RoD header


denfandera introSummer is a wonderful period, full of holidays and heat. As for us, we use the good weather to shoot our today’s guest outdoors, not in the studio. Our participant is the guitarist of the Ukrainian alternative band DETACH, Den Fandera. DETACH have already shown themselves to an audience of a few million people by taking part in such projects as X-Factor, national preselection for Eurovision Song Contest 2017, and in The Voice. Den's tattoos' photos speak for themselves, and I have nothing there to add. But first things first.

Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: Your band grew up professionally over the past year. DETACH participated in such projects as X-Factor, in the national preselection for Eurovision 2017. What did participation in those projects give your band and you? And do you plan to continue to promote your informal style to the masses?
Den: Yes, of course. We still have the wish to promote our band. It was kind of an experiment. We all got the fact that, concerning promotion, traditional media is not for us. But for a musical band of any format it remains the number one tool. But if you look at the market, for example, in million cities, the internet is the advanced informational machine. For all other people, TV is still in the first place, newspapers and radio are on the second, and the internet is only on the third. Therefore, we were looking for a method, an instrument that would let us in into these traditional means of broadcasting. X-Factor is a cool confirmation that doors for such music exist as well and, what is more important, that people are ready to accept it. At the very beginning, before each broadcast, we thought that we will be kicked out from the show because nobody is interested. But then, when we began to get closer to the final, we realized that this was not the case - improvements began, people began to reach out to us, the ratings for our performances were higher than those of other artists who are accustomed to TV channels. This is a live indicator that people should not be afraid to participate in similar projects, look for some ways to advance, do not reject the opportunities that appear. Do not say that "we are not pop, we are not in the format", or "we are above all this". You need to remain yourself and advance your idea. Then everything will go fine.

RoD: So, you were satisfied with your participation in TV projects?
Den: My impressions from the participation in the national preselection for Eurovision are the same as from participation in X-Factor. The only thing I regret that we did not have the opportunity to prepare it more carefully. Since our performance at the national selection was more like the next broadcast from X-Factor, if you look at it critically. I did not particularly feel the difference between Eurovision and X-Factor, except that they have different names, and the process of performance and results are the same. Therefore, I believe that bands should try to show themselves at such musical competitions. There is also “The Voice”, where, by the way, our singer Lesha also has participated. They did not turn to him then, but in a week, there were half a million auditions of the video. And many got to know the band DETACH and they became interested. Regarding the results for the band, I can say that we have felt them, as soon as we announced our tour, after the X-Factor project. I looked at the number of people who started coming to our shows and realized that the scale had grown significantly. Throughout our entire tour we only had one not sold-out show. Such a massive visit to our concerts showed that our participation in TV projects benefitted us. By the way, all biggest Ukrainian festivals gave us the main stages this year. Now our goal is to perform at festivals outside the country.


RoD: Let's go back to our main topic. We are very glad that you agreed to take part in our tattoo project, the purpose of which, as I already told you, is to show that tattoo can also be art. Do you agree with this statement?
Den: Oh, sure. I agree with this. Tattoo is a self-expression; we always try to express ourselves through progressive and artistic moments. Yes, of course, tattoo that a tattoo artist has made for you or you made it by yourself is an art. I think that for most people tattoos have some meaning, they intersect with some moments of their lives. They force you to think about something, strive for something, or remember something. Tattooing is a form of creativity. I do not like criticism from people who have never made a tattoo, but they don’t like them and say that this is not art, or find it as something that is not worth of attention. And just after that they say that he / she embroiders a cross, paints or something like that and they want to be noticed by other people. Each of us has the right for self-expression. Nowadays tattoo is a trendy way of self-feeding and emphasizing one's personality.

RoD: When did you get your first tattoo and what was it? Did it take much time until you decided to get it done?
Den: I got a wish to make me my first tattoo about five years ago. I didn't have an idea what it would be, but I thought that, probably, I'll make a sleeve. I was going to meet with tattoo artists in their salons a few times, but somehow it always turned out that I could not get to them. And I thought that maybe it's not so easy, that maybe it’s a sign that’s it's not the time yet, or I need to rethink if I really need this. In addition, for a long time I doubted about the sketch. I did not think that it should be something specific for a certain tattoo artist. I thought everybody has it, so let me have it. During the year, I lost my interest in this idea and returned to it later, probably two years later. It was 2015. At that moment I realized that I want a tattoo. I saw many sketches, but I understood that I did not like anything from them. I wanted something new. But I did not know it would be a sleeve or something else. But then I had an unpleasant story that knocked me out of my life for a year and a half. During one of the trainings, something happened to my back, a hernia inflamed. I wasn't able to walk, I skipped part of the concerts. But I was lucky that there was a person who revived me and at that moment I thought that I would like to have something to note, to capture this period in my life. That there was a problem, and we managed with it, and now my life goes on. Everything is in our power. And then in the internet I found a tattoo artist Vitaliy Koma's works who during several years took the top places at the tattoo conventions. I wrote to him without thinking whether he would answer or not. He replied, but said that he will not do me a tattoo if we not find a common language with him. A personality of his client is very important to Vitaliy, if he does not see any parallel lines with a person, he will not do anything for him. After all, tattoo is for life. He always discusses with the person what he needs and why. And only after this he starts to work. With me it was just like that, we talked in the studio, I said that I have a sketch with the inscription of the DEFTONES band, and I said that I want something like that, the tattoo should be small and no one should see it. But Vitaliy suggested that if you want really to be cool, let's make it on your chest. Like, let's do it cool. And I remember my first session when he filled my stomach with a huge skull and the next day I had to go to Lvov. We lived in a hotel, and I went out in shorts to the corridor to find an iron or ironing board, and I remember these insane glances of hotel visitors. And I began to realize that I was already different from them. Then we began to work on the tattoo further, and it began to take shape and general picture. All elements were added one after another. And eventually formed into my first tattoo, just a little different size from what I imagined. I do not even know if there are people who like their first tattoo, in my case I prefer the next one, it was more conscious for me.

