John Connelly tears himself away from his Playstation
long enough to wax idiotic on the meaning of metal,
body art and "Show us your tits."
it comes to making a permanent mark in the quivering flesh
of contempo youth culture, no traveling menagerie of axe-wielding
ass-kickers can compare with the Tattoo the Earth
Toura celebration of Tattoos and Body Art that makes
its inaugural appearance right here in Portland on July
15th at Portland Meadows. Call it the Lollapalooza legacy.
by Perry Farrell of Janes Addiction in 1991, the barnstorming
summer festival featured the coolest bands and
got the kiddies came in droves. And as these annual summer
wing-dings made buckets of cash, the die was cast: we would
have more bloated summer tours than wed know what
to do with. Ozzfest, the Furthur Festival, WARP, H.O.R.D.E.
and other such colossal collections of big-stage talent
have been successful at carrying the torch of the now-defunct
Lollapalooza. Yet one of the unfortunate side-effects of
these city-to-city rock fests has been the increasing emphasis
on profiteering by exhibitors who set up booths to market
their dubious wares. Originally, according to Farrells
Lollapalooza design, tents and booths were manned principally
by volunteers trying to further political and social causes
like Rock The Vote, Green Peace
and Rock For Choice. Eventually this gave way
to plain old hucksterism, with peddlers trying to fob off
over-priced rock memorabilia to the streams of youngsters
who just might be carrying Moms credit card. How anyone
can look themselves in the mirror after buying a $50 t-shirt
is beyond me.
the Earth presents fickle suburban youth with a decidedly
different kettle of fish. Instead of going home with a pile
of overpriced souvenir rubbish, Junior can plunk down the
Master Card and get some major body work done by the likes
of Paul Boothwhose tats have graced the torsos of
Pantera, the Deftones and even the gargantuan Undertaker
of WWF fameor Sean Vasquez who has needled his superior
designs on such notables as Howard Stern, Ace Frehley and
Biohazard. But it wont be cheap. If its cut-rate
tats youre after, there are plenty of shops around
town manned by ex-sailors that will service your needs for
$150 or so. An original design from a master craftsman will
take a major bite out of the college fund money.
about the state of rock music at this shindig? With a head-banging
lineup of Stone Temple Pilots, Slipknot, Sevendust, Slayer,
Coal Chamber, Sepultura and Nashville Pussy (among others),
its a safe bet that the mosh pit will be erupting
with Old Faithful regularity and the medical tent will see
its usual barrage of catastrophic bruises, sprains, fractures
and lacerations. Words of caution from an old rock fest
- If entering
the mosh pit, wear hard-toed footwear. Getting your tender
tootsies stomped on by some brutes size 13 Doc Martens
is almost sure to happen, and girls dont find a
limp particularly sexy this season.
- When in the
pit, expose as little flesh as possible since there will
certainly be hard-skanking dudes with leather jackets
festooned with studs, buckles and other sharp objects
that can cut and rend.
- If its
hot, make sure you stay hydrated. Duh!
chief engineers behind the Tattoo the Earth
tour are Slipknot and Sevendust, who have been planning
this escapade for well over a year. Slipknots #6 (a.k.a.
percussionist Shawn Crahan or The Clown) told
Alternative Press recently [Were] really
into this theme. Its another form of artistic expression,
instead of just throwing together a bunch of bands. Theres
live music, and then theres art beyond the music.
I dont even think you need to be a tattoo lover to
really appreciate [it]. Crahan also praised the body
artwork of Paul Booth and indicated that he might have to
kidnap him for a much-needed tattoo.
are an Atlanta hard-rock quintet, veterans of both Ozzfest
and the WARP tour, and they too felt the time was right
for The Rock and Ink Tour. I spoke to Sevendust
guitarist John Connelly (no relation to the Texas governor
who was wounded while riding in the car with John F. Kennedy)
[Yeah? That's what they said about Senator Paul Simon and
Garfunkel. We know the truth. --WebEd] via telephone as
Sevendust were heading to New Jersey by bus for a concert.
Exotic: Is body art something the entire band endorses?
Oh yeah, were all into it.
Are you going to get some new tattoo work done when youre
out on the road? Paul Booth has done work for Pantera, Deftones,
Coal Chamber and even that wrestler the Undertaker.
Yeah, hes great. He was out on tour with us when we
did Ozzfest in 98. Ill get some work done if
I have time and if he does.
What does somebody like Paul charge for tattoos?
Oh, its gotta be at least $250$300 an hour.
Wow! Either bring VISA or stick to something small!
Paul doesnt do the small stuff. No way. He does major
work only. If you wanna go small, you better find someone
Requires a large canvas, does he?
Yes he does. He needs room to move. Hes one of the
major tattoo people and he only does large drawings. Hell,
its worth the money. Pauls a great artist.
Do you think getting a tattoo is a better deal than shelling
out $50 for a t-shirt?
(laughs) Depends on what youre into, man! Its
a permanent thing; itll last, thats for sure!
Id get one!
Why are the folks at the Tattoo the Earth website
referring to this tour as a crusade? Are you bringing culture
to the mongrel hordes?
I dont know about that. Sounds like marketing to me,
Speaking of which, what other big tours have you been on
and which ones were the best?
Ive been on Ozzfest and the WARP Tour and they were
fun for different reasons. On the WARP tour theres
usually a problem with seating. The best summer shows I
went to were the first two Lollapalooza tours. The first
one had Janes Addiction and the Rollins Band, the
second one had Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers,
Ministrythey were pretty special.
Was Lollapalooza more of a pure thing? Was this before the
onslaught of marketing that goes along with these tours?
Connelly: Well, yeah. Lollapalooza was just about
fun and music. But, I mean, the people who put on these
tours have to make money, too, or there wouldnt be
any. The WARP tour was pretty mellow about everything. It
wasnt so business driven.
How are kids supposed to budget their bucks for all this
(laughs) Good question. Theres a lot of tours out
there with heavy bands. The kids are just gonna have to
weigh which one gives em the most bang for their buck.
Ours is gonna be cool.
You called em heavy bands. Is metal still a valid
term when youre talking about bands as different as
Sevendust and Slayer or Sepultura, who are also on the tour?
Sure, its valid as a way to categorize music. I dont
think were as fast and heavy as Sepultura and Slayer,
but there are similarities. I just think over time metal
has grown into different things.
best summer shows I went to were the first two
Where do you stand on the whole Show us your tits
Well, I think its behavior that goes back to the dawn
of time. Im not really in favor or not. Sometimes
trouble starts that way, and we sure dont want anything
to happen like at Woodstock last year [allegations of rape
and sexual abuse incited by drunken fans and bands alike].
Its sure not something we go out of our way to start
Guitar question. What was the first rock riff you ever heard
that made you go Whoa! and want to start playing
Probably Blackened by Metallica or Mouth
for War by Pantera.
How long will Tattoo the Earth be out on the
About four weeks. We hook up with Metallica in New York.
Thatll be exciting. Nuff said
Last question, John. I understand youre a video gamer.
What are you playing now?
Gran Turismo 2 for the Playstation. Its great!