Thursday, March 15, 2012

Interview with Travis Broyles, tattoo-artist

Even if you don’t know his name yet, you’ve probably seen some of his work. Travis Broyles is not only running the record label Robot Monster, he has designed several websites for horrorpunk-bands too. But his main profession is being a tattoo-artist who works at a studio in Washington. And he is great at what he’s doing. There’s a reason why people like Michale Graves and  J.V. Bastard go to him to get some ink on their skin. But make yourself a picture of him and read when he talks about tattoos, his connections to Blitzkid and more...

Graveyard Greaser Gang: Would you please introduce yourself?
Travis Broyles: My name is Travis Broyles and I am a tattoo artist at Sunken Ship Tattoo in Everett, Washington, USA.

GGG: When did you become a tattoo artist?
Travis: I started tattooing a little over 6 years ago at the ripe age of 17. I started my career in Indianapolis, Indiana over the years I have worked my way up to the Seattle Washington area.

GGG: How would you describe your tattoo style?
Travis:That is definitely a tough one. Its hard to pinpoint any particular style I suppose. If I had to tag it with any certain name, I'd suppose "Illustrative" would be the word? I'm really into bright, and bold tattoos which I think is portrayed in the majority of my work.

GGG: What inspires you to the illustrations you make?
Travis: I'm really into Victorian era art, surrealism, and odd / dark subject matters. I think a lot of that artwork, and even things such as furniture, architecture, and design really seem to inspire me. 

Travis-Tattoo on J.V. Bastard
GGG: What was your own first tattoo and what was the first tattoo you made?
Travis: My first tattoo was given to me when I was 17 years old. It was a skeleton, inside of a coffin, with bat wings attached to it spanning across my upper back. The first tattoo I ever put on anyone, was actually on myself as well. It is a sewn and stitched up heart, with tesla coils attached to the top on my thigh.

GGG: Do you have any band tattoos? If so, from which one and why?
Travis: haha, other than having a portrait of Mr.. Glenn Danzig on my own skin, I would say I really don't have any band related tattoos but I'm sure the day will come. Why did I get Danzig tattooed on me? I think the real question is more like, Why not?!? haha!

GGG: You’ve tattooed artists such as Michale Graves and J.V. Bastard, how were they as customers?
Travis: Michale Graves and J.V. Bastard are both people I am very happy to call friends, and customers. They are some of the most humble people around, and I'm very fortunate to know them on a personal level. I have tattooed Michale on 2 occasions, and J.V. on 3 occasions. J.V. Actually flew up here to Washington from New Jersey a month or so ago to get tattooed! I wish both of those guys were around more so I could tattoo them more! Hopefully I'll be tattooing both of them again this year.

Tattooing Michale Graves
 GGG: Talking about artists and bands from the Horrorpunk scene, you toured with Blitzkid as a merchguy. How did that happen?
Travis: I grew up in the same town as Blitzkid, and hung out with those guys on a regular basis. Through Middle School and High School they were my best friends, and my role models so to speak. Those guys are like family to me. I've done merch for them on tours, one off shows and etc. More or less they would ask, and if I had the time then I'd do it! It was always fun touring with those guys, as well as the other bands accompanying the many tours I did with them.
GGG: Maybe a short tour story?
Travis: This one time we were on tour, and I believe we were in Cocoa Beach Florida. After the show we hit up the beach for a couple hours enjoying the warm bath water that Florida calls the ocean. Somehow or another we ended up swimming nude in the Atlantic Ocean, which just so happened to be bullshark mating season. After we discovered that it was in fact the mating season for bull sharks, there were probably about 20 full grown men running around the beach nude. To this day I'm still unsure why we were all nude, or even how that happened. There are pictures to prove it - do some digging' and you'll find them!

GGG: You’ve done some CD covers for Blitzkid too?
Travis: Absolutely! Argyle Goolsby and myself have worked together on what feels to be most of the Blitzkid catalogue, posters, websites, promo ads, merchandise designs, and beyond in the past 10 years. It is always a pleasure working with such a creative and artistic person.

GGG: We’ve also heard that you’ve done several websites for bands, such as 1476, Mister Monster, Blasko, Darrow Chemical Company and many, many more. How come?
Travis: For many, many years I worked as a graphic and web designer. Once word got out that I did a lot of work for Blitzkid, my work seemed to spread like wild-fire. You've probably seen something I've done at some point or another, whether it be a website, a print ad, a shirt design, or a CD package design. While I still do graphic and web design, I mostly focus on tattooing at this point in my career.

