Jinjer – Interviewed by Craig Obert
Greetings from Colorado and Metalheads Forever. I know you are very busy, so I appreciate your time. How are things in your world?
E: Hi there, things are generally cool here, thanks. We have just returned from our final 2018 tour. I couldn’t pick myself up out of bed for two days. But time is short , we need to do really really a lot to prepare for touring in 2018, you know, starting from visas and finishing with repairing gear, all sort of things
One of the most compelling aspects of interviewing is listening to an artist’s entire catalog. It is always interesting to hear them evolve over the years. Jinjer is no exception. How do you see your progression as a band thus far? How do you envision your sound in the future?
E: Well, you are absolutely right, we have been changing all the time from record to record. Our path started at metalcore, went through solid groove metal and led us to where we are – progressive sound. And this is where we feel alright at the moment, though it doesn’t mean we won’t change anymore, vise versa, progressive genre gives us such a huge platform of freedom musically, that I am absolutely sure we will surprise the audience many times ahead.
Tatiana has been in several bands, starting in her teen years. This is common among bands of your status. What is the most important experience or lesson for you in these formative years? How has this shaped Jinjer as a whole?
E: I can’t say it is common for all bands of our status, I can’t even see clearly which exactly status you mean, but it is definitely common for all JINJER members, each of us has gone through a number of bands before joining the band. And each of us brought a tremendous backpack of experience into JINJER, I believe the most important of which – things not to do in this band.
You travel a lot. What has been the most challenging event in your travels? What was the best unexpected, yet pleasant surprise? What is the one thing you miss most about home?
E: most of all, I miss my family and son. Same for the others I believe…. ah, and of course dried fish as a perfect beer snack. As for challenges on the road, there have been tons of them, like getting a few traffic incidents, getting into a blizzard, van breaking down in the middle of a trip, then getting it fixed and managing to be at a show on time… many many other adventures. As for pleasant surprises – I believe we have seen so many picturesque views, enough for several lives.
Your influences are varied. Opeth, Periphery, Lamb of God, Chimaira, and Guano Apes. I can hear these artists in your sound. As you tour with other artists, who do you feel is having an influence on your sound? Or perhaps you are influencing others…it can certainly go both ways.
E: Well, to be honest it is too hard to impress us in the way that it will influence our sound now. The latest influence was Gojira, since then nothing really happened in this respect. We tour with big bands now, like Arch Enemy for example, and they influence us by the way, but not musically. We took a lot from them in terms of motivation, approach, behaviour, professionalism in general.
You are still relatively in the beginning stages. Can you name a song (or songs) you wish had approached differently? What would you change if given the chance?
- If you mean a song we would have approached differently, then there would be no such song. We are pretty sure that musically we did our best on all records in every particular period. Maybe the sound on Inhale, Do Not Breathe record was far from perfection, but it was the very beginning and we couldn’t afford a better record, and it is cool that you can listen now to that raw release. Also it is sad that some songs didn’t get as much recognition as others, like Bad Water, A Plus or a Minus and No Hoard of Value on Cloud Factory album, or Captain Clock on King of Everything. However, things might change after Napalm Records re-releases Cloud Factory album next February
Beggar’s Dance, What the hell is this? Just kidding….but it is quite the transition from “Under the Dome” or “My Lost Chance” to this Jazzy/Bossa Nova ditty. What is the story behind this song? Can we look forward to more head turning non sequiturs in the future?
E: yes, you can look forward to something like this in the future of course. The story, well, I composed that piece long ago. And while composing King of Everything Tati just came to me and said “I wanna something jazzy on the record”, so here you are. We used it as a perfect ending for the album which will make you think “Damn, what’s that? I need to listen to the entire album again, maybe I missed something”. But we had such pieces before, so nothing really revolutionary for JINJER.
I’m going to share a few of your lyrics that have spoken directly to me.
I’ve never thought
This nostalgia, this ache could be everlasting
Who’s in front of me
I’ll cut you deep like once you did
For the first and the last time –“Just Another”
Pisces swimming through the river
All their life against the stream
Searching for a hook to catch on and see their sun beam
Then suffocate in painful tortures
On cutting tables of callous men
Under a knife of handsome butchers
Emeralds are ripped away -“Pisces”
The day “war” was just a word is gone
The time when peace was just a children’s song is gone.
We never believed terror would ever burst into our home
That was just an image on someone’s wall.
The minute when I could hug my brother is forever lost.
I wonder if our blood is enough to pay the cost!
It’s enough to pay the cost! -“When Two Empires Collide”
Powerful. Honest. Human. These terms come to my mind.Clearly, you are not just another Metal band. What is your songwriting process?
E: We write compositions musicialy. Most of ideas come from Roman, some come from me, and Vlad our new drummer will definitely take part in composing for a new record, as he is a good guitarist. Then we rehearse pieces, arrange them, make up songs, make a pre-production record and finally give it to Tati. She gets really deep into them, tries to catch the vibe, and comes up with lyrics and vocal lines, in most cases we never know what she would sing before she gets to a studio to record voice. Some lyrics was written by me. Like that ending part of Pisces which you quote. But it general there is music which creates the atmosphere and feeling and lets lyrics be born
Your subject matter ranges from poverty, social injustice, and environmental issues, among others. Clearly, Ukraine’s recent past plays into this. Are there any topics you want to address that may surprise your fans?
E: We don’t know yet. Definitely everything is possible. And we are constantly in search as life flows.
On a lighter note: Name 3 ingredients for the ultimate ice cream sundae. Where would you eat it and with whom would you share it…if anyone?
E: wow, I love ice cream. Let’s say caramel, caramel and caramel. I would have it with my family in a summer park of English style, sitting on a bench, watching how my son is playing on the lawn.
Thank you very much for your time. Any parting words for our readers?
E: See you soon, guys! Be prepared for the overwhelming experience with JINJER next Spring. Peace, love and harmony to everyone.
MHF Magazine/Craig Obert