If you've met Joe Letz, you've probably immediately noticed that regardless of his towering tallness, penchant for radical makeup looks, and brutal beats, he's incredibly friendly and kind. Always down to support others in any way he can, the addition of Joe to the Tattoodo family is not only exciting, it's integral to the hopes of creating the global tattoo community we at Tattoodo dream of.
In this interview with Tattoodo's new Director of Artist Relations, Joe Letz talks about touring with his new band Aesthetic Perfection, the connection between tattoos and music, as well as how he hopes to celebrate all of our favorite tattoo artists and musicians through the unique Tattoodo platform!
How has your past experience led you to Tattoodo?
Well, that’s a funny story actually! I’ve been a touring musician for the last 16 years. In that time I haven’t had the need for a conventional job as I was kept pretty busy on the road. About 4 years ago I remember my dear friend Megan Massacre talking about getting involved with a new project that Ami James was starting up with a bunch of other high profile artists and business minds. I knew Ami of course from NY Ink, it seemed really interesting to me what they were doing; building this massive social media community through creating and sharing any and everything you could possibly think about tattoos. To me it seemed like a sort of modern tattoo industry encyclopedia. It was just one of those ideas to me, like the POST-IT NOTE, like WOW, HOW HAS NO ONE THOUGHT OF THIS BEFORE?! Genius! Fast forward a few years later and Megan let me know that they were putting together a new team. Like I said, I hadn’t even thought about or needed any type of conventional job in 16 years, but I jumped at the chance to go into the office and meet everyone. I just knew in my heart this was something I wanted to be a part of, would be fun, and I would be able to bring great value to.
As a musician how do you feel you can support tattooists in your own special way?
Well, first of all I travel a lot because I am constantly touring with a number of different bands, Rammstein, Aesthetic Perfection, Emigrate, to name a few. I have built up what I like to think is a reasonable social media community over the years through the bands I have played in. I think it will be real neat for a lot of my fans to see me working so closely with so many amazing tattoo artists. I’m excited to share everything I learn about and work on with each of them to my audience, as well as Tattoodo’s massive audience. Music and tattoos obviously go hand in hand and I’m honored to have been chosen by Tattoodo to be the face that marries the two through all the cool projects we plan to bring exclusively to our humungous community!
What are your hopes as the Director of Artist Relations for Tattoodo?
Really my main goal is to just become friends with everyone who I work with! I think as a musician who is in the public eye I understand a bit about the tattoo industry and about how tattoo artists have come to have to deal with being in such demand. This isn’t always an easy thing to navigate; it takes a certain kind of person for people to feel comfortable enough to work with on a personal level. This is something I know about first hand so I can certainly empathize with them in that respect. With that being said, I’ll be focusing on how to bring the most value possible to each artist's relationship with Tattoodo, and vice versa.
How do you plan to bring music and tattoos together? Who are some of your favorite artists/musicians and who do you dream of working with in the future?
One way we are beginning to build that bridge is by interviewing musicians about their tattoos! This is real fun for me as when I was a kid I honeymooned as a journalist for my high school newspaper. It's something I had always wanted to do when I was younger, so I’m now getting to live out that childhood fantasy. We’ve already interviewed some of my good friends in Limp Bizkit, Suicidal Tendencies, Sick of it All…. ultimately, i’d love to be the guy who is able to hook up his friends in the music biz with the best tattoo artists in the world. As far as people I would love to work with in some capacity, i’m pretty stoked on that FEVER333 band right now. Their drummer does back flips in the middle of songs and the singer throws his body around the stage like it's a rag doll that just got dipped in battery acid. These guys have a very positive message and tons of tattoos that I’d love to ask them all about!
What is your favorite tattoo story? Are there any tattoos you have that you want to get removed or covered up?
Ya know when I first stated getting tattooed when I was a kid I was getting all these serious tattoos that had to do with my struggles in life, most of which I eventually conquered and are things of the past now. Those are the tattoos that seem the cheesiest to me now, but I wouldn’t say I would ever wanna get any of them removed. They all represent a time in my life and it's important to remember where you came from. I’ve learned to appreciate ridiculous tattoos more as I am getting older. I'm not 80 years old yet but I have a feeling that a tattoo that you can laugh at when you get it is one that you can probably laugh at when your holed up in a nursing home with a bunch of other old weirdos…I was once appreciating a flying penis tattoo that a friend of mine had painted and she offered to tattoo it on me at that moment and I just said "OF COURSE WE NEED TO DO THAT!" and now here I am, a 38 year old with a tattoo of a flying dick on his leg. I had her put a little green in there too since I tour a lot and it's not always so easy to find a shower on the road!
How can we follow your adventures on Tattoodo? Any particular travel plans, collabs, or projects you're looking forward to in 2019?
Well, of course through following Tattoodo on all of our socials like the Tattoodo App, our Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Also follow me on my socials as I'll surely be announcing any new things we have worked on or published there! Right now I’m on tour with my new band Aesthetic Perfection and we plan to do a weekly loose format talk show kind of thing where I can meet some of the artists that we work with while I visit their respective cities, and just have fun with them and hang and get to know them...next up for me will be Rammstein’s stadium tour this summer, where I will be spending more time visiting as many of our ambassadors as I can get to! And, of course, inviting them out to some parties!