Q&A: Jason Sand
The Phoenix Trip

Jason Sand has already done a profile, containing more background on himself. This interview was done after a recent trip to Phoenix for several modifications. You can contact him at [email protected]

Exactly what did you get done as far as implants? Such as location, material used for implants, dimensions of the material, some description of the procedure and how the implants were inserted?

I had 2 rows of 4, 1 inch diameter 5/8 inch tall Teflon domes. They are placed on the inner curve of the pecks making the groove of my center chest quite deep. The top bead is offset up near the collar bone at a diagonal angle giving the design a curved effect. What Steve did was simply make a cut about 1.25 inches at a slight angle and ran 8 elevators increasing in size down a straight line and after desired width was attained he pushed the beads down the channels. Then he did the same up off at angle for the offset domes. Then he used 7 sutures per cut to stitch me up. After stitching, he pushed out all the air and blood which made a sick bubbling noise.

You also mentioned it being traumatic, how so?

Pain is something I hate but am able to handle quite well. I am real good at staying calm etc... Steve told me everything to expect pain wise and sensation wise. These I handled well though they took a lot out of me. He also told me that he would have to apply a lot of pressure when he hit tough fibers and would hit these areas each time he went up insize with the elevators. He told me he would be pushing quite hard and shaking. The reason he would shake is so that as soon as the elevator broke through he could release and keep the elevator from tearing out of the skin. I didn't see this as a big deal...until he started. Feeling him lean heavily on my freshly cut ears and face shaking quite hard I felt my heart speed up and my pores sweating profusely. Then he would hit areas that were just a shock to my system and would hit these same areas with each set of elevators. After the first row I honestly considered backing out but decided to move on and finish it. Though I did take a good long break and got my bearings back. When he did the second side it was much quicker and easier for me to handle.

Your inspiration/purpose behind getting the implants?

I have always been facinated with creatures that had horny exoskeletons or indoskeletons. Many times I had wished to have such a skeleton. Then I learned of implants and knew that someday I would follow that avenue. The design itself is similar to the sign of Aries something that I try to incorporate into all my mods if not in design then in meaning and inspiration. It also gives me a much more desirable look to my chest almost as if it has always been that way.

After getting them done, were the inspirations/purposes behind it fulfilled? In other words, was it worth it?

All was fulfilled and I also got more than expected. It somehow made me more intouch with something deep and raw inside of me....it has subtly changed my behavior and definately my reactions to people. I am usually quite reserved but since the implants I have been head butting my way through everything. I find myself walking shirtless a lot now, approaching people directly for any comment said indirectly to me. I even get some deep raw emotion when I think of the procedure and have the urge to just strip down to nothing running and yelling madly till I calm...though I have yet to do this :) At the same time I am weaker emotionally, I find myself a lot more sensitive to people thoughts and very discouraged at how unimaginative and bland many peoples reactions or comments are. But I got all I wanted plus some.

You mentioned incorporating the sign of Aries into your mods, why?

Well I am an Aries and seem to embody a lot of the traits quite accurately. But I don't follow it. I check my Horoscope maybe 2 times a season at best. I just find something strong and powerful about that symbol and find a lot of strength in it straight posts tapering off to curve out as if it was meant to support a great burden. Yet at the same time it seems to show that it is already bowing down and splitting down the middle as if it carries enough burden of its own and is slowing detoriating into two separte pieces. I am not sure if this makes since to most but it is hard to put words to things that you feel and see only as images in your own minds eye and maybe what I say puts across something that is totally irrevelant to what I am saying :)

You also mentioned facial branding, details?

It is simply a 1/2 inch by 1.25 inch stripe down center chin. It was to go to top of neck but I couldn't handle the pain. It was done with a cautery scalpel, outline first then fill in. The smoke and smell was horrible and while the brand didn't hurt too bad, the jerking and jumping of my chin and cheeks was pretty exhausting.

