Craving was almost unknown to me until last year when I knew and ordered the"By the Storm" limited box edition. And it is an excellent album, with an interesting mix of styles (reviewed here), I wonder how I missed this band before. Here is an interesting interview with Ivan Chertov, the band mastermind.

Hello Ivan, thanks a lot for this interview!
Can you briefly tell us how and when did you start in music and what are your influences?

Hi Joao, thanks for having me! I’ve started out around 2000 by playing guitar and had my first band by the End of 2002. In 2005 I started a band with a few people I found after searching for musicians, which later became Craving. My influnences back than were melodic death/black metal bands like Ensiferum, Wintersun, Children of Bodom, Cradle of Filth, Finntroll, Amon Amarth, Behemoth and many many more.
We started out in a garage of our former guitar player Lukas Winkler and you know the rest ☺
When did you decide to create Erbos, later named to Craving?
We never decided to create a band called Erebos, we basically had our first concert at the 24th April 2006 and we had no name, so we quickly picked Erebos so the promoters could print a name on the promotional flyer hehe. Later on we all brainstormed a name and we had to pick between hybris and craving. Both ideas came from our former drummer Lutz Pohlabeln and we picked Craving, because music and Metal in general represents the ultimative Craving for us as musicians. So no we never formed a band called Erebos ☺ It was a coincidence.
A fun fact: in 2014 Craving briefly appeared in a Samsung commercial on Dannish TV (link here). How did it happen?
In 2013 we’ve been on the road to a concert in Würzburg and the Eurovision Songcontest winning song “Only Teardrops” was aired on the radio and our Bassplayer was like jesting “fuck we should cover it” shortly after this we had an minor accident and crashed in the barrier on the highway. Two days later I couldn’t get out the idea of covering this song for our then upcoming album “At Dawn”. I sat down with the guitar at my parents place and quickly reconstructed the song by ear and tabbed it within a program called Guitar Pro 5 by Adrobas music and sended it out to the rest of the band. It was kinda the last minute song we have recorded for the album, everything else was already recorded and we had to hurry like hell to produce this one before the post production at the Iguana Studios in the Black Forest took place.
After that we had a funny idea of making a series of music videos. We planned to shoot “Only Teardrops”, “Olga” and “Garden of Bones”. We did the shooting with Jörg Harms for Only Teardrops at his place, it was in his backyard in east frisia haha.
After we put the video online, it went a bit viral and the officials of TDC Denmark got wind of it and one day we had a message on all our channels. Youtube, Facebook and Email with the request of this company to feature our cover of the song in the Samsung Galaxy S5 commercial on the dannish television. At first we thought it was a joke, but after we realized that it not a joke we gladly took the opportunity and you know the rest. The clip was aired for three months on the public television. I hope the Chris Caffery (ex-Savatage, TSO) feature in Targaryen Wrath would got more attention than this one, ‘cause the song kickes more ass and Chris did a fantastic job on it.
Congratulations for "By the Storm", awesome album. Are you happy with the result? And the reactions?
We are happy with the result but we are not very happy how the promotion for the album went, in my opinion it was more back with the At Dawn album and I think it got less attention because we had almost no guests on the album this time. We recorded this album in four locations including Wacken (yes this wacken). I was on the internship at the Wacken Foundation during the summer of 2015 and I was doing the final recording and editing for the album there. We had an idea of using it as a promotion label but it was discharged by our label back in the days, so we let it be. It is our diverse and darkest album with the most serious and mature themes to date. Dealing with personal loss, multiple feelings, fantasy, poetry but also not to serious themes like in the title track ☺ The reactions from our fans have been fantastic but as I said we have a feeling than we reached less people with this one than with “At Dawn” what kinda sucks for the album, because it’s a fantastic album in my opinion which should be heard by everyone who loves metal.
The digipack included a good Game of Thrones cover. Also my family favorite, is this universe a major inspiration for you? Are you waiting for the next season or do you mainly rely on the books?
No its not a major inspiration for me, back than there was almost no metal cover of the main theme of Game of Thrones and we all love the series and the books so we decided to cover the theme and lay down lyrics on it. Its about Bran by the way. I am waiting for the next season and I am really curious which direction the books will take, because they are moving in the different direction than the series which is I think great.
