There are few things more permanent than a tattoo. Music taste is probably not one of them. We get it: Music is the thing that keeps you going and documenting that era of your life permanently on your body sounds like a fabulous idea. You have every right to stan your favs, but before you go under the needle, here are some things to consider before you get that band’s logo tattooed on you.
We aren’t telling you what to do with your body. You know yourself better than we do, and you should totally get whatever the hell you want as a tattoo. But, from experience, here are a few potential repercussions that you could face when getting a band logo on your skin… Forever.
1. They could put out new music that you might not vibe with.
Just like the changing of the seasons, so will your taste… As will that band’s. Throughout the course of a band’s life, they are constantly growing and changing, too. Before you decide to get the ink, be sure you are ready to accept that your favorite band may not be your favorite band after a couple more releases. Taking a specific lyric or artistic element of your favorite song or album is a much safer bet.
2. You may be getting it on a whim, or you are relatively young.
Sure, you’re only young once, but that tattoo stays forever. Get something that will grow with you, not against you.
3. You will have to explain to all of your Tinder dates how obsessed you were with “that band” when you were 16.
This could be a blessing and a curse. Is your date also a big fan of the band? If so, you just found something you have in common. But, if they don’t and you ever want to go on a second date you might have to deal with an awkward convo about your former tastes. Or, maybe you just found an easy way to weed out judgemental assholes.
4. Your tattoo artist has done it before.
For some reason, band logos are the punk kids’ tattoo equivalent to infinity signs. Artists are sick of tattooing the blink-182 logo on your bicep. Consider giving your tattoo artist a little creative freedom to make your tattoo one of kind.
5. So have at least a hundred other emo kids.
What is the point of getting a tattoo if it isn’t unique to you? Sure, an easily identifiable tattoo guarantees instant friendships, but so does interesting ink. If you want the best of both worlds, go with something a little more subtle that only you and other diehards will know what it is in reference to.
6. Any artist who is good enough to do it might actually reject your proposal.
What can we say? Good artists oftentimes will only tattoo their own work. Tattoo artists aren’t meant to be human copy machines. Some of them have even gone to school for this. Instead of presenting your artist with a precise logo with no wiggle room, pitch them a few ideas and let them draw something up for you. You’ll get an original piece of work, and your tattoo artist will be relieved.
7. That band could be outed as unsavory or problematic.
In this day and age, everything is political, and some artists’ beliefs may or may not align with your moral compass. Every artist can grow, but save yourself the cringefest. We can’t stress this enough: Going subtle will save you from a lot of redundant, embarrassing conversation. Also: How many cover-ups of tattoos giving homage to an outed abuser have you seen in the last year? Hundreds, probably. And honestly? Good riddance.
To see what you can do to help sexual assault survivors, visit RAINN.org.
8. You become a walking billboard.
There is a reason why record labels don’t sue kids when they get a tattoo of one of their bands’ logos. It’s free advertisement. And what do we know? Maybe you just love that band so much that you want to advertise for them 24/7, 365. But more than likely, you want to commemorate how much they have helped you.
9. Just because it is supposed to be a carbon copy of the logo doesn’t mean it’s going to turn out exactly like it.
Tattoo 411: Save your money and go to a reputable artist. Going to that guy who says he will do it for $20 in his basement may seem like a super punk rock thing to do at the time, but as someone who has done this, do NOT do it. A tattoo is an investment that you will have for the rest of your life. Dropping a couple hundred dollars on a tattoo may seem like a lot at first, but it will pay off in the long run.
10. Removing it will be 10 times more painful and expensive.
We don’t mean to nag you, but at the very least, you should be cool with a big ass bouquet of flowers on your thigh to cover up the mess you permanently put on your body. If you don’t want to go through with laser removal, that is probably all your tattoo artist will be able to cover it up with.