The Dallas-based metalcore quintet known as Memphis May Fire have recently released a deluxe version of their 2014 release titled Unconditional. Upon the departure of original vocalist Chase Ryan, frontman Matty Mullins took the reins in 2008 and helped spearhead the “dangerous” and “bone-chilling” lineup that we know and love today.
Mullins has an outlook on life that is authentic to his own experience and struggles, and that is evident is his lyrics. He is a man of faith and attributes his fortune and understanding of love to his belief system. While much of Memphis May Fire’s music is loud, energetic, and thunderous, the message within is sincere and passionate. Mullins sat down to talk to Tattoo.com about his faith, the meaning behind his ink, and how music has also offered a hand in his self-discovery. Take a look at what he had to say.
How old were you when you got your first tattoo, and what was the reason behind it?
I got my first tattoo on my 18th birthday. The tattoo is on my left shoulder and it’s of a hand holding three playing cards that say The Father – The Son -The Holy Spirit – with banners around it that say “Play Your Cards Right”. The artist was Matt Lentz & the shop was Bullet Proof Tattoo in Spokane, WA.
What is the most ridiculous tattoo you have ever seen?
Probably my chest piece before I got it covered up. All blue & yellow free handed & poorly done family crest with no shading… The WORST.
What is the next piece of work you would like to have done?
I’m looking forward to having London Reese do the back & right side of my neck later this year.
Have you ever had a negative/allergic reaction to a tattoo?
My left hand got pretty infected because of a numbing spray we used halfway through the session. I won’t use anything like that anymore.
What do you think will be the next tattoo trend?
I don’t think I’m qualified to answer that question because I’ve never been one to pay close attention to the tattoo trends. I have a lot of different types of tattoos ‘cause I’m not partial to one specific style.
What do you believe to be the most important qualities in a tattoo artist, and what is your idea of a quality tattoo?
I don’t know enough about the trade to act like I know “what makes a good tattoo”. I’m sure a lot of artists have different opinions about that. I just like to get tattooed by my friends. Matt Lentz, London Reese, Zakk Ross, Cody Dresser. I like my tattoos to be an experience and to have significant meaning in my life. I trust those dudes to give me tattoos that are FOR ME and that’s what I care about most.
Photo by Timmy Farmer Photography
How do you feel about fan tattoos? Describe a few of the most memorable pieces that you have encountered.
It’s always so humbling to see fan tattoos. To know that the music you wrote made a lifelong impact on someone is an honor unlike any other. Tattoos of my lyrics and/or in my handwriting always blow me away.
Do you have any tattoos inspired by your favorite bands or artists?
I don’t. Most of my tattoos are faith-based.
What is the one question people ask most about your tattoos?
Honestly… “Hey bro who does your tats?” haha.
Which MMF band member has the most ink?
Jake and I are pretty tied up at this point but once he finishes his back he’ll pass me up… but not for long 😉
How do you feel that your music is translated into your ink?
A lot of my lyrics are rooted in my relationship with Jesus, especially these days. So I guess they go hand in hand with my tattoos.
What’s been the best part of being on 2015 Vans Warped Tour?
There’s no tour like Warped Tour. My favorite part is the abundance of amazing people we get to meet and develop relationships with!
What’s been your strangest experience on tour so far?
When we were in Russia we chased a midnight train to the next show in the dead of winter. Everyone made it on besides Kellen. Try to wrap your head around that. He was stranded, in Russia, in the WINTER. He caught another train later on that night but we didn’t know ‘cause our phones don’t work over there. The word ‘stressed’ doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Tell us what your new album, ‘Unconditional’ means to you.
For the most part, Unconditional is my story. My struggle with anxiety and depression my newfound understanding of God’s love for us.
Banner Photo Credit: Tyler Church