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Out of the Vein Blog

Brandon Cows’ Alone and Alive

Standing at the rail waiting for Third Eye Blind to take the stage is always a great time; one spent chatting with friends, and sharing swigs of whatever poison is floating around.

If you’re lucky, like me and many others, you have been you reunited with old friends and maybe make a few new ones.

While standing at the rail last month at U.C Berkeley’s Greek Theatre, the subject of this story, Brandon, recognized me.

His beautiful girlfriend, Rachelle tapped me on the shoulder and introduced us, saying Brandon had recognized me from the various Third Eye Blind platforms for fans on social media as his story was submitted prior to the show. I’m so thrilled to have new friends in Brandon and Rachelle; they both live a rocking 3eb lifestyle. Below, Brandon shares his love for the band, his new found faith in love and his kick ass 3EB ink.

My dad used to play the self-titled 3eb album and I would tell him it wasn't heavy enough. I fell in love with Third Eye Blind later on after I heard ‘Deep Inside of You’. At the time I was dating my first true love; "I've never felt alone, until I met you" really summed up how I felt about that girl. I was just fine on my own, then she came around and it was like I didn't know what do with myself when she was not around. I loved the song so much, and bought Blue. I immediately fell in love with them.

Eventually she broke my heart and left me for an ex-boyfriend. It was shortly after that I was browsing for music at the local Sam Goody (does that place even exist still?!) and saw ST. I figured I'd give it a try, though I wasn't a fan of the singles as my dad played them all the time. The last four tracks truly made me fall in love. The way their music perfectly matches the emotion of their lyrics really drew me in. Motorcycle Drive By summed up exactly how I felt at that time. I was alone and alive. ST really helped me get through my first true heartbreak.

Courtesy: Brandon Ramirez

Fast forward a few years; I get married, and divorced 2 years later. My life is turned upside down as I know it. I was going through a divorce around the time Ursa Major came out. Why Can't You Be was practically my song to her. Sharp Knife, Bonfire, and Water Landing are all personal favorites. As much as I love the other songs, Motorcycle Drive By has always and will always be my song. Here I was getting older, going through a divorce, and feeling alone and alive all over again. That’s when I decided it was time for some ink. I needed the band that helped me get through so much to be on my sleeve.

Courtesy: Brandon Ramirez

I always wanted some sort of tattoo that symbolized being alone and alive. I gave my buddy's brother some ideas and had him draw some things up. I liked the idea he drew of a tattoo that read ‘alive’ one way, when flipped the other way it read ‘alone’. It was impossible for him to make it perfect with those two words, but I really like what he came up with. You have to look for it, but one way you can totally find the word alive, and the "i" is even dotted, and that dot upside down looks like a teardrop when you're reading the word alone. So I had him tattoo it for me, and finally had the band that meant the most to me on my sleeve.

Courtesy: Brandon Ramirez

A couple years later I was randomly in a tattoo shop, maybe wanting a tattoo, not sure. I showed this artist the OOTV cover and told him I always liked that picture, as I take it as a wanna be rock star (much like myself lol). This guy gave me a killer price. I was a bit worried about how it would come out, but he nailed it.

Courtesy: Brandon Ramirez

The small stickers on the album actually have Salvador Dali's falling man and the word "cauliflower" just like the album. Never in a million years would I believe I'd have the word "cauliflower" tattooed on my body.  When I finally decided to get the falling man, about a year after, I texted my buddy's brother (who did my first 3eb tattoo) a picture of the falling man and told him I wanted it on my chest. He loved it and we got that done, too. That has double meaning to me... 3EB uses that in tons of their artwork, and I'm also deathly afraid of heights and have this weird feeling I'm going to die falling. It's almost a way for me to look death in the face.

Courtesy: Brandon Ramirez

Today, I have a girlfriend of almost 3 years and live a happy, easy life. I literally don't listen to anything other than 3EB, and it never gets old. I feel, as I'm sure all of their fans do, that they sing about chapters of my life. It all relates perfectly to me, and I absolutely love the emotion they put into their music. I've seen them live 6 or 7 times and have met Stephan a couple oftimes (he even grabbed my arm and showed his buddy!); I absolutely love 3eb and that's why I wear them on my skin.

Courtesy: Brandon Ramirez

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