Taylor Hill, WireImage
"That's an honor, and it's humbling," the Sugarland guitarist tells The Boot. "I'm so connected to that as a fan that I try to carry that responsibility as a writer. I try to spend a lot of time thinking of what it is I want to say, and how I want to say it. Mainly because I know what it's like as a fan to hear music that is just exactly what I needed. It changes things. I feel so connected to that song or that lyric, it fit the thing that was going on in my life. I didn't have the words, and someone else gave them to me."
While Kristian's brother, Brandon Bush (Train, Sugarland) has always been a fan of body art -- he has "traditional Japanese sleeves, and spent like 15 years getting it done" -- Kristian wasn't swayed until he found a design that hit close to home.
"Strangely enough, I was never that connected to tattoo culture," he recalls. "I just couldn't get my head around a symbol or a piece of art that I thought was defining of me. I change a lot. I write all sorts of different songs, I've had different bands over the years ...
"Then, all of a sudden, I found that writing words on myself made sense," he continues. "As soon as I saw tattoos as a way to tell your story, I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I totally get it.' So I got my first tattoo a couple of years ago, and it's the word 'hope' on my left arm. It has a couple of dots at the end for each of my kids."
Getting the tat was a decision the 42-year-old musician does not regret. In fact, he's already thinking about what his next one will be. "I just can't tell you how satisfied I am with it," Kristian says with a laugh. "I stare at it every day and think, 'Wow, that's cool.' I can imagine getting more. I'm thinking about another one on my arm, with a pen or a pencil at the end of the lyric so it looked like it was still being written."