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Rammstein (Sonisphere 2010): German heavy weights, Rammstein, are Sonisphere's second headlining act for 2010 on t... http://bit.ly/aSpUwz


At a Glance

Formed: Jan 1994 (20 years ago)


Biography

SOME BANDS entertain, Rammstein destroy!

There are so few legends left to be written in the world of music. There are so few genuine rock monsters waiting to take up the mantle created by the likes of AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Well, look no more: enter the dragon, enter Rammstein!

Unveiling ‘Liebe Ist Für Alle Da’ (‘Love Is There For All Of Us’), the band’s sixth studio outing in their 15 year existence, Rammstein stand poised to re-write rock history, finally cementing their place amongst the legends. ‘Liebe Ist…’ is the sound of musical tour-de-force, and, ... Read more

SOME BANDS entertain, Rammstein destroy!

There are so few legends left to be written in the world of music. There are so few genuine rock monsters waiting to take up the mantle created by the likes of AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Well, look no more: enter the dragon, enter Rammstein!

Unveiling ‘Liebe Ist Für Alle Da’ (‘Love Is There For All Of Us’), the band’s sixth studio outing in their 15 year existence, Rammstein stand poised to re-write rock history, finally cementing their place amongst the legends. ‘Liebe Ist…’ is the sound of musical tour-de-force, and, unlike any other band on the planet, when we say it is a sound forged in fire and thunder, with Rammstein’s reputation for pyromaniac-led insanity, you can believe that this is no hyperbole!

Working as a close-knit unit with long-time producer Jacob Hellner, this latest record comes four years after ‘Rosenrot’ and took over two full years of constant work in the studio to complete, welding together the unique dynamic that comes from the six members themselves. Upon hearing ‘Liebe Ist…’, it becomes clear that this is no vehicle for one dominant member’s vision of Rammstein – rather, it is a bona fide product of band democracy, where all points of view and each individual’s ideas have been fully explored and often even fully recorded before being discarded along the way!

“Everyone likes to avoid confrontation, but it’s the confrontation that makes it Rammstein!” laughs guitarist Paul Landers. “It wasn’t a lack of ideas that was causing the problems and the delay between records, quite the opposite … We had over 160 ideas or parts of ideas for different styles of songs! We fully worked and recorded 40 different compositions and from that we cut it down to a final 12. We basically took a wire brush to the songs we had, and got rid of the stuff that didn’t suit our core style; that way, it finally came out as the Rammstein sound that everyone wants.”

“IT WOULD be so much easier if I could run the f**king ship myself!” laughs guitarist Richard Kruspe, commenting on the album’s extended birth. “On the other hand, I know that a Rammstein record cannot get made without those other points that the rest of the guys bring to the table. It’s frustrating because you have to make compromises all of the time, especially when you think you know what’s right, but inevitably you come to understand that all of the members of Rammstein are really important, and if you take even one away, it just wouldn’t be a true Rammstein record”.

Says drummer, Christoph Schneider: “Working democratically sometimes makes things very simple and sometimes very difficult – especially if you have three people wanting to do things one way and three other people a different way. Sometimes I do feel like we’re running our own little country!”

Says bassist Oliver Riedel: “Music isn’t meant to be something inherently complex, it’s actually very simple, but the hard thing is to find the simple part of it!”

“Oh, I love minimalistic music,” agrees Richard, backing Oliver’s view that dynamic music can be created via a simple vision. “A lot of people when they start playing guitar want to get into solos all of the time, but for me a riff was always much more important than playing a solo – the riff is where the real power and beauty of the song lies.”

“I love the aesthetics of listening to simple artists,” states Flake flatly. “People such as Johnny Cash or The White Stripes. Stripping something down to its bare essentials is a real statement of confidence, and doing it with six guys makes for a very powerful statement. And that’s what Rammstein should always aspire to musically – to strip something down to the essential components.”

It’s a view Paul shares: “As certain bands get more mature they don’t necessarily learn that less is more. With U2, for example, Bono sings over all parts of the song and they keep going behind him. I think differently – I believe it’s more beautiful with a little pause.”