RoD: How many tattoos do you have? Could you please tell us their story?
Den: Well, yes, as I already said, with my first tattoo I wanted to show that there was a certain stage in my life, and I got through it. It was very important for me. Vitaliy told me that we will make you a tattoo, that you should keep yourself in shape all the time and going to the gym. And although it sounded like a joke, but in fact it's true. I constantly go to gym, I swim, and I make exercises, so that my body feels comfortable. By the way, the first tattoo was my birthday present. And a year later, I made a second tattoo, which also became my birthday gift. I saw a picture and I really liked it, so we started discussing this with Vitaliy. And there was an idea to show the dissonance between the past and the present. This means that the values that people had a hundred years ago, have radically changed now. Now people are influenced by social networks, likes, and are ready to do everything for all these "hearts". My second tattoo's background is the Renaissance picture and some aesthetic, creative moments like Da Vinci's sketches - Mona Lisa, etc. on the foreground there is a young lady, who puts her finger in her mouth, covering black and white background. The young lady is made in colour, very bright, it's like looking through different sides. And this is my idea that such girls will live on my hand telling about what is happening to us, what people appreciate now and what they forget by wasting away their lives. So, the second tattoo has a philosophical meaning. Although it is a kind of banter. I wouldn't like to go into the meaning of my each tattoo. To be honest, I treat this as an ornament. Today I like these shorts or sneakers, and tomorrow already another ones. I do not invest in this global fundamental meaning. Like, you made one tattoo, and it changes your whole life. I had some fears about the skull, which I had as the very first one. Many people told me why you did this to yourself, it's a negative sign. But I believe that any situation and any action in your life can turn back as you want it. I believe that there is mirror that hangs over us and plays all our thoughts back to us. You should be careful with your wishes. Because they all come true, but we do not know how to formulate them correctly.


RoD: Have you already got all the tattoos that you wanted or will you get some new ones in the future?
Den: The first tattoo consists of eight or ten elements. The second tattoo has many parts too, I do not strive for quantity, I just know that I will finish my second tattoo.

RoD: So, it looks like that you will make the full sleeve, doesn't it?
Den: I think, yes. But I always wanted to do tattoos in a way that the world around me could not see them right away. I agreed to a big tattoo on my chest, because when I wear a T-shirt, still no one understands that I have a tattoo there. The tattoo on my arm is the same. We reached the sleeve, and in cold weather, and even in the summer, I can put on a sweatshirt and people will not be able to see anything. That is, I do tattoos not for show them. I just like it, and I like those drawings that I have on my body. My arm's tattoo I will finish for sure, there are many moments that have occurred in a year, and I want to capture them there somehow. Also, I have an idea - to leave the bands' names - that have influenced me and that are my favourites throughout all my life - on my body. These are of different styles, and different periods. But I still want to capture them somehow. I just think in what form all this is displayed, so that it looked laconic, and it will be not a nagging spot. But this is Idea for the future, when I finish the second tattoo, I would like to do those music bands sketch.

RoD: So your first and second tattoo were made by the same tattoo artist?
Den: Yes.

RoD: Are you going to make your future tattoos by him too?
Den: I trust him. I look at his works that he is posting and I understand that I have seen no better tattoo artist than Vitaliy. I even sent my girlfriend to him to learn to be a tattoo artist.

RoD: Getting tattooed hurts, how do you cope with the pain during the sessions?
Den: Probably I like pain, I do not know, I like it. I will not say that this hurts so much. But once I had a very heavily left after a tattoo session. I had sessions for 4, 5 or 6 hours. There were unpleasant moments, but I cannot say that it's possible to get rid of the pain. On the contrary, it's fun. Once, however, I drank anaesthetic when the tattoo was made at the nipple area. Very painful place. Probably, there are places where it is really painful to do a tattoo, on your knees, for example, or where there is thin skin there. But actually I had no problems with this.

