I’ve known Cullen for years. He is one of the head bartenders at Elysium in down town Austin. I spotted his knuckle tattoos recently and asked about them. He said that they were his first tattoos and he got them when he was drunk.
When I asked what they meant to him I got a lecture on the history of the Dies Irae, which as it turns out is one of the four hymns kept by the Catholic church during the reformation. It is immensely influential in all of classical music and beyond. It is quoted in pieces by Mozart, Stravinsky and many others.
So I asked him again, “But why did you choose to get DIES IRAE?” and he replied, “Because people make assumptions about the character of a person with knuckle tattoos. I like to highlight the dichotomy between high culture and presumed low culture. If the DIES IRAE was good enough for Mozart, it’s good enough for me.”
I met Wes outside of Beerland. He said that he was just a country boy. He was visiting his mom out on the ranch, staring down that old dirt road to his house when he realized that was a core part of who he was.
I met Carrie in line for the extras casting for Machete Kills. I was super stoked to see a set of knuckle tattoos in kanji. She says that the knuckles mean CREATE and DESTROY in Japanese. Carrie also said that she has received some very negative reactions from more traditional Japanese people, but that she still loves them.
I met Josh and Courtney the other day. Josh (pictured above) said that his knuckle tattoos described him in a word. Courtney just laughed and agreed. Her knuckle tattoos (below) are a collection of charms.
I met Brandon Danger at Toy Joy here in Austin, Texas. He said that his knuckles were part of his collapse of civilization sleeve. He also had the No Grave but the Sea which is a tribute to the Murder City Devils. Tattoos were committed to skin by Jason Angst of Artisan Tattoos and Coffee in Pittsburgh, PA