Bass player in Tommy Vext band and starring with Danny Trejo in “Cross 4”, The Creekman is a living legend when it comes to tattoo art. Read his full story!
Hi Kevin! First of all thanks for your time because I know you haven’t talked too much to the press lately…
Oh no, thanks for having me! I appreciate you guys reaching out to me. Since I came out with my weightless story I did definitely a bunch of interviews. And usually – once a new release is out – many other magazines are using that source to recreate their own release. But this time it will be different! (smiles)
You have a German passport, right?
I have actually a German and Swiss passport. My mom is German and my dad was Swiss and I grew up partially in both countries.
I know in the past you worked as a social worker in Cologne (helping refugees studying in German schools) and currently live in Los Angeles…
Yeah. I studied social work in Cologne and was working in different fields once I finished my University Degree. First as a probation officer, then for the children protective services and for the integration center in Cologne, where I was working with a lot of refugees during that global crisis.
You are a model, musician, actor, personal trainer, tattoo artist and social media creator too. Do all these “labels” satisfy you?
I did a lot of different stuff in my life, some things more occasionally and others more serious. Being a successful social media creator is definitely a very satisfying feeling, because it’s a very independent and self-fulfilling way of earning money that I can just highly appreciate after I’ve worked for 6 years full time for different public offices.
My biggest passion is definitely making music.
I feel very blessed that my social media journey brought me to Los Angeles where I had the chance now to join Tommy Vext (ex-Bad Wolves) to play the bass.
If you had never won your personal battle against weight (Kevin weighed 330 pounds as a teenager. Within a year he lost 178 pounds through hard work and a 1,500 calories-per-day diet. Ed) do you think you would ever have been into tattoos? Or did you like tattoos also “before”?
Even if many articles created the narrative that I started to get tattooed because of scars left on my body after my eloquent weight loss, it’s actually not quite like that. I had two full sleeves and my chest covered with tattoos way before I had my surgery. So I was highly interested in tattoos also before, but my scars gave me a legit reason to plan way bigger than I did initially.
By the way was that big skull on your stomach the only option to cover up the wounds from your previous surgery (following your weight loss)? Or did you also have other ideas in mind?
The story behind this skull is actually pretty banal. I was a big fan of Neon Judas (IG: @neonjudas) tattoo art for a while and becoming one of his customers was pretty hard, because his waiting time was insane and he didn’t book new clients…
Then what happened?
Since I was following him on Facebook for a while, I saw his post saying he had a spontaneous opening. I was texting him immediately and was offering him to do an oversized skull all over my stomach, because that is what he was most talented in my opinion. So we could agree very quickly on that project. In the end it was intuitively the best decision because organic and not symmetrical structures and textures of the skull hide my scars perfectly.
Is it true that you spent around 250 hours – under various tattoo artists’ needles – for decorating your body? Or is it the usual media exaggeration?
No, that was a very realistic calculation after I put together all the pieces. I think it’s a very fast pace for a full body suite including literally everything, like inner thighs, butt etc.
Is Olli Lonien – the owner of “Home of Lonien Tattoo” in Trier (Germany) – your favourite tattoo artist of all? Or would you like to add some other names to the list?
Olli (IG: @olli_lonientattoo) is an amazing and super fast tattoo artist, who made me feel like getting my whole backside tattooed in like a tenth of the pain and effort I had to put into my frontside. But I don’t have one favorite tattoo artist overall. My favorite piece is definitely my neck done by Gerhard Wiesbeck (IG: @gerhardwiesbeck). Also Neon Judas did a phenomenal job on the oversized skull on my stomach and Mike Wolf’s hand tattoo (IG: @mikewolftattoo) became definitely one of my moat distinguished tattoos.
Would you like to describe your backpiece? You once said the huge Oni mask is able to connect all your tattoos together…
After the stomach I figured for myself that simplicity and size give a lot of power to tattoos. So I wanted to keep my final and also biggest tattoo as simple and as big as possible.
Japanese tattoo art has in my opinion the unique quality to flow very well with the whole body.
And it has the same bold quality and longevity of Traditional/Old School tattoos. So it was very easy to use all the waves and background lines to connect all the open pieces together. To be honest, I planned to get a samurai mask and Olli Lonien was kinda freehand sketching. It became a very unique piece that is somehow a fusion of a samurai and – as you said – an Oni mask.
Do you think you have more meaningful or aesthetic tattoos? The average can be 70% meaningful and 30% aesthetic maybe?
To be very honest, just my first tattoo (right arm sleeve) had a personal meaning and probably my two geeky tattoos on my upper thighs. Otherwise I’ve learned already for myself that aesthetics and especially giving freedom to the tattoo artists is the most important element to have a strong tattoo that you’re happy with forever. So I’d say 90% aesthetics.
On your Instagram account, I saw you wearing Metallica, Danzig, Misfits, Black Flag and Pantera t-shirts. Then you are a big metal brother!
Yeah, even my looks became pretty commercially accepted and appreciated, my main drive for having long hair, beard etc. was my deep rooted passion for heavy and alternative music.
What are the artistic projects you are currently working on? I know you are very busy with music and movies, right?
So concretely happening now is that I’m touring with Tommy Vext (IG: @tommyvext) where I play the bass guitar. We have some sick shows coming up like the Rock Fest and Warlando. On the other hand I’m in the cast of my first movie called “Cross 4” by Patrick Durham along with Brian Austin Green and Denny Trejo.
And your famous last words are…?
Your biggest weakness is your biggest strength. I like to say these words, because if I hadn’t gone through what I’ve been through, I’d have never had the drive that makes this life count, chasing a dream after another.