Karlstad, Sweden-based metal quintet, Lancer, are preparing to release their full-length effort Second Storm on April 10, 2015 via Despotz Records (pre-order here). Drawing influences from classic metal acts such as Iron Maiden, Helloween and Gamma Ray, Second Storm - recorded at Leon Music Studios with producer Gustav Ydenius - boasts melodic metal in the vein of Hammerfall and Sabaton. Recently, we spoke with vocalist Isak Stenvall about some of his favourite tattoos, artists, and more.
When, where, and what was your first tattoo? Stenvall: I was 18 years old when I got my first tattoo... A Japanese sleeve on my left arm, a theme of rats and skulls.
Do any of your tattoos have a particularly special meaning behind them? If so, do share man! Stenvall: I have the words "Sol" and "Vår" written on my fingers. It means "Sun" and "Springtime." The winter in Sweden lasts for eternity; we are living in total darkness for months. When the spring finally arrives with its warmth, flowers blossom and wildlife return like they're being reborn, it's absolutely fantastic. The Swedish summers are fantastic – the land of the midnight sun, that's pretty metal.
Do you have a specific shop or artist that you frequent (insert shameless plug time!)? Stenvall: There's an artist named Jimmy in my town who has done my latest pieces. But I've done tattoos in different places in Sweden, I think that I prefer being tattooed at tattoo events, sharing the pain with others.
Do you have any new tattoos planned or underway? Give us the dirt dude! Stenvall: My plan for now is just to add some fillers to my right arm to get it finished, some Japan-inspired shades of some kind. It's a boring answer, but I'm pretty satisfied with the ones I got. I like back pieces and chest pieces, but I don't think that it's my thing though.
Have you seen any fans with a band tattoo, anything crazy memorable? Stenvall: I have not seen any Lancer tattoos yet, but I guess that they will come because the artwork for our new album is truly amazing. When we were playing in Belgium with Katana, we met a guy who had tattooed the Samurai from Katana's debut album Heads Will Roll, that was really cool.
We know you have one... tell us about that stoned/drunken joke-tattoo you once got.... Stenvall: Haha, I have Rattigan from Disney's movie Basil Mouse on my thigh. He is a real evil bastard. I have Bob the Builder on the other. He is the nicest character I've ever seen. And we always made fun of him when we were young, because he is so fucking kind all the time. It's like a funny heaven or hell symbolism.
Do you have any tattoos that you now hate, want to replace, or have covered up, and why? Stenvall: I have some pieces on my foot that are not that great, maybe I will do something with that in the future. I will keep one of them though. My brother tattooed the words "Av Simom," which means "By Simon." It's kind of ugly, but the best thing is that he spelled his name wrong, that's why you should keep the tattoo machine locked up somewhere when you're drunk.
Have any tattoos that were painful. Like made you cry, see white light, and regret being born? Stenvall: I hate the pain when getting tattooed, but the worst place is the elbows. It feels like a chainsaw and a drill at the same time. I guess that the pain is a part of the fascination of tattoos as well.
If you HAD to get someone's face tattooed on you, who's would it be and why? Stenvall: Probably Steve Harris, the coolest person in the whole universe.