WHEN DISCUSSING ‘Liebe Ist…’ within the Rammstein camp, there is the recurring belief that the writing and recording process became a journey of re-connection and re-discovery for the individual members, some of whom were not entirely convinced there would be a Rammstein left at the end of it due to the differences of opinion over direction and vision …

“The starting point was: do we actually have to make a record, anyway?” admits Richard. “In the beginning, nobody was really into doing a new album at all, then came a period when everyone was really inspired, and then, inevitably, there were moments when no-one was. So it was such an emotional roller-coaster to re-discover what it is we all like about Rammstein. In truth, we didn’t know if we were going to finish it.
But the most important thing was that we made a record as a complete unit, and that we actually got to the point where finally we could say, ‘this album is done and I want to get out and play it to the world’. The most essential thing to me right now is getting back onstage …”

“A big part of the delay was that we had to basically learn to exist with each other again,” says Paul. “Making a Rammstein record is not necessarily an instinctive process, it’s more of a constructive process. We had to re-learn what to do when there are confrontations within the band, and it took a whole other year to get used to working through that situation!”

Adds Richard: “There is always conflict when you have such strong individuals and characters in a band who love and hate each other in equal measure. We have to go through a lot of pain and suffering and arguments, through multiple discussions, and we have to endure disruptive times and an awful lot of frustration – and all of those emotions went into making this record. It was a very tough journey. I’m still amazed and impressed that we made it to the end!”

Some bands have an aura of mystique around them, most famously Led Zeppelin, who used theirs to maximum effect, rejecting the notion of singles and refusing interviews in order to amplify the fact that they would communicate to their fans via the music alone. Even in the age of the internet, Rammstein too are masters of this selective access – a point enhanced by their steadfast insistence of recording all works in their native German, heightening the sense of the exotic for non-Germanic speakers. Using the mystique then, is everything.

Says Oliver: “For sure, we’re not a mainstream band at all, and certainly we don’t indulge in lots of publicity. We do try to make really interesting videos, though, which I think adds a lot to our mystique; so that plus the fact that we’re a very driven band with a definite plan, something that’s quite rare these days, means we can be seen as a very exotic package for outsiders looking in.
What really bores me are all those bands where there’s nothing to discover – bands who put everything there in front of you and leave nothing for your imagination. Rammstein don’t do that and that’s why it’s an adventure following us,” continues the bassman.

Adds keyboardist ‘Flake’ Lorenz: “We have always made an effort to treat Rammstein as a single piece of art – from the album artwork to the videos to the stage show, everything in a particular album cycle has to be part of a complete piece. And the truth is, there aren’t many bands who make that kind of effort any more …”

“This whole mystique thing, it first started with the way we write music with strong, dark elements,” explains Richard. “The lyrics are always dark, and I feel we have those dark elements in us as people, so that’s what naturally comes out. Later on in our careers, we came to understand that we don’t have the need to over-analyse our own songs or to reveal every little thing about ourselves, so I can understand why we are now perceived as being mysterious in certain ways.”

CHILLING LYRICAL subject matter is of course often at the very heart of what Rammstein do best, and certainly ‘Liebe Ist…’ offers up a few choice cuts in that particular department. ‘Wiener Blut’ is one track that is likely to attract much eyebrow-raising with its close similarities to the story of a subterranean bunker holding a terrible secret in the dark …

“Ah yes, ‘Wiener Blut’. I suppose it could be about anybody, but clearly it’s inspired by Josef Fritzel,” chuckles Richard. “As artists who walk on the dark side, when real stories like that bubble to the surface in world culture, I see it as our job to take those events and make a song out of it!”

Asked if there is anything on the new album that will shock a Rammstein fan, Schneider gives it due consideration: “I don’t know about ‘shocking’ per se, but there have been some new developments in terms of the music: there’s some new drum ideas, some very different time signatures compared to previous Rammstein records, plus some of the heaviest tracks we’ve ever recorded; there’s even a track with a ‘chanson’ element, and as for the vocals, well, there’s a lot of work been put in there, not just in terms of the lyrics but also in Till’s ability to change his voice according to the character he’s portraying in the song…”

Paul also adopts a wilfully enigmatic position, especially when it comes to deciphering the band’s lyrical output. “I don’t really feel comfortable talking directly about the lyrics. There are so many ways of interpreting them, and yet everyone wants to know what Till [Lindemann, the band’s intense vocalist] is thinking. However, all of us in Rammstein believe that people should deal with the lyrics in their own way.”

Besides, who wants to really know what’s going on in Till’s head? It’s a scary place, even in the moments of supposed tenderness, such as the murder ballad ‘Ich Tu Dir Weh’. The listener can never quite shake the feeling of creeping unease, right? “Hey, I’m in the band and sometimes even I’m afraid of him after what he’s written!” quips Paul.

“It’s funny how other people interpret or perhaps misinterpret what we do, particularly the lyrics,” laughs ‘Flake’. “I remember planning a big family night out in Berlin, where we all went to see a famous German actress turned singer, and on this particular night she was doing a full performance of Rammstein songs in a classic style. But when we turned up at the opera house, they wouldn’t let my kids go in on the grounds that the lyrics were ‘too offensive’!”

