Even with 31 tattoos on his body, he is not done yet. Lasse Skaret narrates the stories behind his tattoos, but still says: «I got a lot of unfinished projects on me.»
By MESAY MOGES MENEBO
WHO? Lasse Skaret (30) from Ålesund served as a welfare officer at Haakonsvern naval base after Royal Norwegian Navy boot camp and learned how to arrange shows, the booking process and the logistics. The rock’n’roll vagabond started arranging shows, and working rock DJ at different clubs and as a docker at the port of Ålesund between his adventures. Tonight he is attending the OnklP & De Fjerne Slektningen’s show in Terminalen, Ålesund, and tomorrow he will experience the whole OnklP-show again in Bjørnsonhuset, Molde.
WHAT? The one on his arm is the first he got when he was seventeen. He says it explains everything; man’s ruin – gambling, drinks and women – a classic motive in the tattoo community. He thought it would look cool when he saw it in the studio. Then, it just escalated and now he has 31 tattoos. On his back, he got his second one, which says «Rock».
The one on his right arm is the one he loves the most, even if it is not finished yet. His friend Fabian from Spain worked almost 11 hours on it.
The tattoos on his leg are signings from friends, and he says: “It is like a guest book. I do not regret having the tattoos there, but I could do without the tattoos. Even if it is a good memory, I could have something beautiful instead.”
On his chest, he got an eagle. «I don’t know why I have it, but it is just really cool. I wanted to fill my chest with everything. It is just a start. I am not done with it yet. I got a lot of unfinished projects on my body.»
The money he spent so far is not actually much, because some of them were as a gift from the artists he met, but estimates that he has spent 30-40.000 NOK for those he paid for.
WHY? When he was a kid, he saw rock’n’roll music videos on MTV. The musicians all had tattoos and big hair, and he wanted to be one of them. He became friends with many tattoo artists; started hanging out, making food together, having a couple of beers and taking part in concerts. He says, «When you take care of an artist here in Norway who is, maybe from Argentina, then they are very grateful and wants to give something back. And they do that tattoo on you to thank you. So suddenly. I had lots of friends and a lots of tattoos. That is really weird.»
His favorite tattoo of the geisha/hannya was made after «a bad and hard break-up» when he was 23. «She dumped me and I was tired of love. I started to consider women as ignorant. That was the feeling I had at that time. It is not a pretty story, but I see the beauty of it because I was young and rebellious. Today. I got a different view on women.»
«In my case, they are always related,» he says about his «love» and «pain» text tattoos on his fingers. «I wanted something on my fingers. When you get tattoos on your fingers, there is no way back from that one. You have to own them and present yourself in a way that people accept. Visible tattoos like this exposes, because there is a lot of stigma and people are judgmental. But they also forces people to see your good deeds, beyond the tattoos.»
His upcoming plan is to finish coloring his chest piece, which will take only 20 minutes. He says that having his chest tattooed was very painful.
“It was excruciating. The worst pain ever. I hate it. You eat many sugar pills, and you have to eat food all the time to keep your blood sugar up. The last three four hours, I was just sitting there totally drained.»
No matter the pain, he wants to have a former king of Norway – Haakon the VII – on his chest. «It is to remember how much he meant to my grandfather during World War II. I always had the picture of the king because of what he stood for. He was a strong man who kept Norway together during the German occupation. And I think it will be an honor to have the picture of him tattoed on my body.»
He says he has strong feelings about his tattoos.
«If I am with other people who have a lot of tattoos, I feel connected. When people do not have tattoos and I am the only one seen with it, I feel interesting. It always starts a conversation. I like that. But around the world there can be a lot of stigma connected to tattoos. Especially when I lived in Berlin, some places were strict about it. When they look at you in a club, you are treated very different. They distant themselves from you. I am glad I experienced it, but it was a bad feeling.»
Once, when he was in Philadelphia, the situation were quite the opposite.
«There they treat you like an interesting person. In a customs office, they took me in for questioning. I guess it is because the person who first interviewed me was kind of a conservative – probably a soldier – and he did not seem to like me. As soon as I was sitting there in line waiting and waiting, I felt like I was going to be kicked out of the USA. just because the way I looked. They are very strict about gang-stuff. Suddenly I became friends with everybody in the customs office. We bonded, had coffee and a good time. They were looking at my tattoos and asked about them, said they looked nice and showed me their own tattoos. It was social. They even escorted me to my plane with car. I got special treatment.»