The Kills plus fans at tattoo parlor Shamrock Social Club Inc. Photo by Mark Oblow
In 2016, after five long years, The Kills released their ridiculously sick fifth record, Ash & Ice. We talked to them about the process and their closer than close relationship here. As with everything The Kills have ever put out, the duo are cognisant of the complete package and for this release the record was adorned with ink sketched art doodles which led to a plan being hatched involving the symbols, their art, and a tattoo gun. This was how Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince pitched it:
"Jamie and I are making a short film. We are asking for fan participation. Our record artwork for Ash & Ice is made up of symbols. There are 15 symbols in total, one correlating to each of the 13 songs, along with the volcano and the martini glass from the front cover.
"So we need 15 folks, each willing to get one of the small symbols tattooed somewhere (anywhere) on your body. The tattoos will only be 1 inch in diameter. We will be there. We will film it. We will photograph it. We will pay for it… This is essentially an art project. A short film will be made and shown wherever and whenever we see fit. The photographs fall into that same boat too.
"Thank you all. We look forward to seeing you under the gun.
Love, The Kills.”
So in early June, 15 fans assembled—many of them without a drop of ink on their body—at Shamrock Social Club Inc. in LA and the tattoo artists got to work. Below is a video of the experience and some words from the band.
"We had a great time meeting the 15 fans who went under the gun," said The Kills after the event. "You came from near and far, some already had tattoos and for a handful these were your very first! We feel so honored to be a part of you forever now and we loved hearing all of your stories. Huge thanks to everyone at Shamrock Social Club Inc. for hosting us! We were so thrilled to have the legendary Mark Mahoney do some of the tattoos, along with the talented Max Hanson and Isaiah Negrete."