Hi Marija and Jenner band! Greetings from Sick and Destroy team. What are you up to these days?
Hello S&D team, thank you for invitation to do this intervew for your magazine, I’m so glad that I can present Jenner to your fans, and have nice conversation with you. We are in a quite rush, especially these days, as our debut album is always out, there’s many cool reviews already, and also invites for the interviews from many portals and webzines, also with gigs, people wants us to play everywhere. But it’s just a matter of free time and our finances. We have booked few concerts this year, in Serbia and the Balkans, on 10th of March, we’re in Ljubljana, Slovenia with our good friends from the bands Nemesis and Hellcats, 25th of March, we’re in Skopje, FYRM. Belgrade’s promotional gig will be held on 15th of April with our famous serbian bands Superhammer and Deadly Mosh. And also we’re now printing and preparing some merch you can order directly from us.
Would you please introduce your band to our readers who are not aware of your band and music?
Jenner is all female speed/thrash band, formed on December 2013 in Belgrade, Serbia by sisters Stamenkovic, Alexandra (guitar), and Marija, now Dragicevic (drums) and our two friends Andjelina Mitic (vocals) and Jana Bacic (bass guitar). After a year of playing covers, we decided to change our style and Mina Petrovic has replaced Jana on bass. In 2015, we recorded our two demo songs – “Hear the thunder roar” and “On a judgement day”, which you can find on our official Youtube channel, and our debut album “To Live Is To Suffer” is nearly out via Inferno Records from France. You can listen to our single “How deep is your greed” on Inferno’s Soundcloud account and give us your opinion, and if you like it, you can order an album directly from us or from Inferno records.
Give us a little insight into the formation of the band. When and how did it happen?
I’ll start our story from the very beginning, 4 years ago in Belgrade, when the first version of Jenner is created. Me and Alexandra had already played in an all-female hard rock band, and Alexandra was a bassist then. Since we’ve had many problems in finding a good female guitarist, we had disbanded and Alexandra had decided to learn to play guitar and form another band. Marija wanted for it to be the same stuff they had already played but with another members and a band name. Then we had found Jenner’s first bassist Jana Bacic. After just one rehearsal with one more girl on guitar, we knew it wouldn’t work, so we had disbanded again and Alexandra had an idea to form an old school heavy metal band, with the influence of Rock Goddess, Warlock, Judas Priest, Grim Reaper etc… She had no drummer, so I jumped in again in order to help her, and with her influence, we decided again to take a risk and form an all female band. We asked Andjelina Mitic (vocals), the girl we knew earlier, to sing, and Jana accepted to be our bassist again. We covered mostly the bands influenced by Alexandra, already mentioned here, and through time, she and our friends realized we should take faster and heavier sound as we had a lot of potential and talent. We accepted their advice and started covering the bands we liked then – Overkill, Anthrax, Exodus etc… Unfortunately, Jana could not fit in with our new sound, so she was replaced by our current bassist Mina Petrovic.
At what age did you guys start playing instruments? Since when are you into metal music?
Alexandra has started at her 15, she was bass player first, then she started to learn guitar and little of keyboards. My drumming passion has begun at the same time, but I was 18 years old then. Andjelina was singing a little before entering a band, and Mina had her influence of being musician long before all of us, by her father Milutin who has recently passed away. Alexandra and me had a band then, we played mostly ’80s hard rock and metal but after we disbanded it, Alexadra was in forming a heavy metal band. I helped her with drumming, after all she’s my sister. Our influence of being metalheads is our mum, who gave us her cassettes, vinyls and old magazines and posters, so she made us being interested in metal since we’ve been 15 and 12 years old.
Your first album “To Live is To Suffer” going to be released on February 20th via Inferno records. Tell us something about it. Walk us through all the tracks lyrics and meaning.
The album is recorded, mixed and mastered at Citadela Sound Production by Luka Matkovic. All songs and arrangements are done by Alexandra, and I wrote the most of lyrics with my husband Ivan and Alexandra, except two song lyrics, written by Luka Matkovic. Our former bassist Jana helped us with crowd vocals, and our good friend Selena Simic (Nemesis, Vibrator u Rikverc, Goatmare and the Hellspades) with the drum parts, as I become pregnant when the drum recording process has started. As I wrote most of the lyrics, I’ll start explanation by album track list.
1. Factory of Death – Through history, there were many wars and camps for killing by executors. It says about that happenings and about the feelings of the man who killed those people. He sees the faces of the dead, screams and blood chasing him through his dreams.
2. Hear the thunder roar – Is our first song about the judgement day, the thunder is metaphore for it and it comes to the Earth to spread the justice between the human race.
3. Demon’s call – This song is about the fight with inner demons inside of each of us.
4. The Heath is coming again – This one is about the emptiness that appears once in every human being.
5. On the judgement day – Another song about the judgement day as it’s title says, but it’s more into what awaits us in the rings of hell when we die.
