Suffokate's Ricky Hoover Runs a Body Jewelry and Earplug Company
Suffokate vocalist Ricky Hoover isn't just a rock dude. He and his father own a company called Gotwood Plugs, which manufactures 100 percent organic body jewelry and ear plugs. Hoover's interest in body modification developed at a young age, where he self-pierced, and the rest, as they say, is history.
"I have always been a big fan of body modification in one way or another," Hoover told Noisecreep. "From a very young age, I would pierce myself in different places and always wanted to be covered in tattoos. When I joined the band, I had some tattoos and stretched ears but not nearly as big as they are now. The success and constant touring allowed me to pretty much do whatever I wanted to modify myself."
The rock 'n' roll lifestyle and career certainly allows for an unconventional and modified look! It also affords fans of body modifying the chance to be modified all over the country. However, quantity and availability hardly translates into quality and that's how Gotwood was born. Hoover said, "While on tour, I would get tattooed and stretch my ears and found it hard to find good quality plugs for an affordable price. Once I got to a certain size, it became nearly impossible actually. I also noticed that kids everywhere were using the worst materials for making there own plugs, unintentionally endangering themselves. I had mentioned making my own plugs and body jewelry while at home on a break from tour. My father had overheard me and made me a few pairs for a Christmas present.
"Then seeing how good the quality at the time was we decided to start the company, with the sole intention to make good quality, affordable plugs for kids everywhere."
Papa Hoover is "the master craftsmen" of the company, but Hoover also gets his hands dirty, so to speak! "I help in setting up the wood for the plugs, sanding and putting our exclusive 100 percent organic finish on them, as well as the promotion," he said. "I've been modifying myself for years now and have seen things become popular and die out. For a while, it was surface piercings which were in my opinion replaced by micro dermal anchors --the little diamond jewels people have under their eyes. I have had three of them on my face so far and only have one now. But ear stretching will always be popular whether small or large."
Why will ear stretching endure? In Hoover's opinion, now that kids have the access and option to get it done the right way, courtesy of Gotwood, it will not die out. "For a while the larger stretching was very popular but it seems has died down a little bit. I think because kids have been doing it the wrong way with the wrong plugs," he said. "This has resulted in ear reconstruction surgeries rising. Tattoos have been popular for decades but finally are it seems becoming more accepted in the professional world. We're till not all the way there yet meaning there is still discrimination for modified people. But it's a step in the right direction. There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of modified people all over the world. Some people do it for religious or spiritual reasons; there is modification in most cultures around the world. The majority of people need to realize that modification isn't a bad thing and doesn't make you a bad person."
Learn more about Gotwood Plugs.