Not Forgetting About the War in Ukraine is the Best Way to Help, says Eugene Abdukhanov of JINJER

Not Forgetting About the War in Ukraine is the Best Way to Help, says Eugene Abdukhanov of JINJER
Not Forgetting About the War in Ukraine is the Best Way to Help, says Eugene Abdukhanov of JINJER

14th of June, the 110th day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, started back on the 24th of February, 2022. I still have my morning flashes, waking up, looking outside from the window while asking myself If I'm really here. An event that will stay in history books as a tragedy, changed the lives of millions including my family, together with Eugene Abdukhanov, Tatiana Shmailyuk, Vladislav Ulasevish, and Roman Ibramkhalilov.

Our history with Eugene Abdukhanov and his invincible team Jinjer started a long time ago. It was within this year someone sent me the poster of the Black Sea Metal Festival 2015, in Illichivsk, Ukraine, where my band and Jinjer performed. Whenever I think of this moment in history, I realize how much appreciation Jinjer deserve for their commitment, professionalism, and achievements so far in their careers. I am not sure of any data, but in my world, Jinjer is the most successful Ukrainian metal band in history.

After getting in contact with Eugene while we were both living in Ukraine, we tried a few times to see each other yet never happened for daily life problems. The mysterious hand of God lead my family to Switzerland after the war, and on the 10th of June, the second day of the Greenfield festival was the day put us together in the same room, and we started our conversation like two buddies from the same village with many things to share.

JINJER - Call Me A Symbol (Official Video) | Napalm RecordsReleased on Jun 8, 2022Credits: Filmed somewhere on tour in Europe 2021 by Maksym LavrenchukEdited by Oleg Rooz (

Interviewing Ukrainian bands and artists wasn't an easy decision to make from my side. The first thing that came to my mind while driving to talk to Eugene was to hear how does it feel to be an artist in times like these. Until that moment it was just an intuition, I felt like "the stranger" who could understand him the best, even better than family.

Eugene Abdukhanov is an athletic character with a lot of vital energy. That day he looked physically "ready to go" in terms of live performances while psychologically living with a heavy burden of war inside his heart. The only thing he knew was that he has to find the right motivation to go on the stage and play.

"Once Russian troops started to leave Kyiv, we started rehearsing. It was only possible that time while the invasion was still happening." Eugene remembered from those days and added, "in fact, it wasn't only a question of finding safety to play music again, rather was a moral one; is it the right thing to do while my homeland, families, and friends are going through such atrocity?"

The beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine were the toughest for so many people including Jinjer, where I remember the 99% of people I talked to were skeptical, fully unprepared, and given no chance for such an event to occur. And Eugene admitted to be one of them, while being modest. But he always knew that Jinjer won't hesitate to do their part when it comes to doing something for the Ukrainian nation, leading the way as the most internationally successful Ukrainian metal band. He says; "this is at least we can do to help, and motivate, as much as we can".

On the second day of the Greenfield Festival in Interlaken, Switzerland, Jinjer played the first gig in their European Summer Tour 2022. I was already feeling how special this tour was even before asking, and Eugene didn't prove me wrong; "it will definitely be different on an emotional level. I have no doubts Jinjer will go out and play as they always do, but I also know that some of the songs we recently added to our setlist will resonate differently with the band cause they are about the war in Ukraine."

Jinjer announced that the collective has been given a special permit by the Ukrainian government to travel abroad, and the band knew this was their moment. The band shared a message on Instagram;

We are very honored to announce that we have successfully been granted permission to travel abroad to raise funds and awareness about the war raging back home. This is a huge honor for us as a band and as citizens. We will do our part to make sure that this war stops as soon as possible!
Come support, dance and scream your hearts out for Ukraine!

Not Forgetting About the War in Ukraine is the Best Way to Help, says Eugene Abdukhanov of the Ukrainian Progressive Metal Band JINJER

Jinjer European Summer Tour 2022 Poster

The significance of each moment, a term I used to hear in movies from time to time but never acknowledged the actual meaning, strangely, was the first thing that came to my mind since the war started. I don't think I will ever have another moment on my home office balcony in Odesa, a picture that will stay with me for the rest of my life, reminding me how magical was being there.

I remember from those times that Eugene has always been a supporter of the local Ukrainian rock and metal scene. Once he gave me his Top Ukrainian Rock and Metal Bands which was published here on Metalhead Community, even being too kind to listen to one of my demo songs and giving me his honest feedback. I asked if there's any chance the local Ukrainian metal scene can do something together,

"At the moment, we are always in touch with Space of Variations who are in the middle of making releases. We asked ourselves whether making releases or touring together would help the situation more as we technically aren't soldiers." he meant and added, "I never fired a gun in my life, I play the bass. And that's how every Ukrainian artist should feel. It is time for us to take all the inspiration out of the negativity and trace it to the right direction."

Eugene was also honest about defining the local Ukrainian metal scene as "small and too competitive" which causes young artists to feel like competitors rather than like-minded people most of the time. And added; "The moment we got ourselves to a position where we could help as a band, we did, and hopefully it will be an example."

