Tattoo Stories: Kings Destroy’s Robert Sefcik on First, Worst, Most Painful Tattoos

Kings Destroy, 2019; photo by Justin Borucki

The title of Brooklyn grunge/doom outfit Kings Destroy’s first full-length in four years, Fantasma Nera, is an Italian term meaning “Black ghost.” For the band members, the phrase serves as a metaphor representing the dark side of human nature and the struggle to accept it — a theme that plays out on the album, which is due March 8th via Svart Records (you can pre-order it here). Ahead of the record’s release, we caught up with Kings Destroy drummer Robert Sefcik to talk tattoos, and he shared the stories behind some of his ink, including the badass Black Sabbath piece he almost got.

What’s your most painful tattoo?
Robert Sefcik Yggdrasil tree of life back piece … Going over those “spinous processes” is not usually my idea of a good time, but hey, it was all for the cause.

What was your first tattoo?
Always wanted a lion tattoo and finally found the image I wanted on a wine bottle of all things. It was a lion next to an angel with these big bat wings, which I thought was an interesting juxtaposition of images. It’s somewhat faded at this point, but I still like it.

What’s your most embarrassing tattoo?
There’s a certain aspect of one of my tattoos that bothers me … I have a Valkyrie tattoo and I told the artist she was supposed to have blonde hair and she wound up with a dark-haired, slight Wonder Woman kinda vibe. [Laughs] I wouldn’t say its embarrassing, but it’s not exactly what I planned.

Do you have any band tattoos?
Nope, no band tattoos at all. My 12-year-old self probably would have gotten a few KISS or Led Zep tattoos, but I’m glad it never happened. However … there was a time I was seriously considering a Kool Keith Funky Ass Records tattoo. Not sure that one would have aged so well. [Laughs] Just a little gratuitous. I also gave the flying demon/angel that was part of the Black Sabbath logo some serious thought, as well. Obviously I have a thing for bat wings.

What’s gonna be your next tattoo?
Great Odin’s ravens, that’s a great question! And yes, my next tattoos will be Odin’s ravens: Hunin and Mugin. Exciting.

Do you have a favorite artist?
I can’t say I have vast knowledge of famous tattoo artists. I pretty much just do research when I’m feeling the urge … I guess I’m proud to say most of my work has been done in the wonderful borough of Queens. That being said I’m totally blown away by anything Nikki Simpson does — I’m sure she doesn’t need the publicity, but her work is pretty amazing.