Die Young Frontman Had to Suffer for Bad Religion Ink
Some people have cool tattoos. Some people have stupid tattoos. Band tattoos are our favorite intersection of this particular Venn diagram. In today's Scarred for Life, we ask Daniel Albaugh of Texas thrashcore crew Die Young why he ink-mortalized elements of Bad Religion classic Suffer.
So, why this band? What about this band compelled you to get this tattoo?
Bad Religion is the band that introduced me to punk. Technically, Offspring and Green Day were the first punk bands I heard (in fifth grade), but they were so commercial I didn't understand that there was anything philosophically different about their approach to making rock music. Bad Religion was the first band I ever got into where I understood that they were singing about things for a reason and even playing the style they played for a reason. When I first heard "Do What You Want" and Greg Graffin says, "I'll believe in God when one and one are five," I lost my mind. That was the most offensive and in-your-face thing I had encountered in music that didn't involve cuss words, and it made a strong, rational point, too. I was maybe in seventh grade when I heard that for the first time.
Where is it located? Why did you choose that spot?
The outer part of my right calf. Eh, why not? The design fits there.
How long did it take and how much did it cost?
It took a solid evening, maybe four or five hours. The dude who did it was a Die Young fan, so he hooked it up for a Die Young shirt and a good tip.
Why did you choose the image that you did? What about that image is personal to you?
The Suffer Boy: He's an iconic suburban kid on fire about all the absurdity and hypocrisy of his social environment. He's on fire because he wants something more interesting and meaningful for himself than a safe, sterile, religiously obedient lifestyle, and he wants people to aspire to be better — smarter, too. To me, he is the essence of punk rock and represents the essence of where so many punk and hardcore kids come from, in terms of both their environment and state of mind. I chose to mix and match Bad Religion themes by also incorporating lyrics from "Against the Grain." So what if it is a different album than Suffer? They are both classics, and to me they both perfectly capture the spirit of punk, so they get to be together on me in the same tattoo.
Have you shared it with the band via social media, or even in person?
I'm sure everyone who knows me or who has seen Die Young has seen it by now.
What do your friends think of this tattoo? Do your friends have similar band tattoos or even one of the same band?
People who don't like Bad Religion typically aren't my friends, and I'd even say they aren't to be trusted. I've met other people over the years who have some sort of Bad Religion tattoo, usually either the Suffer Boy or the cross-buster, but none of my close friends have a tattoo like this.
Any regrets whatsoever?
Does anyone you’ve met have a tattoo related to your band? What’s the craziest tattoo of your band that you’ve seen?
Yes, we've had quite a few people send us pictures of their Die Young tattoos over the years. There's a few guys I know of that have half-sleeves or half-legs of Die Young- themed artwork. For that much of somebody's body to be dedicated to a Die Young song or the band, to me, is really humbling, and I always said I wanted to be in a band that was tattoo-worthy, like the bands who inspired me, so I guess that dream actually came true.
Is it cool or lame to get a tattoo of your own band?
It can be either. I have a tattoo on my right shoulder of my very first band, Finer Truth, that a couple of us Die Young guys played in during high school. It's kind of a cheesy tattoo, but I got it right when I turned 18, because at that time that band was my life. If you believe that strongly in your art or whatever you're doing with your life, I think that's a really cool thing. And even though that band has been long over with, the tattoo is part of my musical and life story, and I don't regret it at all.
What's your favorite band tattoo that isn't obviously a band tattoo?
I also have a Chuck Ragan tattoo on my inner right arm that says "Fight for Something" over a rose and dagger. I get the most compliments on that one, and I think it looks the best, too.
Die Young's No Illusions was released in August on Good Fight Music.