Inspirations behind the brand?

I always liked facial branding and since I want full facial but am doing chin lastly probably I wanted to have a nice scar for texture and also to have the split beard effect so that hair won't grow there.

Once again after getting it done, was it worth it?

Pretty much....the hair still grows in areas and I am waiting for it to heal.

The piercings, stretchings, & tattoo...details?

I use to have a 1.25 inch piece in left ear. I had this cut up to 1.5 inch. Sadly it split a little err. Thinned inwards during the healing process much like my other ear :) In my right ear I had a 1 inch and a 5/8 inch double stretching and we nullified the center part of the ear which Steve asked if I wanted to keep or eat and upon saying no he laughed and said he did get some who did do that :). Anyhow my right ear is also 1.5 inch and my ears finally match. I had my Erle (bridge piercing) done at a 10ga by AZpiercer/phish, his largest. I like the ridge it gives my tattoo and like large gauge piercings and hope to stretch it larger someday. I also had my Apadrayva pierced at an 8ga and immediately tapered to 6ga. The piercing felt as I expected since I had already done my own meatotomy but it still took my breath as the bevel of the needle exited the top :) The stretching was not bad at all actually. As for the tattoo, me and Steve and Beki were eating at a Indian restaurant and I was talking about my friends and old tattooists tattoos done by a lady up in Spokane and Steve smiled and asked who. When I stated Debra Valentine he said what a coincedence guess who we are going to see after dinner :) So while he was preparing for a pubic tattoo, I got to meet Debra for the second time and had a lot of good talks and talked of some acquaintances we both shared in Spokane as she did a Freehand style tattoo on my hand/wrist. I simply told her I wanted some red spheres that looked somewhat roundish with a smattering of a background on the hand that has the Kanji for Happiness/a good person. Our conversation was cheery and as she tattooed you could really see our good vibes going into the tattoo. I am quite impressed with the work and hope to have more done by her in the future.

Meaning behind the tattoo?

Something happy and colorful...

What reactions have you received from people who you already knew and who were accustomed to your previous mods?

Shock/lack of shock. Not wanting to see it. Stumped for words. Disgusted. Worried. Wondering where I will stop. And the infamous...you'll be a celebrity someday. Most though actually treat me a lot more indifferently now as if my mods are an insult to the friendship, as if I am trying to push them away.

The celebrity comment, any thoughts? A few heavily modded individuals such as Erik Sprague, Mr. Lifto, and Enigma have gotten a large amount of national television exposure, appearing on 20/20 Downtown and Ripley's Believe It Or Not...do you see yourself joining their ranks as far as media exposure and stardom?

I actually like being behind the scenes. Recently they published a full page profile shot of my face in the paper and all they said was my name and the fact I volunteered at the club they were reviewing. I have yet to even be in a tattoo magazine yet. I will go so far as to say I wouldn't turn down some type of exposure but niether will I seek it out....I may need to someday since job hunting and careers is now quite limited but for the most part I am content just being like everyone else only uglier :).

Concerning friends who consider the mods an insult to the friendship, what are your feelings?

As harsh as it sounds, Fuck'em. Friends are people who grow with you and accept you for who you are, not how you look. I think for a few of my friends the issue was is that they never truly believe I would go this far and now that I have they can't seem to know why I did it. A true friend won't second guess your motives and will take you as you are. Now if they showed concerned that would be understandable but being insulted as a lot of my friends have acted is a direct assault to our friendship. I have gotten shock but those have started adapting and if they talk of me it is behind me back so I don't care. I finally found the proper type of friendship yesterday with someone I had known and an aquaintence and we now have learned we are birds of feather. Funny thing is that he is Muslim and me and him share a lot of views on things. I am even working on his ears. We started them at 4ga and will be progressing them further soon. I really enjoy being with him cuz he is Italian-African mix and it is good to see others with some cultural history following in the paths of the primitives.

