I just stumbled upon CRAYVEN. But being the guy I am I decided to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2016

As you might not be that known to most people a short introduction might be in order.
-CRAYVEN are a melodic new metal band from the Black Forest area in Southern Germany. It’s often hard to label music with specific genre terms and this holds expecially true for CRAYVEN. Our songs meander on a broad range from alternative rock to metal while getting each their special twist. We experiment a lot with industrial sounds and also with classical parts tossed in by the violin. Yet, there’s a golden thread to all of this: haunting melodies and a stronlgly melancholic atmosphere blended with tiny sparks of mystery.

How does your latest recording compare to the previous ones?
-Well, our latest recording happens to be our first professional studio album „All The Sordid Details“, so the implications are obvious. After a couple of self-made recordings we eventually decided to take things to the next level and invested in a professional album production. The results were mind-blowing! Christoph Brandes from Iguana Studios is a master of his art and being a brilliant musician and producer he knows exactly what it takes for a song to become a jewel.

Was it hard for you to come up with a sound you all could agree on?
-No, not really. We work closely together when developing new songs and everybody contributes their ideas in the process. This way CRAYVEN’s sound has ermerged quite naturally in the course of our songwriting sessions as an amalgam of our different musical backgrounds.

How important are the lyrics to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-To me, personally, lyrics are very important. On the musical level I want them to match the arrangement in a symbiotic way. On the cognitive level it’s the element of the song that most directly communicates with the listener. Hence, the function of lyrics is to convey a message and/or an emotional state. And I think the clue to this is authenticity. There’s nothing more boring than empty phrases. For this reason, there are no specific CRAYVEN topics to enumerate. It could be just any situation or experience or phantasy that resonates within me.

How important is the cover art work for you? How much do you decide in choosing art work?
-The cover artwork is important in the sense that it has to fulfill several functions. We wanted it to describe the general atmosphere of our music. At the same time, the artwork is also kind of a business card that is supposed to represent the „band image.“ The fortunate thing about financing an album all by yourself is that you get to decide everything. However, we got blessed once more with Patrizia Dietrich, an incredibly talented photographer and artist who took care of the artwork. She transformed our ideas in the masterful cover artwork that now ornaments our album.

Where outside of your country have you had success?
-Whatever is meant by success… Due to website statistics we figure that there are some CRAYVEN fans living in North America and Asia, but for the time being CRAYVEN’s fan base is mainly located in Germany and neighboring European countries.

Is it harder today to get noticed both nationally and internationally than it was 10 or 20 years ago? Is the competition tougher today?
-I guess that question would be better suited for bands that were around 10 or 20 years ago. From what we’ve heard the music business has become both – easier and harder. The competition seems to be tougher today and with the rise of free online music plattforms it’s almost impossible for bands to make money off their recordings. On the other hand, the internet makes it easier for small bands to potentially reach a big audience.

What is your local scene like? What status does your band have in the national scene?
-The Black Forest area is not exactly a metropolitan region, thus the local music scene offers a little bit of everything. With regards to the national scene CRAYVEN are yet an insider’s tip.

What is the general population’s opinion on playing music? Is being a musician a respectable choice?
-We’re neither sociologists nor musicologists, so we don’t know.

What does the future hold for you?
-We’re not into fortune-telling, but we can tell you what CRAYVEN holds for the future! We’re absorbed with songwriting these days and completely thrilled by the new songs slowly taking shape. CRAYVEN is going to sound darker, more epic and even more powerful! The next CRAYVEN album is coming up on the horizon and will presumably be released in 2017.

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