Jinjer performing live at Greefield Festival, Interlaken, Switzerland. European Summer Tour 2022. Credit: Burak Gundogdu

On the other hand, I found out that Jinjer's latest music video release, Call Me A Symbol, (the album opener song off from their latest studio album release, Wallflowers) was actually planned to be released back on the 8th of March, 2022, which couldn't happen for obvious reasons.

"On the 8th of March, we were all in the underground bomb shelters in Kyiv, then I left to take my friend's family out of the city," Eugene remembered.

After keeping the project on hold for some time, the right moment became to release it before their summer tour in 2022. "In my opinion, Call Me A Symbol is the strongest song of the album" he added.

Although there were again some technical issues with the video upload on Youtube where they had to re-upload after releasing the first, Jinjer kept their spirits up once again as professionals.

The last time I went into Jinjer's discography on Spotify realized the latest official release was a single called, Hello Death, originally a Decapitated song featuring Tatiana Shmayluk with her melodic voice. This song stayed with me as one of the tightest old-school death metal songs I have listened to for some time, which is Tatiana's fifth official featuring project;

Morton - Through the Never (I Will Return) feat. Tatiana Shmayluk (Apr 21st, 2016), Morton - Horror of Daniel Wagner feat. Tatiana Shmayluk (album release; Mar 30th, 2022, music video release; Sep 6, 2018), JINJER | SUICIDE SILENCE Quarantine Collab: Territorial Pissings (Nirvana cover), (Apr 30, 2020), Suicide Silence w Tatiana Shmailyuk (Jinjer) - Man In The Box (Alice in Chains cover) (Jun 2nd, 2020), Twelve Foot Ninja - Over and Out feat. Tatiana Shmailyuk (Oct 15th, 2021), Lions At The Gate - Find My Way feat. Tatiana Shmailyuk (Apr 26th, 2022), Decapitated - Hello Death feat. Tatiana Shmailyuk (May 27th, 2022).

Eugene commented on the collaboration idea as totally positive and added;

"Although we try to make our music without boundaries, we are limited by ourselves. Tatiana is a unique singer, and taking part in someone else's music is a big thing. Decapitated's Hello Death is a fantastic song, I like all of them, but also have my favorites."

Not Forgetting About the War in Ukraine is the Best Way to Help, says Eugene Abdukhanov of the Ukrainian Progressive Metal Band JINJER

DECAPITATED - Hello Death ft. Tatiana Shmayluk of JINJER (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)Premiered Apr 8, 2022Produced by Grupa 13 & Decapitated Directed & Edited by Dariusz Szermanowicz

Jinjer starts their European Summer Tour at Greenfield Festival in Interlaken, Switzerland as I mentioned above, ending in Hamburg at Elbriot Festival together with Slipknot. In fact, the young Ukrainian band has a history with Slipknot which Eugene remembers as "we tend to joke about this" and continues;

"The first time we talked about touring with Slipknot was in 2019, and then in the winter of 2020, but never happened for reasons like the Pandemic. The last time we even announced a tour with Slipknot in March in the US, then the war started. I am afraid these are facts, but we stay positive about everything while wondering what else can go wrong right now in our first tour with Slipknot. Apart from that, it's surely a milestone for Jinjer, cause only a few European metal bands got the chance to tour with a legendary band such as Slipknot which we truly appreciate."

Some of us might not that that Jinjer has always been a band that is mainly appreciated internationally. "Americans, especially" Eugene commented and continued, "they never stopped coming to Jinjer with more tour requests just like their Summer 2022 tour with Slipknot. Their support meant the world to us, which I believe we are going to be grateful for forever."

When I asked Eugene his honest opinion about the best thing people can do to help, his answer was clear; "not forgetting about the war in Ukraine is the best way to help."

"The first week of the war I was getting a lot of messages," he says and continues, "already did ten interviews for the international media. But then I started to see people continue their normal lives posting cats on social media, which scared me a lot cause I don't want Ukrainian people to be forgotten in this awful situation. After certain point in the war, I started to call it an apocalypse. It is terrifying to see the way things proceed, so the best thing people can do to help is not to forget about Ukraine."

"The amount of money people donated to help was incredible. In fact, after seeing some of the numbers being donated I had to warn some of them, asking them to think about the future of their families." Eugene also underlined that he was genuinely moved by their answer; "we are doing OK, there are people in Ukraine who really need this."

This was my first interviewing experience, and luckily it was someone as friendly as Eugene Abdukhanov. He finished his words with; "Jinjer appreciates everybody who supported, donated, or helped in other ways. In the end, I believe spreading the word, would be the best thing we can do."

It was fantastic watching Jinjer playing live at Greenfield Festival, wishing the Jinjer team all the best on their European Summer Tour 2022. Thank you for reading and sharing this story to spread the word.

Read further; Top 10 Ukrainian Rock and Metal Bands by Eugene Abdukhanov of JINJER

Not Forgetting About the War in Ukraine is the Best Way to Help, says Eugene Abdukhanov of the Ukrainian Progressive Metal Band JINJER

Eugene Abdukhanov of Jinjer, Burak Gundogdu of Metalhead Community Credit: Allen R. Wright Jr.

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