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javissagittar introIt’s always a big additional pleasure for me to welcome artists in this project who I really like and whose music is in my favourites’ list. Our guest today is one of such persons. After I have seen TERROLOKAUST live for the first time I needed to buy all albums so impressed was I. The voice of Javi has something special and inexplicable. The biggest opening this year for me was a new band, CONDUCT OF FLIES where Javi has shown more power and sides of his voice. So, a small advice from me: check this band! You will be not disappointed! But additionally to his amazing voice, Javi Ssagittar has great tattoos and this is the main reason why we are here. So, let’s take a look!

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?
Javi: I remember it was the year 92. 16 years old. With the band that I sang at that time we had a guitar player who had bought tattoo material to work in his apartment. If my memory doesn't fail me, it was around 2 in the morning when we started with the piece on my back and chest. I made myself two snakes facing each other and surrounded by a pentagram. You know, things of adolescence. It was a very special moment for me, I even felt so nervous that I fainted. It was not the pain, it was the feeling. It was a really rewarding moment, a moment that I will never forget. A great decision that made me feel interested in a really incredible artistic world. Evidently, like any teenager of the time, my parents and family were not too happy.

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RoD: How many tattoos do you have? Could you please tell us their story?
Javi: I have many pieces that started being a piece and have ended up being like a baroque painting. Like any worshiper of dark art, I had my encounter with the world of H. R. Giger in the late nineties. It was then that I decided to draw my arms with the "Necronomicon" in the left arm and "The Pantheon of Juda" in the right. With the passage of time I have been adding different pieces. When we released our first album of TERROLOKAUST I decided to get a personal idea of "God Loves The Violence". I carry many parts of my life, some good and some not so good. The most difficult and special moment was when my father died. I decided to tattoo his initials with Hebrew art in my left hand. I have many real stories in my skin, and others that have meant something at some point in my life. Philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche or Kafka and some of his philosophies are reflected in my body.

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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?
Javi: Of course not. I will never stop tattooing, once you enter this world, you cannot get out of it anymore. Soon I have a new appointment, that's what I tell you everything. Hehe! Life gives you many experiences, love, unloving, hate, sadness, wisdom, happiness, darkness and endless stories that in my case are reflected in art form.

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?
Javi: As I tell you before, every tattoo is an experience and something unique. This also influences the artist or the place. Many times you are in a specific place and you find a new and interesting artist. There is also the case that every tattooist has a particular style and maybe it fits or does not fit your own idea. Currently there are many styles, but not all agree with your thinking. Personally I like to change and innovate just like I do with my bands TERROLOKAUST and CONDUCT OF FLIES. It is always interesting to look for new forms of artistic understanding.

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RoD: Getting tattooed hurts, how do you cope with the pain during the sessions?
Javi: Yes, it hurts a lot. But it is relative pain, and even appealing. There are areas of the body that are not painful, but parts like the ribs, neck or wrist are really torturers. This is something that is linked with ink and its aftermath. I personally where I feel more lazy is in the healing process. The skin undergoes some changes and you have to stay for ten or fifteen days with healing cream, etc.

RoD: Do you regret getting tattooed sometimes?
Javi: Never...

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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?
Javi: I don't have too many taboos in terms of art on the skin. Maybe I can tell you that I'm not too friendly with Japanese tattoos, Maori or colourful drawings. Let it be clear that I have nothing against Eastern culture. It's just a thought and a point of view. I really like "pointillism", "trash polska", in general the tattoo where black, red, white and grey is used. Colourful tattoos do not interest me, but of course I respect people who decide to do something like that....

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?
Javi: Obviously it is a very personal point of view. Since I started in the year 92, I have not been able to stop and I still have parts of my body totally virgin. I think the word "addiction" is not the most appropriate. I see it more as "experimental" and search for memories. That is the true message of a tattoo, the memory and the suffering for a few hours to remember it all life. That produces a special feeling. I'm not going to stop doing it.

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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?
Javi: These "mentally retarded" are those who at a time would pass by the specialist to use the laser-removing ink in the pores and in the dermis. They are trends that like music exist. It is something that is usually in social media and on any platform. Today internet and platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter allow you to follow really good artists in the world of tattooing. Of course, things have changed and the artistic level is much higher than before. This creates tendency for good or for bad. People without criteria doing things on their skin. It's sad, but it's real and it's happening now. Everything falls by its own weight and the one who really feels or needs to immortalize an experience, will never understand the concept "trend tattoos".

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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?
Javi: Unfortunately this is still happening in my country. In Spain there are many sites that have prejudices on the subject of the tattoo. Many companies force their workers to hide true works of art. But what seems really cruel, retrograde, archaic and fascist, is to fire a worker just for wearing piercings or tattoos. It is sad and pathetic. Fortunately, fewer and fewer cases of these personal abominations. But today's society discriminates against tattooed people. Nevertheless it is a matter of years that the mentality changes and everything becomes normal.

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?
Javi: My advice would be that if you want to get a tattoo, do it, but make sure that everything meets some rules. 100% personal security, clarity in concept and do not do anything just because it is a trend. This is passion, art and experiences.

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Project by Daria Tessa and Daniela Vorndran, Interview by Daria Tessa
Pictures by Marta Muela and the edition by Monica Valladares

You are here: Home Specials 2017 Special: Artists and their Tattoos - Javi Ssagittar from TerroloKaust, Conduct Of Flies