interview with Mechanical Demon | body modification | art 23/01/2014

 Hello Mechanical Demon! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers. I'm really happy for having the chance to share some of my thoughts with you, let's start with some basic info... You look a bit weird, controversial, scary but most importantly 100% unique. I guess, you find body art as a good way of self-expression, what does being unique means to you?

Thank you :) I'm hardly aware if people stare unless they do it way too long. I've done a lot to modify my body, but what's inside it is still just an everyday normal guy. I think Oscar Wilde said it best “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

Q: How did you get your nickname?
A: After I got my eyes tattooed, the practitioner / my friend Roni said "Welcome to the Demon family". It does have a ring to it, doesn't it? And having my body tattooed with the mechanical gear/clockwork style I chose to combine them.

Q: Looking weird must be fun at times, how people react when they see you for the first time? Share some memories with us.
A: Hahaha.. Best one so far is, when I went to a metal nightclub and some girl was leaving at the same time. She saw me and nearly vomited herself and after surviving the shock asked "How the f**k did you do that to your eyes?"; to which I responded "I photoshopped them". She was drunk enough to believe it and I got a good story to tell.

Q: You have lots of tattoos on your body. Really cool! When did you get your first one?
A: I had just turned 18 and went to a friends friend, who tattooed at home. Few days earlier I had designed a mechanical tribal and took it in 2 separate days right next to each other. I've found gears and mechanical parts to be aesthetically good looking and that seemed like a right thing for my skin.

- Do you have any favorite?
Every new tattoo I get is instantly my favorite! I don't stare at them in the mirror or even remember where I'm tattooed or not. When I have something new, then I wear it proudly until I forget about it.

Q: Piercings are also something that makes you look different than many other people. I'm not talking about a "regular" eyebrow piercing... Head piercings are the most remarkable body mods. you have on your body. Was it painful? hehe
A: Oh it was indeed! And the pain for the next week is also mentionable. I've had hundreds and hundreds of piercings, but not a single one left anymore. I kinda grew out of them. The first implants in my head are from 3.5 years back and I think I'm still going to get more and more of those.

- What's the most painful body area for piercing?
Male genitalia. That hurts.

Q: Hook suspensions and various other body modifications is something you do for living. When it all started?
A: It all started with Ripley's Believe it or Not. I saw the TV series and fell in love with what people could do to themselves. It took a long time to find a suspension team and get into it, but once I started doing it - I did it as often as possible. Now I've had a longer break to focus solely on tattooing, but I'll continue "hanging" with the crew once I find more time for it.

- Would you say that body suspension is form of art and spiritual relive? How much time you needed to get rid of the fear?
I started doing a 2-hook O-kee-pa. Which is chest suspension and very painful one too. My body got into a shock state at first and I had to come down before I was even well lifted and gathered myself to do it anyway in that state. After that it's been easy and relaxing. Although there are days when it hurts more.

Q: Laugh at me, but to be honest, I don't think I'll never try hook suspension! Do you have any special training, special diet?
A: Nope. None. We're all different people and I can't speak for anyone, but myself. I've heard, that for some it's a spiritual thing and they diet beforehands or do it to get more in touch with their bodies, but for me it ended up being the same as getting tattooed or going to a movie. Of course it's exciting and thrilling, but after doing it for a while - it was a very "normal" thing to do.

Q: What else outside body suspension, is a bit extreme, but still considered as a body art/modification in your opinion?
A: I'd say heavy blackwork on full sleeves etc. That's a bit extreme, but well received amongst body modification world.

- Is there anything else you would love to try? haha What's the next challenge?
Scarification is something I'm going to have quite soon. I'd love to try everything that's offered possible for me... - I love the experiences I can get out of everyday life.

Q: You're located in Helsinki, Finland. What's the opinion about tattoos/body modification there? Are there any taboos?
A: The taboos are the same here as in everywhere else in western cultures. Amputations are not well looked even among tattooed /modified people, but we are very liberal about tattoos and piercings.

Q: You're also a tattoo artist. Do you have any favorite tattoo style?
A: I've been tattooing for 2.5 years now. Before that I tried to learn, but it wasn't until august 2011 that I got the grip on what I'm actually doing. Then I got the job offered quite fast too and worked hard (and still work hard) to give the tattoos I do my own touch.
I'd say my favorite style varies from horror-realism to my variation of new-school.

Q: I guess, your customers love the way you look like. You're probably the craziest tattoo artist out there. What are some of the funniest experiences with the customers?
A: To some of them it's a shock as they reserve a time and then come meet me up in person. It was a hard struggle to get rid of the "weird" tattoo artist and more into the respected field where my work speaks more than my looks.

- Are there any weirder people than you, looking for a crazy custom design? haha!
Some of my friends I've grown up with tend to share the same humor, that I have and surprise me with stuff I normally wouldn't suggest to anyone. I have to tell people off, that it wasn't my idea, but his/hers to begin with.

Q: How would you describe yourself, when you have a day off? Would you say, you're a casual person? (I don't think so, in a positive way:)
A: Having a day off means sleeping a bit later and still doing all work related things. Answering e-mails, drawing coming clients and spending time with my family here.

- What's your favorite music style? How do you get inspired when things get tough in the studio? Do you have any hobbies?
I'm into all music, but favorite would be industrial/metal/horror-rap. I have the best colleagues and if I'm in a tight spot - they help me out, just as I do to them. Inspiration always comes from finding some great art and wanting to give tattoos the same soul they have. My only hobbies nowadays are 3D sculpting and relaxing with console games.

Q: You also love to travel a lot. You do body art shows, photo-shoots, public performances. What's next?
A: I'm booked to tattoo conventions as a tattooist for Caracas in Venezuela (where I'm also performing), Ulm and Hildesheim in Germany and North West Ink in Washington this year. I'm going to travel to Poland, Switzerland and Austria in April too to meet friends and work at their shops.

I'm doing few music videos, participating in a biomechanical themed gallery from various artists in Finland and trying to find time to get the merchandise out there and all the photo shoots too. They often take half of the day so having a day off is more of a dream, than a real weekly event.

- Do you have any favorite shows you've been working on? Let's say a career highlight?
Everything and everyone I've worked with. It's amazing how super talented these people are. Working with everyone so far has been a career highlight.

Q: What's the most motivational lesson you've learned?
A: Hard work pays off. Diamonds are nothing but chumps of coal that survived under heavy pressure.

Q: Do you have any influential people on your mind that you would love to work with? What would be the "dream" project?
A: I look up to Domantas Parvainis, Dmitriy Samohin, Tara Quinn and Nikko Hurtado very much. I hope I someday can spend a day watching how they work and a "dream" project would be doing a documentary or a movie about tattoo artists as I find them all so very interesting.

Q: So far, do you still have the same enthusiasm for all you do?
A: Yes. I don't do things I feel awkward about. It's the guts telling me what to leave undone. I smile most of the day, just enjoying every single thing I'm allowed and asked to do.

Q: What advice would you give anyone looking to break into the field?
A: Whatever the field is. Always find artists whom do it better than you and learn from them. Do what you really love to do and people will feel the passion.

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Mechanical Demon Tattoo Studio: His Master's Tattoo - Helsinki, Finland
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