Jinjer: interview, excited to be in South Africa!

Jinjer-Ape-Session 3 by Evgeniya Lulko
Jinjer: image by Evgeniya Lulko

Cape Town, South Africa: at metal4africa, we’d like like to introduce Jinjer to our readers before the band hits stages in South Africa. Although this seems hardly necessary in our home city of Cape Town, since that show already sold out weeks ago in advance of tomorrow night’s concert by the Ukrainian Progressive Groove Metal quartet. Turning Tricks Entertainment, local host for Jinjer‘s South African tour, also announced a low tickets warning for Gauteng earlier in the week. So, Gauteng-ers, if you’re still on the fence about this, it looks like this weekend will be one to remember for fans and bands alike!

We’re lucky enough to have enjoyed a bit of banter with one of the lads in Jinjer, and he tells us that sol out shows is a growing phenomenon for them.

“Yeah, it has happened several times before! Of course it is always very pleasant to realize that there
are many people somewhere far away who appreciate the music we create.” ~ Eugene Abdiukhanov (bass guitar, Jinjer)

Pisces, I Speak Astronomy and Perennial; echos of an upward trajectory for Jinjer

It seems to us that the name Jinjer started to really spread out on social media here in South Africa with the live session video for ‘Pisces’. Before that, Jinjer was basically just another unknown band here. Eugene describes some of that enigma around the bands rise in popularity. He also reassures us that Jinjer remains committed to originality and fresh ideas, rather than bowing to pressure and formulas:

“I think we have been growing more or less gradually since old times, but of course ‘Pisces’ was probably the biggest success so far. However, before it there were other songs which definitely broke through! Like ‘Sit Stay Roll Over’ or ‘I speak Astronomy’, for example. On the other, hand ‘Perennial’ from the latest EP seems to follow in ‘Pisces’ footsteps; in terms of popularity, I mean. To a greater extent, it is worth saying, ‘Pisces’ got so popular because of a number of factors coincided: it is live; it starts as a normal pop-rock song, and; it is simply great. However, because it is so popular there is a side-effect too; people tend to think and expect us to follow the same stigma. In short words, making a ‘Pisces 2’; which will not happen!” ~ Eugene Abdiukhanov

Anybody who has delved into Jinjer‘s discography can quickly understand the band’s journey to the present time; where we are fortunate to have a visitor to our shores on the eve of their prime rather than in their twilight. Many fans of live music in South Africa complain about the latter, and Turning Tricks Entertainment has got their timing perfected on this one. We asked Eugene about the evolving sound of Jinjer to what we’ll be witnessing live this weekend:

“It has changed drastically! This band was designed, so-to-say, as a metalcore band, and our first EP in 2012 was quite metalcor-ish. Since that we have passed a long way, through groove metal on ‘Cloud Factory’ to crazy progressive metal on the Micro EP. It has happened for many reasons. Partially because new members kept joining and leaving ‘Jinjer’, bringing their own influences; partially because those who formed the skeleton of the band changed a lot as musicians and as people too.” ~ Eugene Abdiukhanov

The latest video, ‘Perrenial’, has already enjoyed close to three million views on youtube since first appearing on Youtube earlier this year.

Jinjer: on being in South Africa

To a lot of Europeans, Africa tends to have a strange hold on their hearts. Many we’ve spoken with think of it as the final frontier; to be explored. Some avoid it as being too unfamiliar. Either way, to most people Africa remains something of a mystery until it has been visited. Mostly our music is a mystery too… we wondered if Jinjer had been paying close attention before now; if our musical output to them was a mystery too?

“It is not! We have heard a lot about your music scene from OhGod. They are awesome! So much awesome, that we now think that you all are awesome!” ~ Eugene Abdiukhanov

Now we’re just blushing! And feeling even more enthralled at having Jinjer visit, and the feelings seem mutual:

“I love traveling and discovering new places a lot. This is one of the best advantages of this job! We have just returned from Japan, for example, and it was always a dream for me to visit that country; and it came true! I was over the moon. To tell you a secret, Tati always dreamed of coming to Africa, so this tour is something special for her. And for me too.” ~ Eugene Abdiukhanov

Of course, the Ohgod mention follows that band’s first foray into Europe last year. Incidentally, Ohgod supported Jinjer on all of the dates of its Germany tour; no doubt paving the way for what we’re about to enjoy here at home. For Eugene and company, it is inevitable to explore every avenue which opens up and the timing just seems right. With the current tour unfolding, Jinjer can now tick another continent off of its list.

“I would like to go and play everywhere. Of course, where people live and can listen to us. the Antarctica, for example, doesn’t count. Penguins don’t like metal as far as I know; let’s leave that continent to Metallica” ~ Eugene Abdiukhanov

Jinjer Tour Poster
Tour poster for Jinjer’s Germany tour in 2018, featuring South Africa’s Ohgod

With touring comes opportunity beyond exploring and experiencing only music. Visiting bands often don’t get much time to do much beyond playing shows and seeing the inside of clubs and touring vans. Eugene and the clan have a bit more in mind than only that though.

“I was invited to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy and I am super excited about it! Also I would like to experience African nature and culture. Africa is the place we all come from! And I can’t wait to visit it” ~ Eugene Abdiukhanov

Well, Eugene, and band mates, and to the rest of South Africa – the time is here. Let’s party!

As mentioned, tickets for Cape Town are sold out. Gauteng, there may still be a few left for Platteland (Centurion) on Saturday 4 May. Grab yours now and join the rest of us in giving Jinjer a proper warm South African welcome.

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