“JINJER” Interview by Shibalika Tamuli
Welcome to MHF Magazine. It’s my first time talking to a female fronted band, being a female myself it makes me really proud. How have you been?
Eugene: Thanks, we are fine, tonight we are setting off on our Against the Stream tour. We are pretty much excited about it.
Tell us how Jinjer came to pass. Where do you hail from? I rarely ask generic questions but I must ask why did you name the band JinJer? (Did you know there’s another band called Just-Jinjer right?)
Eugene: Well! In fact we heard about Just JinJer much later after we named our band JINJER. And saying “we” isn’t correct because that time none of the current members was in the band. So I don’t know for sure “why?”, I only know that it doesn’t really mean anything, but just a good word to name a band, easy remember and looks cool while written. Later on, some fans associated it with a sound of a distorted guitar, like “jin-jer-jin-jer”. We sometimes use this version to describe what the name means, but it wasn’t the original reason definitely.
There aren’t many bands with front women, so what is it like? What does it feel like to belong to the rarer side of the scene and still managing to ace everything?
Tatiana: I would disagree with the statement about small number of female-fronted bands. There are plenty of them and the number is growing. It must be mentioned that right from the start Jinjer had a guy on vocals and after he left the band I was taken as a substitution. It wasn’t just an aim to get a girl on mic. I was the only person by that time who could manage to do that man’s job as a singer. A key to our progress is a steel patience, hardworking, clear vision of aims and of course talents of each member. A gender aspect is out of question.
Did you ever face the gender stereotypes?
Tatiana: The first time I was asked this question was in one of the foreign interview a year ago. I’ve never faced gender prejudice and it’s quite strange to hear about it nowadays. To my mind music is asexual art, unless someone sings about his gender. Though I see some people collecting records of only female fronted bands. I feel suspicious about such audience as the very moment this band with a lady on vocals lose its queen, the fan will disappear in the blink of an eye. I wouldn’t like to have fans like this.
How do you manage and take care of your voice? Did you have vocal training? Tell us about the Ukrainian scene please.
Tatiana: I don’t take care of my voice at all. On the contrary I steadily rape it with my bad habits. With such tight concert schedule I don’t feel necessity to warm my voice up. Moreover I just sign something 24 hours long, for example while listening to music I always sing along. I took vocal lessons at school. They lasted 2 months for me. Then I quitted. So I consider myself as a self-educated singer.
Tell us about your experimentation with metalcore and evolving into a groovier, more progressive releases. After all these years, how has your music and composing patterns changed? What exactly do you look for while making music?
Eugene: I think this transition was a very natural thing for us. Early songs were composed by the band founder – Dmitriy Oksen. And as all of us joined JINJER, we started making our own influence onto the songs. Thus Inhale. Do Not Breathe was mostly a metalcore release, then on Cloud Factory album the bigger part of the material was composed by Roman and it was definitely a groove metal release. And finally we have always been into progressive in our tastes, and this thread can be heard along all our releases, it has just been getting thicker and thicker. This way on King of Everything JINJER evolved into mostly a progressive metal band. Also the latest album was composed without Dmitriy, as he left in the summer of 2015. So it left its own mark on the final result of course. What we are looking for? The only thing we always look for while composing is to make a song sound solid and complete, it should make an effect on a listener. This is the main goal.
If genres were something that mattered to you, which musical umbrella would you like to place Jinjer under?
Eugene: I don’t like umbrellas…. Always enjoyed getting soaked
What’s your favorite release so far? You’ve toured a lot of places and played a great deal of sets. What’s the touring like? From the clubs to huge open air fests, how do you adapt to the changing environment?
Eugene: of course the most favorite one is the latest – King of Everything. As for touring… it is a hard job. Really hard. But after all these years we have got used to it… and after having a break of several months we even start missing our touring life. And it is a matter of experience, adapting to different environment isn’t a big deal anymore
Tatiana: If you are asking about JINJER, I would say, it is “I Speak Astronomy”. Almost a year has passed and I cannot stop enjoying this thing! As for the other bands and singers, It’s impossible to emphasize only one because of a huge bunch of artists I listen to in different genres.
How was working with The Leaders rec. like? You made your way to Napalm so quick.
Eugene: not really quick, we were with the Leaders for almost three years and released two albums with them. And it was fine, they did their job, but of course by the time we signed with Napalm JINJER had overgrown the Leaders Rec.
The band has been through a lot. Line up changes. Car accidents. Band member incidents. But you never gave up, how have you dealt with these challenges ? individually and collectively as a band?
Eugene: I believe both ways… despite individual stress-resistance we always tried to support each other. And it helped us to go through tons of real shit
When can we expect another release?
Eugene: we have already started collecting ideas for the new record… and after we return from the Spring Against the Stream tour we will have a month off which we will devote to composing. And then we will have quite a lot of time in the Autumn. I believe the next record may be out next year.
The current status of the band?
Eugene: we are on tour!
Hobbies outside music? What do you guys do outside of the band?
Eugene: well, we don’t do anything serious outside the band. I play video games and do some sport… same for the others I believe, watching films, TV series, reading books, going to parties.
Thank you so much for talking to us here at Metalheads Forever Magazine. Any closing words or advice for your fans all over the World?
Eugene and Tatiana: be open minded, break boundaries and stereotypes! And keep supporting JINJER, we will play live for each of you once
Shibalika Tamuli / MHF