In the kaleidoscopic whirlpool of East LA’s music scene, one electric pulse cuts through the din: Lone Kodiak. This isn’t your garden-variety rock band. Lone Kodiak crafts a tapestry of sound that veers into aural anarchy. As we eagerly await their upcoming album, insert name and link, we chat with the band to learn more. At the epicentre of this sonic revolution is Josh Harris, the drummer whose rhythms don’t merely provide a backbone—they’re the throbbing nerve of the band’s visceral energy.
If you thought you could pigeonhole their latest offering, If We Have A Future, think again. For example, the “Inner Monologue” single serves as an exhilarating battleground where emotions clash and converge, driven by the relentless artillery of Harris’ drumming. This isn’t just passive listening; this is strapping in for an explosive odyssey that catapults you into a landscape of introspection and raw dynamism.
Shirking the superficial glamour of Hollywood rock, Lone Kodiak draws its essence from the raw energy of East LA and the untamed ethos of the Pacific Northwest. It’s a dissonant blend on paper, yet one that hits your senses like a sledgehammer of visceral reality. In a band that defies easy labelling, Harris emerges as the wild card, the unpredictable variable that elevates the band’s calculated chaos into an art form.
Today, Harris offers an exclusive glimpse into the stories, symbols, and personal histories embedded in each of his tattoos. Much like his drumming, every inked symbol on his skin dances to its own unique rhythm and reason. Let’s dive in. (If you’re in the area, be sure to hit the group’s release show @ Permanent Records Roadhouse in LA on Fri, Feb 9, 8:00 PM PST.)
What was the first tattoo you ever got?
Josh Harris: “I got tattooed on my 18th birthday by a friend of my parents who tattooed at the time. They had both been tattooed by him multiple times. I got a nautical star on each of my arms. One blue and black, the other red and black. Super cool and early 2000s, very in at the time.”
How many tattoos do you have on your body?
“I actually have no clue. I lost track a long time ago. They started blending together at some point.”
When did you know you wanted to get tattooed/get into tattooing?
“Growing up, my dad was getting tattooed often and had friends that owned shops so I was around the tattoo culture already but didn’t think too much about it. I think around the time I was a teenager and playing in my first band is when I really started to want them. I started going to a lot of shows and saw many bands with tattoos and I was thinking… These guys rip, they have tattoos, I want to rip, I want tattoos. Rock n’ roll and tattoos kind of seem to go together.”
What’s the most painful piece you’ve ever received?
“My back hurt in different areas, especially the back of the thighs and around the spine/neck area but I’d probably have to say the stomach/torso were probably my least favourite. Lots of important internal parts around there so it’s extra sensitive. Also that was some of the last big areas I had left to get done so that didn’t help.”
Is there a tattoo you’ve received or given recently that is a personal favorite?
“I have a chrysanthemum on my left leg that is done Tebori, which is a traditional Japanese hand poked style of tattooing. That’s one of my favourites for sure. It was done by Horizakura, aka Shinji. It’s special to me because he is widely considered one of the best in the business and in NYC (where I worked with him and got tattooed).
“There are a lot of people that would love to get tattooed by him but he has quite an extensive wait list. I just got lucky. I have another tattoo from him as well but the chrysanthemum is my favourite.”
What advice do you have for anyone looking to tattoo or get tattooed?
“Take your time and find the right artist tattooing in a style that resonates with you. Bring them your ideas, have a consultation and have them take your imagery into their style of tattooing.
“Also, if it’s expensive, spend the money. I think tattoos should be expensive. They’re extremely hard to do and when done right are totally worth the money spent. There is not another item you can buy on this earth that will be with you for the rest of your life.
“I have 80 dollar tattoos and I have 1,000 dollar ones and you can tell which is which.”
What would you never tattoo?
“I don’t plan to tattoo my neck or hands. It’s nice to have the option to look tattooed or not. Sometimes having all my tattoos showing leads to dumb conversations with people that I don’t feel like having. There are a lot of places around the world and states where they are still frowned upon. Certain people can be quick to judge you based on appearances. So it’s nice to be able to play both sides.”
What’s the longest session you’ve ever had?
“I don’t really recall but probably five or six hours and that was when I was a young buck. Now I hate sitting longer than like a half hour (laughs). I’m not trying to be a hero. I’ll break a tattoo into multiple sessions now. It feels like when you’re younger you want it now and all done the same day so you feel like sitting longer.
“At this point, I know how bad it sucks to get tattooed so it’s harder to sit longer. I have had a session where I sat too long while working on my back then got sick afterwards because it just dropped my immune system. I was sick for probably three weeks. Luckily all my spots left are only capable of fitting small tattoos which don’t take as long.”
Any shops or artists you want to give a shout-out?
“Obviously I gotta shout out Oak and Poppy, in Woodland Hills, California. I do piercings there twice a week, but everyone that tattoos there is great. You’ll get a solid, clean tattoo from any of the artists. Everyone does a little something different so they can accommodate most needs. I’ve got a few pieces from a couple of the artists there.
“There’s another great shop in NYC, Brooklyn to be specific, called Good Luck Tattoo in Greenpoint that has a killer lineup.”
Have you had anything covered up? If yes, what was it and why?
“I had my chest covered up a while ago. I had some band lyrics, cough… cough… Every Time I Die… and um, other bad shit too so I got it covered up with pharaohs horses, a traditional sailor/American style piece. I thought it was cool at 19 then got older, my taste changed, and realized it was just done poorly. It wasn’t fun doing that spot twice, that’s for sure, but definitely way happier with what I have now.
“Side note, it doesn’t really even matter because you can’t even tell what’s going on because I have so much chest hair.”
Tattoo pain: love It, hate it, indifferent to it? Or maybe pain is all mental?
“Hate it, duh. Tattoo pain to me is like an endurance test. It doesn’t feel good at all and every spot feels different. I think it’s manageable for the most part, but it’s definitely a mental game. As in, no one is making you do this. You can say, ‘I’ve had enough, I don’t want to do this anymore,’ and be done with it. You can get up and leave whenever you want. The unspoken rule though is once you’ve started you gotta finish. I personally don’t like sitting longer than two hours now.”
What’s the most elaborate piece you’ve completed to date? What was it, for whom, how long did it take?
“That would probably be my back. It’s a Mahakala piece that dear friend Yoni Zilber did. We worked together for about eight years in NYC. It goes from my shoulders to the back of my knees. None of this biker backpiece stuff I was told. All or nothing so we did that whole backside. He does Tibetan tattoos, but in a way that is pretty true to the traditional style of drawing Tibetan imagery. Unlike taking Tibetan imagery and making it more ‘tattooey’… if that makes any sense.
“We worked on it for two years and I’m not exactly sure how long it took, but my guess is around 40 hours. He has a beauty private studio called Watermark Studio in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey.”
Josh Harris by Sasha Bianca
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