It’s not the Beliebers, Directioners or Arianators.
Ukraine’s female-fronted metal band Jinjer have amassed their own army of loyal, yet-to-be-titled fans — some dedicated enough to follow them around the globe with peculiar gifts in tow.
“Honey,” says lead singer Tatiana Shmailyuk, in an email interview with Gulf News tabloid!. “There is a French guy called Giyom. He has visited more than ten shows all around Europe this year, and he is a bee keeper. So he presented us with honey his bees made.”
Dubai is the penultimate stop on the band’s summer tour, which has already taken them to Germany, Slovakia, Czech Republic, France and Hungary.
They’re all set to rock the Music Room on July 28, for their first ever gig in the UAE.
“Each country and crowd is unique and cool in its own way. Some crowds are raging in the mosh pit, some pick every single note we play but stand still. Both are great,” says Shmailyuk.
The first incarnation of Jinjer formed in 2009: an all-male fivesome, straight out of the industrial city of Horlivka. The underground scene was alive and well, but lead singer Max Fatullaev parted ways with the group and was replaced by throaty frontwoman Shmailyuk.
This was the start of many line-up changes for the band, which has an even number of former and current members. But today’s Jinjer gang — consisting of Roman Ibramkhalilov on guitar, Eugene Kostyuk on bass, Vladislav Ulasevish on drums and Shmailyuk on vocals — has been stable for a while.
“The last time we changed members was exactly one year ago. So we have an anniversary today [Sunday], our drummer Vlad has been with us for one year,” says Shmailyuk.
“Each of us goes from the quietest to the craziest depending on the situation.”
It’s “hard to say for sure” if Shmailyuk always wanted to be a frontwoman, “but to be honest I [haven’t] done anything else. So yeah, I have always wanted this.”
Playing a two-part set in Dubai, the band will dedicate the first half of their show mostly to songs from their latest album, King of Everything. The second half will feature more of their 2014 debut Cloud Factory and various EPs.
Jinjer join a growing number of heavy metal bands playing in the UAE. What is the biggest misconception people have of metal?
“Metalheads have the biggest misconception, that only metal is cool, and that metal is only about everlasting double kickdrum and shredding guitars,” says Shmailyuk.
The band are currently composing new songs, and will wrap their summer tour in Poland on August 17.
Locally, Jinjer will be supported by Wulfram, Svengali, Pull Box and Riot Fist; a meet-and-greet will take place at 7pm, while the show starts at 7.30.
*Tickets to see Jinjer at the Music Room on July 28 are Dh120.