Photographer Kurt Iswarienko says he’s always wanted to shoot Ryan Phillippe, and INKED gave him the opportunity to do just that for our cover story (page 38). Iswarienko says shooting the actor was “smooth sailing,” and he was happy to contribute to the magazine for the first time.
I may be a New Yorker (by way of Philadelphia), but I'm in Los Angeles almost every month for photo shoots. The first few times I went, I thought it was all celebrities, clubs with velvet ropes, and superficial types. But I’ve gotten to meet more INKED readers each time I visit, and they’ve shown me the real L.A.—a city that’s got good music, a great art scene, and the kind of people I like to hang out with.
I just received my latest issue of INKED. I was pleased to see the lovely Micheline on the cover [March]. I remember seeing her a couple of years ago in an early cycle of America’s Next Top Model and thinking she was fantastic. I thought even if she ended up eliminated from the competition, she should surely continue to model, and there would be a place for her (and models like her) in the industry.
NAME: Sarah Newton OCCUPATION: marijuana activist HOMETOWN: Los Angeles Right after graduating high school, my best friend Ashley and I both got tattooed with differently colored versions of this peace sign design we came up with. It was to commemorate our friendship and our quest for peace-we were known for starting war protests in our high school parking lot!
Nike has designed national team kits for several countries competing in next month’s World Cup, but the megabrand also wanted to create patriotic soccer gear for the rest of us. So they asked top artists in each of the competing team’s countries to design a badge, mascot, and alphabet that could be used on street apparel.
Bartender pressuring you to try the herbal stuff? Here’s why you should give in.
In an informal poll of friends who drink (some more than they should), gin came in dead last on the list of favorite spirits. In a poll of bartenders, gin took the top spot. At first these results don't seem to make sense, but then we had a couple of martinis and it all became clear.
With the Shins seemingly out of commission, it was only a matter of time before someone came to reclaim the band’s indie pop crown. And who better than Avi Buffalo? Featuring plenty of soaring harmonies and tasteful guitar flourishes, Avi Buffalo is an impressive debut full-length that Pitchfork aficionados will drool over. In addition to the album’s requisite pop hooks, there are also plenty of surprises, such as the Johnny Marr-aping guitar line on the seven-minute-long “Remember Last Time” and tasteful soloing on “What’s In It For?” This improvisation not only gives Avi Buffalo their own identity, but also keeps the band’s songs from falling back on indie rock’s sometimes formulaic constraints.
In an increasingly homogenized musical landscape, acts like Foxy Shazam are a rarity, which is what makes the band’s major-label debut, Foxy Shazam, all that more impressive. Combining elements of glam rock, classic rock, and soul, this 15-song collection effortlessly switches from huge pop anthems like “Count Me Out” to orchestrally driven show-tune-esque numbers like “Evil Thoughts” without a hint of irony. Climactic tracks like “Second Floor” may seem a little over the top at first (frontman Eric Nally is reportedly working with kindred spirit Meatloaf on his upcoming album), but Foxy Shazam is dripping with so much sincerity that it's difficult not to get swept away.
WALTER SCHREIFELS An Open Letter to the Scene
Walter Schreifels is probably best known as a member of acts such as Gorilla Biscuits, Quicksand, and Rival Schools, but his first release under his own name shows that when the distortion is stripped away, Schreifels truly shines. An Open Letter to the Scene features everything from folk-inspired rockers (“She Is to Me”) and jangly tracks reminiscent of Teenage Fanclub (“Ballad of Lil' Kim”) to intricately arranged pop songs like “Arthur Lee’s Lullaby.” The most impressive songs, however, are Schreifels’s take on CIV’s “Don’t Gotta Prove It" and Agnostic Front’s “Society Sucker”; both lend new emotional resonance to the hardcore classics.
ROKY ERICKSON True Love Cast Out All Evil
Roky Erickson is an American treasure, and his first album in 14 years is a not-so-subtle reminder that his relevance hasn't waned. Produced by Will Sheff and featuring his band, Okkervil River, True Love Cast Out All Evil is a heady mix of psychedelia, pop, and ambient experimentation. On tracks such as Crazy Horse-inflected “Goodbye Sweet Dreams” it sounds like Erickson is baring his soul, but there is melody amid the catharsis, most notably on swirling sing-alongs like “Ain't Blues Too Sad.” Thankfully, instead of slick production, these moments are recorded in lo-fi, making it sound as if you’re standing next to Erickson as he conquers his demons.
