Matthieu Vandekerckhove (BE), guitarist / shop assistant, Ghent


“I’m guitarist in the Belgian sludgemetalband Amenra and my solo project is called Syndrome.


We all have tattoos and some have piercings too, but for me these tatoos have nothing to do with the band. I started with the biggest one, a back piece of a dragon. I like the Japanese Edo culture. For them the dragon is the holiest of animals, symbolizing power, good fortune and luck.


I have the Japanese spirit Baku on my right hand, a creature that looks like an elephant that is a dreamcatcher: it devours nightmares. I have a Hannya mask on my left hand, symbolizing jealousy. Then I have some Daruma dolls too. They are traditional gifts. The eyes of Daruma are often blank when sold. The recipient of the doll fills in one eye upon setting the goal or the wish, then the other when the goal is set or the wish has come true. I have a koi, cherry blossoms… I’d like to go Japan one day.


I have a Japanese tattoo on my neck as well, the wolf. I named my son Wolf because of the characteristics this animal represents. I’d wish for him to become a strong and determined person. His mom and I do co-parenting, which means I have him around one week and have to miss him the other week. I try to organize my life so I can spend as much time as possible with him.  My main goal in life is making sure he his happy.”