2020.04.08 – JENNER – Marija Dragićević (Interview)


Last time I talked to Jenner’s drummer in October 2018 after the release of the vinyl edition of „To Live is to Suffer”, Serbian group’s debut album. Only one and a half years have passed since then, however, the band has undergone a number of significant changes, both personal and stylistic. On the occasion of the premiere of the latest release, the EP „The Test of Time” I chatted again with the elder of the band’s founding two sisters.

I’m glad you’re back. I honestly admit that after our previous interview I was starting to doubt your reactivation. What gave you impulse to come back to the stage?

After my second maternity leave, the band took a little longer break than expected. It was not my intention to prevent the band from still playing gigs, but the girls simply didn’t want to look for a replacement. Alexandra focused on writing new material, Anđelina pursued some other interests and Nevena found out she was pregnant right after I gave birth to a second daughter. This was unexpected for all of us because it then meant extending the period of band’s suspension. I was involved somewhat in the work on new songs with Alexandra when I was pregnant, but when it came to recording, that was a problem. I haven’t sat behind the kit for a year. I came up with the idea of giving up the band and playing because I thought that I would not be able to fulfill all my obligations with my job, family and the band. So Alexandra decided to ask a friend Nikola Simonovic, to record the drum tracks instead of me. You remember the same the case on the first album, when Selena Simic of Nemesis recorded drum tracks while I was pregnant. Of course, I was sad, but during all that time I was trying to learn new songs and get into the mix, which was not easy at all. Still, I didn’t want to give up what I loved, which is to play. We definitely have more to show and that’s why we tried our best to get back on stage, this time with an EP.

In our last conversation, you complained that you still don’t have your own drum kit. Have you already completed it?

Imagine, I don’t have them yet. It’s becoming very difficult to cope with the costs of a family life, and children need to be provided with everything necessary for a normal life and growing up, so I postponed buying the drums for some „better days”. It’s interesting that both daughters are interested in music and drums, so I have three reasons to get them soon.

As you mentioned, Jenner’s latest EP was recorded without your participation. You are the mother of two children. What makes you want to play? Are your daughters mature enough that you can, for example, leave them alone at home for the whole evening to play a concert?

The two of them are still small, the older one is 4, and the younger one is 1 year old. My husband Ivan is a very good father, and he looks after them whenever we have rehearsals. They are not causing him any problems. Both grandmas used to babysit the older daughter when I had gigs before, but now I honestly don’t know how it’s going to be, because now, there are two of them, and bigger is obligation and responsibility. What is important for my comeback is that I couldn’t just leave the project that I had made with my sister 6 years ago, I couldn’t imagine just throwing it in the water. Second thing is, I simply love playing drums, that feeling is priceless to me.

Alexandra has done a great job on the new release. I have already got used to the sound of her guitar, but as a new singer she introduced a completely new quality to your music. Personally, I like her vocal harmonies the most. How do you think Alexandra’s voice style differs from your previous singer Anđelina’s one?

Anđelina stated that there was no better substitute for her than Alexandra and that they always agreed in everything. I agree with her statement completely. We remained very good friends with her. What I think is that Alexandra is one of the most talented people I know and I am proud to have her as my younger sister. She improved her singing excellently and considering that she is also the only guitarist in the band, everything is up to her. She tries her best and I think she was able to spice up Jenner’s slightly new style.


photo by Sara VejkovicThe changes in your band’s lineup mostly concerned the bassist position. Do you think Katarina will stay with you for longer?

Actually, I’m not sure what’s going to happen with the bassists. In fact, we are out of luck with them, we have changed four of them so far. So I don’t know what to say about that.

Will we have to wait for the vinyl edition of your newest release as long as in the case of „To Live is to Suffer” or will it be released soon?

As far as I’ve heard, the EP won’t go out on vinyl, but it’s available on cassette and can be ordered.

If you can’t play concerts because of the coronavirus pandemic, have you already thought about new songs for your second full-length studio album?

Frankly, every songwriting stuff was taken over by Alexandra and her boyfriend Emil (singer of her second band Sigma Epsilon). She regularly sends me demo projects of new songs, riffs etc. But I think we are still a long way from the new full length album.

Will the material from „The Test of Time” be recorded again for the second album, this time with you behind the drums?

I don’t think so. I mean, once Alexandra mentioned that the songs from the EP would not be included in the new album, but who knows, maybe that would change.

This year, the 40th anniversary is celebrated by the debut album of your favorite Def Leppard, „On Through The Night”. Do you remember when you heard this record for the first time? How do you like it today? Do you have any favorite songs from it?

Interesting question. I started to listen Def Leppard with „Hysteria” and „Retro Active” albums ever since I’ve found out 80s rock music and I found out everything else about them a bit later. When I watched the movie „Hysteria: Def Leppard Story” I was introduced to their beginnings. The first album surprised me a lot because it has a completely different sound than what I was used to with Leppard. To be honest, I’m not thrilled and I’m glad they changed their style over time.

And what do you think about the return of Mötley Crüe, which supposedly was never to be? Do you think they will release another album? Have you seen the movie „The Dirt” dedicated to them? What impression did it make on you?

Mötley Crüe is one of my top 3 bands and „The Dirt” is an unbelievably perfect movie. I could watch it countless times until I die. When I heard that they were making a movie and first saw a picture of the actors who would play them, I thought it would be just plain garbage. After the first watching I changed my mind. I was very sad because they don’t play anymore, but I had a strange feeling that they will, I can’t explain it. I followed their page, Instagram profiles and hoped they would return to the scene and when it was officially announced, I literally started crying out of luck. Although I know I wouldn’t have a chance to see them live, I was overjoyed that they had reunited. And still, I hope we’ll have a chance to see them in Europe and another album will be released.

Finally, I will ask you the most banal question possible: you are a great drummer, you have a kickass band, and you are an exemplary wife and mother. You’re only 27, so you’re still young. Since you have achieved so much, what do you think your nearest future will look like? What are your current goals?

Right now, I only think to I provide to my daughters everything they need. Now everything revolves around them two. I try not to neglect everyone else but it is very difficult to deal with it. I hope it will be easier when them two grow up a little, that I can devote a little more to myself. For example, I would like to form a glam metal band and try out singing. I love it but the only problem is – i’m damn shy. I would also love for Jenner to continue what we have planned before this corona virus situation around the world, which is to play as much as possible in other European countries. That would mostly be it. Thank you very much for the second interview!

Interview conducted by: Patryk Pawelec

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