Neil Collins, a self-taught artist, first became inspired by art while looking at the covers of his stepfather's collection of rock albums. He began drawing as a way to stay sane while living on the streets as a teenager. He has now been making art in Tucson for 12 years. Collins has worked in many mediums, including metal sculpture, installation, graffiti and tattoo. His current oil paintings will be on display at Epic Café during the month of April, with a reception this Friday, April 2, from 6 to 9 p.m.
What was the first concert you ever saw?
The punk band Fear, as a teenager.
What are you listening to these days?
Lately, Neko Case and Lil Rob.
What was the first album you owned?
Sonic Youth, Goo.
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?
Reggaeton. When I was in Mexico, everybody was into reggaeton; it was on TV and everywhere you went. Then I even had to watch it on MTV in Paris.
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
Patti Smith, in the old days at CBGB.
Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?
For a while now, I've been into Joni Mitchell.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
I've actually told people about this before ever hearing about this question: definitely the album Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares by the Bulgarian State Radio and Television Female Vocal Choir. It would have to be the whole album, even if people got bored.
What band or artist changed your life, and how?
Ministry's The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste. It was the first time I had ever heard either metal or techno music; hearing both of them together was really impressive.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
Pink Floyd, Animals. As a kid, I used to sneak into my stepdad's music collection and listen to that album over and over, and I still love it.