Jacob Interviews…Tattoo Artist & T.V. Personality Corey Miller

Tattoo artist and T.V. Personality Corey Miller holds up his designed TUACA bottle. Photo taken by Jacob Elyachar.

By: Jacob Elyachar

 

LA Ink’s Corey Miller is on tour with his band Powerflex 5 promoting TUACA’s latest bottle, which he designed for the company.   Recently, jacobelyacharjournalist.com caught up with him and we talked about his career as a tattoo artist, his work with TUACA and playing with his band.

Jacob Elyachar: When did you get started as a tattoo artist?

Corey Miller: I started tattooing around the age of 15.  I was self-taught with homemade machines and needles.   When I was 16-years-old, I started hanging around a tattoo shop as much as I could and I started tattooing professionally in a shop in 1987.   So I have worked in a tattoo shop for 25 years.

JE: How did your tattoo parlor, Six Feet Under, get started?

CM: I worked at Good Time Charlie’s Tattooland with some of the best tattoo artists around.  I worked with Jack Rudy, who was a mentor of mine, and around 1992, I left the shop and went on my own.   I had a couple of ventures and came up with the name Six Feet Under probably close to 20 years ago.   It was the idea of being underground; we did not have any yellow page ads, advertisements or did not have a sign that said tattoo parlor until three days before L.A. Ink filmed.    It was a legitimate shop; we always worked on the name through reputation and referrals.

JE: Speaking of LA Ink, how did you get involve with that show?

CM:  I knew a lot of people on Miami Ink, I respected those guys.  I knew Chris Garver well, Ami (James) and Kat Von D and she had asked me to come out and tattoo on that show and then she blew up and became a big star and was going to do LA Ink and she had asked me if I could come along and obviously I said: “Yes.”  I had a great time on that show, I did four years of reality T.V. and I called in because was a respected artist and they wanted someone good on the team as well and it was really fun and it was something I never dreamed of ever doing from being a tattoo artist.

JE: Let’s talk about your famous clients.  You did work on Jason Giambi and (Sandra Bullock’s Ex) Jesse James.  Were you intimidated to do work on them? Why or Why Not?

CM: Intimidated? Not really! Because they are just like everybody else, people are going to look at the tattoo and they are going to see if it is quality or not.  But there is a little bit of intimidation when you are tattooing somebody like James Hetfield from Metallica.   He is such an amazing person and he affects so many people.

I recently tattooed NASCAR Driver Tony Stewart and that was really amazing.  I was amazed that a guy like that sought me out and wanted a tattoo from me.  It is really a complement because there are so many good tattoo artists and these guys could pick anybody and I got chosen to do this and the whole experience humbled me.

JE: Could you describe the work that you did on Tony Stewart?

CM: Tony Stewart had a really cool logo that one of his artists drawn up for his helmet and e-mailed me the design.   I redrew my own version and tattooed it across his whole back.  He took that whole tattoo in one sitting.  He’s quite the athlete and a very nice guy.

JE: You made a tattoo bottle of TUACA’s limited edition Vanilla Citrus Liqueur.  How were you chosen for this project?

CM: My fame was growing because of the tattoo shows and as popularity in tattoos in general.  There was a guy who I tattooed in my living room 26 years ago and he ended up being a distributor for Young’s (Market Company) and they distributed a lot of alcohol.    He caught word of these TUACA drinks and long story short, he called his old buddy and I got a hold of those people and they said this is what they wanted and I drew a design just like I would do a tattoo and they liked it, refined it and put it on the bottle.

JE: When did Powerflex 5  form?

CM: I have been playing drums longer than I have been working in the tattoo business.  Playing music was what got me into tattooing.  These guys that I am actually playing with, I known some of them for over 30 years.  Steve “Salba” Alba, the guitar player, is a skateboard legend known all around the world.   He’s a little bit older than me.   Tracy Robar, our other guitar player, he worked with Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers for 10-15 years and we grew up together.    The band has been together for 10 years and we have always got together to play music.

Salba writes most of the music that is based on what we grew up on: surf music, punk rock and old school blues.  It is a rock-and-roll gumbo of music.    Most of our music is instrumental and we stand out because we use old school instruments and we use lots of vibes including Tex-Mex, Middle Eastern and Surf music.

This is a picture of me with Powerflex 5's guitar player Bobby Bass (on left) and drums player Corey Miller (on right). Special thanks to Angie Rayfield for taking this photo.

To learn more information about Corey and his shop, visit their Website: http://www.sixfeetunder.com/

 

You can also find more information about Powerflex 5 on their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Powerflex-5/192587424088091

 

Comments

  1. This was a great event and Powerflex 5 was awsome!

  2. and BWT- I Love Tuaca!!!!

  3. Corey, soy un chico de Las Islas Canarias-spain- me gustaria saber si aun te hablas con cat von d. yo soy fan tuyo y me gustan muchs tus tatuajes, me encantaria que me hicieras uno, espero que algun dia pueda ir a tu estudio y hacerme una cosa guapa, bueno, un saludo y un abrazo.

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