Ivan Moody’s Tattoos: Boxcutter Fights, Sobriety, A Coma + More
'The Needle and the Damage' done is a tattoo series produced by Loudwire and presented by the Inkcarceration Music and Tattoo Festival. Each episode was shot on site at the festival's location in Mansfield, Ohio, at the Ohio State Reformatory, which is also where scenes from the 'Shawshank Redemption' were filmed. Here, artists reflect on the artwork scrawled into their flesh, recollecting their first tattoos, the most painful ones, deeper meanings and, of course, the stories behind them all. Enjoy while you anxiously await the announcement of next year's lineup. Keep an eye out because tickets go on sale in December!
Every tattoo has a story, but not many people have a story quite like the one Five Finger Death Punch frontman Ivan Moody has lived. We're talking boxcutter bar fights, a coma and being declared legally dead and the hard-paved road to sober living.
The two largest pieces of art on his head are symbols of growth and rebirth. About the phoenix, which Moody had done to commemorate a year of sobriety, he commented, "I wanted to not only wake up every day and remind myself of how far I've come, but how far I have to go."
As for the snakeskin mohawk, it represents Moody shedding his skin after being in a coma for three days (he was also legally dead for over two minutes during this time). He didn't recognize himself and needed assistance walking and using the bathroom. "I looked in the mirror and it was like [Lord of the Rings character] Gollum. I was green and ugly and pale and I was like 'What the fuck happened to me?' And that's when I decided I was going to shed skin and be the man that I should've always been and I can be."
There's more than trials and tribulations though — there's plenty of fun here, too. Nearly his entire left arm is dedicated to the Spawn comic series and a skeletal tribute to his childhood favorites The Misfits on his left hand provides some balance to the story.
Watch the full video at the top of the page.
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