Hamburg, 17. November 2019
Aktuell ist die ukrainische Progressive- und Groove-Metal-Band Jinjer in aller Munde. Sie waren dieses Jahr viel unterwegs und haben die halbe Welt gesehen. Die ganzen Festivals diesen Sommer, wie z.B. Wacken, Elbriot und Reload. Die Japan- und Nord-Amerika-Tour, und nun auch noch die großer Headliner-Tour quer durch Europa. Begleitet werden sie auf der aktuellen Tour von drei weiteren Bands, den ebenfalls aus der Ukraine stammenden Space Of Variations, Khroma aus Finnland und den Kanadiern von The Agonist.
Um so mehr hatten wir (Patrick und ich) uns darüber gefreut, dass wir für ein Interview mit Eugene Abdukhanov, dem Bassisten von Jinjer, eine Zusagen bekommen hatten.
Vor dem Auftritt der Band trafen wir Eugene im Knust in Hamburg und konnten mit ihm über die derzeitige Tour, das neue Album, etwas Privatleben und seine Art Bass zu spielen, reden.
Patrick: Hey Eugene, thanks so much that we can have this interview with you.
Eugene: Always welcome.
Patrick: How are you?
Eugene: I’m fine – a bit sleepy. But generally fine.
Patrick: It was a very turbulent year for you – as a band. You had a lot of touring going on …
Eugene: Non-stop touring!
Patrick: Yeah! Played big festivals like Wacken here in Germany as well – how was it? How was the
experience in Wacken for example?
Eugene: It was tremendous. Very, very nervous – very stressful for sure. But it did pay off – the show was fine. Very satisfying! And we got the video out there which is very popular on YouTube and people started talking about us seriously after Wacken.
Patrick: During this time, you managed to release a new album and bring out various music videos. How did you manage that? I mean you were on tour the entire time.
Eugene: We had more or less the whole spring free – we only had a small tour in Japan and a few shows in South Africa. In total 7 shows for the whole spring. So, we started composing songs and later on recorded them. The whole recording didn’t take long. It was just two weeks or so.
Patrick: What about the fact that your family is back home – do you have enough time to see them?
Eugene: Of course not! I call my son every day, but it will never fill all that lost time. It‘s the hardest part about the job and the lifestyle, because it’s all fun and it’s all Rock’n’Roll, but you are away from the people you love – which honestly sucks.
Patrick: Yeah, sure – so the backside …
Eugene: The side effect yeah …
Patrick: What can you tell us about the Ukrainian metal scene?
Eugene: Oh, come on – the Ukrainian metal scene – guys … I will not say anything about that. I have talked about this thousands of times. This is the Ukrainian metal scene right now playing on stage. Go and check that: it’s Space of Variations. Yeah – I think that is the best answer I can give.
Patrick: Yeah okay. How is it living in the Ukraine as a successful metal band? Is it that you get recognized in your home country as well? Or is it more internationally?
Eugene: First of all – we always pulled our popularity up in the Ukraine by increasing our popularity outside. So, we would first build our fanbase outside, played our first shows outside and then after that it helped us to get more or less big in Ukraine. But at some point, we realized that this is it. We just reached our ceiling; we cannot go over this. Three or four years ago, we just said „No“ to shows in the Ukraine. Since then we only played one festival in the summer and one headlining show in Kiew.
Patrick: What do you like about shows in Germany?
Eugene: In general, it is definitely one of the best places in the world to play extreme music, because you have very dedicated fans. Who either come and support, standing in the back or in the first row and buy merch. Or there is another group of really crazy fans who build up mosh pits and really go crazy during the show. So, you can see both of these people in Germany. Good venues, a lot of places to play – what can be better?
Patrick: Do you want to continue (to Dirk)?
Dirk: Sure. The album title „Macro“ means something like „big“ or „large“, does the name have a special meaning to you?
Eugene: Well we came up with the name when we released the „Micro“ EP. And then we just realized – composing „Macro“, because the music on both records was composed during the same period of time, that they are actually really close.
We just decided to use the opposite of „Micro“, because that was a small EP with only 5 Tracks. At that point definitely one of the most experimental things we have done. And then we decided to follow up with an even bigger thing – and bigger means „Macro“. This is what it means for us. We just exaggerated everything we had on „Micro“.
Dirk: Who wrote most of the songs for Jinjer?
Eugene: At this point we all write songs. Vlad, Roman and me. Back in the days for the „Cloud Factory“ album it was mostly Roman and the guitarist Dmytro, then Dmytro left and we became a four-piece band – one guitar and one bass. I kind of stepped in and wrote a few songs – the interludes which we had on the album and „Beggar‘s Dance“. When Vlad joined us – everything changed – on „Micro“ we all were deeply involved in the writing and we just kept the same strategy and techniques for „Macro“. There are two songs by me, three songs by Vlad and four songs by Roman on „Macro“.
Dirk: Okay – cool! Special Question for you: what is the reason you play with a five-string bass?
Eugene: I do not only play five string – I play four string too.
Dirk: Ah okay.
Eugene: I use five string for drop A tuning, because I still have this have this range which is not fully occupied by the guitar. This upper range for the bass guitar. I use it mostly to be able to feel the mix more and to play some high notes and chords and various riffs – it is basically just to feel the mix, because we only have one guitar.
Dirk: Are most of the bass guitars you use designed specifically for you? I saw some pictures on Instagram where you get some special made bass.
Eugene: Yeah – the bass I am playing now – the five string one – it specially made for me by Stas Pokotylo from Kiew. Yes – and another bass I was using on the tour in the States – four string by D‘Addario I am an artist officially representing them. Actually, going to have a new five string bass from them very soon.
Dirk: We are very impressed by the perfection with which you play the bass. How long did it take you to master the bass?
Eugene: Actually, I don’t think it is perfect in any way. It is actually not that good. I do make a lot of mistakes; I am not always on time. I have been playing the bass since I was eighteen or seventeen – I started quite late.
Dirk: Where did you get most of the inspiration for your music and which bands influenced you?
Eugene: From everything! It does not work like that for me – like I see something and I get inspired by it and instantly write something – No! I just collect impressions. I travel around the world, I meet people – I just experience this life collecting emotions and impressions and then when I decide to write, I just sit down and express everything and cumulate it.
Dirk: Japan, Wacken, Elbriot – and all these festivals in the summer. What is the next for you?
Eugene: You mean like touring?
Patrick: Yeah – are there any concrete plans on upcoming tours or such? Or having a break for some time since it was so stressful?
Eugene: No – we will be touring next year for sure! We will have two months- January and February and then it is again touring. We will be touring all year long next year.
Patrick: Thank you so much for your time!
Dirk: Yes Eugene, thank you very much!
Eugene: Always welcome!
Patrick: Looking forward to the show.
Eugene: Yeah – same as me!
Das ganze Gespräch war übrigens sehr locker und angenehm. Wir durften während es Interviews einen sehr sympathischen und bodenständigen Eugene kennenlernen. Keinerlei Starallüren oder ähnliches. Tatiana, Roman und Vladislav waren die ganze Zeit im Raum und haben sich freundlich von uns verabschiedet.
- Interview: John-Patrick Grande und Dirk Heyka // Gringoz Magazine
- Fotos: Dirk Heyka // Gringoz Magazine