Getting a tattoo can be a grueling and painful experience for even the most hardcore enthusiast, so getting multiple tattoos at the same time takes things to the next level. Andy Suzuki, of the pop group Andy Suzuki & The Method, took things even farther by getting three simultaneous tattoos and filming the entire experience for a music video.
The video for "Lucy (Devil Song)" shows all of the many emotions that come out during an extensive session — excitement, pain, fear, relief, and a deep bond between artist and client — in just a little over three minutes. We spoke with Suzuki about the video's concept, seeing his band's logo tattooed on fans, their upcoming tour, and more.
Tattoodo: The video for "Lucy (Devil Song)" is amazing. Can you tell us a bit about how you came up with that concept? Who are the artists working on you?
Andy Suzuki: This video was a labor of love! I was in an altered state of mind and thought how dope it would be if I got three tattoos at once in a music video. It started as a joke, and it always seemed too crazy to pull off, but the idea kept gnawing at me, so we put it in motion! Working on my arm is Ashley Love, working on my leg is Tron, and working on my back is Amy Shapiro. They had never done anything like this before, and they absolutely were a pleasure to work with.
Can you go into details about the three tattoos for us?
On my arm is the license plate of my first tour van, Chloe. So many good times and memories were had in that van. When we had to lay Chloe to rest, it was a tragedy, but she is in a better place now. Love did a traditional American interpretation of a New York State license plate. On my back is an ear of corn, designed by Shapiro. It says "Patten Hill", which is place in western Massachusetts that's super important to me and my fam. On my leg (tattooed by Tron) is a megaphone with cheer that people do at sporting events in Japan. I'm half Japanese, and it's something my dad used to say to me when I was growing up.
You already had quite a few tattoos when you went into this, but how much more painful was the process when you were literally being attacked by all sides?
The buzz from the needles was deafening, but I think my nervous system was just too distracted by all of the stimuli to feel all the pain. It kinda cancelled each other out! After the outlines were done in black, we took a short break for pizza, which ended up being a big mistake. The adrenaline went away, and as all the artists descended on me to do color, it was scary painful. I almost had to ask them to stop, but the camera was rolling, so we just kept it moving. Ultimately, we were able to film the whole thing without using any camera tricks or clever filming angles to mask what was happening, and that was very important to me.
The video can’t help but make a connection between a visual art (tattoos) and your music, can you tell us about ways that your music has been influenced by the body art that you have?
My first tattoo was of a piano, so from day one, tattoos and music have been interconnected for me. My music and the experiences I get on the road influence what tattoos I get, and tattoos I have gotten sometimes show up in song lyrics. It's all one and the same!
Your band has a very recognizable logo, which prompts us to ask what does it feel like to see a fan with a tattoo inspired by your band?
It's always so meaningful when I see that a fan has gotten a tattoo of our lyrics or our logo. Just last night, one of our long time supporters got a tattoo of our new album cover, "The Glass Hour," tattooed on her arm. I saw it on social media and immediately called Kozza (Olatunji-Babumba), the other main cat in our band. It's a huge deal for us. As someone with lots of tattoos, most of which are fairly personal in nature, I understand the gravitas of it all.
What’s coming up for the band in the next couple of months?
We just released a new full-length album, 'The Glass Hour," and we are in the middle of our album release tour. Beyond that, we will be releasing some new music videos and remixes from the new album. We are working on joining some other tours for the spring/summer, so you'll be able to see us on the road at a venue near you :)