Tatiana Shmayluk is one of the biggest hope in the metal scene. Well, Jinjer was getting more and more popular in the recent years, but that’s only a beginning of a beautiful music career – that’s clear. Tatiana’s comet is just as fast as the band’s: not that long ago she ranked number 5 into “25 Best Female Vocalists in Metal”. We were lucky enough and we had an opportunity to do an interview with her before their latest Hungarian gig.
Fifteen minutes – i.e. 900 seconds with one of the most talented singers on the planet. Honestly, I was nervous as hell. I will never forget when I heard Jinjer for the first time: I was doing workouts and I didn’t really care about music, I just pushed the play button on a random list on YouTube. And suddenly I heard the first riffs of “Pisces” and I thought: well, that’s cool. After I heard the chorus, I thought: “that was a really cool duet”. So I wanted to see the official video also. That was a moment when I realized that ‘screaming beast’ was Tatiana. I became a fan immediately and I was lucky enough and I could see them live a few weeks later at Rockmaraton.
A few months later they came back to Hungary but we missed that show, so we were eager to see them live in Budapest – and good news to us, they will come back in this January. So, we can say that they’re frequenters in our small country – does that mean that Hungary is special to them for some reason?
“Yes! I can tell that it’s special for us” – replied Tatiana in her unique, kind voice. “Because we have very-very dedicated fans here, a couple, named Petra and Péter. They are crazy actually! (laughs)
They organized a project, and they brought us a book, that was made by the Jinjer Fan Group.
You can find here a lot of messages from fans around the world, there are lots of photos. They constantly give us a lot of presents and gifts. The last time, when we were here, they brought us a drumhead by Mario Duplantier, the drummer of Gojira. He painted Pisces on that drumhead, so I was pleasantly shocked. They are just amazing!”
If you’ve seen Jinjer live before, you already know that Tatiana is a real energy bomb who is ready to explode anytime soon – and what is her secret? So, she has no secrets – it seems that she’s genetically perfect.
“Well, okay, I tried to stick to veganism. At least, I wanted to try, how is it you know. On last August I switched to veganism, and it’s really hard to do it on tour, so yes… But still, I’m learning how to do it. How to go vegan.
I have always been a thin girl. And as a child, I was quite sporty and active, and then you know I started smoking and drinking alcohol, yes, and so bye-bye active way of life. (laugh)
But I still carry with me some rubber bands for working out, but so far I haven’t yet touched them. You know, I always look at them and then say: ‘okay guys, I’ll see you next time’. Then I go for smoking. (laugh)
My only workout is stage presence. I’ve always liked moving. You know, we have a huge number of shows every year, and when you’re quite exhausted you have no time for growing some fat under your skin.
Usually, I’m so nervous that I don’t have an appetite at all. So maybe that’s why. But I really like sweets, and I’m really afraid that someday I will wake up and be 60 kilos – as once I weighted, and it was horrible for me. (laughs) I considered myself very fat, although I don’t know… I was quite curvy.”
Before we meet Tatiana we have read several, previous interviews with her – however, we already knew that she likes listening to softer music, for example, she is a huge Amy Winehouse fan. Also in an interview, she was asked to say two negative things in the past few years, and she couldn’t name even one at all. That’s why we thought that she’s a really positive person – then her answer surprised us.
“Oh, you know we all have alter egos. We all have light and dark sides. That’s the nature of every human and living being at all, in general. So, as I need to discharge (on stage) this maybe negative or just rough energy.
Yes, I go on stage and there I am. That’s it.
I don’t mean that metal is negative or it’s something negative at all. It’s just like you have very intense feelings that you have to let go somehow, this is it. And then you’re back to normal life – yeah, I’m quite shy. Which you can hardly see on stage you know. Different image, that’s all.
I tend to think that I’m quite a negative person. I have a lot of heavy-heavy thoughts in my head. Yeah, that’s my confession. (smiles)
And to learn positivity – this is the greatest aim for me. But yeah, that would be a long and hard way for me to be a positive person. It’s not that I’m evil or something like that, just because I’m quite sad. I think I was born sad. Yes, quite sentimental but I don’t think that it’s something wrong you know, some people are light and some people are shade. So I think I’m a shady person. I just like to sit and think over and over again what I did in the past, to think that what I did wrong so many years ago on the 8th of August for example (laughs). Arrrrgh! Yes, I overthink much. That’s why I always like this, thoughtful.”
Jinjer was formed in 2009 and in the beginning, the lead singer was Maksym Fatullaiev, and after he had left, Tatiana joined the band in 2010. So we know that Tatiana is not a typical metalhead and her parents didn’t have any idea about their daughter’s plan – that she would join a metalcore band. (If you haven’t read our interview with the bassist, Eugene Abdukhanov it’s time to do it – you can learn more about the band’s history, just click here.) “Yeah, it was quite hard because… My parents didn’t really approve of that decision. Actually, I didn’t ask them, like: ‘mom and dad, can I do this?’. No! I didn’t. I did my own thing, I did my own business.
I was quite uncontrollable. I started to sing when I was a teenager and as you know: teenagers are hard to control.
I always knew who I am going to be. I opened my singing skills when I was 8, I always dreamed about singing on stage. So, the dream came true and I didn’t care about what people say. Because I think they thought that I should have did anything but music because it was not a serious business, it wasn’t business at all, you know. (laughs) But still, I didn’t care.”
That was the point when we decided to go back to the fun stuff – we asked her that if she could have been someone or something else (even a superhero) for one day, who or what would she be? “You know, right now I really don’t want to be someone else. Hard to say… Maybe… Well, I always wanted to be a mermaid. I remember how I spent like about 2 hours in the bathtub when I was a kid. And mama was always asking: ‘Hey, are you okay in there?’ ‘Are you alive?’ I really like to spend time at sea sight, that’s my everything, that’s my world.”
Due to the huge success of Jinjer they can travel all around the world – earlier this year they had an opportunity to tour in North America. And what was her favorite moment during that tour? “When I was 13 or 14 maybe, I dreamed about visiting the Golden Gate in San Fransisco. And I painted this a lot, I have a big pile of my drawings back at hometown. And when I first saw this bridge I was so happy, I was completely shocked. That was the most beautiful moment of the tour.”
Though the Ukranian band travels a lot, Tatiana hasn’t been in her favorite place yet. “Maybe Mexico is my favorite city, but I haven’t been there. It’s my dream to go to Mexico actually. But if we speak about those cities which I’ve already visited, I really liked New York for example. Actually, the whole US was amazing for me.”
That was the time when the clock was ticking and our time was up – but we asked one more question (however we had still so many…). And what else would it be? We were curious about the new material which will come out in September. Will it be heavier or softer…? “Well, so far I heard only one song on the rehearsal. (We did the interview in June – editor’s note.) That would be something more progressive than we did before. I think fans will ask us: ‘Jinjer, what the hell are you doing?’ That’s what I thought when I heard the first time the new song.
‘What the hell?’ Everything was just like wow! That was quite chaotic for me.
But I think like the next time I will hear the song I will collect my thoughts and probably see the picture in general. So, I think so far it’s hard to say. I cannot tell you anything because I haven’t heard a lot, you know. But I have a lot of time on this tour to write lyrics, that’s what I’m going to do on this tour, so yeah. So far, zero information, I will keep it like a secret.”
Interview: Afrodite Szeleczky
Photos: Péter Tepliczky
Art: Fausto Dalla Chiara
All rights reserved