RoD header


flexvanlaser introI have always had soft spot for punk rock bands, and not because of the fact that statistically in 80% of cases half of a band has tattoos. This music style has something of absolute freedom and recklessness in it. That's why I'm always happy to visit such kind of events. At a concert in Ludwigsburg I saw the band DROPKID for the first time. And I'm glad that today I can present you my interview with this band's singer.

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?
Flex: I was 18 years old and I made a Nautical Star on my left upper arm. Yes, I know that was a cliché, but almost all my friends-musicians have a "scene tattoo". My dad did not find that funny at all. He didn't speak with me for three weeks and just said that my brother and I had always painted each other with felt-pens when were children, and he was afraid that it would go so far. So, from this point of view, I was looking forward to having a tattoo for a long time. And I was not very selective at the time.

RoD: How many tattoos do you have? Could you please tell us their story?
Flex: If you count my interconnected motives as a big one, then there are only three. Some new motives, especially on the upper arms and shoulders, were added during these years, and I tried to combine and put them together as well as it is possible. Except of the two Nautical Stars (symmetry and so :-P), all other motives are, of course, very intimate and personal for me. Many people would probably call me a "nerd". I was a quiet and a very closed child who often felt uncomfortable in the real world. For this reason, all my tattoos are related to the things which have defined my life, such as games / comics / manga / books / sci-fi mediums. I try to be as subtle and delicate as possible, so that only "knowing" people notice what I have on my body. For example, two lettering on my shoulders. These are text passages of my two favourite songs, encoded into the in-game alphabet of an old DOS game, which I couldn't stop playing when I was a child.

flexvanlaser 1flexvanlaser 2

RoD: Have you already got all the tattoos that you wanted or will you get some new ones in the future?
Flex: A classic answer that you probably get from the 90% of your respondents: No, of course not! There are still many things which I would like to decorate my body with, and I have a lot of free space!

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?
Flex: I was in three different studios over the years. For my first two tattoos (yes again the stars) I went to a studio, as my friends did. Probably every tattoo artist now wrinkles his nose, but it was like this: have a look at the book, choose the star and let's go. For my next tattoos, I have chosen a studio next to me, which I had heard a lot of good feedback about. It happened so that I had the motives already completely finished and had adapted largely, so I just copied it on my body and just this. For my two latest motives (lower arm) I changed studio again. Here my tattoo artist (and my girlfriend <3) completely designed the sketches so that I only chosen the motive and settings. Because of it, you can see "breakthrough" between these two ones and my other tattoos. The plan is to make this transition smooth out in our future sessions. And then, of course, go for a new one!

RoD: Getting tattooed hurts, how do you cope with the pain during the sessions?
Flex: "Yes it hurts!" this slogan you will find in each studio for a reason. But honestly it is not so bad, it is a part of the process. However, I have no motives on the most sensitive places, but even that is forgotten, when you look for the first time at your new tattoo in the mirror.

flexvanlaser 3

RoD: Do you regret getting tattooed sometimes?
Flex: No, it was my decision at that very moment and I can live very well with it. I like them all. Would I be able to make stars again today? No way! But they belong to me, and I would not think of letting them laser away or making cover up.

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?
Flex: First, body parts: for me, the face, neck and hands do not come into question. For other people, neck or hand tattoos can look really good, if it is not a kiss or lettering. I have also seen not many face tattoos which I found appealing. They have always something antisocial... And per motive - I would never again do something directly from catalogue, a personal note is very important for me.

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?
Flex: See the question 3. For most people that I know, it's really so, that it always going on.

RoD: Currently, 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?
Flex: As I said before, my first tattoo was also a "fashion tattoo", perhaps not quite mainstream as today, but it’s so. I think this phenomenon is as old as tattoos themselves, there will always be trends, which many people will follow and regret it afterwards. But what I notice is that it is now socially acceptable to be tattooed. But I do not think this is bad, everyone should decide for themselves and live with it. And just because many people have tattoos it does not minimize the value of your own. It is, of course, fun to ask how many feathers or infinity symbols a tattoo artist has made this week, or what will come next ;) If people are concerned about something and are open to be influenced by the artists, I do not think that this industry will become a mass production. You can do a lot from an "all-world" idea.

flexvanlaser 4flexvanlaser 5

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 being successful and will not find a "good" job. Have this state of mind and people's perceptions changed or are these prejudices still alive?
Flex: As I said, my dad was not enthusiastic about my tattoo, because in the generation of my parents mostly criminals or sailors were tattooed. Fortunately, this has changed. The "crafted" of tattoos has faded. In my job as a designer of special machines' construction (no, I cannot live simply from music :P) I always wear long pants and shirt and I can hide my tattoos. My boss does not mind; it is rather older customers who are a bit disturbed about this. But as I said, that can be well concealed. And I was also aware of the fact that there are some body parts where I should not have tattoos, not to be condemned from the very beginning. In a few years, I think that is no longer a problem, I am looking forward to seeing the first banker with full sleeve tattoo and T-shirt.

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?
Flex: Basically the same tips, which you get from everyone: Think about what and where and by which tattoo artist you want to be tattooed. Or not, and be aware with the consequences. For me comes only black ink on the body, but that is only a personal preference. It's your body, do what you want, an opinion of a stranger from the Internet will not change your decision anyway.

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

Comments powered by CComment