Last week I interviewed American rock band My Amends. My Amends are a band based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They have shared the stage with acts such as Poison The Well, Every Time I Die and Vanna. Though they are busy preparing for their upcoming tour, the band took time out to talk about their music and their love for tattoos!
Noel: A big hello from Singapore guys!!! First up I would like to say that I totally dig your music! Your song “Slave” totally rocks! Way a go!!!
Justin: Thank you so much Noel. For the interview and diggin what we do.
Noel: The pleasure is all mine! Alright, let’s talk about your music for a bit. What is the inspiration behind your full length album “Acceptions”?
Justin: I would have to say coming to terms with who we are over these past few years, our limitations and strong points as individuals, musicians and songwriters. It’s been a rough ride but we still seem to keep it together. This album definitely draws out every detail defining that rough ride, as well as, how we plan on smoothing it out.
Noel: I get where you are coming from. Well things are looking good now huh? The band is gonna start touring soon! You and the band are touring the United States this month right up till November. The first date sees My Amends perform at Sound Asylum in Middletown, New York, on the 16th of September. How pumped up are you guys?
Justin: Love the road man. Its almost like a connect-the-dots as you fixate on the lines on the road in between each destination, knowing you're mapping out your future with every single mile you drive. It is definitely not for the faint of heart at times, but we love it. Can't wait to get there in a few days.
Noel: Sweet!! Justin, you have a fair amount of tattoos. From the black and grey piece on your left bicep to the color tattoos on your lower arms, which is your favourite?
Justin: By far the microphone and broken piano-key piece on my right forearm. A good friend of ours, Dave Whittemore, hand drew this and then water-colored it on to a painting in a frame for me. I just knew I had to take it from there to my skin at that point. It’s a reminder to me that there are people out there who know, just as well as I do, that I NEED to be doing this and I can never quit.
Noel: Booya! Never ever quit! Ok...across your chest you have the word ‘Locals – South 2808’. What does this tattoo represent?
Justin: Dave did this piece as well. Funny story about it… I actually got jumped into a biker gang from Oklahoma who happened to be some of my best friends, only none have bikes. But we figure if we all got tattooed and beat each other up, then we'd have no choice but to follow through and get some nice bikes one day. Yeah…I'm still waiting on some real dough to get mine. Hahaha! We are a bunch of silly assholes I swear, but its all love.
Noel: Hahaha! That's funny Justin! Be sure to send me a picture when you get your bike. It'll be a beauty for sure! Are there plans for any more tattoos? If you do, what will the next tattoo be?
Justin: It’s not “if” it’s “when”! I’m pretty positive it’s gonna finally be my My Amends tribute piece to the band that saved me from myself. I’m just not sure of how I’m gonna do this thing yet but it is coming….
Noel: Sweet! I'm sure the tribute tattoo will rock!! Devin, how would you describe the tattoos on your left hand? I am loving the purple by the way. In my opinion, purple always looks good on skin.
Devin: It’s a lot of cluttered images, which is a look that I’ve always liked. A bunch of ideas that can be tied together, to make one, large, cohesive image. The tattoos on that arm range from family, to my first car, to the first album we released as a band. Purple was chosen by the artist Dave Whittemore because, he is the artist! Haha!! He suggested purple because it didn’t rub with a lot of the other colors going on.
Noel: Ahhh...Dave does your tattoos too. You have a geisha that’s tied up. What does that symbolize to you?
Devin: Majority of my tattoos hold a lot of meaning for me. This is one in particular that I would say was a gift from my friend John White. Him and Dave are the two artists that have done almost all of my work with the exception of maybe two or three. I liked the shape and the imagery more than anything and that, to me, is a huge part of tattoos, the aesthetics of each one. The geisha was something I had always wanted, and John made that happen for me, and I couldn’t be happier.
Noel: Is your right hand a work-in-progress? If yes, who is the artist behind the tattoos and how will the finish piece look like?
Devin: My right arm is definitely a work in progress, again, by John White. They are all wood carvings from the 11th through the 13th centuries, mostly of the Danse Macabre. The finished product is going to look as it looks now, a lot of line work with minimal shading. There is SO much more to be added, that the grouping of of it all will fill the skin in nicely!
Noel: Thanks Devin! I need to talk to Matt for a bit. Matt, I need to ask…that bird that you have tattooed on your hand, is that your favourite character or something?
Matt: Ha, not quite a bird. It’s SPY VS SPY. It’s from a magazine back in the 1960's called MAD MAGAZINE. I grew up reading them and playing the video games and it just became one of my favorites. Basically, it’s two spies that are always trying to outwit the other with bombs, booby-traps etc. For most that know me, know I have had a rough past with addiction and it kinda plays on the whole ‘out to harm myself,’ setting myself up with booby-traps. Kinda hard one to put into words!
Noel: Sorry to hear about the addiction brother. And yeah, thanks for putting a name to that character. I knew I saw it somewhere. I love the rubix cube right above it. Are you a big fan of the mechanical puzzle?
Matt: Ehh not so much, it’s more of a childhood memory. I could never solve that damn thing!
Noel: Hahaha! Good to know that I ain't the only one that couldn't solve the rubix cube! Hey, if you don’t mind me asking, what does the scroll that’s across your left bicep signify?
Matt: It’s a memorial piece for my mother and stepfather. They passed away when I was real young.
Noel: Damn, I'm sorry to hear that. So Matt, do you have a tattoo artist you wanna give a shout out to?
Matt: Yes sir I do!! John White and Dave Whittemore!!
Noel: Alright guys, thank you for doing this interview. Is there anything you want to add or say before we wrap things up?
Justin: Thanks for wanting to get to know us personally Noel, and specially for feelin our music as well. We definitely gotta hang once we get over on that side of the big blue ball
Noel: For sure Justin! Would to hang and talk music, tattoos and the culture over here. Thanks again and good luck with the tour!
Visit the My Amends Official Facebook Page for tour updates, band information and more!