Ukrainian metal band, Jinjer, is heading to South Africa together with support act Sümer (UK) for the first time in May 2019.
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview – we are so excited to have you here! How did this tour come about? Previously, Cape Town’s Ohgod supported you on tour in Germany – was this the initial influence in deciding to tour South Africa?
Exactly! Ever since we met and made friends with Ohgod, and damn they are AWESOME, the idea of coming and playing in your country has been in our minds! And here we are! We are having this minitour in South Africa, we are super excited about this.
What do you look forward to the most when touring internationally? Will you have time to travel around South Africa before your show in Cape Town and after your show in Centurion?
Well, it is always cool to see new places, especially so far away and so exotic. This is going to be our first ever time in Africa in general. As for our plans in your country, we of course will do some sightseeing and will have some time off, on top of this I have been invited to Gracie academy dojo to practice some Brazilian jiujitsu.
How do you go about preparing yourselves before a performance? (i.e. warm-up with scales or meditate to clear your mind?)
We all have different preshow ritual… Vlad loves to have a power nap, I sometimes do the same. We play the guitars to warm up, but no scales, just our songs. I prefer doing this either before or after the soundcheck. And the guys also have a shot of vodka before going on stage, but I have given up drinking.
What is the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
Oh, after all these years of touring there are too many “wildest” things. Really hard to choose one… so many crazy parties, so many dangerous situations, car accidents, weather conditions.
You’ve already played at some prominent festivals. Which festival has been your favourite to play at so far and why?
Well, all those big fests are cool in their own way. Last Summer we played Summer Breeze and Motocultor next day and both were awesome despite the fact that at SB were headliners closing the stage and at Motocultor we played in the afternoon. Believe me, both were INSANE! And Resurrection in Spain, damn, we were just the second band on the main stage, and there were thousands of people to see us. We recorded that performance and it is DOPE.
What has been your biggest challenge as a band and to what do you attribute your success as a band thus far?
We are crazy and stubborn, and we are down to earth. Coming from a poor country in, being born in the USSR and witnessing its collapse and spending the whole childhood in the crisis coming afterwards made us very humble, but at the same time taught us how to fight. So no matter what challenges, and there were many of them from war breaking out in our home region to bandmembers being on the edge of death , no matter what – we have always overcome them and will do so.
Who or what inspired you to pursue a career path in music?
Sorry, but the answer is too short, it was MUSIC itself.
What do you feel is the best song you’ve ever released and why?
Too hard to answer. Because it is hard to differentiate the goodness of a song from its successfulness if you understand what I mean, and this misty goodness is a very relatively thing. Pisces is the biggest success so far, it has become a sort of a virus video, and the song is awesome, but it doesn’t mean that the other songs from King of Everything album are anyway worse than that. With Micro EP Perrenial is a big hit, maybe a rival to Pisces, but Ape for instance is better song for me.
What song(s) immediately grabbed you the moment you heard them? (Referring to both your own material and other bands/artists material).
I love all our songs, some a bit more, some a bit less, but they all are in my heart. But definitely some grabbed me immediately for the others it took some time. And now I can hardly say how it was with this or that song. As for the other artists…. Bleak by Opeth, oh yeah I first heard it back in 2003 or so, and I still remember that moment sitting in front of my old PC with my jaw dropped!
What are Jinjer’s plans and goals for the future?
We will keep on doing what we do best – conquering the world! Joke! Writing new music is our priority, but of course tons of touring are on agenda – basically we are fully booked up until the summer of 2020.
Interview by: Natalie Cowling