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johnlindqwister intro
During our little break over Christmas, we were not lazy. At Darkstorm Festival on 25th December, we met John who performed there with MACHINISTA to take pics for our project and the first interview in 2017. John is already well-known for his work with CAT RAPES DOG, BASSWOOD DOLLIES and others. Together with Rickhard, he decided in December 2012 to try out a new fresh project beside their other bands, MACHINISTA, releasing their last album, ‘Garmonbozia’ in June 2015. So, let’s see what John thinks about tattoos. He has quite a few…. ;)

Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: When did you get your first tattoo and what was it? Did it take much time until you decided to get it done?
John: When I was 22, I think, and it was a rose. It took at least four years to really get to it. The rose is actually inspired by Dave Gahan’s rose, and I even wanted to do a bird like he has on his underarm. Glad I didn’t do it when I was 18, haha.


RoD: How many tattoos do you have? Could you please tell us their story?
John: God, that’s a too long of a story. But anyway, the story began now many years ago and it’s a passion for life but I must say it never takes over my life. With that I mean I don’t think of tattoos every day. Maybe more some years ago. And the whole story is as crooked as my life, but I like all my tattoos and they are here for life. I think I have 48 if you count the small on my hands too.

RoD: Have you already got all the tattoos that you wanted or will you get some new ones in the future?
John: When I can afford more I will get more.


RoD: Have all your tattoos been done by one tattoo artist or by different ones? How do you choose the tattoo artist? In addition, who draws your sketches?
John: Five or six different tattoo artists has done mine and mostly the sketches are by tattoo artists but also friends, but for only a couple I changed already fixed pictures. Never really wanted things I’ve drawn myself, even if I could have. I choose artist randomly or being recommended.

RoD: Getting tattooed hurts, how do you cope with the pain during the sessions?
John: I can stand it for three hours but after that I feel like hitting the tattooist, haha. Sometimes the pain is a lot less and I can almost fall asleep. The worst was my bottom and fingers, that was PAIN!


RoD: Do you regret getting tattooed sometimes?
John: Of course I can think, instead of this I could have done something else, but really, no.

RoD: What is your taboo in terms of tattoos? What kind of tattoo would you never get done and don’t like to see on other people?
John: Nazi tattoos or genitals, haha. I saw one of those. It was a cock and balls with spiky shoes chasing a vagina. Horrible.

RoD: Some people say that the drive to acquire body art is addictive while others say it fails to meet the true definition of an addiction, simply calling it a passion. Is it really impossible to stop?
John: Addiction, no, but passion, yes. I’ve noticed over the years that ONE or MANY is common


RoD: Last Year’s tattoos are a new trend; many people do not care about the meaning, they just want to have something coloured on the skin, to be in trend. Those people often just go into a tattoo salon and ask which drafts they have. Tattoo artists are not artists any more, they produce consumer goods. Not all of them, of course. How do you feel about this situation?
John: Haha, I thought the trend was the opposite, like in all those horrible tattoo series on TV where everyone had a long story. No, I started out looking in magazines trying to find something to ink and it could take a while but didn’t give up until I found it. The vampire on my leg was one of those. After a while a meaning appeared thou, and that’s nice. Now I do stuff I liked for a longer time before getting it done. I often go by feeling and most of the time that’s the best.


RoD: I would like to talk about the social aspect of tattoos, too. Previously, many people believed that if you have a tattoo, you will be never be successful and will not find a "good" job. Have this state of mind and people's perceptions changed or are these prejudices still alive?
John: Unfortunately I think it’s still much like that. They talk about that it’s more ok now but under the surface there is prejudice lurking. But more ok since 20 years ago or so of course. But probably you have to work double as hard as a none tattooed.

RoD: Which advice would you give to people who are going to get their first tattoo? How to choose a tattoo artist? Colour or black and white? Any practical advice?
John: Go with the gut feeling and maybe better to wait until you are totally sure. Or go fucking bananas, haha. Who am I to judge.


At the end, John has some comment to each of the shown tattoos:
01. This tattoo I got after I had my daughter, Astrid. I like flowers and old-school and the guy who did it had his own style of flowers and I wanted my kid's name on my body as well. So this is a nice combination.
02. The star is what it is. O love stars and the universe and the whole mystery thing of it. And you get a glimpse of the old-school birds, one with a flower in its beak and the other one with a letter, maybe a love letter :-)
03. The text says “La vie est belle est terrible”... says it all. The devil was drawn by an old girlfriend of mine. She had it in her drawing book or something and caught me right away. And I wanted an angel as well and that one was drawn for me and as a companion to the devil. She has actually been a tattoo artist in USA for many years now, but is moving back this year, so maybe I will get something of her. At last, haha. The knife was drawn by another old girlfriend of mine, haha. Keeping the devil and the angel apart. You can spot the only band tattoo I have. Guess, hehe.
04. Here is an old dragon, it was pretty early in my history of tattoos. Doesn’t look very good anymore. And I got one around that to make it kind of framed and it looks better that way.
05. This is just a mess, haha. Started out with a rose and that’s the first one I did and it looks amazingly red still, and not blurry. Under the rose is a small dragon but hard to spot. Around that I had two sketches put together, of a friend long time ago. A pretty early tattoo is that to, of a friend that used me and other pals as guinea pigs, hehe. Much later I did the waves and clouds around the whole mess, pretty much like the right arm.
06. Stars. What can I say… I love stars ;)
07. The vampire is one of those tattoos I got after looking in magazines for hours. I just had to have a tattoo, no matter what. And I like vampires and have done as long as I can remember.
08. Old school bird. I like this one a lot. Got two on my stomach.
09. These are the last ones I've done. I like crows. Diamond tattoos have a nice aura I think. And something I fancy a lot is robots. The childish style that is. And the small ones near the fingertips is the signs for the planets in our solar system.
10. Found a face like this in a magazine and made a similar drawing of it myself. It's kinda blurry but I like it a lot.
11. The birds again. Like the colours. Bright colours are nice for a change. I got from mostly liking darker stuff to getting into more flowers and birds etc. Contrasts have always been something I fancy.


Project by Daria Tessa and Daniela Vorndran, Interview by Daniela Vorndran
Pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( /

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