Very early in my Incubus fanfare(circa 2001) I went through, what I assume hundreds of thousands of fans did, a phase were I was hearing the music but not listening. I immediately wanted to brand myself with the first tattoo I could that would represent my love affair for Incubus. Without longterm thought, I was in a phase were I thought the baddest ass tattoo on the planet would be the red ink Koi fish that Brandon proudly displays on his right forearm. And so I did. I got the red ink Koi. I was happy; I felt this was my street cred amongst other Incubus fans. Again, I was young. I never did drugs, so this was my youth moment.
Now don't get me wrong, Brandon and Jose's work, I still hold dear. They are humble musicians as well as very creative artists with the ink. But, I have grown older. I came to a realization that I was hearing all these amazing sounds Kilmore, Mikey, Ben as well as the two in question could create, but I wasn't actually listening to the lyrics Brandon is pouring his heart out with. While I am sure that to a degree, Brandon and Jose are honored someone would want to brand themselves with something they created, I also feel that it goes against everything the band is trying to tell us.
So, I have made the decision to get the red koi covered-up. It's not that I regret the tattoo or am ashamed of it(maybe slightly due to seeing many people with the same impressionable idea). But, at this moment, what the band means to me, I feel the proper thing to do is get this tattoo covered up. I have decided that I am going to find a balance of a new tattoo with a creation inspired by Brandon/Jose instead of a carbon-copy of their work. I am going to get a more modern, realistic Koi fish with exaggerations of the fins and tail to pay tribute to Jose/B's work. This will include some other things I don't want to mention as well as water in the background.
I'm not trying to earn new cred with my awakening so to speak. I just, quite frankly, feel guilty for copying their work. I never asked for permission. I never asked what the true meaning was behind Joser and B's idea. Maybe they don't care that I did? But, I do care. I just want something to look at proudly and be reminded of why I love the band rather than something that says I have no originality. And maybe deep down, the best way to be original is to not have a tattoo at all. But, the balance for me and my happiness as well as my homage of being lucky to be in Incubus' generation, is to fix this wrong.
The point of me sharing this is not regret, but to remind the younger new fans, don't be hasty in a decision to display your Incubus fan badge. While tattoo's from your youth remind you of just that, be patient and again, listen to the words Brandon is telling you...Why not try and make yourself?