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InkSpot: Falling In Reverse's Ronnie Radke Reveals His Favorite Tattoos

InkSpot: Falling In Reverse's Ronnie Radke Reveals His Favorite Tattoos

He used to be an alcoholic and a drug addict. But following an 18-month jail sentence, Falling in Reverse frontman Ronnie Radke kicked all of his vices—except one. He’s still hooked on tattoos.

Radke got his first, a microphone on his left arm, after his 18th birthday. “I’ve wanted to be a famous singer since I was young,” he says. “The guy who did it was so heavy-handed, the needle went deep into my tissue and my arm was dripping blood. It was pretty gnarly.”

Painful as it was, Radke couldn’t stay away from tattoo artists. Even in jail, he got the words “bang bang” inked on his knuckles, a stunt that earned him a spell in solitary confinement. “I didn’t get any other tattoos in jail, but once I got out, I started up again,” he says. “It’s an addiction, I guess. I have a bunch now. Some are meaningless, some mean a lot.”

The tattoos that follow include a little of both.

1. Owl Holding Decapitated Woman's Head
“My mother used to beat me when I was a child, then she left me. I’ve had abusive stepmothers. I’ve seen women come and go through my life, and when I was growing up, I had no respect for them because of what I’d experienced. I’ve had girlfriends since then who have taught me to respect women. But I got this done six months after I got out of jail and I think it looks amazing. The severed head represents tragedy, and in folk stories, owls are supposed to be wise. Then I learned that, in real life, owls are actually dumb creatures.”

2. Face
“My old tour manager’s name was Brian. I got his face tattooed on my leg on tour without him knowing and showed him onstage as a joke. He freaked out. Later, he was playing with a gun at a party and he dropped it by accident and it went off and killed him. It’s kind of strange that his face is on my leg. I was in jail when he died.”

3. Ahoy Butternuts
“I got this on [TLC reality show] LA Ink. I was playing a prank on Corey [Miller, tattoo artist]. You can see it on YouTube. I told him a crazy made-up story that, when I was 5, I had a horse named Butternuts who had died eating a piece of pizza from the trash. It’s a funny memory.”

4. No Home But the Road
“I used to go on tour and get totally crazy and it was my favorite thing to do. It still is, except I just work out now. The craziest thing I do is drink a protein shake.”

5. Teardrop
“To convicts, a teardrop represents a prison term. Some people have three or four on their face. Me, I’ll never go back so I’ll just have just this one. It reminds me not to do anything stupid, and it also warns people not to fuck with me.”

Album of the Week: Marty Friedman, Inferno