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frankglassl solitaryexperiments1As we promised, today you can expect another interview of our series. This band is already more than 20 years on the stage and is not getting tired to please their fans with hits and performances. Their style is red shirts and black ties. Of course we are talking about SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS. Frank Glassl, drummer of the band, has agreed to answer our questions. Hope you will enjoy it.

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?
Frank: I carefully waited until I was 18 and I made a tattoo on my right forearm, a tribal, that I drew myself. I worked on this sketch over two years and thought that tribals are not exposed to time and I will always like it. Yes, after 18 years, I see there is much more nuances :D

RoD: How many tattoos do you have? Could you please tell us their story?
Frank: Oh, where should I start... the most obvious, of course, are the big Japanese motives on both arms and my chest. Of course, there is a deep sense of using a water motive on one and fire on the other side of the body, but especially I like the shape and flow of the motive on my body. Then, on my belly I have two swallows, on the left calf is beautiful old school picture of a swallow, labels and stars. At the top of the back are the words "RISE" and "FALL", that corresponds a song title of my band SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS, respectively handwritten by our vocalist Dennis. Also in the overall picture are included minor elements, such as the names of my children, my family years of birth on my right elbow. Just SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS logo on the wrist and the logo of my biggest musical and human inspiration - THE GHOST INSIDE; and even the inscription "Dreams are my driving force".

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RoD: Have you already got all the tattoos that you wanted or will you get some new ones in the future?
Frank: Just in two weeks, I’ll meet my tattoo artist again to continue the work on my left arm. The Japanese motive requires balance, and my left arm seems very naked :) Also, of course, there are some other ideas that are not yet mature enough to talk about them.

RoD: Have all your tattoos been made by one tattoo artist or by different ones? How do you choose the tattoo artist? In addition, who draws your sketches?
Frank: I started in Berlin, when I was 18 years old and I have purposefully selected a big studio, the legendary "Blut & Eisen". In the meantime, I am for about five years now with Burghard from Fast Tattoo Leipzig. He recommended by friends. He convinced me with his work and additionally, he is a perfect match as a person. This is an aspect that should not be underestimated in my opinion. What is the best tattoo artist worth if he is an absolute idiot and you feel yourself uncomfortable with him? My confidence in him led to the fact that I fully trust Burghard in terms of sketches. I tell him my idea and he create exactly what I feel.

RoD: Getting tattooed hurts, how do you cope with the pain during the sessions?
Frank: Yes, it hurts! And more than once I thought: "Why are you doing this again?" But the idea of the result, which makes me a little more that person which I want to be, is helping a lot to pass through. Besides? Very old-fashioned, to grit my teeth and endure. Who wants to be tattooed knows that it does not happen painlessly.

RoD: Do you regret getting tattooed sometimes?
Frank: I don’t regret any of my tattoos... maybe to be done by another artist? Maybe. On my left forearm I have a Celtic tribal which I thought was an absolutely wonderful that time, which unfortunately in terms of quality of performance is rather poorly executed. But I will never cover it because it is a part of my life and reminds me of many things. Just one day before this tattoo was done I was in Dresden at the Doomsday Festival in 1999 and it was amazing.

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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?
Frank: In principle, anyone do to his body whatever he wants. What I do not accept and understand are inhuman things such as the right-radical tattoos, sexism or such sort of thing. But here, too, the other person must live with it.

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?
Frank: Simple answer: Yes, in any case... That’s why this advice from me: do not start with a very small tattoo, if you want more later it would be difficult to incorporate it into the canvas. It is better to think what you want to have and in which direction it can develop :)

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?
Frank: I generally think it is ok when you go to the tattoo artist and trust him. If it is a good tattoo artist he knows best what suits and what does not. This I know from my own experience and I am absolutely happy that I fully trusted him. There are tattoo artists who have their own and special style, so in case that I want a tattoo in such a style on my skin - I would go to him and say: this is my leg, express yourself. Much worse for me are tattoo artists who catch the stars and try to force every client to their style. Then I think he's still primarily providers of services and needs to develop the best tattoo together with the customer. And for all those people who just want a tattoo because it's cool - you are old enough and it's your body which you have to watch in the mirror every day.

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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?
Frank: It is a continuous process... of course, tattoos are still not accepted in all fields of work, but in many it is already in motion, when our generation is going to retire, nobody will be gawked because of the tattoos, I think. I have a great advantage at work (before XtraX, now EMP), that tattoos are not only not problematic, but rather almost belong to the job profile.

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?
Frank: Hmmm, the most important advice: do not go to your wonderful friend who does tattoos at home and wants a little money. Such tattoos are ALWAYS bad and you will regret them anyway. Look for a professional studio, ask your tattooed friends, read trade journals. And yes, the tattoo is a lot of money, and it is not without reason, look for your tattoo not based on price, but based on work of the tattoo artist, if he is a professional and clean worker and you like him as person. Trust a professional tattoo artist! He knows what suits your skin type and how to work best. The question if colour or black and white is a completely personal decision that everyone has to make himself. Do not allow your family or friends to convince you. As already mentioned, you have to live with this tattoo for a lifetime, not someone else. And as already mentioned too, a tattoo will be always bigger than originally thought.

Project by Daria Tessa and Daniela Vorndran, Interview by Daria Tessa
Pictures by Daria Tessa (https://www.facebook.com/tessaswelten/)

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