Ukrainian metal band plots their return to region
Clyde Theatre welcomes Jinjer to stage on Nov. 10
November 3, 2021
In less than 10 years, the four-piece Ukrainian metal wrecking crew known as Jinjer have risen from virtual obscurity to one of the most popular and sought after live bands in the genre.
They released their debut full-length album, Cloud Factory, independently just seven years ago. That album caught the attention of Napalm Records, who quickly signed the band and put them directly to work on the follow-up, the critically acclaimed King of Everything, which in effect, introduced the band to the rest of the world.
An album and an EP, Macro and Micro respectively, followed in 2019 leading to the band’s newest effort, Wallflowers, which hit shelves and streaming services this past August.
Jinjer stop by The Clyde Theatre in Fort Wayne on Nov. 10, with special guests Suicide Silence and All Hail The Yeti, to show off some of those new songs along with some old favorites.
Heavier ... and Softer
On Wallflowers, it is immediately evident that Jinjer is growing as a band. The album is more musically diverse and reaches for a far heavier sound than ever before.
“For sure it is like that,” said bassist Eugene Abdukhanov in an interview with Whatzup, “but that is only one side of it. Yes, it is heavier in some parts, but at the same time, it is softer in the other parts.”
In short, Jinjer did not deviate too much from what they do best. They just expanded on it.
“I would say that we as a band managed to take this album to extremes on opposite sides,” Abdukhanov said. “It is heavier, but at the same time, it is more beautiful. It is a very complex and sophisticated piece of music regardless of the genre.”
For Vocalist, It’s Personal
Even though it is shaped in the frame of metal, he believes there is more to it than the usual conservative musical approach that much of the metal genre offers.
“We wanted to make something really new, something that maybe hasn’t been played before,” Abdukhanov said. “It’s very hard to put a certain label on it, but, for sure, it is Jinjer.”
The lyrical content of Wallflowers is personal for vocalist Tatiana Shmayluk, Abdukhanov said.
“She revealed herself to the world,” he said. “She is a wallflower. She is a shy person, really, who is not into big crowds or new people. It’s sometimes painful for her. All 11 songs are all about her, so they are all sort of wallflowers, which is why this title fits so well.”
Adjusting to the Road
After the pandemic, Jinjer are still adjusting to life back on tour, having played just four shows in the U.S. at the time of this interview.
“It’s a bit hard,” Abdukhanov said. “As touring people, we got a bit rusty. We just need to oil the clockworks and let the whole machine operate flawlessly.”
Having a long tour, a big crew, and a big bus is a bit intimidating to the band.
“But we are excited to be on the road. It is a big part of our life we were deprived of for 18 months and we are back bringing live music back to people. I’d like to think we are somehow helping to bring this world back to normal again.”
The last time Jinjer were in Northeast Indiana, they played a decidedly smaller capacity venue than The Clyde Theatre. As the band has grown in popularity, they have been able to book bigger spaces, but that hasn’t changed the way they approach their shows.
“I don’t think we have any problem with connection in bigger venues,” Abdukhanov said. “Of course, in smaller venues, people are closer and there is that connection, but (at a recent show) in Vancouver, people were like four meters away from me behind the barriers and we still had that connection. I don’t see much of a difference in relating to the crowd, regardless of the size of the venue.”
Expect the Unexpected
If you you’ve never seen Jinjer before, Abdukhanov said you should expect a definite level up in terms of performance this time around.
“If they’ve seen our live performances before and think they know what it’s going to be, no, it’s going to be a different experience,” he said.
And for fans who haven’t seen Jinjer before and are going for the first time, he said they should be prepared for “a mix of Lamb of God, Meshuggah, and Opeth.
“It will be groovy in some parts and they will have to go to the mosh pit, but in other parts, there will be all these time signatures and really complicated riffing, like in Meshuggah, where you will have to stay and watch and keep your ears open. And because we play a lot of soft parts, there’s going to be a lot of melancholic moments where you have to just chill and enjoy melodies. This is what Jinjer is. You never know what’s coming.”