GGG: You also run a record label called “Monster Robot”. How did the idea to do a label and the name of it come up?
Travis: I use to work for another "horror" influenced record label in the past and when I left that label I decided I needed to start my own. The one I worked with before had foul practices, and I grew sick of seeing bands being treated unfair and not obtaining the cut they deserved. A great friend of mine, Jake Hades showed some interest in starting a label with me - and that's how it began. The name more or less came from the terrible film entitled "Robot Monster" which features a space suit toting gorilla, haha!

Record Label ran by Travis Broyles and Jake Hades
GGG: What bands are on the label?
Travis: Currently, we have releases for American Werewolves, Church for Sinners, Dead Pleasures, Dead Vampires, Gruesome Boys, Monster Party, B Movie Monsters, The Epidemic, This Hideous Strength, a compilation album entitled "The Sound of Horror" and we recently co-released the Darrow Chemical Company with WHB Records. You can check out all of our releases and bands at

GGG: Are there any plans for the label for 2012 or will most of your focus be on tattooing? 
Travis: As of right now I don't think that we have any plans. Most of my focus is on tattooing at the moment. Jake is also a tattoo artist, and I believe he is focusing on honing his craft as well. We definitely aren't out of the music scene, we just have no current plans at the moment

GGG: Back to tattoos, what’s the image you like to tattoo the most?
Travis: I absolutely love tattooing animals on people. I am a huge animal lover, and I always seem to get a kick out of tattooing nearly any animal on anyone, especially if it just so happens to be the persons pet, or a wild animal.

GGG: Is there something you would never tattoo on anyone?
Travis: I am definitely not into tattooing anything racist or drug related. 

This gramophone may not play music but looks awesome
GGG: If someone who reads this wants to get a tattoo from you, where can they find you?
Travis: You can find me at Sunken Ship Tattoo in Everett Washington. We are located about 20 minutes north of Seattle. The best way to get in touch with me is through my website ( or on facebook (

GGG: Anything you want add?
Travis: Thank you very much for the interview! Please add me on facebook, to stay in touch with all of my tattoos and daily shenanigans that always seem to occur. I've got some new merchandise coming soon, as well as some art prints! Again, thanks for the interview - I definitely appreciate it!

Travis Broyles on the Internet:
Travis Broyles on Facebook 
Travis Broyles homepage 


  1. Hey Travis,
    How about telling the Truth about what you did with people ordering Cd's through that other label's online shop that you worked with that you ran and never sent out merch to people who paid for them. You were the only one who ran the shop so, you can't blame anybody else besides yourself on your end. people who ordered from the shop know the truth.

    1. I know for a fact Travis wasn't the only other person running that "other" label. The guy who ran it not only screwed over my band, but every other band on that label. Travis was the only stand up guy with that label who had the balls to quit, and start his own label that catered more to bands, and less to padding his pocket. Crazy how things that happened 8 years ago, still gets brought up? I'm pretty sure this post is probably by Ben Ackerman - the guy who runs the fraud known as Crypt of Blood Records. I use to live with Travis, and the only orders that didn't get sent out were the ones that took you an extra few months on pre-order packages, in which Travis refunded them their money and sent them the discs for free because of the issues with Crypt of Blood Records. Paid out of his own pocket. Yeah, he's a piece of shit NOT.

      Grow up, move on. Travis has, and look where everything has got him.

  2. My name's Alan I live in the UK and ordered Cd's from Travis and Crypt Of Blood Records. I never saw Mr. Ackerman's name attached to the PayPal account the only name on it was Mr. Travis Broyles. Just wanted to state the fact that I posted about not getting the merchandise I ordered from the shop. Ben was nice enough to fill the order from what he had in stock. most of my order wasn't even stuff put out by Crypt Of Blood it was by other bands that the shop carried. So, to call Crypt Of Blood a fraud label and Mr. Ackerman a fraud is uncalled for and not even remotely true when the shop's orders went through to Mr. Broyles PayPal. I'm happy that Travis is doing so well with doing Tats but, as far as the shop is concerned it was on his end not Ben's. And just so you don't think I'm bullshitting you I have some old emails going back 3 years from Ben with tracking info from the Cd's He replaced for me.