RoD: Do you regret getting tattooed sometimes?
Den: In general, I do not regret. However, when I started to make the second tattoo, I looked at the first one and thought that the second one I like more, but at the same time I realize that when I will make the third tattoo, I will like it more than the previous two tattoos. If I regretted it, I would have tried to cover them or remove them from the skin. This is all done only for me and I feel comfortable so.


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?
Den: I do not like mystical, religious attributes. Although when we started to make my second tattoo, which depicts witches, I realized that everything depends on the context. Everything depends on what kind of meaning you put into it. If you make some crosses or skulls in order to save yourself from a catastrophe or spells, this scares me. But I think that I might like a sketch with similar images, so, probably, there are no restrictions. Unless I would not make the images of the genitals, neither male nor female, it's strange, and I will not make abusive language. There are some things that are not that taboo, but just look like stems. For example, when it was fashionable to stuff yourself with hieroglyphics, and a person who does not understand the true meaning of the inscription, thinking that he has "happy", and this can be a completely different word. Following to fashion is definitely not 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?
Den: Yes, it's true. I often think that yes, I want more. And the guys who made a tattoo with me, they say: we must do the next one! I, for example, may like some drawing, and I think that It would look very cool on me. I need to do this. When I took the first step, there was no way back. I haven't met tattooed people who would say that they no longer want to make a tattoo or try to remove them. Even if someone has changed something in life, this is not a matter of tattooing, but of the meaning that it carries. Therefore, yes, there is a dependency. It's cool when you want to make something extravagant for yourself, you set a goal for you, reach it and then you feel amazing.

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?
Den: Well, you see, I also thought at the beginning that a tattoo was just a fashion. As now, for example, it is fashionable to have a beard, or as it used to be fashionable to be a punk or hippie. It all comes and goes. Tomorrow they will say that the beard and the tattoos are no longer a trend. I'm not very responsive to all this. I do not have a job that would make me to dress in a special way. There are no people who would tell me how I need to dress. I have my comfort zone in which I live. I like myself as I'm now. I can show my documents with photo where I'm 16, 17 years old and people will not believe me and say that it's not me and it's impossible. But then I was like that, and I liked it so much. I just thought differently that time. If tomorrow they say that it's fashionable to be without tattoos, it does not mean that I will immediately run to remove them. Fashion changes. If Trend leaves now, then in twenty years or so it will return in some other form. It's a spiral that keeps repeating itself all the time. I had a strange case in school when I asked older guys who had tattoos to do me a tattoo too. I liked the image of a wolf, howling to the moon, from the cover of the notebook, I ran to these guys, they somehow brought me it with pen to the skin. I came home, went to bed, and in the morning, when I had to go to school, I realized that I could not move. I did not have the strength either to get up or pick up the phone. I was very sick. The first thought that I had, that I urgently need to wash off the image of this wolf, that something bad happened to me overnight. I somehow through force crawled to the bath, and washed away this image. Only the red spot has left, I woke up after dinner and felt that I felt better. At that moment, I realized that the tattoo is not just a simple thing, that it has its meaning.

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?
Den: It seems to me that right now it's on the contrary, because it's fashionable and trendy. All the fashionable top restaurants, choose their own personnel as different bearded athletes built guys with tattoos. I think I would not go to work for a bank, I would not have been taken there if I had been tattooed, for example, on my head. But if I have a little tattoo from under my shirt, I think there's nothing in it like that. Our Max once worked in a hotel and he had a sleeve. And I also worked at the office once, in a serious structure, even though it was a show business, and I already had tattoos. I do not see anything in this. It seems to me that the principles of the Soviet Union no longer exist, that when you go to interview, you must wear a white shirt, iron your trousers and hang a butterfly. Companies are still more chasing the experts, and not behind the look. Moreover, now many people are working freelancing. Everything has changed during this time.

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?
Den: First, I would advise you not to hurry. Now I understand that it's good that I did not make a sleeve when I had this idea. I am sure that if I did this, I would now regret and thought it was stupidity. The way to my first tattoo was of three years long, and therefore I do not regret anything. The time must be thought carefully. Doing a thumbnail with a pen and walking with it is silly. You just need to understand why you need a tattoo. And be prepared for the fact that you will have it all your life. The choice of the tattoo artist is very individual. There are a lot Tattoo artists now, who process their work in Photoshop, spread on social networks and it look cool, and in fact it is not so. And then you will live with this tattoo. Therefore, you need to travel, communicate with artists, watch their work in live, if there is such opportunity. It is useful to attend tattoo conventions, tattoo exhibitions, where masters usually demonstrate their most actual works. Make a tattoo - it's still not to eat ice cream. This should be approached with a healthy and sober head, and the realization that you need it.

Project by Daria Tessa and Daniela Vorndran, Interview by Daria Tessa, Iryna Kalenska 
Photographer: Iryna Kalenska
Make up: Inna Mokrova

Comments powered by CComment