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Interview - Ivan Chertov (Craving)

Interview with Ivan Chertov from Craving
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 19 February 2014, 10:07 PM

Steinmetal got the inside scoop with Ivan Chertov from Craving recently, due to the band’s new album and them being a prospect in Extreme Metal. 

 Hi there Ivan, how have you been? Thank for your time to answer this interview for Metal Temple.

Hello Lior, thanks Im fine! Thank you for taking your time and writing those questions.

 I have been following your band Craving since your dawning days with the first EP “Revenge” of 2008, then I also interviewed you for the first time. It has been five years, Craving signed with the respectable Apostasy Records, and now hailing with a new album, “At Dawn”. How can you summarize the period of time since “Revenge”?

Well it was a hard time, two members has to be removed from the previous line up and before their removal they caused a lot of troubles what actually was the reason for the delay of the debut album which was recorded in 2010 and released in 2012. Now we have near to stable line up, though we have a new Bass player since the beginning of 2012. Myself is much more experienced than back in 2008, I nearly produced AT DAWN myself except the bass recordings which were handled by our new bass player Leonid Rubinstein. And we are signed to the fantastic Apostasy Records.

 When I listened to “At Dawn” I found it to be rather different than your debut, and of course from your EP. It would appear that your vision of music stirred you guys from Black Metal and into the realms of Melodic Death Metal with various of Folk additions. What drove you to pursue this direction of Metal?

Well it was a natural progression; the debut album was composed between 2006 and 2009. Back than I was like 20-23, the second album was written in a time between 2011 and 2012 by a more mature and experienced me. So maybe this caused the change/progression in the sound. This genre, well I love variety and I love the beauty of music and I try to compose barnstorming stuff. This is probably why we mix up the genres this way.

 Have you thought about the band’s old days, ever had the wish to compose something of the sort again?

The self-titled album is composed in this style, though I think our style hasn’t changed that much. You know we had only 10 days to produce the debut album, if only we had more time for the debut as we had for “AT DAWN” which was produced between September 2012 and May 2013 (6 Months) it would maybe become more near to detailed as AT DAWN.

You know you grow with the time, the experience, composing stuff, everything grows and unfolds and you get other views on music and can write more complicated.

It is actually not like you write something on order, it comes spontaneously and it depends on the mood you’re in how the music is taking form.

 Back to the album, similar to “Craving”, you have on again with mixing songs in different languages. Can you honestly say that this aspect aids on upon asserting your music as comprehendible? Can it be inferred that it is a Craving signature?

The three language thing came spontaneously. Back in 2008 I wrote the lyrics for “В лес!” and then the music around it, than the refrain for “Wolfsherz” and again the music around the lyrics.

I can express myself with the Russian lyrics more than German or Englisch lyrics. Though we are using the lyrics of Nikolaj Stephanovich Gumilev on the songs “Leopard”, “Mik and “Olga”.

The idea behind this was to show people some Russian Poetry, due to the fact that for example in Germany the younger onces basically don’t know it. And if Finnish Metalbands can sing ‘bout Kalevala, why can’t use our Poetry for music.

 Generally, what is “At Dawn” all about? Does it have a certain means that is between the lines?

The Cover symbolizes the four revenges of Olga on the Murderers of her husband Igor.

The lyrics are dealing with different themes. “Mik” is an epic poem by Nikolaj Gumilev, it is spitted in four parts and the first part was used for the song. “Sons of the Rebellion” is about a very unusual theme used in Metal, it is about the attack on the death star by Luke Skywalker and his feelings during the battle. “Targaryen Wrath” is about Daenerys Targaryen from the epos “The Song of Ice and Fire” by Geordge RR Martin. “Schwarze Flügel” (Black Wings) is about love and it is Leonids interpretation of my lyrics for “Hellraiser”, I sended him those for proof-read and he has wrote another lyrics in German than. “Breath after Breath” is dealing with the project 2045.com and it is sort of protest song and the first song in dual lyrics. “Garden of bones” is about a desert. “Dance with the wind” is about not wasting time in life and don’t forget your connection to the life-energy in the world. “Hellraiser” is one very personal song which meaning Im not gonna to reveal at this moment. So you see that the lyrical theme is as diverse as the musical theme. Almost all lyrics were written by Leonid.

 “In Die Nacht Hinein”, roughly translated is “Into The Night”, an epic track that in a way pretty much sums up your musical standpoint. What do you make of this one?
Thank you. It wasn’t written with the purpose to unite all our styles, it just turned out that way. For me this song has the vibe similar to “Wolfsherz”, if you analyses the structure it is pretty similar to the song named before. The lyrics are dealing with the storm, I have written those during a storm. Leonid has contributed a lot to the lyrics and has rewritten many lyrical parts in this one. The song is dedicated to one very important person in my life who died during the recordings of the album after a very long and terrible disease. In the lyrics the Gaia, the spirit of the Earth, is screaming into the night thru the thunder.

 Any particular track that meant much more to you than the others that you care to talk about?  

I love and care about all the songs on the album but Hellraiser is my personal catharsis on this album. The lyrics are dealing with many personal things and the music is perfectly reflecting the emotions I’m transferring to the listener.

 “Targaryen Wrath”, also showed your devotion to the “Game Of Thrones” series (believe me I know), features Chris Caffery. How did you get in touch with him and how did his participation work out?

Yeah It was a spontaneous idea to write about Song of Ice and Fire, but we really like the books and the series are also very nice. I contacted Chris Caffery via email but never thought to receive a response. I like “Pins and Needles” a lot and I asked Chris in my message to contribute to our album. Surprisingly I received an answer from him, I sent the preproduction of the song to him and he banned this amazing solo on our album.

 Recently you guys went on tour, what can you tell about it? Was it your first?

Yes it was our first tour and it was amazing. We were two weeks on tour with two Russian bands called Hell:on and Sinful. I was searching for a tour for 1,5 years and finally we have organized one ourselves in the collaboration with Hell:on. We traveled with 17 people in a small bus and shitload of equipment, and played all in all 12 concerts in four countries: Poland, Germany, Belgium and Czech Republic. We are really looking forward to hit the road again! I hope it will happen next year.

 Any new plans? Maybe a following release this year?

We would like to spend 2014 touring. We have released two albums within two years and now it’s time to play plenty of shows in order to promote the material. I already got 3 Songs written but it is too soon to talk about album number three. As I said before we would like to concentrate on concerts next year. We are already confirmed to play two festivals in Germany among others the Ragnarök Festival other confirmed bands are Finntroll, Manegarm, Borkagnar, Graveworm, Suidakra etc.

Ivan, again thanks for your time, second time around for us and I hope it would be fun for you to answer. I you wish guys all the best and good luck. Any last words for the readers?

Thank for the Interview man!!! Keep the metal scene alive!
 



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Edited 24 January 2022
 

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