Tattoo Talk: Rebel Emergency vocalist and guitarist Roddy Colmer on his Maori Sleeves

- Aug 09, 2011 at 10:30AM
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Recently I was in touch with Rebel Emergency vocalist Roddy Colmer. Via email, Roddy gave me some insight into the thought process behind his arm pieces, getting Eddie Vedder stamped on his ass and that he was the first person in his high school to get a tattoo! Here's how it went.

When did you first become interested in the concept of tattoos?
Roddy: I was always interested in tattoos. When I was growing up they weren't as common as they are now, but I always thought it was an amazing way to express yourself, or to signify something that means a lot to you.

When did you get your first tattoo? Tell me about it.
Roddy: I got my first one when I was 16. I was the first one in my high school to have one. It was the face of the Joker from the original Batman comic books. It didn't really mean anything to me. I just liked the design of it so I picked it out.


Did you originally intend to have a sleeve, or was that a later decision as you got more tattoos?
Roddy: Later on I started becoming more interested in bigger pieces and I really liked the tribal Maori designs that I found when I was researching. I had picked out a half-sleeve design that I liked, it was designed in New Zealand and I brought it to an artist in Toronto, Shane Faulkner. He totally reworked it for me using Tribal influences and some Japanese art. He incorporated some meaningful designs for me within it. After that I didn't like how the Joker looked on my right shoulder compared to the half sleeve on my left arm so I decided to even it out. I got the same artist to design a similar half-sleeve design on my right arm which covered up the Joker and used the same negative space and tribal influence.

What do you prefer when it comes to ink?
Roddy: I really like how the tattoos play off each other. I decided to complete the sleeve with some Lotus flowers, which are these beautiful flowers that grow in undesirable locations, like in the mud. It has great meaning in different religions: fertility, grace, knowledge, wealth, serenity, and the possibility to grow into something beautiful no matter where you come from. That is the pattern on my left forearm and I am planning to get a similar pattern on my right forearm with the opposite shading from the left arm (dark to light from the center).

Do you plan on getting more?
Roddy: I'm not sure, but it's definitely addicting!

If you had to get someone's face tattooed onto your body, who would it be?
Roddy: I'd probably get Eddie Vedder, or maybe Human Kebab (Jason) from USS (Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker) on my ass.

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