Logan Mader, ten ton tattoos

Why the ex Machine Head guitar-hero has a little dog tattooed on him? This and other pretty anecdotes are the core business of the following very heavy chat…

We interviewed Logan Mader – ex Machine Head/Soulfly, respected producer, leader of Once Human (LA band fronted by the gorgeous Lauren Hart) and true legend of heavy music – about his life spent celebrating Metal & Tattoo Art at the same time (you can find the full article on Tattoo Energy – October/November out in the shops).

Read an abstract of our interview by Simone Sacco, check out our tattoos-gallery, look how many intriguing ink-pieces Logan flaunts on himself and be loyal to that iconic, first Machine Head album (1994 ‘Burn My Eyes’), maybe the perfect soundtrack for reading an interview like this!

Logan Mader tattoo, Shoot By Ben Hoffman
Logan Mader tattoo, Shoot By Ben Hoffman

Logan, you come from the ’90s and you’re a true icon of that decade. What do you recall about your first experiences in the world of tattoo art?
I remember that I was into tattoos right from the start, and as soon as I was old enough to get one legally, I wasted no time at all. For me it turned into a kind of drug and I ended up making friends with Clay Decker, one of the first tattoo artists to hang out around Oakland.

You really have such a wide-ranging collection: you’ve got stuff from the work of H.R. Giger, Traditional pieces, Oni masks, portraits, horror stuff, lettering, and so on. It is your way of not getting yourself pigeon-holed?
Yeah, I really love the art and styles of different tattooists. The first thing I do, when I want a tattoo, is figure out whether I like the work of a particular artist and if I can get myself a piece of their talent when I get in touch. Erin Kane, obviously, is really great at Biomech, Permanent Marc at American Traditional and Klaus Voormann has this blend of Biomech and Surreal/Esoteric.

And then there are other designs that come into it too, symbols and hidden meanings that have to do with my life and music.

You seem to have a thing about getting eyes tattooed on yourself. Those famous eyes that you wanted to set fire to in your first, legendary, Machine Head album, ‘Burn My Eyes’. Why?
You’re right. I have thirty-five eyeballs scattered about my body! I can’t even tell you why, I can only say it’s the truth. Let’s say they’re windows on my soul!

Can you tell me something about that she-devil you have on your lower right leg?
Interesting question, seeing as I’ve never talked about that particular tattoo before. It comes from an image on a t-shirt or a sticker I really liked back in the ’90s. I can’t even say why I was so fascinated by it, but it seemed like that drawing was talking to me all the time when I was on tour with Soulfly in ’98. There was this guy (Dwayne) who was a friend of Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit, and a tattoo artist himself. He was on tour with us, and between one date and the next, he was tattooing practically anyone! (laughs) It felt natural to ask Dwayne to do it for me himself. I got that piece in a hotel room while Fred, right beside us, was tattooing someone else!

Logan Mader tattoo, Shoot By Ben Hoffman
Logan Mader tattoo, Shoot By Ben Hoffman

You even have a memorial to your dog, Miso, isn’t that so?
Miso was a little dog and I miss her so such. She was the best pet anyone could have wished for. I adopted her in 1992, just after we formed Machine Head and before we signed our contract with Roadrunner. Chris Kontos (the first drummer with MH who played on their seminal ‘Burn My Eyes’, ed.) told me that a friend of his had wound up in prison and had left this little puppy behind who in turn had been abandoned by the little bitch that had given birth to her. And who also happened to be the mother of Chris’s pitbull: ah Gretchen, what a wonderful creature! And so there were these eight little puppies just three weeks old who had been left to their fate in this house in California, including my dear Miso.

Logan, you’re one hell of a guy. So before you leave us, tell us something about ‘Evolution’, the second album from our band Once Human?
I’m really psyched to have produced ‘Evolution’ because it’s a million times more on fire than our debut album ‘The Life I Remember’. We’ve grown both in the song writing and the composition of the riffs and now Lauren’s lyrics (Hart, the singer, ed.) sound much more intelligent and meaningful. Her vocals also really get the crowd going because she’s turned into a truly great singer. A real killer beast!

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