Jón “Jónsi” Pór Birgisson gained fame as the frontman for Icelandic post-rock act Sigur Rós, but his solo release sees him transposing his gift for orchestral explosions into a pop-friendly context (mostly because he’s singing in English). Jónsi’s voice is so distinctive that the songs sound similar to Sigur Rós’s in many ways, but sweetly syncopated tracks like “Boy Lilikoi” manage to evoke Peter Gabriel rather than Mogwai, and melancholy meditations like “Kolniôur” display a vulnerability that’s sometimes obscured by the grandiosity of his full-time act. The final result? An album that shows a new side to Jónsi without abandoning the sonic subtleties that have endeared him to countless fans all over the world.
TRANS AM Thing
Trans Am have always had a relatively esoteric identity, so it's hard to know if the band are being sincere when they claim that Thing was originally commissioned as a “sci-fi horror adaptation of Romeo and Juliet." Regardless of its inspiration, the album is evidence that this electro-inflected rock band haven't lost any of their spark since their debut disc 14 years ago. Thing is teeming with droning, synth-driven romps like “Naked Singularity” and ambient vocoder-inflected tracks like “Apparent Horizon." The album's largest merit is the fact that once you peel back the layers of its 12 tracks, you'll realize they’re far more complex than they initially appear—and that aural depth is ultimately what makes Thing such a satisfying listen.
If you use a washcloth, you’re going to waste a lot of shower gel trying to work up enough lather to clean off, say, an attempt to change your own brake fluid. Instead, pick up this tool [$4, drugstores]; its mesh side turns a little bit of gel into lots of suds, and the scrubber side helps remove things like, well, old brake fluid.
Hair & Body Wash
Nothing says manly like six bottles lined up on your bathtub ledge. If you'd like to simplify—or just save money-try this 3-in-l ($5, drugstores) that washes and conditions your hair, cleans your body, and leaves behind a fresh smell that’s better than the cologne your ex-girlfriend bought for you.
Hydrator + Body Wash for Dry Skin
Body lotion is a must for anyone who has tattoos-or dry skin. But it can be annoying to apply when you also have body hair. You might prefer this wash ($5, drugstores), which has a body lotion built in so your skin will stay hydrated even after you rinse off.
Men + Care Deep Clean Body and Face Bar
Look at your tattoos. Does it seem like you're viewing them through the bottom of a beer glass? They’re probably covered with some dead skin cells. Fix the situation with this body bar [$3.20 for two bars, drugstores] that has little beads to exfoliate the dead skin so you can actually see what it was you sat through hours of pain for.
In case you don’t have a girlfriend, watch television, or shop at drugstores, we have some news you might not have heard: There’s no reason to clean your body with a bar of crappy soap that leaves your tattoos ashy and faded and your skin drier than sandpaper.
System: Xbox 360 Alan Wake Is living a Stephen King nightmare. After traveling to the quaint town of Bright Falls in search of an antidote to his writer’s block, Wake finds himself knee-deep in the plot of his latest book—a supernatural tale he doesn't remember writing—when his wife mysteriously vanishes. At daybreak, Wake must search frantically for clues to his wife’s disappearance and hunt down pages of the novel to piece together what the hell is happening. When night falls, his survival depends on eluding the pursuit of a dark force that embodies itself in humans and objects alike. (Pro tip: Take heed of the rogue bulldozer.) His only salvation? Flashlights, flood lamps, or any other light source he can use to fend off the evil. Twin Peaks fans shouldn’t miss this psychological thriller.
Lost Planet 2
Systems: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC A science fiction shooter on holiday, Lost Planet 2 trades the dreary arctic setting of its predecessor for a lush tropical environment filled with dudes who need shooting. Since vacationing is better with friends, Lost Planet 2 ditches the single-player focus for co-op. Armed with futuristic weaponry and punch-packing mech suits, you and three other trigger-happy friends must blast your way through six separate campaigns filled with waves of gun-toting hostiles and skyscraper-sized, buglike monsters hungry for human flesh. When the going gets rough, level the playing field by cashing in experience points for weapon and armor upgrades. Once you vanquish the ginormous beasts, turn on your friends in the deadly versus multiplayer mode. Just like Club Med.