Schneider’s view when it comes to people searching for a lyrical insight on ‘Liebe Ist …’ is to offer that, “the overriding theme, if there is one, is looking at extreme forms of love…”.

That should tell you everything you need to know about this Rammstein record!

AS ANY follower of the Rammstein journey knows, it is in the live arena that the band truly connect with their fans. Cue mountains of pyro, flame-throwers, bazookas and enough ordnance to level a small country! This time, the musicians are looking to surpass their already formidable reputation as masters of orchestrated chaos, promising that no-one will leave disappointed ...

“There’s definitely a will within the band to do something the fans haven’t seen before, and of course it has to top the last show because you can never allow yourself to slip back – the audience won’t allow it!” laughs Flake. “And I hope that every single song from ‘Liebe Ist…’ is going to be played live; while working on these songs in the studio, we were all concerned with just how they would translate into the live medium. Ultimately, I think that the final song selection for this album was influenced by how well a particular number might come across live,” reveals the keyboardist.

And as for that live experience completing the circle of Rammstein’s return … well, you just can’t take away the contributions of the man who has been ‘rogered’ by explosive dildos or ‘cooked’ onstage by Till on a nightly basis … “Never! You couldn’t take me out of Rammstein because then the live experience just wouldn’t work. I mean, there’s always a need for someone to get blown up on a Rammstein stage!”

Chris Ingham, 2009

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

SOME BANDS entertain, Rammstein destroy!

There are so few legends left to be written in the world of music. There are so few genuine rock monsters waiting to take up the mantle created by the likes of AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Well, look no more: enter the dragon, enter Rammstein!

Unveiling ‘Liebe Ist Für Alle Da’ (‘Love Is There For All Of Us’), the band’s sixth studio outing in their 15 year existence, Rammstein stand poised to re-write rock history, finally cementing their place amongst the legends. ‘Liebe Ist…’ is the sound of musical tour-de-force, and, unlike any other band on the planet, when we say it is a sound forged in fire and thunder, with Rammstein’s reputation for pyromaniac-led insanity, you can believe that this is no hyperbole!

Working as a close-knit unit with long-time producer Jacob Hellner, this latest record comes four years after ‘Rosenrot’ and took over two full years of constant work in the studio to complete, welding together the unique dynamic that comes from the six members themselves. Upon hearing ‘Liebe Ist…’, it becomes clear that this is no vehicle for one dominant member’s vision of Rammstein – rather, it is a bona fide product of band democracy, where all points of view and each individual’s ideas have been fully explored and often even fully recorded before being discarded along the way!

“Everyone likes to avoid confrontation, but it’s the confrontation that makes it Rammstein!” laughs guitarist Paul Landers. “It wasn’t a lack of ideas that was causing the problems and the delay between records, quite the opposite … We had over 160 ideas or parts of ideas for different styles of songs! We fully worked and recorded 40 different compositions and from that we cut it down to a final 12. We basically took a wire brush to the songs we had, and got rid of the stuff that didn’t suit our core style; that way, it finally came out as the Rammstein sound that everyone wants.”

“IT WOULD be so much easier if I could run the f**king ship myself!” laughs guitarist Richard Kruspe, commenting on the album’s extended birth. “On the other hand, I know that a Rammstein record cannot get made without those other points that the rest of the guys bring to the table. It’s frustrating because you have to make compromises all of the time, especially when you think you know what’s right, but inevitably you come to understand that all of the members of Rammstein are really important, and if you take even one away, it just wouldn’t be a true Rammstein record”.

Says drummer, Christoph Schneider: “Working democratically sometimes makes things very simple and sometimes very difficult – especially if you have three people wanting to do things one way and three other people a different way. Sometimes I do feel like we’re running our own little country!”

Says bassist Oliver Riedel: “Music isn’t meant to be something inherently complex, it’s actually very simple, but the hard thing is to find the simple part of it!”

“Oh, I love minimalistic music,” agrees Richard, backing Oliver’s view that dynamic music can be created via a simple vision. “A lot of people when they start playing guitar want to get into solos all of the time, but for me a riff was always much more important than playing a solo – the riff is where the real power and beauty of the song lies.”

“I love the aesthetics of listening to simple artists,” states Flake flatly. “People such as Johnny Cash or The White Stripes. Stripping something down to its bare essentials is a real statement of confidence, and doing it with six guys makes for a very powerful statement. And that’s what Rammstein should always aspire to musically – to strip something down to the essential components.”

