Tattoo Talk: Wounds Guitarist James Coogan on His Near-Fatal Fall, Some Bad-Ass Scars, Marilyn Manson and Other Dope Ink

- Dec 03, 2014 at 11:40AM
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Wounds, a Dublin, Ireland-based hard rock quartet whose debut album, Die Young, was released on November 24, 2014 via Razor & Tie. While the band is currently touring North America we managed to check in with James Coogan. The band is heating up quickly, and as evidenced by their music and live show, there's a very justified reason for the popularity. So why not talk to James about the band's new album which depicts simple cover artwork; a photograph of the scars on his stomach from a near-fatal 4-story fall in 2010. Check it!

When, where and what was your first tattoo?
Coogan: I had my first big tattoo done when I was 18. It's an old school owl sitting on a molar tooth. I don't know if it's a tiny owl on a regular-sized tooth or the other way around, but EVERYTHING makes perfect sense when you're 18...

Do any of your tattoos have a particularly special meaning behind them? If so, do share man!
Coogan: I had a very serious accident in 2010 and was on life support for 6 weeks and hospital for 5 months. Very nearly lost my life, but I'm still here to tell the tale! The artwork on our record sleeve is a picture of my stomach scars. When I was in hospital recovering, our singer/my brother Aidan had the logo of the skateboard company Deathwish tattooed on the middle finger of his right hand. I've skated since I was a kid so I tried to convince the doctors to let me out to get it as soon as he showed me. They 'politely' declined so I had to wait until I was let go from the constant care. At this stage, over 50 of us have it done, my mom included. Skating saves lives, kids!


Do you have a specific shop or artist that you frequent (insert shameless plug time!)?
Coogan: My main place back home in Dublin, Ireland would be Spilled Ink Tattoo. The guys in that place are absolute gents and incredible artists. My most recent piece from there is a Marilyn Manson painting on my leg, the three-faced haggard looking Jesus. Couldn't recommend a better place in Ireland to get tattooed!

Do you have any new tattoos planned or underway? Give us the dirt dude!
Coogan: I plan to get more work on my right arm but I'm not pushed on the ideas of getting sleeves done. They suit a lot of people but I prefer individual pieces more so myself. I have a couple of ideas but nothing too significant as it stands! The work all across the States is incredible so I definitely wanna take advantage of it while we're touring over here!

Have you seen any fans with a band tattoo, anything crazy memorable?
Coogan: There are quite a few people with our W logo tattooed on them back home and in the UK. It's an incredible feeling to see people believing in what we do as much as we do so it was absolutely crazy to see 'em for the first time.



We know you have one... tell us about that stoned/drunken joke-tattoo you once got....
Coogan: I had the W logo tattooed on just below my shin 2 weeks before I quit drinking a couple of years back. Thankfully I have no recollection of it, but the proof is still there, haha.

Do you have any tattoos that you now hate, want to replace, or have covered up, and why?
Coogan: I like everything I have done because I made sure to put a lot of thought into each of them. I'm the youngest member of Wounds and the majority of my social circle are quite a bit older than me, so I've heard every warning under the sun at this stage. The moral of the story is, do not get something unless you're completely set on having it on your body for the rest'a your days. No one likes or needs shitty tattoos!

Have any tattoos that were painful. Like made you cry, see white light, and regret being born?
Coogan: I'm a total wimp, but I've been fine with whatever work I've been getting so far. I have a stupidly high pain tolerance/ignorance after my accident in 2010 so I figure if I could have a whole load of life-changing operations consciously or while I'm out, I can take a bit of discomfort if it's worth it! By no means is that me claiming to be a meathead, I'm still a total moan when it comes to the slightest of things, especially paper cuts. Fuck paper cuts!

If you HAD to get someone's face tattooed on you, who’s would it be and why?
Coogan: Trent Reznor, Josh Homme or Marilyn Manson. They're three of my biggest musical influences and total geniuses, so why not? Alternatively, I could easily go for Kevin Spacey or John Wayne. Who's gonna stop me...?

Check out the song "Dead Dead Fucking Dead"

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