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JoeJenneman title1 byKendalHowieTill now we have had not many artists from the USA in our project, so it is now time to change this. Our guest today is Joe Jenneman, a LA based singer / songwriter, who makes music in Folk-Pop, Rock, Indie-Pop, Blues styles. Joe spent the past year mainly in the studio. Now he will be releasing three singles in three months, beginning with ‘20th Street’, which comes pretty soon on November 22nd. Another two singles will be released in December and January. I am very interested in listening to the new creations from Joe, but now we are here to talk about something different… to shorten the waiting time until the releases.

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?
Joe: My first tattoo was a treble clef on my left forearm. I actually did have it as the screensaver on my phone for several months to make sure I’d like seeing it every day.

RoD: How many tattoos do you have? Could you please tell us their story?
Joe: I have 11 tattoos. They definitely vary in level of “meaningfulness”... one of the more symbolic tattoos is the Mayan sun on my shoulder, reminding me to look through to the light. I got this right after I broke out of a major slump in my life. A less symbolic one if the rose on my chest... I honestly just wanted something I thought was beautiful.

RoD: Have you already got all the tattoos that you wanted or will you get some new ones in the future?
Joe: Most definitely I plan to get more tattoos. Really the only thing holding me back is how expensive they are.

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?
Joe: One artist back home has done most of my tattoos, but as I’ve lived in different places I’ve gotten tattooed by new artists. If a friend recommends someone, that’s a big weight in the decision. Sometimes I find designs elsewhere that I bring in, and sometimes the artist draws it in shop. Just depends.

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RoD: Getting tattooed hurts, how do you cope with the pain during the sessions?
Joe: I like to cope with the pain by either listening to music or having a conversation with the artist. I need something to distract me.

RoD: Do you regret getting tattooed sometimes?
Joe: Can’t say I regret any of my tattoos. Some look better than others but they all represent a time in my life and are accurate to who I was in that moment.

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?
Joe: The only thing I’m not super sure about is the face. Personally I don’t think I’ll ever enter that area.

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?
Joe: It’s not impossible to stop. For me anyway, I think I could never get another tattoo and be fine. That being said I find it therapeutic and really enjoy them, so I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

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?
Joe: I’m torn about the subject. While I think people should be able to make themselves look however they feel, it is important to acknowledge trends change but tattoos are forever.

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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?
Joe: While I believe there’s still some cultures and situations where prejudice exists, I think they very rarely have a negative impact. It’s probably more common for them to positively affect someone’s perception, like in my case of them being a part of my image as a musical artist.

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?
Joe: I would suggest setting the design as your phone screensaver, as I mentioned earlier, so you see it every day and make sure you’re cool with that. Other than that I’d say just be smart, but don’t overthink it. Tattoos are pretty great.

Instagram - @joejenneman
Facebook - @joejennemanmusic
Twitter - @joejenneman
Spotify -
YouTube -

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Project by Daria Tessa and Daniela Vorndran, Interview by Daria Tessa
Title Pictures by Kendal Howie (instagram, tattoo pictures by Joe Jenneman

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