Tattoo Stories: Zak Stevens on First, Worst, Most Painful Ink

photo by Joel Barrios

Having sung with everyone from Savatage to Trans-Siberian Orchestra to Circle II Circle, vocalist Zak Stevens is used to wearing his heart on his sleeve, be it on record or onstage. He wears his heart on his sleeve in another way, too: via his intense, mostly black-and-gray tattoos. We recently caught up with singer — who just released the debut album, Fallen, from new project Archon Angel — to get some insight into his pieces.

WHAT’S YOUR MOST PAINFUL TATTOO?
ZAK STEVENS The two forearm tattoos with the skulls. The most painful parts were the designs at my elbow bones and wrist bones.

HOW ABOUT YOUR FIRST TATTOO?

The Native American symbol on my right forearm.

WHAT’S YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING TATTOO?
Since I have some that aren’t always showing, I really wouldn’t say I have one that is super embarrassing. [But] there are two that need touched-up on my shoulders: one of a microphone and one of the Circle II Circle logo.

SO YOU HAVE THE CIRCLE II CIRCLE LOGO — DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER BAND TATTOOS?
I [actually] have a few of Circle II Circle — one on my right forearm representing the first album, one on my left forearm with the name on a sword, and one that we fondly call “Stonehenge” on my shoulder. I don’t think I would ever get a band tattooed on me that is not my own.

WHAT’S GOING TO BE YOUR NEXT TATTOO?
I’m going to get a few of the existing tattoos touched up, and maybe add some details, but I don’t think I will be getting any new ones.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE TATTOO ARTIST?
Doc Joe’s Tattoos in Hamburg, Germany.