir of a time and place - Copenhagen, Paris, and so on. He wasn't thinking holistically; he simply accrued tattoos like any other life experience. Rosenbloom and Kelly touch upon that approach in the interview. Again, it's a great read. Kelly's intensity jumps out through the page.

Read it here.

— Cosmo Lee

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