20 Canadian music tattoos

by Mark Teo

February 10, 2014






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If you’ve ever been obsessed with a band—and believe us, we have—you’ve surely contemplated getting a tattoo in tribute. But we’re here to tell you one thing: Don’t do it.

Band tattoos manage to fade worst than most—when’s the last time you saw a cargo-short toting drummer rocking a brilliant ZOSO tattoo? Never. Have you ever seen a Pink Floyd prism, surely on a scrawny, ponytailed Trebas Institute grad, that didn’t look like a Reading Rainbow prison tat? Hell naw. How many Radiohead bears will you see at Coachella? Thousands, and given the passage of time, they’ll look every bit as horrid as a faded-out Grateful Dead ourson.

We’ve sifted through hundred of freckle-laden photos to bring you the best, worst, and most shocking tattoos inspired by our own Canadian musicsphere.



At first, you’re like, “What? Why would someone get a Chad Kroeger tattoo from an ink joint that doubles as a nail salon?” Then, you realize that someone actually got a tattoo of Chad Kroeger servicing a glory hole on their butt. And that little someone, my friends, is what we call marriage material.


Celine Dion

Naturally, a world where Celine Dion sports a Tim Riggins hairdo, rocks a mean underbite, and sings “The Power of Love” with a mouth full of marbles is a world we want to live in.



The wafer-thin frame of the person above could only exist in the mid-’00s emocore scene. (We’re wagering that the person carrying this Alexisonfire tat started loving Alexisonfire, went through a Springsteen-worshipping period, and now, owns at least two of the three following items: A barbershop, a charcuterie, and a Boston Terrier.) Still, as most -core scenes love their tattoos, they usually produce decent art—and we give this cardinal a pass.


Dallas Green

On the topic of Alexisonfire (ahem, “Alexis”), singer-guitarist Dallas Green has a full body of excellently rendered mid-’00s emo tattos, like the heart-shaped grenade pictured above. But while Green surely didn’t skimp on the quality of his tats, the same can’t be said of his fans: the above rendition resembles a mashup of the Hurry and the Harm singer and the Firefox logo.


Avril Lavigne

Portraits don’t usually work, unless they’re of pets. Case in point: This Avril portrait’s sunken sockets, dead blue eyes, and gaping maw make it look like the “Sk8r Boi” singer’s ready to devour souls and souls and souls.



While most Deadmau5 lifers would be content to rock a pair of mouse ears on their calves, brotherman went all out: Splayed across his ribs is Joel Thomas Zimmerman, rocking the decks in a cavern sculpted from circa-1995 tribal designs. Classy.


Justin Bieber

This stern-looking coreman’s Bieber tattoo earned him so much notoriety, even Justin gave it daps.



I’m no doctor, but I know that high stress levels can cause gastrointestrinal distress. So, when the proud owner of this Hedley ink finally got a chance to pose with her idol, Jacob Hoggard, I’m sure she was clenching those cheeks with every ounce of her strength trying—trying!—not to slather his lip-ringed face with a sloppy, humid gust of methane. Or something even worse.


Concerts in general

There’s plenty of Canadian bands on this personalized tour shirt; Nickelback, Three Days Grace, and Theory of a Deadman all made the cut. Personally, though, we’re sooooooo jealous that this person saw Gwen Stafani in ’07. We love No Dobt!


Marianas Trench

Sadly, this Marianas Trench baby block tattoo will be on this person’s body for ever after.



We were initially going to post (and laugh about) a photo of the girl who has “Moist” tattooed above her you-know-what, but we’ve grown tired of jokes about David Usher tickling people’s nipples with feather boas. So here, the tattoo equivalent of a thumb ring. (It didn’t help that this person’s also wearing a thumb ring. If you can’t find it, it’s directly north of the three leather bracelets. Or are those erotic restraints? Ooh, you minx!)


No Warning

OK, straight up, this No Warning tattoo—they were Ben Cook’s former band, before Fucked Up—is the best thing on this list. Why? Because it was taken from the artwork of their perfect Ill Blood LP, whose cover was illustrated by Hamilton, ON tattoo artist Jeff Beckman. In essence, it was an album cover that was made to be tattooed.


Our Lady Peace

It’s the man on the cover of the band’s Burn Burn album, after spending the evening wriggling through a sooty chimney.


Protest the Hero

This, we must admit, is a damn decent portrait of Rody Walker. It’s too bad that that it looks like it’s patterned after an Alternative Press photoshoot.


Sum 41

Nevermind the fact that this dude has a photo of Deryck Whibley emblazoned with the lyrics, “My mum should’ve had an abortion.” Our favourite part of his photo is the caption labelling his nipple. It’s like, bro, we know where your nipple is. It’s right there, where every other nipple in the world is located, looking exactly like a nipple. Geez, you act like we’ve never seen a nipple before!


Theory of a Deadman

This tattoo is way too well executed; it’s almost too pretty to be a tribute to the guys who wrote “The Bitch Came Back.” Who’s betting that this dude (or lady) got their autographs tattooed next?


Three Days Grace

A Three Days Grace armband is kind of like a string of Grateful Dead bears, only for ATV-riding Western Canadians. And while we wouldn’t recommend getting one, it’s surely better than getting TOADM’s Xbox-looking logo tattooed on your motherfucking neck.


Tragically Hip

In the tattoo, Gord Downie kind of resembles Bill Murray in a fedora. That’s a good thing, we think.



Of course, how could we forget the second-most notorious face tattoo of all time (after the Earth Crisis face tattoo, but before our other favourite non-face Drake tattoo, this Noisey editor’s “Started” one)? This L.A. woman’s photos went viral back in 2011 when, as it turns out, her tattoo artist didn’t even know who Drake was.

“The whole shaved eyebrow thing usually means you just got put on to your neighborhood or whatever, so I figured she was just some crazy shermed-out cholla that was ‘down for her calle’ or whatever,” he told VICE. “In my opinion this whole world’s going to shit, and shit rolls downhill, so I might as well just jump in, hold my breath, and pray to G-d that there’s a nice big soft puddle of diarrhea for me to land in once everything hits the fan.”

Words to live by.

Tags: Music, News, WTF, Alexisonfire, Avril Lavigne, Celine Dion, Dallas Green, Deadmau5, Drake, hedley, Justin Bieber, Moist, Nickelback, Our Lady Peace, Protest The Hero, Sum 41, Tattoos, Theory Of A Deadman, Three Days Grace, Tragically Hip






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