Besides Game of Thrones and Nikolai Stepanowitsch Gumiljow, the Russian poet, where do you get inspiration for lyrics and music?
From life. For example in the song “the fountain of memory” I’m dealing with the loss of my mother who died in 2013. The song “In die Nacht hinein” (into the night) from At Dawn is dedicated to her but it wasn’t written about it. Or for example we have a very personal song by Leo about vengeance and it’s the longest and slowest song at the same time ever written by us. Its “Eyes of winter”.
The band itself can be the inspiration for writing music like you can hear in the title track, where we kinda sum up what we’ve done before and ironically write what we will achieve in the future haha.
Penelopes Prayer is about Odysseus and how Penelope is waiting for him and is not giving up, it’s the ultimative appeal on loyality and love – and its loyality and love for metal which holds our metal scene alive to that day. Look at all the commercial genres, they have no persistence, new artists are coming up every year and disappear as fast as they came, metal scene is different and I hope it will stay different.
So basically inspiration for music and lyrics is our life and our life experience in general.
The "By the Storm" lyrics are quite interesting, relating the bands point of view. Any comments? Can you reveal who is the guest Finn guitar that wanted too much money, ah ah?
Well this song is not a joke but its very ironic, I think its allowed to laugh about yourself and we did it and had fun writing the song. It sums up what we’ve done and what we will do. The guitarist will stay unnamed, but you can actually think who would charge a lot of money for his music if you was watching the social media in the past four months. Will say nothing further on it. Maybe we will have this man on our next work, but this time we ran out of budget. There is a ton of my favorite musicians which I would love to work with. It would be great to have someone from Cradle of Filth in the future, I love this band and their recent song writing is fantastic! Can’t wait for the new album to be released.
Your live drummer, Wanja "Nechtan" Gröger, is quite active on the net with lots of free lessons and live drum cam shows, even proper merch. Will he be a regular member and play on next album?
He is a fucking machine! I would love to have him on board, he is a such great person and such a talented musician. I hope he will stay with us and I hope he will contribute on the future albums of the band. Our next goals is to figure out how we proceed labelwise and basically there is already a plan on what we will do next.
I went to Paganfest 2015 in Berlin, my best show ever. In my opinion, Craving would be a perfect fit for such tour. Have you been approached for similar tours?
I agree on that. Unfortunately Pagan Fest is not anymore. The thing in the past and in the present is that usually you have to pay a lot to be a part of such a major tour. Especially when you’re such a small band like Craving. Our label mates from Nailed to Obscurity for example had more luck with the tours with Dark Tranquility for example. You need to know the right people. Maybe one day we will tour on such a major scale – I can promise that we definitely will continue organizing our tours. We’ve done 4 tours since 2013. The fist one was Hell Revisited Tour 2013 thru 4 countries over 14 days, and then we toured UK, France in 2015. After the tour Leo almost died from lung failure and in 2016 we’ve toured our to date most successful tour thru Europe. Its all underground but we’re learning and the more we will do that, the better we will get and I think this is the way nowadays. You can’t rely on the others all the time, so if you want something do it yourself, learn and improve your doing! Check out our tour website for the history by the way www.hellrevisited.com.
Are there any plans for touring in Spain or Portugal?
We talked with our French buddies from Gorgon about touring Italy back in 2016 but we haven’t talked about it again. So maybe we will come to Spain and Portugal in the near future, we definitely would love to! We heard a lot about the metal scene in Spain and Portugal. Crisix the Spanish (I hope they’re Spanish) Thrash Metal band was on Apostasy Records with their 2015 record. Spanish metal scene seem to love the old school thrash metal, right? ☺
Do you know any Portuguese Metal, besides Moonspell?
I know a bit Gangrena and heard their album “Infected Idiologies” from 1994, I also like Insanus they’re more modern melodic death metal band. You have a lot of death metal in general, at least its what heard from Portugal besides Moonspell, who are great by the way.
Do you want to leave a final message to the Sounds from Apocalypse readers? And the Portuguese Metalheads?
Thank you my friend for the questions! Keep the metal scene alive my friend!!! We have two music vidios we are working on right now and our web shop is finally online. Keep the flame burning!!! Keep the dedication!
Thanks a lot Brother for your time!

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