Our virtual travel goes on. Our today’s guest is Killian Power from Sweden. Hi is the voice of metal band DEMOTIONAL. The last release of the band is already a few years in the past in 2017, the album ‘Discovery’. But pretty soon we can expect a new album and I am really excited about it. But for now, let us speak about tattoos.
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?
Killian: I think I was 18 years old. I got a tribal sun on my chest by the heart. I liked the idea of having sunshine close to my heart. And soon after that I also got my first “real” tattoo, a huge tribal tattoo on my left arm. This one is pretty unique since it has a special kind if brown colour in it that that only comes from one place here in Sweden.
RoD: How many tattoos do you have? Could you please tell us their story?
Killian: Hmm let’s see, I think I have like five tattoos, depending how you count them. Most of them are many tattoos combined to bigger pieces so it depends. My first tattoos I mentioned above. After that a got an anchor with my mother’s birthday on my belly. She is the anchor in my life, so I thought it was fitting. I soon expanded that tattoo with a bunch of roses and a skull on my chest, just because I like the combo of skulls and roses. Then I tattooed my leg. This is the most stupid tattoo I have. The flames are actually directly taken from the design of a beer can here in Sweden. After that I got the DEMOTIONAL crow on the side of my torso. I always liked the polka-trash style, so I aimed for something like that. My biggest project so far was my sleeve on my right arm. I had an idea of having a Swedish autumn forest theme and just came up with all the unique animals that we have here. Red-stag, fox, lynx, bullfinch, nettle butterfly etc. Love the brightness of the colour scheme and the fact that I feel like I carry a piece of my home everywhere I go.
RoD: Have you already got all the tattoos that you wanted or will you get some new ones in the future?
Killian: I’m having some plans of making a sleeve on my left arms too. Same theme with the forest, but this time in a dark and gruesome scheme. “Evil” creatures like wolves, snakes, spiders and bats in all black and grey, in like a dead winter forest. Then my arms become like yin and yang.
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?
Killian: My early one was made here in my hometown Växjö by the (at the time) best ranked tattoo artist here. Though the tattoo shop was later closed due to some affiliations with the Hells Angels so I changed tattoo artist. It was then I found this amazing guy in southern Sweden named Ola Pettersson. He was originally a painter but fell in love with art of tattooing and started Macadamia Art Studio. He is chill and funny as fuck, and I have made all my tattoos at his place ever since. His skills are insane.
RoD: Getting tattooed hurts, how do you cope with the pain during the sessions?
Killian: It really doesn’t. Only a few places actually hurt, at least according to me. The calf and belly hurt like fuck, but like the chest, arms and so on doesn’t hurt that much. Just drink a lot of water and sleep well the day before and you’re good.
RoD: Do you regret getting tattooed sometimes?
Killian: Nah, stand by your choices and be proud of who you are!
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?
Killian: Me personally would not get a face tattoo. But if other people would, that’s cool. Other than that, I’m pretty open minded. Though I think that basic tribal tattoos and tramp-stamps can be pretty tacky.
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?
Killian: I would not say it’s an addiction, but once you get your first tattoo it surely is easier to get another one :P I think that passion is a better description of it.
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?
Killian: I mean I guess that’s fine. If people want just some random tattoo then let them. If it makes them feel good, that’s great! That makes the truly unique and well-done tattoos stand out even more. Though I can understand that the tattoo artists can grow tired of have to make the same damn “owl” over and over again because of fashion.
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?
Killian: Since it is that you described above, almost all people get tattoos today, it’s become mainstream. It’s almost more unique to NOT have a tattoo today. Even older generations get tattoos. And in the work life I see that tattoos don’t affect your chances of success that much anymore. I mean I work as a CEO of a big company here in Sweden, when I’m not touring with DEMOTIONAL, and get by just fine with my tattoos. But I guess that depends… I have a friend that have a tattoo of a police getting fucked in the ass by a pig. I could see that he would not be accepted into the police academy with a tattoo like that.
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?
Killian: Drink water, sleep and eat some candy during the tattoo session and you are golden! Do not follow trends and just decide what You like. If you can think the big picture. Is the tattoo easy to expand? Will you be proud of the meaning of the tattoo tomorrow, or next year? If yes, go bananas! But do your research first. Find an artist that you really like. Even if the waiting time is long and it’s expensive, it will be worth it. The tattoo will be a part of you forever, so it’s wise to be picky and don’t be cheap.
Project by Daria Tessa and Daniela Vorndran, Interview by Daria Tessa
Title picture by Ilona Gerasymova, other pictures by Killian Power
Special: Artists and their Tattoos - Killian Power (vocals) from dEMOTIONAL
- Written by: Daria Tessa
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