One of heavy music’s most intriguing vocalists talks anthropocentrism, aliens, and how being a front woman in metal challenged her to embrace her femininity.
The latest episode of Electric Theater series features a conversation with the clown and Jinjer front woman, Tatiana Shmayluk.
Understandably, the conversation between Shmayluk and clown started by discussing the ongoing pandemic and the collateral damage that continues to accrue in the wake of Covid-19. Both clown and Tatiana would confide that as the months have continued, the seriousness of situation has become much more real as the damage has become much more apparent.
While both artists have been sidelined from touring, both clown and Tatiana shared that they both have known people within their circles that have been infected by the virus and have known people that have tragically died as a result. It’s that kind of gravity that makes everything else pale in comparison, and puts humanity in perspective.
In discussing such a globally crippling problem, the notion of humanity began to steer the conversation. Sadly enough, the pandemic has only accentuated some of the negative qualities of humans and that fact wasn’t lost on both Tatiana and clown. As the conversation continued, the two offered an idea that might seem outlandish, but presents and interesting premise.
clown talked about his understanding of the mythical Sasquatch and shared some of the stories that had piqued his interest throughout the years. Tatiana shared her affinity for aliens and her slight belief in life on other planets. The vocalist doubled down on that by adding that the Jinjer song “Outlander” was penned from the perspective of an alien being stranded on earth.
These examples of other forms of life lead into the idea that humans can’t really see that the most of the unraveling that seems to be permeating throughout society is self-inflicted. While Sasquatches and aliens from another planet might seem far-fetched, it is plausible to think that if another form of life happened to catch a few days worth of humanity from an outside perspective, they might not be a fan.
That otherworldly theme evolved in the conversation as Tatiana confided that she has struggled with a feeling of disconnect in this world. Citing difficulties with self-esteem and a healthy skepticism of just about anyone outside of her apartment, the premise of a song like “Outlander,” though told from the perspective of an alien stranded on Earth, could very well be applicable to a person that just doesn’t feel connected to the world around them.
Part of that skepticism comes from the dynamic of being a frontwoman in Jinjer. Tatiana shared that the songwriting process for her is a very tedious in that she pens her lyrics in English. The Ukrainian vocalist explained that with English not being her primarily language, one song can take weeks to finish, a meticulous process that she compared to giving birth the an elephant.
Tatiana explained that the sad reality is that most times, all of that work will go unnoticed. She shared that how she looks seems to take precedence over what she is saying, and that truth can be especially deflating for someone who spends such time and effort into writing lyrics. It also explains why the vocalist operates with a measurable degree of distrust in humanity.
The front woman would go onto share that for a long time she felt she had to mask her femininity because she didn’t want it to be exploited. As Jinjer gained traction, she didn’t want the appeal of the band to wrapped up in the look but rather the sound. She confided that it took years to get to a point where she felt comfortable in her own skin and though she knows there are still people that only look at her rather than listen, she understands that the real fans of her band value sound over image.
Stream the entire conversation with clown and Tatiana Shmayluk of Jinjer on the latest episode of The Electric Theater.