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josephcanzoneri introOur guest today is Joseph Canzoneri, singer and songwriter from Chicago. It has made much fun to work with Joseph, we have spoken not only about tattoos but also about his current projects, he will say a few words about this in the end. And I am very exited about his new project, so please look and maybe you can win some nice stuff for your collection.

Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: When did you get your first tattoo and what was it?
Joseph Canzoneri
: I got my first tattoo(s); actually two in the same session back in 2016. They’re the black chains on both of my wrists. I’d been wanting tattoos since a pre-teen so I finally got enough money together when I was 19 to get them done professionally. They are based off of the main character from the popular occult science fiction game Bioshock #1. For those reading that understand “A man chooses, A slave obeys.”

RoD: How many tattoos do you have and what is their history?
Joseph: I have 25 tattoos so far if you count the 8 of my fingers as one tattoo, but if you want to get technical, I have 32 separate tattoos. To preface the history of the journey of my collection of pieces; it all started like I said before in 2016. I was referred by a friend to a tattoo shop near where I lived not knowing much about the sub-culture at the time so I didn’t know where the trusted or less desirable shops were located. I had the chains done in the same session and I definitely wasn’t expecting how it felt, haha. I then waited about six months before going to the next shop; which at the time I didn’t realize would be where I would meet the artist that would do the majority of the work on my sleeves and completing nearly 12 tattoos at different times over the next 2 ½ years of my life. I had the rose, both of my elbows, Samurai, Vlad the Impaler, and my knuckles among others. The shop is called Darkheart Tattoo in downtown Crystal Lake Illinois (US) owned by a talented fellow named Joe Beaty. I cannot stress enough; walking into that tattoo parlor changed my life forever and gave me a new perspective about what art and culture has been just under the surface for many years, but more importantly what it still could be. I met many interesting personalities from professional artists to Musicians most important being my former artist Cody Goins.

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When I first met Cody, I had no clue what style I was going for but Shortly after putting me on to the style I fell deploy in love with the Rich history of traditional tattooing. I then followed Cody to two more shops to continue to get tattooed by him. One of which being the World Famous Tattoo Museum owned by an original traditional Tattooer that went by the name of “Doc”. He himself knew and worked with all of the most famous traditional tattooers such as Sailor Jerry, Cap Coleman, and many others. I had the pleasure of personally talking to him before his passing. At that shop I had the bonsai tree done, the sparrow, and the olf on my hand. The second shop was a spot called Lucky 7 Tattoo. I’ve had both of my shoulders done there along with a few others completing all of the major work for my sleeves. Ironically right after my last piece; (the dagger and snake on my under right arm) the artist that I was following (Cody) decided to retire from tattooing to pursue the awesome career of organic farming. I wish him and his family the best of luck and am forever grateful that he blessed me with so much art. So yes, my tattoos are technically limited run because the style is no longer available.

RoD: Have you already gotten all of the tattoos that you desire or will you pursue more?
: I think that getting tattooed is a lifelong journey. So, to answer your question directly, no I don’t think I will be hanging up the metaphorical towel any time soon, haha.

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RoD: How many artists have done tattoos on you? How do you choose an artist?
: I’ve been to 3 separate artists in the last 7 years. The first doing the chains (question 1). The second being Cody who has done over 20 of my tattoos. The third and last artist I’ve worked with so far Is a very cool guy named Seth Graham at a tattoo convention in Chicago where I had the doorway on my left arm done in one session. I think he now tattoos at a shop called Patience and Precision in Buffalo New York.

RoD: Getting tattooed hurts, how do you cope with the pain from each session?
Joseph: Fun fact but depending on the area of your body you might find that you experience less or greater pain. I’ve found that areas of your body with more muscle definition yield lower pain during but more swelling after. Areas of tender skin or bone such as a knuckle or the side of your hand are definitely more tricky pain wise.

RoD: Do you regret getting tattooed sometimes?
Joseph: I don’t do anything I will ever regret.

RoD: What kind of tattoos would you never get done and generally don’t like to see on others?
: I have a pretty open mind when it comes to tattoos and I’m not a very judgmental person because I understand that there are so many different styles of art culture, and specifically pertaining to tattooing. I will say that I strongly dislike seeing people copy other people’s tattoos; be original, don’t be a poser. So that means don’t go out and get your favorite rappers face tattoos on yourself. Also, I’m not against face or neck / hand tattoos but I, also a firm believer in saving those for last. I personally didn’t get both of my hands tattooed until I had almost all of my others.

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RoD: Some people say getting tattooed can be addictive, while others say it fails to meet the definition of an addiction. Where do you stand on this subject?
: I believe like any action someone has a possibility of getting addicted for whatever psychological reasoning. But I myself like many others that are heavily covered, it’s a lifestyle. You wake up every day and see yourself this way and it is how you’re perceived by others. More importantly to me my tattoos are a collection; of art, memories, feelings, and personal meaning that no one can erase from me or my mind.

RoD: Let’s talk about the social aspect of tattoos. Previously people held common belief that having tattoos would make you less successful and eliminate the chance of acquiring “better” jobs in the workplace. Do you think this stigma continues or times are changing within this stereotype?
: I believe that that is a stereotype at its core; looking a certain way physically shouldn’t affect your chances in life and society as a whole. I personally know some very heavily tattooed individuals and they’re the smartest most spiritually successful people I know. There are of course those that don’t like tattoos, but frankly that’s an opinion and a feeling most likely because they are uneducated on the subject or just don’t like tattoos. I also believe anyone has the right to not like a given thing.

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RoD: What advice would you give to someone thinking about getting their first tattoo or starting out in this area of art culture?
: I will give the practical advice first when I say make sure you are set up for success before you make life changing decisions because although some people have tattoos in visible places, it could affect you later in life if you’re not completely confident you know what path you want to take. With that being said, I encourage anyone and everyone interested to explore tattoo culture and specifically traditional tattoo culture.

I’d like to take a minute to say that it was a pleasure to do this interview for Reflections of Darkness and If you are a fan of Metal music please check out the link below to my YouTube channel and subscribe for a chance to win a free bumper sticker, which I will be announcing on my Facebook page - Joseph Canzoneri - and my Instagram page - @josephcanzonerimusic the day I drop my first vocal cover August 1st on the new YouTube channel. Also follow me on twitter @JosephC_Music. Thank you and good luck I cannot wait to see who wins. -Until Next Time


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Project by Daria Tessa and Daniela Vorndran, Interview by Daria Tessa
Pictures by Joseph Canzoneri

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