Meet Jinjer, the band hell-bent on putting Ukranian metal on the map

A photo of Jinjer inside a library taken in 2016

Metal fans are getting used to bands emerging from the most unexpected places, but it is rare to find a band as seemingly fully formed and ready for glory as Ukrainian metal crew Jinjer. Judging by the quality of the hard-hitting mix of tech-flavoured, groove-laden metal and melodic moments on King Of Everything, they could be the band to bring their native metal scene smashing into the global spotlight. As frontwoman Tatiana Shmailyuk explains, though, it isn’t easy for a band to break through in their country.

“It is different from being European, British, and I think American, too – there are good bands, but the fingers on your right hand will be enough to count them,” say Tatiana. “Things are getting bigger little by little. We now have a couple of huge summer festivals and each of them has a separate metal stage and the crowds are huge there, but I cannot escape the feeling that at this stage it is still amateurish and lacks professionalism.”

As Tatiana goes on to say, just managing to get abroad to take Jinjer’s music on the road proves to be a perennial battle for them.

“Every time we struggle for visas before a tour we realise that in fact we come from a Third World country,” she notes. “All those officials, embassies and consulates, they are so hostile to us, and I am not even talking about Britain, but things are really complicated there for us, too! You need to have so many papers to get a British visa, and it costs a monthly salary just to pay for it.”

As their fiery music suggests, those logistical complications certainly aren’t about to keep the four-piece from their musical quest. Indeed, they seem absolutely determined that their music is going to take them exactly where they want to go.

“I see our music as a tool, helping us leave the negativity behind and never turn back. I imagine us sitting in our tour van and racing on the highway so that all the shit in the world can die trying to catch us,” Tatiana enthuses. “I want to motivate people with my lyrics, make them stronger. Just like the song on our Cloud Factory album says: ‘I want it – I will get it!’”

King Of Everything is out on July 29 via Napalm

Jinjer –King Of Everything album review

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