Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


‘I don’t choose to live in a horror film’: The punk trio separated by Russia’s war

Mariana Navrotskaya can’t hear the warnings of air raids above her from a underground music club in Ukraine’s capital. After checking online, it is her bandmate Anastasiia Khoenko who informs Mariana Navrotskaya that there is an air raid warning nationwide at the time they made their Zoom call.

She tells her friend that it is good she is in a shelter. She is concerned, but not surprised by the events in her country. Mariana responds, “It’s my every day.”

It’s now 2pm in Kiev for Anastasia, currently living in Barcelona, but it’s 10.30pm for Nataliia Seryakova (currently in Adelaide, South Australia).

The three members of the feminist punk group Death Pill have reunited across time zones and thousands of miles. This is their first UK news interview. It also happens to be the first time they have seen each other since being separated just after the beginning of Russia‘s war against Ukraine10 month ago.


Mariana, 26, opted to remain in Kyiv, despite Nataliia’s 25-year-old age being able to temporarily move to Australia to work. Anastasiia (29 years old) made the difficult decision that her eight-year-old son Orest would be safe in Spain and she would leave her husband Evgenij.

Sky News: “When the war started, I didn’t want to leave Kyiv,” she says. “But I know I must, because I have a son and I want him to have a safe and better life.

It hurts me to think of the children of Ukraine. It was very difficult to make that decision. They have air alerts and they are [having] to go] down at the shelters. I did not want to emigrate. “I love my country deeply.”

Learn more about Ukraine

Death Pill is a hardcore punk band. Its current lineup was formed in 2021 when Nataliia, the bass player, joined. They emerged from Ukraine’s underground music scene and recorded their debut album, which was titled Death Pill.

“Rock isn’t just about savage men with long curly hair. Mariana states this in the promo.

Then the war broke out. Anastasia and her family slept in the bathroom for the first month. It was the most secure place. She is now separated from her husband, and her parents. Her father is fighting for Ukraine. Anastasia and her bandmates are scattered around the globe.

They have put the final touches to their album online despite the distance.

They have already created buzz with their releases and have been listed by Metal Hammer as one of the top 10 new bands to look out for in 2023. The plan is to release the album on the 24th February 2023 by London’s New Heavy Sounds. This will mark the first anniversary of the outbreak of World War II. They are hopeful that they will all be able to tour together one day soon.

Although it wasn’t meant to be, they now want to continue raising awareness about the events in Ukraine.

Anastasiia says, “Right now… we have a dreamteam, our golden trio.” “We have played in many cities in Ukraine… Now we are getting a lot attention from Europe and America. We are grateful for that, as we can spread the word on the war.

“We can share all the information from people who are actually experiencing this and going through this… we woke up on 24 Feb from missile strikes. It’s not propaganda; it’s real-life.

“A year ago, it was all ours”

Recent attacks by Russia on power supplies have caused blackouts in Ukraine. Mariana is unable to communicate from home because of this. Mariana is now in the music club that has a generator.

She is resilient, despite everything. She says, “It’s made me stronger and more powerful.” You can’t even imagine this scenario. It is not possible.

It’s hard work to live in Ukraine now – in Kyiv or in any other city – because you have to find electricity, internet and water.

“One year ago you had it all, and you don’t even think about it. Now, when you look at the history of World War II you realize that it was very sad, but this is another time and it will never happen again. It’s hard to find the words. It’s f***** up.

“But it’s now very interesting to live there because you understand how important everything you [thought] was …”

“Basic,” Anastasiia answers for her. They now take for granted the daily things that they used to take for granted.

Nataliia, Anastasiia and their bandmate tell each other that they believe she is more positive than ever before the war.

She replies, “I’m going through major changes, and it’s cool.” “You can see how strong Ukrainians really are.” Anastasiia speaks about her friend.

They miss each other. They are drawn together by a common desire to create music and have something to share with the crowd.

I ask them how they feel about not being together at the moment. “You want to see their tears?” Mariana responds. Mariana replies, “It’s very sad.”

Nataliia: “It’s ***,”.” “You can’t plan. I know what I can do, and I have a good idea of how to get there. After that, I don’t know. It’s slow but it’s the best we can do. It’s what it is.”

“We have destroyed the patriarchy and now we have destroyed Russia”

Use Chrome browser to access a better video player

Zelenskyy’s Christmas message

The underground music community supporting their country is one positive that emerged from the war.

Anastasiia says, “Because there are a lot people who are artists and musicians, great people in our nation [who] now have weapons protecting their country, which is to protect all Europe,”

Nataliia believes that Russian artists should have any kind of platform and be able to see the real world.

“Even many famous Russian artists don’t say anything about it, and this s ***,” she said. “People claim they were born in Russia. But they can speak.

She claims she lost touch with Russian family members because they don’t believe the truth about Ukraine.

She says, “When war began… there were many explosions near me.” “I saw explosions through the window. It was about five kilometres from me.”

Continue reading:

A hardcore metal band that is gaining support for Ukraine

Liev Scheiber: $1m in fundraising: ‘Doctors perform heart surgery using flashlights’

Kalush discusses fighting for freedom, banning Russia and creating an anthem to Ukraine

Anastasiia says Russia has “taken all” of us. “I miss being carefree, because I don’t have it anymore. Many people in Spain are happy and carefree, which is something I notice when I visit them. I am very happy for them all and for you, that you will never have the same life as us.

“But I also feel angry because we had this in our lives. We were also carefree, did silly things, and just hung out and [made] music in Ukraine. Now, people in Ukraine have to survive…

“I want all those who support Russian terrorists to see the truth. They should see the terrible truth. It’s true, it’s real, and it’s our lives. It’s not what we want and it’s not something we deserve.”

Anastasiia, who had travelled to Ukraine to visit her husband in the summer, has plans to return next year. She says, “I will see Mariana.” “We will play together, perhaps do some songs.”

Mariana says, “We smashed together the patriarchy and now we smash Russia together.”

Anastasiia says, “Right now it’s our lives.” It’s almost like living in a film. But, I wouldn’t mind living in horror films. I want to be rock stars in a movie.

Death Pill releases their self-titled debut album via London’s New Heavy Sounds on 24 Feb 2023


You May Also Like


The controversial Russian businessman Viktor Baturin, well-known for his years-long counterstanding with his wealthy sister Elena, widow of Moscow ex-mayor Yuri Luzhkov, is likely...

United Kingdom

Film director Ridley Scott has recalled the death of actor Oliver Reed while making the Oscar winning blockbuster Gladiator. Scott said hard-drinking Reed “just...

United Kingdom

The Watneys Party Seven is making a comeback. The ubiquitous 70s beer was a bland fizzing bitter ridiculed by many. The drink’s insipidness helped...

European Union

On April 9, 2022 Dimash Qudaibergen’s first solo concert in Germany took place in Düsseldorf. The colossal energy and the atmosphere of unity did...