Music isn't Dead: The Impact of Fan Tattoos

Music has been around for generations. Every year a new sound, new album, new song is released. Sometimes there's that certain song that will make a permanent mark on our heart, and even on our skin. Some songs you just have a connection to. Where it takes you back to remember the good times, an old fling, a battle you've overcome, or someone whose no longer with us. Music is a healer for us that most people nor medication can not fix and you just need to see an everyday reminder of that. So you get a tattoo to always bring that song or certain lyrics with you. I've reached out to six different people who have that special song that means something to them and here are their stories:  

Dave Scheible
Band: A Day To Remember
Song: My Life For Hire
Lyrics: "This is a battleground"


"I chose these lyrics for my tattoo because they remind me to keep fighting, to keep moving forward.  I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma at age 15 and Thyroid Carcinoma at age 19.  My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer one week before my first diagnosis.  For my family, reminding ourselves that life is full of little battles - and little victories - is paramount.  When I heard the power behind My Life For Hire, I just needed to put the daily reminder on my arm to keep my head up and keep fighting.  Although I haven't been able to show ADTR my tattoo of their lyrics, I was able to push everyone out of the pit at an ADTR show and throw my arm in the area as the pit collapsed around me.  It was the biggest rush of emotion I've felt in my life, feeling the energy of all the people around me at that moment."


Brandon Savacool
Band: We Came As Romans
Tattoo: Hope Symbol


"My tattoo is of the band We Came As Romans. I have the Hope symbol that goes with the song 'Hope' that they released. The meaning behind this is simple yet, not so simple. The simple part is well, Hope. But why Hope? Well, it's a simple reminder to always have Hope, never lose it, Know Hope. When things get rough, I just look at my wrist, and remember things will get better, they always do, have hope. I used to self harm, so like having it on my left wrist has a lot of meaning to me. We Came As Romans have been one of my all time favorite bands for years now, so it made complete sense in the end. "


Cassandra Perkins
Band: Of Mice & Men
Song: When You Can't Sleep At Night
Lyrics: "It's love that keeps fueling me"
"I chose these lyrics because I am a dancer. I've been dancing for most of my life and when I heard these lyrics for the first time I was going through a dilemma of whether I wanted to continue dancing. These lyrics pushed me to continue doing something I was so passionate about. They still push me to be a better dancer and challenge myself. I got the tattoo in Austin Carlile's handwriting, but I unfortunately haven't been able to show the band yet or tell my story."



Annabelle Cholula
Band: Bring Me The Horizon
Song: Drown
Lyrics: Save me from myself


"Bring Me The Horizon is the only band I have ever truly emotionally connected with. The lyrics I have tattooed is from their song 'Drown' and it says "save me from myself" on my left arm in a typewritter font. I wanted to make it simple, yet have it somewhere on my body where I can see it everyday to remind me of who I am. I got it a few months after I turned 18. The lyrics specifically aren't the most happiest or inspiring lyrics from the band, but when I listen to the song I can't help but cry. Many people look at it and ask if I'm okay or rudely ask if I'm suicidal. Currently, I am going through a hard time about a medical condition that has me insecure most of the time and mentally stressed out and I've never said anything to anyone about this but I get really depressed at times. Drown speaks to me on a level that very few can understand me on and if someone, just one person, can save me from myself, or the depression and despair I feel, all the pain I've ever felt is worth it. Bring Me The Horizon and their fanbase keep me motivated to fight this despair I feel and their songs just show that I'm not alone in the way I feel. I have seen BMTH three times now in concert but I would love to tell Oliver and the guys about the multiple tattoos I have dedicated to them. I have never had the chance to meet them because they are so big now, but I hope one day that I can tell them my story and let them know how much they've helped me."


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Cheyenne Lenze
Band: Crown The Empire
Song: Limitless Lyrics:“We must rise we’re limitless tonight”

"April 1, 2014 was my first time seeing Crown The Empire live at the House

of Blues in Chicago. I made it to the rail for their set and was completely blown away by their performance. Their music impacted my life in a way that was indescribable. Last summer at the Vans Warped Tour, I had the opportunity to have each of the band members write a word from their song, “Limitless”, knowing I was going to get those words inked in a CTE inspired tattoo. The tattoo was then created by Pete Escobedo – For Life Tattoo Studio. The center of the piece is the main Cog & Crown, and I chose the cogs from the songs “Millennia” and “Satellites” not only because they are beautifully, well-written songs, but because those are two of my favorite songs from The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways. This tattoo is everything I expected and more, and has proven that people and situations in my past cannot get in my way no matter what, because when I look in the mirror every single day, I am reminded that I have risen to be




Ashley Winward Band : The Wonder Years Song: Local Man Ruins Everything
Lyrics: "It's Not About Forcing Happiness, It's About Not Letting Sadness Win"


I got my first (and only at the moment) tattoo about a year ago now, done by my family’s go-to tattoo artist Rick Pugliese (Body Graffiti Tattoo). Most of my life I’ve dealt with anxiety and small bouts of depression, though up until college it went undiagnosed. I knew I handled stress differently but figured it was due to my perfectionist nature and inability to say “no” to anyone that needed my help. Knowing the underlying cause didn’t help much though, as my college courses, rigorous majors and the sudden death of my father pretty much sent it all into overdrive. While I remain a pretty composed person my head is at constant war with itself and the rest of my body just falls victim to it.

My freshman year of college I stumbled upon a free concert taking place on campus, a band at the time I had never heard of called The Wonder Years. Being a free source of entertainment on a Saturday Night and an avid music lover I showed up, and as Dan “Soupy” Campbell took the stage I felt like someone had cracked my head open and sang all the contents inside. Without knowing any of the lyrics prior to that night I found myself choked up to the point of tears. The songs they sang about anxiety, the confusion of your 20s and feeling like a complete transient with no direction, really spoke to me, and still do. I left that night with an “I’m not sad anymore” T-shirt and a newfound love of what would be my new favorite band. Over the past 5 years I’ve seen them 6 times, and I’ve seen Soupy perform his solo project “Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties” 3 times, to say I’m obsessed is an understatement. I had decided for a while that I wanted a TWY tattoo but always said that if it was going to be lyrics that I wanted it in Dan’s handwriting, no exceptions. I got that chance 2 summers ago when he performed as Aaron West at Scranton Warped. After his set, trying not to completely break down I explained, “Your album (We Don’t Have Each Other) explains how Aaron had the worst year of his life, well I recently got through the worst year of mine and The Wonder Years really was the one thing that got me through it” and then asked him if he could write something out for me for a tattoo. He was very sweet about it, humbled that I would want his handwriting, and kept assuring me that if anything needed to be tweaked or shifted or resized that my tattoo artist had every right to mess with his writing (which made me laugh.) I was fortunate enough to show him and his fiancé the finished piece at a show just a month after to which he again, thanked me for the honor and beamed with pride as he showed his fiancé his words on my skin.


These lyrics mean and will forever mean a lot to me. I know that in the grand scheme of things there is no perfect happy life, and that there are a lot of bumps in the road. These lyrics are my more logical alternative to “Cheer up, things will get better.” Sometimes it’s unrealistic to just suddenly become happy but as long as the sadness doesn’t win, I consider that a victory. It’s been a long road and I’m still walking along it, but knowing that I have The Wonder Years to comfort me through my bad days and panic attacks makes me feel much less alone.


Thanks you to all who shared their stories! Got a band tattoo? Share with us in our contact us page or through our social media pages!