Dallas, Texas-based rock quintet, MESSER are set to issue their upcoming self-titled debut full-length, MESSER, on April 20th, with pre-orders now up at iTunes and Google Play. The band’s arena-ready hard rock aside, the guys have a ton of ongoing activity -- including shows with Red, Lacey Sturm and Righteous Vendetta -- and we wanted to get to know them them on a personal level. So, what better time then now to talk tattoos? Bassist Maddox Messer and guitarist Donnie Deville gave us the dirt on a whole wack load of their ink.
When, where and what was your first tattoo? Maddox Messer: I got my first tattoo on my 18th birthday. It was a skull design on my lower right calf. I got it there because I had seen Dimebag of Pantera have a cool tattoo in that spot and I liked how it looked when he propped his leg upon the monitor when he played. I thought it was so rad! LOL.
Donnie Deville: The day after I graduated high school, I went and got my first tattoo on my shoulder blade of a skull with some tribal design behind it. My best friend went with me and we smoked cigs the whole time…Oh, how things have changed! The artist didn’t even speak English, so we left the tattoo shop and I had no aftercare instructions or anything of the sort. I ended up doing all the wrong things, needless to say… and the tattoo is still there – HA!
Do any of your tattoos have a particularly special meaning behind them? If so, do share man! Maddox Messer: Yes - all of my tattoos have special meaning. I’m a Pisces, so I have lots of koi fish. I was also born in the year of the dragon, so of course I have a killer dragon tat. I also have all 7 lucky Buddhas on my right arm and those are there to remind how to treat people and keep me humble. I also have the words “Feng Shui” on my Knuckles. That’s to remind me to always go with the flow, and to try to maintain some karmic balance in life.
Donnie Deville: The majority of my art has meaning in some form or fashion. The first tattoo I ever did on skin was on my right forearm (I’m a lefty). It is a Phoenix, which symbolizes resurrection….or rebirth. I was at a turning point in my life, which has since set the tone for all the decisions and change that has taken place in my life. That in itself was rebirth for me.
Do you have a specific shop or artist that you frequent (insert shameless plug time!)? Donnie Deville: I don’t. I have been tattooed by many artists from all over the world. I enjoy meeting a new artist, conversing, and the bonding experience that is shared between us.... As well as the lifelong memory that follows. Traveling allows me to meet artists from all over the world and that’s part of the fun!
The cover artwork for Messer’s upcoming self-titled album.
Do you have any new tattoos planned or underway? Give us the dirt, dude! Donnie Deville: I have a leg sleeve that is in progress as well as a torso piece that needs to be finished up, so first things first!
Maddox Messer: I have been trying to finish my chest piece which is almost finished. It’s difficult to find the time and then it also a painful spot to get worked on.
Have you seen any fans with a Messer tattoo, anything crazy memorable? Maddox Messer: Yes, we have had a few fans get a Messer tattoo. One in particular lives in Australia, and her tattoo even has all of our signatures tattooed around our logo. Lainie has been a huge Messer supporter and an ambassador for us - welcoming new fans to the Messer Machine!
We know you have one… tell us about that stoned/drunken joke-tattoo you once got.... Donnie Deville: I once woke up with not one, but 2 pretty sizable pieces tattooed on my left bicep. I didn’t remember getting them at all. Let’s just say it was a good night, and I am thankful for laser removal – HAHA!
Do you have any tattoos that you now hate, want to replace, or have covered up, and why? Donnie Deville: I had a world-renown artist from France doing some work in my shop once. I let him pick whatever he wanted to do, and I ended up with a thigh piece I really don’t care for. It will either be hit with a laser or covered up in the future.
Have you had anything covered up? If yes, what was it and why... we need details! Donnie Deville: I had a tribal on my right bicep covered up because well, it was tribal. ;o) I have had a chest piece as well as a half sleeve removed with a laser. Both areas have since been covered with quality work. When I first started collecting, I really didn’t have a solid grasp on what quality body art was. Once I did, I had to revamp my current situation. Long story short, it was an expensive/painful lesson learned!
Have any tattoos that were painful? Like made you cry, see white light, and regret being born? Maddox Messer: I would have to say my chest has been a painful experience and the main reason why it’s not finished yet, LOL.
Donnie Deville: Most all of my tattoos hurt because I always sit for long periods of time each session. Once, I had a 5-hour session that went from jawline, over the throat/collar bone area, and down on to the sternum. The artist did it with a cranked up rotary machine, which was brutality. When he finished, my teeth were chattering uncontrollably, and I was freezing cold. I got into my car and turned the heater on high even though it was the middle of a scorching Texas summer.
If you HAD to get someone’s face tattooed on you, who’s would it be and why? Donnie Deville: I would say either my daughter once she gets a little older, or Elvis… Because he’s the King, baby!
Tour Dates (w/ Red, Lacey Sturm and Righteous Vendetta):
04/10 - Oklahoma City, OK - Tower Theatre
04/12 - Sauget, IL - Pop's
04/13 - Memphis, TN - New Daisy Theatre
04/14 - Nashville, TN - Top Golf
04/15 - Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade
Tour Dates (w/ Shallow Side):
04/18 - Jacks Bar and Grill - San Antonio, TX
04/19 - Sidewinder - Austin, TX
04/20 - Trees - Dallas, TX
04/21 - Satellite Bar - Houston, TX
04/22 - Olde Towne Tavern - Slidell, TX
04/25 - Ashley Street Station - Valdosta GA
04/26 - The Warrior - Tallahassee, FL
04/27 - Working - Tampa, FL
04/28 - Southside - Naples, FL
04/29 - On Hold - Orlando FL
05/02 - Masquerade - Atlanta, GA
05/03 - Sidetracks Music Hall - Huntsville, AL
05/04 - The Warehouse - Clarksville, TN
05/05 - Steel Horse Rally - Fort Smith, AK
05/09 - The Bourbon Hall - Louisville KY
05/10 - Amici's - Concord, NC
05/11 - The Vault - Hickory, NC
05/12 - GroundZero - Spartanburg, SC
05/19 - Pit Stop Bar and Grill - North Richland Hills, TX
Released on January 31st, this is the band’s video for the single “Make This Life” here.