What do Travis Barker, Lilâ€™ Wayne, Lady Gaga and Keith Urban all have in common?
Theyâ€™re all musicians of course, but more importantly, theyâ€™re musicians with tattoos. As it turns out, this type of body art is prevalent among all music genres and entertainers, amateur or otherwise.
According to Colorado State University senior and local music artist Hunter Reece, the stigma in society against tattoos runs opposite in the music world.
â€œYou almost canâ€™t be a musician without tattoos! If you donâ€™t have tattoos, itâ€™s like youâ€™re not cool,â€ he joked.
Reece is the lead singer of Mister Mistress, a band he formed with his friends with a style described as a blend of rock, pop and hip hop. Their declared goal: to simply make their fans feel good through music.
With seven tattoos and many more pending, Reece epitomizes the quintessential â€œrockerâ€ visage, not to mention disposition.
â€œThe way I see it, even if your tattooâ€™s not cool to you thirty years later, itâ€™s still a memory of who you were when you got it . . . although I would never get an exâ€™s name, or a girlfriend or significant otherâ€™s,â€ Reece said. Unless he was willing to add a certain four-letter word above it later, he added.
Despite his bandâ€™s already burgeoning fame and recognition, Reece maintains a connection to his family. A number of his tattoos convey the importance of his friends, family members and even pets.
On his chest he has a portrait of his Samoyed dog named Sage, who passed away in 2002. â€œI got her tattooed portrait right over my heart. She was my baby girl.â€ he said. In the future he also plans to get the paw prints of his current two dogs inked on to his forearms.
His canine companions arenâ€™t the only ones who have made a lasting impression on him.
On his arm read the words The Dream, a nickname bestowed upon him by his friends in high school. â€œMy friends gave me that nickname for a reason. Every time I see that, even if Iâ€™m not feeling very â€˜dreamy,â€™ I have to honor it and stay the dream,â€ he said.
â€œMy first tattoo was my familyâ€™s skate shop logo on my wrist. Designed by a family friend, itâ€™s called Continuum, so itâ€™s C-O, and kind of an infinity sign. It means a continuum of everything,â€ Reece explained.
The shop has now been open in Aurora for six years, and his tattoo is a way to take the shop with him wherever he goes.
â€œIt was just always us (three) from the start, so itâ€™s always been really personal. It took a lot of sh** getting it started, and itâ€™s important to me. To see it there, alive, and knowing we built it.â€
No matter what he goes through while following his dreams, Reece stays grounded and remembers what is most important, thanks in part to the ink that will forever remind him of his roots and his loved ones.