A Ukrainian punk trio separated by war from Russia are to reunite as a band for the first time in over a year to play a European tour.
After releasing their debut album earlier in 2023, when they lived thousands of miles apart, Death Pill announced Over My Dead Body concerts at UkraineGermany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom in May and June.
The group – Mariana Navrotskaya, Anastasiia Khomenko and Nataliia Seryakova – broke up after Russiathe war against Ukraine started in February 2022; Nataliia temporarily moved to Australia to work, Mariana remained in Kyiv, and Anastasiia made the difficult decision to take her young son to safety in Spain, leaving her husband behind.
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Now Nataliia and Anastasiia are about to return home for the Kyiv show, which will begin the tour on May 20.
“For me, not playing is almost like not living and I’m very excited to get together, go on tour, see new places and meet new people,” Anastasiia said. at Sky News. “It should be a very exciting trip.”
Although she is also excited about the shows, Mariana said she couldn’t feel the true happiness of the group’s return after all that happened to their country.
“[My feelings] are very mixed,” she said. “I know it’s impossible to feel the current situation as fully as we feel it, but try to imagine this: we are embarking on our first tour, to pursue our dream so long awaited and cherished, we are playing for the first time in Europe and the UK – in fact, this is my first time overseas. It was one of my dreams.
“But I absolutely don’t feel ‘happiness’ inside. I’m excited but I feel anxiety and devastation, I feel internal struggle; my life’s dream is coming true right in the middle of a horrible f****** bloody war.
“All my endless ambitions, all my emotions and feelings, all my joys and all my pains – the death pill. It’s the most honest and sincere thing I have. Nataliia and Anastasiia, they are literally sisters to me; sisters in blood, sisters in spirit. We’ll all be together for a month, and right now it feels as sweet as can be.
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Nataliia said she only started to properly address her feelings in the past few days after months of not allowing herself to be anything but strong.
“I haven’t allowed myself to be sad or sick or poor or weak in my whole life and even more so in the last year because in my opinion it prohibits moving forward,” she said. “I just started thinking more about my honest feelings a few days ago and I can’t describe it properly. This is new to me.
“I’ve been very focused on tour preparations for the past four months – bookings, publicity, merchandise, home rehearsals, flights, etc. – and just now, as my return flight date is in 10 days, I realize that above all I want to see my parents alive, see the girls in the group and try to feel that I am at home.
“But I realize it’s only for a month and after that we’ll all be apart again. [It’s a] strange new sensation – exciting misfortune. Our nation has been running it for a few years, hopefully I can handle it too.”
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Death Pill’s self-titled debut album received critical acclaim – described as “a record of staggering musicality fueled by untamed fury” by The Line Of Best Fit and “a breathtaking listen” by the Guardian, while Metal Hammer called it “one of the best crossover albums of the modern era”.
They released the album against all odds on February 24 this year, marking the first anniversary of the Russian invasion.
While Anastasiia was able to train with Mariana during a visit to Ukraine to see her family, their in-person rehearsal two days before the Kyiv show will be the first time the three women have seen each other and played music together. , since they were separated.
“I rehearse with my computer,” Nataliia said. “Sad but true – Guitar Pro replaced my daughters this year. I miss them.”
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“In Barcelona I go to a studio where I play solo,” Anastasiia said. “I have our records to play, a metronome. Of course, it’s not as cool and productive as when you play with a band. But you have time to refine your playing more.”
“Each of us regularly rehearses a solo concert program, under a metronome and (digital) MIDI drums from Guitar Pro,” added Mariana. “Of course, a solo rehearsal will never replace a rehearsal with a band, but in our case it’s impossible.
“We put [so much] effort to make this tour take place against the backdrop of this waking nightmare – and I will thoroughly enjoy this tour.”
Death Pill will play Crown Bar in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 20, with shows in Bradford, Manchester, Bristol, Brighton and London in June