Systems: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Tony Hawk brought the skateboarding game genre to the masses; Skate 3 brings it back to the skate park, where it belongs. Whether you’re kickflipping through the career mode or rail sliding up the online leaderboards, Skate 3 lets you invite friends along for the ride. The game thankfully scraps the clichéd “become a pro” story element of most career modes in favor of a more straightforward goal: build your new skate brand by ripping your way through the tricktionary. The more impressive your skill, the more decks your company sells. After you ollie all 12 sets and nosegrind all the plazas of the new city Port Carverton, create your own skate park utopia with the powerful new tool kit. Whether you keep the park among friends or share it with the snot-nosed punks of the world is your call.
Systems: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC Why race boring-ass ovals when you could speed your way through a course filled with crashing airplanes, crumbling bridges, and tumbling high-rises? Split Second’s natural-disaster-meets-NASCAR format delivers heart-stopping action that will have you reaching for the defibrillator. Surviving the thrill-a-second races is all about keeping calm in the eye of the destructive storm by drifting, drafting, and jumping over your competition. Stylish racing will fill your “powerplay” meter, which you can drain to trigger cataclysmic environmental events aimed at paring down the racing field. Staying ahead won't be easy, with the fallout from each disaster permanently altering the racetrack and aiming to raise your auto insurance rate. We advise buckling up.
Before you hit the summer music festivals, consider this question: Can you drop your camera in a puddle, then pick it up and keep on shooting? If the answer is no, consider Sony’s new waterproof DSC-TX5 ($350, sonystyle.com). The 10.2-megapixel camera is shockproof from falls of up to 5 feet; features 4x optical zoom, a 3-inch touch screen, and 720p video recording; and is just 3/4 of an inch thick. On top of all that, the thing can withstand temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius—which means you’re still okay if it somehow ends up in the beer cooler for a few minutes. Rock on.
8-eye 1460 boots and 3-eye 1461 boots
$130 and $110
If you were to look down during a Sex Pistols show at the 100 Club in the '70s, or a Nirvana gig at Seattle’s Crocodile Cafe in the '90s, you would have seen the same thing: Dr. Martens. The shoes originally designed for postal workers and factory hands have seen a lot of music history in the 50 years since they were first sold. Now, to commemorate their golden anniversary, Dr. Martens has designed limitededition versions of their iconic 8-eye 1460 boots and 3-eye 1461 boots ($130 and $110, respectively, drmartens.com) that feature pebbled leather, gold eyelets, and gold foot beds. Note to purists: The trademark mosh-pitfriendly air-cushioned sole remains intact.
Joe Capobianco is no stranger to the female form, having drawn thousands of his signature pinups on skin-and skateboards-during his 17-year career as a tattoo artist. Now Kidrobot has given him the chance to create a 3-D version of one of his Capo Girls. The Bride ($75, kidrobot.com) will be released this month to coincide with the Hell City Tattoo Festival in Columbus, OH, and features a removable tombstone and skull bouquet of flowers. Only 400 of these 8-inch vinyl ladies were made, so don’t let your fear of commitment keep you from getting one before they’re gone.
From gallery shows to your flesh, Chicago artist Mitch O’Connell does it all.
When you ask Mitch O’Connell to describe his art, It takes a while for him to answer. He utilizes comic book Imagery, cartoony pop art, surrealism, and realism. While most artists stick to a particular genre, this full-time freelancer draws for the assignment—and the paycheck.
Tattoo artist Lionel Ng is your unofficial tour guide to Southeast Asia’s Lion City.
With a population of almost 5 million, Singapore city is a little state unto itself. Many people never see the outside of its luxurious airport, as it’s a jump-off point to Malaysia, India, and other parts of Asia, but to miss Singapore’s ease and comfort would be a crying shame.
Harley-Davidson rolls out an aggressive new Sportster designed for its next generation of riders.
Despite Harley-Davidson's uncontested status as America’s most legendary motorcycle manufacturer, its lineup of bikes has a reputation for being somewhat expensive and geared toward riders who are, uh, rather mature. Well, Harley’s lust-worthy new Sportster model, the Forty-Eight, is going to change a lot of minds.
Stateside audiences may not be intimately acquainted with Biffy Clyro yet, but over the course of 15 years and five albums the Scottish trio have established themselves as one of Europe’s most inventive rock acts. “Our first three records didn't actually get released in America, so it was weird to have released our fourth album and be treated like a brand-new band here,” the group’s frontman, Simon Neil, says hours before the band opens for Manchester Orchestra at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall.
