So I figured the first thing I’d discuss is my tattoos. I just got a new one so why not? Ink is on the brain. A lot of people ask me what the meaning is behind them, when and where I got them, and why I even got them in the first place.
Tattoos… Some people love ’em, some people hate ’em. A mark on your body in ink based off a temporary idea that will remain on your body an entire lifetime. Sounds crazy right? But why? Here’s my thoughts… If you want to get a tattoo and you have an idea that you decide you want to put on your body, then do it. I just don’t understand how people can ever “regret” anything. Even if you absolutely don’t want that tattoo after 20 years, its already a part of you. That tattoo was a decision YOU made in YOUR life. It may not be what you want at the current time, but that mark is a piece of your own history which carved a little scratch in the overall picture you call your life. If need be, let it be a lesson and teach you acceptance. Say, you get in a car accident and break your arm, have surgery, and have a huge scar left on your arm for the rest of your life. You definitely didn’t choose to have that scar, but you can learn to accept that its there. Getting a tattoo is a bonus cause hey, at least you STARTED with something you like, right?! Regardless, you created a memory, and have a reminder of a bit of your past with you at all times. If you disagree with me, then you probably think I’m trying to talk you into getting a tattoo… that is not the case! I don’t think either one is right or wrong. Get one if you want one, stay far away if you don’t! I respect any and every decision :).
Now… Let me tell you a bit about mine.
Tattoo #1 – Never Give Up
My whole life I’ve been daring and looking for thrills. Getting a tattoo was something that scared me, but I’ve always liked the idea of. About a year ago, just before South by Southwest (music conference in Austin, Texas) when my friend James asked me to go with him to get his nose pierced, he told me to do it too. I blew it off at first and thought about it… I figured, well, I don’t want my nose pierced… but the tattoo shop he’s getting it done at would be the perfect opportunity to get something done! So I thought about what I wanted and got it done right in Janesville, WI. I’ve always been hung up on the idea of consistency. I’m fighting to be a successful musician and that is all I ever want to be in life – why would I settle for anything else? I would be miserable settling down and working a factory job making a living just to eat, giving up on everything I ever wanted, the whole purpose of my life and the thing that would bring true happiness to me. If the reason to stop trying is because I would be unhappy not being successful and not making money, well, I ALREADY know that I would be unhappy doing anything else. So basically I would be happier living on the street the rest of my life with the hope that I would someday make it and keep pushing every day than I would to know that I gave up and am living a life that I didn’t want til the day I die. I figured, life gets really tough sometimes and I want the reminder to never give up staring me in the face every day. I love that I can see it when I play guitar or am on the computer producing. I will always have this tattoo to push me, and when I get to where I want to be, I will have it to remind me that I stayed true to my word and didn’t give up.
(Immediately after getting home from the shop)
(Fresh after the bandage was off)
(After a week of healing in Austin, Texas at SXSW)
Tattoo #2 – Pine Tree
This tattoo came about when my buddies from Orlando (Jay and Dylan) came to Nashville for a visit. They were straight up looking for a crazy weekend, so I suggested the idea of getting tattoos. Jay was 110% down, but again this kinda went unspoken for a couple days. Eventually on the last night we up and went to the tattoo shop at about 10pm. He hadn’t even thought of the tattoo idea he wanted until we were literally walking up the stairs of the shop. I went first, he made a decision, and we both got them.
I picked a pine tree. one day when I was stressed out, I walked outside on my back deck and just closed my eyes. I thought about what it really was that would make me happy. When I envisioned opening my eyes, sitting just outside a small log cabin in the mountains, looking over a sea of pine trees and a lake, breathing in the smell of fresh pine trees, I realized one thing I needed was ultimate freedom. I would be absolutely happy in my life if I had the freedom from deadlines, money problems, etc… just, freedom. In my mind I was also sitting in the mountains of New Hampshire, a place I hold dear to my heart because of my father and family being from there. So with just freedom, one thing was missing; Love. To have one significant other with me and a family that loves me. No matter what happens in life, I only needed two things to be truly happy; Love, and freedom. This pine tree represents the freedom part of that.
(Getting the tree)
(Mid-tattoo thumbs up)
(My pine tree and Jay’s cross, freshly done)
(A peaceful place that reminded me of my vision while hiking in Georgia a week after healing)
Tattoo #3 Diamond
This tattoo is a small one, but I like it. A lot of people think I’m trying to be cocky with it or be a punk, but that’s not the case… in fact, that’s the point of the tattoo – to state that I’m not. Contradictory, or so it seems… I was out for a late night drive one night in Wisconsin to clear my mind, when I looked down at my rings, my watch, my high top shoes, and was messaging a fan on facebook. One thing he said stuck with me, “Your just a badass producer who doesn’t give a fuck and parties every night!” I was reading this, as I was trying to clear my mind of all the sensitive battles I have inside my head every day, the things I never show and hide but consume my entire life. These feelings that are all inside me every day and night. I decided it express it with an accessory. I like and enjoy flashy things and standing out, like a diamond. However, a diamonds true meaning, is love. Although I’m flashy and seem like “whatever whatever” from an outside perspective, really deep down inside my true meaning is all about love, and caring. If you truly know me, you already are very aware of this. So a diamond, on the finger like an accessory, was how I decided to show this. A self reflection.
(Chillin in the Madison, WI shop before getting tatted)
(The diamond the day after)
Tattoo #4 – My Sister, My Brother
Down to my last, and newest addition to the tattoo collection. This one was very recent, about a week ago. The tattoo is still healing but coming along nicely. This came about in Cocoa Beach, Florida on our family vacation. My grandparents were giving me and my sister a hard time about regretting our tattoos later in life, and I said how I wanted to get more. I said to my sister, Chantal, “we should get one together”. She was all for it, but I didn’t think she was serious. Later that night she came to me with the idea of getting mon frère or, “My Brother” tattooed on her in French, and I would get ma soeur or, “My Sister”. I absolutely loved the idea and knew that was it right when she said it. It was fitting seeing that we are both French (Napert) and don’t live with or by each other anymore. From now on, no matter where I go, I will always have, “My Sister” with me. It’s all the more meaningful having it done together so we could both live the experience side by side.
(Hanging out at the shop in Cocoa Beach just before getting the tattoo)
(Chantal getting ready to get tattooed)
(Me under the gun)
(Chantal handling it like a pro)
(mon frère on Chantal’s back, right shoulder)
(ma soeur on my front right collar bone)
(a few days after healing, back in Wisconsin)
That wraps up my tattoo stories! I hope you enjoyed reading about everything. I’ll be posting every Wednesday at 7pm CT so make sure to check back every week!