May 19, 2010

Tattoo Special: Winston McCall

“They all have meanings and memories; I’m not a person who gets tattoos just for the sake of getting tattoos. You have it on your body for life and it’s like a scar, I look at my scars and I know where I got them and I know how I got them and I know the memory from that time expect it’s not just an ugly bit of flesh, it can now hold so much more.”

Personal tattooing history?
My first tattoo is that arm band. It says BBHC which means Byron Bay Hardcore which is kind of a hardcore scene back in the days. It’s in like three different fonts and is really bad but it’s the first one. From there I have… I don’t know how many tattoos I have, seriously, because I’ve sat on the chair for so many times it’s kind of all just blended into one, I have tattoos on my legs and feet as well.
I’ve been tattooed in many, many different places. This whole arm is done by one person, this arm is done by three different people so far and I have a whole leg that I had done in like twenty-something hours by one person only. It’s an artwork and there are many different styles I like and many different artists I like so it’s definitely not just one person for me.

I have very few tattoos where I can say it means something in particular; it’s more like representative for a time in my life or something that was happening at that point at time. I have two tattoos on my feet for myself and my girlfriend, this one’s for my mom who’s a nurse. This one actually turned into a lyric in a Parkway song, which is kind of weird. I have a lot of straight edge -tattoos.

Most common mistakes in taking tattoos?
Getting tattooed for the sake of getting tattooed. These days especially among popular bands the tattoo culture is very, very prominent. I guess when I started getting tattooed there wasn’t so many people with tattoos and now everyone has them and it’s become more and more socially acceptable. I think that people don’t realize that trends change and so does what society accepts and going out and getting your throat and your face and your hands tattooed for your first tattoo is not a smart idea. It doesn’t matter if your favourite band has it or not.
There’s a lot of people getting tattooed that don’t have the knowledge of the history of tattooing and I guess haven’t experienced enough of life to realize what getting tattooed on the certain parts of their body is going to mean in the long run for your life. If you have tattooed hands, good luck getting a job in most places. It may look pretty cool having your sleeves out in a fucking hardcore show or pop punk show or whatever, but what about in ten years in time when you’re sitting in a fucking unemployment line?

The age limit?
I think 18 is good; it’s a massive, massive step to take to be tattooed. And it’s not enough to say “Ooh, I can deal with the pain”, it’s not about the pain; it’s a massive choice. Fair enough, you can get it lasered off. But I think by the time you’re 18 you’re just starting to experience a large part of your life so that’s the minimum age I think people should be getting tattoos. But then again, it’s everyone’s personal choice and people learn from bad experiences.

Interview: Joanna Tzortzis
Camerawork: Nelly Tatti