What do Major League relief pitchers and Australian pharmaceutical salesmen have in common? Two things: They have to wear long-sleeved shirts to cover their tattooed arms, and Peter Moylan has been both. This spring, Moylan is entering his fifth big league season as a setup man for the Atlanta Braves after an unorthodox journey to the Majors that included a stint working for the man back in his native Perth, Australia.
It takes serious chops to duke it out with the country’s best chefs in Iron Chef's Kitchen Stadium, a challenge Seamus Mullen never took lightly. “It was intense, almost like hand-to-hand combat,” says Mullen, who fought his way to one of the top three spots in last year’s The Next Iron Chef competition.
Many of his movies have dealt with race, class, and war, but this month, RYAN PHILLIPPE lightens up with a comedy. He tells INKED why he's ready for a change-and more tattoos.
When Ryan Phillippe lifts up his shirt in the middle of the bar at SoHo’s Crosby Street Hotel, it’s surprising that no one faints. He is, after all, a movie star— with taut muscles, smooth, caramel-colored skin, and a chiseled, ready-for-my-close-up mug.
IT TOOK THE NEAR-FATAL ACCIDENT OF THEIR BASSIST TO INJECT VIGOR AND VITALITY INTO THE DEFTONES. NOW THEIR OPTIMISTIC NEW ALBUM IS HELPING THEM CARRY ON.
SHORTLY AFTER DEFTONES VOCALIST CHINO MORENO TURNED 18, he found a tattoo stencil of a sun with a face on it that his bandmate, roommate, and best friend, bassist Chi Cheng, had used to get the inside of his right wrist inked. To surprise his friend, Moreno brought the paper to Sacramento’s American Graffiti and got his own wrist tattooed with the same design.
Think astrophysicist and you're more likely to conjure an image of Albert Einstein than one of petite blonde Eva Huber. Yet for this 26-year-old tattoo artist, “Breaking life down to a molecular level is one of the most intriguing topics—it's the fiber that surrounds our very existence."
Hard at work on Jackass 3-D, the MTV star reflects on his time in jail, his many tattoos, and why he’s less of a jerk now that he’s finally sober.
Long before Stephen Glover, a.k.a. Steve-O, made a name for himself swimming with sharks on MTV’s Wildboyz and having his butt cheeks stapled together on Jackass, he was a regular in the pages of the legendary Big Brother skateboarding magazine.
Every week or so, we hear about a celebrity getting a brand-new tattoo. But it's not just the stars who love their ink; those behind the camera-the ones responsible for making great films come together-have also been busy getting tattooed.
The founder of Starlight Tattoo, Intenze Ink, and The Biggest Tattoo Show on Earth is often credited with bringing tattooing into the 21st century as a viable business. Here, he explains why that’s a good thing.
INKED: You’ve come a long way from being a self-taught tattooist and biker in Austria to an international tattoo entrepreneur. What’s the key factor that brought you here? MARIO BARTH: Since I began, I’ve always tried to educate myself and explore something new.
Hollywood A-listers often head to Avenue B in New York City to get tattooed at East Side Ink. Opened in 2007 by tattoo artist Joshua Lord and partners Yadira Mendez-Firvida and Jen Terban, the shop has hosted numerous celebrities, including Daniel Day-Lewis, who is a repeat customer (an olive grove has recently been added to his growing collection of body art).
NEW CLIENTELE A bunch of baseball players invited me down to spring training in Florida just to hang out. It was a blast! It’s weird, none of them knew where to get good tattoos. They were just going to a shop they saw on TV, and were actually paying more than what I charge.
NAME: Mei Chiang COUNTER GIRL AT: Omega Red Piercing & Tattoo Studio, Cedar Falls, IA I’ve been working in the industry for five years, but I leave the tattooing and piercing to the pros. I do get to order the jewelry, though! One of our two shops is on campus at the University of Northern Iowa, where the mascot is a panther.
The Brighton Racecourse hosted the third annual Brighton Convention January 30-31. Artists from around the world were on hand to tattoo attendees and paint skulls that were later auctioned off by The Sugar Project in order to raise money for Working Hospice.
After more than 10 years in the business, Kristel Oreto still looks up to lots of artists—Dee Dee Seruga, Jesse Smith, and Jime Litwalk among them—but has perfected a bubbly, feminine style all her own. Along with her husband, Joe Tattoo, she owns a busy shop in Florida, cares for her two "wild-ass" kids, and takes her art on the road, traveling to conventions all over the country.