Who Did Your Ink?: Tony Miller finds meaning in words of Canadian alt-rock duo USS

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      Who Did Your Ink? is the Straight’s weekly feature, where we ask badass Vancouverites about the talented artists, indelible stories, and, at times, questionable antics behind their most treasured tattoos.

      This week's Who Did Your Ink? is a special music edition that spotlights Canadian alt-rock duo USS (Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker) and the lyrics that inspired one of the act's biggest fans.

      Who are you?  My name is Tony Miller. I am 24 years old and live in the small town of Macungie, Pennsylvania. I started listening to USS in 2012, went through a series of events afterward, and then began dating a Canadian girl from the Niagara region. Hey, Charnelle!

      Naturally, we turned each other on to a few things from our home countries. She fell in love with the cheep beer prices and I fell in love with the poutine. The first song I heard by USS was Laces Out. I was hooked.

      I have traveled as far as Toronto to see Ash [Buchholz] and Jason [Parsons] play at Edgefest, where I met them for the first time. I plan on making the trip up for the second time in January to see them rock the house again at the Rapids Theatre!

      What do you do?  I'm a secret agent. Basically a younger, more Gosling-esqe version of James Bond.

      Who did your ink?  The owl piece was done by Scott Wilgeroth of Heart and Soul Tattoo in East Greenville, Pennsylvania.  I have other work done by Alex Zampirri, Daniel Parish, and Joshua Thivierge.

      Why did you choose this artist to do your tattoo?  I came up with a rough idea of a big owl tattoo that I wanted to get done with the "N/A_Ok" quote, "The compass doesn't lie when it's holdin' me".

      Scott had done other work on me previously that turned out incredibly. So when we I came to him with the idea, I just said, "Dude, let's cover my entire torso!"

      Is there any meaning behind it?  There is huge meaning! Right around the time I met Charnelle, I was going through a hard time. My dad had left and things weren't looking good for me and my mom.

      The powerful lyrics by Ash and Jason were something that I could use to motivate myself and stay strong in hard times. Now, I am out of my rut and doing better than ever. I'm happier than ever as well.

      For a group of guys that have done so much for me mentally and spiritually, I figured this was the best wayIi could honour them.

      Who's your favourite tattoo artist?  Scott Wilgeroth and Joshua Thivierge take the cake for me. Scott has years of experience and is probably the most unique and caring individual I know personally. I have a lot of respect for that man.

      Josh and I have been friends since we were about nine or 10 years old and it has been amazing to see him grow as a tattoo artist over the last two to three years. He found himself in tattooing and I support everything he does.

      USS play the Commodore on Friday (February 10). Check out more USS-themed tattoos on the duo's website.

      Have some ink you'd like to share? Contact Janet McDonald at ink@straight.com.