Aside from maybe Joey Ramone, there may be no better founder of a punk rock museum than Vincent Fiorello. For all you punk rock die-hards out there, Fiorello requires no introduction. He co-founded the now legendary American punk rock band Less Than Jake over 30 years ago. He also co-founded some record labels, including Fueled by Ramen, Sleep It Off Records, and Paper + Plastick. Additionally, he’s had success as an entrepreneur, opening a tattoo parlour and founding a CBD brand called Sailor Diggen’s Finest.
The Punk Rock Museum just opened its doors to the public earlier this year. Located in Las Vegas, the museum is the world’s most comprehensive attraction regarding the genre’s history, culture, and absurdity. It features artifacts and memorabilia from punk scenes all over the world. You’ll find instruments, handwritten lyrics, clothing, artwork, photos, and a lot more.
Fiorello is just one of the museum’s celebrated founders. The idea behind it was originally that of NOFX’s Fat Mike. He then got some of the genre’s other heavy hitters, like Fiorello, Pennywise’s Fletcher Dragge, and Bryan Ray Turcotte, to come on board. They are now referred to as the Punk Collective.
Joining us today for Tattoo Talk is Fiorello to discuss his impressive body of art. Part of The Punk Rock Museum includes The Shop, which officially opened in May. The Shop is a tattoo parlour where fans can get inked on-site. For more information on The Shop and how to book an appointment, visit them at this link.
What was the first tattoo you ever got/gave?
Vincent Fiorello: “The first tattoo I ever got was a stick and poke of the word PEZ. I was a huge PEZ collector and thought, ‘What better way than to let my friend give me the logo?’ It looked terrible, but I love knowing exactly when and where I got that tattoo.”
How many tattoos do you have on your body?
“I currently have 37 tattoos. Some of the firsts were done on a whim and on tour, but there’s a perfection in the old tattoos that I would never blast over. Keeping those memories intact is really important to me.”
Is there a tattoo you’ve received or given recently that is a personal favourite?
“Recently, the most important tattoo I received is the address numbers to the museum, 1422. It is a modest size on my front lower leg, but being able to take the idea of a museum and make it a reality has been an amazing trip.”
Have you seen any fans with a band tattoo? Anything crazy memorable?
“I have seen full sleeves of band album covers, but the most memorable was a back piece of lyrics from a band. It was just so much, and so big that you can tell how important the band and song is.”
What’s your greatest passion besides tattoos?
“Family first always, but punk rock music is a close second. Both have given me the greatest gifts I could ever ask for, so both are extremely important to me.”
When do you get work done? Is it something planned and more regimented, or whenever the mood strikes?
“The days have been so busy with the museum planning and then opening that any creative work and beyond day-to-day work has to be scheduled. I’m a calendar and lists artists, so it works pretty seamless to organize days.”
Any shops or artists you want to give a shout-out?
“Eric Jazvac at my partner shop in Gainesville, called Florida Wunderland Tattoo. Shawn Kama @halloweentattoos, @lydia.tattoos, @frankbobtattoo at The Shop at the museum. Tom Vincent at Bad Apple, James Peterson at Grape Ape.”
If you HAD to get someone’s face tattooed on you, whose would it be, and why?
“My dog’s face because it doesn’t get cuter than that!”