Has the normal public's reaction grown even stronger or is there even any noticeable difference?

No differences yet...though I have had someone slam on their breaks screaming "What the Fuck Is That" and lots of eyes turning away when my implants have been visable. Another comment that I like that I have heard so much lately is "down to your ankles brother" or "balls of steel".

Usually people tend to stare at modded people, why do you think the implants have caused more of a tendency to look away as opposed to the common staring?

Well first I am usually blatantly and voluntarily showing them off :) and I think people don't want to see things they can't accept. Piercings, stretchings, tattoos, brandings, all these are fairly common and people have at least heard of them. Implants on the other hand is still fairly underground. People ask me what use they have and seriously seem stumped when I say simply to change the appearance of my chest. People just are overwhelmed enough with me they don't need the implants to further shock them.

Have any of the experiences of this trip caused you to be discouraged from a certain type of mod or, the exact opposite, eagerness for more of a certain kind of modification?

Not much can discourage me...Though I did get to have some indepth conversation with someone into amputation specifically genital nullification. I am now considering taking the tips of my nipples off and retattoo the scar so as to give it more of an eye like look and texture. I still am not into play piercings and temporary piercings. I am more interested in brands I would say but I still would like to have more tattoo coverage. Overall though not much really changed.

Other than removing the tips of your nipples, any other results/enlightments gained from this conversation?

I no longer have anything against amputation and am even beginning to see the thrill and beauty in missing limbs. I myself would rather add limbs than subtract but I can see myself someday trimming a few things :) though I doubt I will truly amputate anything fully.

You got the work done by Steve Haworth. Tell us more about your impressions of Haworth and his work & "bedside manner"...

Steve has a very calm demeanor. He also seems to be an extreme judge of character and was always nice. He let me stay there the first night and after that I asked each night if I could just stay there and he never had a problem with it. When going out to dinner he always paid no matter how hard I tried he wouldn't hear of it. He took me to some wonderful places and introduced me to a lot of wonderful people. Many of which were his employees. Meeting Phish (AZpiercer) at one of his shops was nice and he didn't even need to have bedside manner because I just came in, chatted, ate lunch with them and popped up on the table and in went the bridge. After a quick smoke we did the Apadrayva and Phish did real well in letting me know what he was doing. When Steve did my ear cutting he gave me a good idea that it was not going to be painless and that he expected a little jump. He would count to 3 before he started and each following blast from the cautery scalple came with a good warning. I jumped a little on each blast but remained still beside that. He kept real steady and seemed to let off at just the right moments. He remained very focused on what he was doing but I could tell he more aware of me and my actions than I was. When doing the chin, he understood my wanting to stop halfway and didn't mention it again. He said we got a good strip anyways and was happy that I stayed so still. When it came to the implants he sat me down and gave me a real intense look as he went over the procedure. Then he told me about forcing the elevators through the tough fibers and how that usually tended to be the hardest part to handle and the most traumatizing if that would be the right word. During the procedure he asked how I was doing and kept a critical eye on me. His assistant Beki and Amanda who took the pictures kept talking to me and asking me to keep my eyes open so they knew I was still alright. They even swabbed my head with some damp tissue cuz I was sweating. Only once did Steve have to ask me to calm down and it wasn't even that I wasn't being calm; my heart had just sped up and there was nothing I could do about it. But I finally got that under control. After we did the first side I was outside smoking a cigarette and he came out and we talked a bit. He said he would fully understand if I wanted to stop and to be honest I gave it some serious consideration. What was already done was considerable enough. But I was determined so I carried on and Steve seemed pleased with that decision and confident in my ability to stick in there. Doing the second side was much quicker and he seemed to be going as quickly as he could for me without rushing. We stayed up the rest of that night and he took me to the train station. We had some good talks and he really liked the way the implants accentuate the inner curves of my chest so well....So overall I would say he truly is the professional he is made out to be and if I could choose one person to do the majority of my mods it would be him.

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