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There’s a new wave of European heavy metal bands, all determined to keep the spirit of extreme music alive and kicking. One such act, is Jinjer, a heavy yet experimental extreme groove metal band from the Ukraine, featuring guitarist Roman Ibramkhalilov, drummer Vladislav Ulasevish, bassist Eugene Abdukhanov and frontwoman Tatiana Shmailyuk. 

The band has been in existence for a decade, and they fuse elements of hardcore, death metal,  djent and even hip-hop and reggae. Having toured the international circuit in Europe, Japan and all throughout the US several times, the band is seeing its popularity steadily increase, and a lot of this is due to touring.

“We are a very hard-working band that tours a lot,” Shmailyuk says. “This past year we visited Japan, and I was not surprised to see a great audience. I heard a lot of good things about Japan. The surprise for me was to visit South Africa. I didn’t know there are a lot of metalheads there and they are so cool and very dedicated. It was very awesome. We also got to play in the country Georgia in the Caucasus near Russia at some festival there, and it was just awesome to see all these metal heads and fans.”

Shmailyuk told us that they love being on the road and touring, but the lifestyle isn’t all fun and glamour.

Touring is hard,” she says. “For example, we all have to drive our own way across the country, and it’s no secret that we don’t get enough rest. Aside from playing our shows, the best part of touring is sleeping. I like the days off because we get to enjoy seeing new places, doing as much sightseeing as you can. But we tour because we love the music.”

The band is currently beginning a tour of North America in support of their soon to be released new album, Macro, which comes out October 25. Shmailyuk spoke on a cellphone, on the road, en route to the band’s first date, September 7, in St. Louis. The tour will last through November and will cover the U.S., plus parts of Canada.

Shmailyuk said the band loves to meet and mingle with fans at every show. “The last tour we did around the U.S.,  we tried every night to meet our fans,” she says. “We like to get to the audience and talk, take photos, and go signings for those fans who stayed to see us. We always try to do that when possible because we appreciate the fans.”

It’s no surprise that with a heavy, crushing extreme metal sound, many fans indulge in moshing and slam dancing when Jinjer performs.

“Mosh pits happen from time to time at our shows,” Shmailyuk says. “Many years ago we played in Romania, it was Bucharest I think, and a girl got hurt in front of the stage from a mosh pit slamming. It can get pretty intense, and people break their limbs from time to time, but as far as I understand they are happy. We don’t try to get people to do anything too violent but it is their choice they are free people and there is lots of energy to it.”

Jinjer takes pride in its work ethic, dedication to its music and bringing the highest possible level of energy for every show, whether they are playing a small night club or a  huge outdoor festival.

“We are touring 24/7 we can’t have jobs..it’s impossible,” Shmailyuk says.  “But that’s the way it is, if you want to do something really  well you should give it 200 percent of your time and energy.”

In terms of the band’s heavy yet melodic  sound, perhaps it comes from the open minds of the musicians. The music’s heaviness takes cues from greats like Fear Factory, Pantera and Lamb of God but the melodic parts offer clean, beautiful interludes, often with lyrics based on the evolution of society, and spirituality.
“We listen to lots of music, from hip-hop and reggae,” she says. “Even though we play in a heavy metal band, each of us is fond of different genres other than  heavy metal, we try to be open-minded music-wise.”

Jinjer is a band that expects to be touring a lot more in the future. “It’s funny, because we need to end this current tour cycle and it’s now just starting,” Shmailyuk says. “We definitely plan to do more touring — we hope to go to Australia and return to the U.S. again in 2020. Other than that, it’s too early to say things are not arranged yet but we will be on the road. At the moment, however, we would like to say that we  are grateful and happy to be touring in the U.S., and this big  music community and thank all the fans for supporting us at all our shows.”

Jinjer performs with The Browning, Warpath and Second Shooter at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 12 at the Whisky A Go Go. The show is sold out.