Interview with Ivan Chertov (Craving)

MER: Greetings Ivan from Metal Express Radio, How are you in this bloody cold winter time?

Ivan: Hi Lior, thanks I’m fine! Unfortunately It’s not that cold here

MER: Your band, Craving, has been around for three years or so and now have a new EP release called, Revenge. Where did you record it? For how long have you been working on it?

Ivan: The songs were written in a big period. We’ve worked a lot on those songs compared to the stuff on Demo 2006. I worked a lot on the material. “They Will Burn” and “Nameless” have a more complicated song structure, compared to “Revenge” and “Voices In The Fog”, “Voices” was also co-written by our ex-bass player who played on the CD. He had the basic idea for the song and I structured the riffs and added melodies and harmonies.

We recorded the whole thing in 3 or 4 days at a small semi-professional studio near our hometown. The result was horrible, we actually wanted to record a five song EP. Due to some problems during the recording session we were unable to record drums for the fifth song. But this would hopefully make it onto the full length. The drum session became a nightmare due to inexperienced studio staff. We worked more on this recording but not enough to be 100% satisfied with the end result. But I think we did a good job for the time we had.

MER: You are currently an unsigned band, probably looking for a label, do you think you will have a hard time finding one? Or have you have already been spotted by some label?

Ivan: We have already talked to some labels and some were interested.
We will see how things will develop in the future. I hope that we will stay with a great release at the end of the year.

MER: From what I heard from your new remastered EP and from the time I reviewed it, I noticed you are playing some kind of a mutant Melodic Death with Black Metal and with various Folk elements. Do you think you’ll make further changes in the near future? Because I have to tell you that, this particular mixture works out for you.

Ivan: Oh I don’t know, music comes how it comes. Personally, I love this mixture of different genres.(except Techno & MB, Rap stuff ha ha).
Let’s see what will come in the future. We have eight new songs right now, which have to be rehearsed. The stuff sounds well. For the recording we will concentrate fully on this heavy folky stuff. But expect more, we are always looking to surprise people. I noticed that in many interviews we are labeled as Viking Metal or Pagan Metal. Well in our lyrics we are riding horses and slaying people but we’re not what people call “Viking Metal“. We have no Norse mythology stuff yet. Maybe there will be some in the future.

MER: Ivan, you are the lead vocalist and guitarist in the band, how are you handling both roles? From what I saw from your former lineups, you had vocalists – what happened? Why have you decided to take the vocals on yourself? Hard to believe that in all of Germany there is a shortage in vocalists.

Ivan: Well, we had a vocalist, a quite good one! He kicked ass, but unfortunately he left the band for studying. We searched really long for a vocalist to fill his shoes and found one, but it didn’t work out well. So after those problems I decided to take the role as Lead Vocalist and Guitarist for the future. I already did it in the past so it isn’t a big problem for me to handle both roles.

MER: What are the future plans for Craving, regarding gigs and mini-tours? Are you playing outside of Germany?

Ivan: Good question you asked . We are planning gigs in Germany, at first. If we find some connection to the clubs outside Germany, we will of course gig outside. Our new guitar player is formally from Denmark, so maybe we will make it there. As I said before, Germany has the main priority right now.

I hope due to the release of our full length we would be able to travel to some great countries to gig. Offers are always welcome. Give us some petrol money and a place to sleep, that’s all we need at the moment. But remember we can’t and won’t pay for play.

MER: Ivan, as one of the writing members in the band, what do your lyrics stand for? Is your chilly wintery flavor in your music a part in your lyrical themes?

Ivan: Yes more or less. My lyrics are mostly very nature bound. There are no direct lines about winter but a lot about the forest, mountains and so on.

Very nature bound “slay em all“ stuff 🙂 But it’s like with the music, there are no laws on writing lyrics. There were no lyrics about winter yet.

MER: What does the name of your band stand for? Along with this one, why did you pick Revenge as the name for your EP?

Ivan: The name Craving stands for my personal addiction for music. Our addiction for the music, it’s like a drug. But a healthy one. The EP is called revenge simply because of the song “revenge“. The song is one of our favorites and so the EP is called after it.

MER: Ivan, let’s get some info about you, some basic stuff, your influences, any other projects, what are your thoughts about Heavy Metal, today, in general?

Ivan: I think it’s okay that Metal gets a little bit more attention again, and bands like Metallica are trying to get back “to their roots“ again :-D. On the other hand it brings on a lot of trendy stuff, which is not that “cool“ in my opinion.

Musically I’ve been influenced by quite a many bands from all kinds of Metal genres. A few to name here: Anthrax, Blind Guardian, (old) Slayer, Finntroll, some old Marduk (with Legion), Devin Townsend/Strapping Young Lad and many many more…

MER: What is the status of the underground Metal scene in Germany? Do you think the Metal status in Germany can be recognized as mainstream like in Finland?

Ivan: Nope, Metal is not that big in the media like in Finland.
But I think it will come so like this. Bands like Belphegor, Equilibrium, Dimmu Borgir and so on are getting in the German charts…and all those three bands are signed to Nuclear Blast. Haha 🙂

MER: Do you think Extreme Metal is stronger today than before? Do you think that it is important to preserve the old ways? Does Craving try and do it with its music?

Ivan: Yes I think, Extreme Metal is bigger than in the past few years.
Well I count to the 21st century generation and I couldn’t really experience the “Old Metal-Days“ on my own skin. So I can’t say a lot about the “old ways“ and we have to preserve them.

The old school stuff is getting bigger I think. There are many Thrash bands coming…and some people dress themselves like in the ufff….80s??? Which is a little bit rude. Kinda back to the roots.

MER: Well Ivan , I would like to thank you for taking the time to engage in this interview and on behalf of Metal Express Radio, I wish you and the guys good luck on your way of finding a label and , of course , with Revenge. Do you have any last words for the Metal Communion?

Ivan: Thanks for reading and taking time to check us out!
One brand new song will be up on MySpace soon, stay tuned!

Thanks for the Interview Lior!
Metal \m/

Many thanks man and good luck again


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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