Sugarland Tattoos: Kristian Bush ‘Humbled’ By Fans’ Lyrical Ink
We have heard horror stories of overzealous fans who have immortalized their favorite artists’ likeness with tattoos — some successful, some not so much. However, it’s becoming increasingly more popular to ink oneself with a line or phrase from a favorite song. Sugarland fans, in particular, find special meaning in the duo’s lyrics, something to which Kristian Bush can relate.
“That’s an honor, and it’s humbling,” the Sugarland guitarist tells The Boot. “I’m so connected to that as a fan that I try to carry that responsibility as a writer. I try to spend a lot of time thinking of what it is I want to say, and how I want to say it. Mainly because I know what it’s like as a fan to hear music that is just exactly what I needed. It changes things. I feel so connected to that song or that lyric, it fit the thing that was going on in my life. I didn’t have the words, and someone else gave them to me.”
While Kristian’s brother, Brandon Bush (Train, Sugarland) has always been a fan of body art — he has “traditional Japanese sleeves, and spent like 15 years getting it done” — Kristian wasn’t swayed until he found a design that hit close to home.
“Strangely enough, I was never that connected to tattoo culture,” he recalls. “I just couldn’t get my head around a symbol or a piece of art that I thought was defining of me. I change a lot. I write all sorts of different songs, I’ve had different bands over the years …
“Then, all of a sudden, I found that writing words on myself made sense,” he continues. “As soon as I saw tattoos as a way to tell your story, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I totally get it.’ So I got my first tattoo a couple of years ago, and it’s the word ‘hope’ on my left arm. It has a couple of dots at the end for each of my kids.”
Getting the tat was a decision the 42-year-old musician does not regret. In fact, he’s already thinking about what his next one will be. “I just can’t tell you how satisfied I am with it,” Kristian says with a laugh. “I stare at it every day and think, ‘Wow, that’s cool.’ I can imagine getting more. I’m thinking about another one on my arm, with a pen or a pencil at the end of the lyric so it looked like it was still being written.”
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