6. How deep is your greed – This song is about that nowadays people are became greedy and dissatisfied about everything.
7. Silent killer – It’s about all the illness in the world that is killing us everyday, step by step, little by little, and we can’t notice that, but one day, we just don’t wake up.
8. Opened (on the table) – really unexpectable theme even for us, it’s about the crazy doctor who get’s satisfaction by his patient’s examinations and flesh of the dead ones.
How has been the response so far by the listeners? Have you started working on new songs already?
I must say that we really haven’t expected so positive response! I mean, we’ve read few reviews and all of them were awesome. Everyone who heard the album was amazed. Our most popular portal in Serbia, Serbian metal portal has given us 85%, which is very good, and we’re satisfied. And about new songs, there’s few riffs waiting overthere, but there’s still no time for composing the new material. That doesn’t mean we won’t find it in nearly future.
When and where did you play your first gig? How was the experience of going live for the first time?
Our first gig was 3 years ago, at Belgrade’s iconic club Danguba, which is now unfortunately closed. There was some festival for the demo bands and we decided to participate in it. We played Burning the witches – Warlock, Hell bent for leather – Judas Priest, Rock you to hell – Grim reaper and few more songs. Whoah, we had huge stagefright even if Alexandra and me had a band already and few gigs earlier. For me, every gig is like the first one. We have surprised the crowd by the songs we’ve chosen to play and our style, which was bit different than now and went directly to the finals even if we’re not so good in playing, they gave us a chance and we won a second prize, song recording at Citadela Sound production and that’s how our speed/thrash era started.
What, according to you, is the secret behind band’s success?
I hate cause I’m saying this, but let’s see. Every article you can find about us contains – All female metal, girl band, all girls, only girls in band… But it’s not all about being an all female band, even if it helps a little. It needs a lot of work and practice, to be noticed. Even if we didn’t go to the musical school, we’re all self taught, we’re giving our best to show that female bands are not just into being pretty. The most important is music we make and the passion we have by playing and making audience happy and pleased.Ever had an epic fail moment during a gig?
Oh yeah! It’s never forgotten and we’re still laughing and making fun of it. We had a gig, 2015. with four more serbian female bands at Belgrade youth center. We got up on stage and started our performance with Agent Steel’s Unstoppable force. After first chorus, we were lost, Andjelina has not started to sing, I’ve played rhythm behind guitar solo and Alexandra has played verse. So we couldn’t fix that without the notice, and Alexandra shouted – STOP! So we stopped and started the song from the beginning. It was much funnier when our friend said – UNSTOPPABLE FORCE HAS BEEN STOPPED!
Oh shit, so you did it! Hehe, stopped unstoppable force! =) If asked to differentiate Jenner from other bands in your country, how would you like to respond to it?
I can freely say that we have huge differences, not because we’re girls playing thrash, but in style. Alexandra’s songs are melodic, catchy and not very aggressive, easy to listen them to, and not only thrash metal fans will like it. Andjelina’s singing abilities are enourmous, but I think she still hasn’t found it at all. She has clean, hight pitched voice, but can also growl at some parts. With them two, we have a winning combination.
Do you think that nowadays band’ line-up will be the same in, let’s say – 10 years?
I can’t say that for sure. I wouldn’t like that, but if Alexandra leave the band, it won’t exist anymore. She is heart of all this and it would be a pity to give up from it.
Which bands/ artists do you draw your influences from? Which are your favorite local bands?
First, our influences to form a band were Warlock, Judas Priest, Grim Reaper, Rock Goddess, Accept and other old school heavy metal bands. After a year we took more heavier sound with songs of Heathen, Agent Steel, Overkill, Exodus, Anthrax and others we covered then. Serbia has many talented bands, and I would pick definitely Alitor, Deadly Mosh and Space Eater as our influences, helpers and the most important, our friends.
How do you guys manage jobs and gigs? Also how often do you guys gathering altogether just to fun?
It’s very hard, I must confess. To me, my familly is most important, Alexandra studies medicine, and Mina and Andjelina have their own jobs. We often gather for rehearsals once a week, and that’s okay. Sometimes it happens that we have any rehearsal in month or two, but we fix it all with the first rehearsal after that break.
Are your guys / husbands OK with the attention towards you from fans? 😉
They’re okay, by now! We’ll see what future will bring, haha!
Jenner is very promising formation. Talking of your future, 5 years from now, where do you see yourself?
I can’t say for sure what will happen in 5 months, not for years. But I guess that Alexandra will finish her studies successfully and become a doctor. Jenner will exist until she says different. Maybe we’ll finish one more album, or two, tour abroad… But that’s all a question.
Well, that’s it. Thanks a lot for your time. Speak out to all your fans and supporters.
Thank you for giving me a chance to say some words about Jenner, we had a good chat and I wish you all the best from Serbia!