Ryan is a cool, laid back dude, amazing guitar player and Chipotle lover. I was fortunate enough to hang out with him for over a month while he was recording -or in his words “being punished”- the new For today’s album.
Ryan packs a lot of meaning and thought into his tattoos, and he was so nice that he actually wrote a description for each one of them. His sleeve and chest piece are the work of Billy White at Yellow Rose tattoo in Zanesville, Ohio.
“My sleeve is basically representative of the turning point in my life during which I realized that most of the things that I was seeking after and striving for had no longevity past my life, nothing I was doing had eternal value. This was the point that I became a follower of Christ in pursuit of truth with the desire to make an impact beyond myself and bigger than anything I can do apart from Him. The Koi is swimming upstream as is customary and representative of overcoming trails, the fish is quite a recognized symbol of Christianity as well, and that is the way to overcome sin and death. Which is why all the water in the tattoo I wanted to be black to signify death.”
“Everything as you go down the tattoo is being washed away in the current of life if you will. I have several things that are being washed away that commonly get in the way of life that I have described desiring. The coin purse is to signify pursuit of money that doesn’t go with you when you die, the flowers are withering to show that beauty fades, the bottle of moonshine is representative of quick fixes, be it escape in alcoholism or in lustful relationships. And the hourglass was a big one for me as it represents the desire to have your own time, more of it, and your time in the spotlight. In giving up my own time I have seen my life become overshadowed in a beautiful way by the work that God so graciously allows me to be included on that he is doing. Bringing hope to the nations, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, really changing the world and leaving a legacy that transcends my life.”
“My chest is a piece that I got thats based off of one of my favorite hymns “Nothing but the blood”. Its a pretty simple tattoo four flowers and a human skull to represent death. There is blood dripped on the tattoo to signify the Blood of Jesus covering death.”
The best part of Ryan tattoos was when we decided to get some grub at Ryan’s favorite spot… and when it was time to pay, he graciously shows his wrist and gets free burritos. ha-ha
I love it, he actually has a theory on how easy it will be depending on the person behind the cash registrar. Tattooed dude is a 95% chance of success, while old lady is only a 50%. After years of touring, he has perfected his theory.