It’s a view Paul shares: “As certain bands get more mature they don’t necessarily learn that less is more. With U2, for example, Bono sings over all parts of the song and they keep going behind him. I think differently – I believe it’s more beautiful with a little pause.”

WHEN DISCUSSING ‘Liebe Ist…’ within the Rammstein camp, there is the recurring belief that the writing and recording process became a journey of re-connection and re-discovery for the individual members, some of whom were not entirely convinced there would be a Rammstein left at the end of it due to the differences of opinion over direction and vision …

“The starting point was: do we actually have to make a record, anyway?” admits Richard. “In the beginning, nobody was really into doing a new album at all, then came a period when everyone was really inspired, and then, inevitably, there were moments when no-one was. So it was such an emotional roller-coaster to re-discover what it is we all like about Rammstein. In truth, we didn’t know if we were going to finish it.
But the most important thing was that we made a record as a complete unit, and that we actually got to the point where finally we could say, ‘this album is done and I want to get out and play it to the world’. The most essential thing to me right now is getting back onstage …”

“A big part of the delay was that we had to basically learn to exist with each other again,” says Paul. “Making a Rammstein record is not necessarily an instinctive process, it’s more of a constructive process. We had to re-learn what to do when there are confrontations within the band, and it took a whole other year to get used to working through that situation!”

Adds Richard: “There is always conflict when you have such strong individuals and characters in a band who love and hate each other in equal measure. We have to go through a lot of pain and suffering and arguments, through multiple discussions, and we have to endure disruptive times and an awful lot of frustration – and all of those emotions went into making this record. It was a very tough journey. I’m still amazed and impressed that we made it to the end!”

Some bands have an aura of mystique around them, most famously Led Zeppelin, who used theirs to maximum effect, rejecting the notion of singles and refusing interviews in order to amplify the fact that they would communicate to their fans via the music alone. Even in the age of the internet, Rammstein too are masters of this selective access – a point enhanced by their steadfast insistence of recording all works in their native German, heightening the sense of the exotic for non-Germanic speakers. Using the mystique then, is everything.

Says Oliver: “For sure, we’re not a mainstream band at all, and certainly we don’t indulge in lots of publicity. We do try to make really interesting videos, though, which I think adds a lot to our mystique; so that plus the fact that we’re a very driven band with a definite plan, something that’s quite rare these days, means we can be seen as a very exotic package for outsiders looking in.
What really bores me are all those bands where there’s nothing to discover – bands who put everything there in front of you and leave nothing for your imagination. Rammstein don’t do that and that’s why it’s an adventure following us,” continues the bassman.

Adds keyboardist ‘Flake’ Lorenz: “We have always made an effort to treat Rammstein as a single piece of art – from the album artwork to the videos to the stage show, everything in a particular album cycle has to be part of a complete piece. And the truth is, there aren’t many bands who make that kind of effort any more …”

“This whole mystique thing, it first started with the way we write music with strong, dark elements,” explains Richard. “The lyrics are always dark, and I feel we have those dark elements in us as people, so that’s what naturally comes out. Later on in our careers, we came to understand that we don’t have the need to over-analyse our own songs or to reveal every little thing about ourselves, so I can understand why we are now perceived as being mysterious in certain ways.”

CHILLING LYRICAL subject matter is of course often at the very heart of what Rammstein do best, and certainly ‘Liebe Ist…’ offers up a few choice cuts in that particular department. ‘Wiener Blut’ is one track that is likely to attract much eyebrow-raising with its close similarities to the story of a subterranean bunker holding a terrible secret in the dark …

“Ah yes, ‘Wiener Blut’. I suppose it could be about anybody, but clearly it’s inspired by Josef Fritzel,” chuckles Richard. “As artists who walk on the dark side, when real stories like that bubble to the surface in world culture, I see it as our job to take those events and make a song out of it!”

Asked if there is anything on the new album that will shock a Rammstein fan, Schneider gives it due consideration: “I don’t know about ‘shocking’ per se, but there have been some new developments in terms of the music: there’s some new drum ideas, some very different time signatures compared to previous Rammstein records, plus some of the heaviest tracks we’ve ever recorded; there’s even a track with a ‘chanson’ element, and as for the vocals, well, there’s a lot of work been put in there, not just in terms of the lyrics but also in Till’s ability to change his voice according to the character he’s portraying in the song…”

Paul also adopts a wilfully enigmatic position, especially when it comes to deciphering the band’s lyrical output. “I don’t really feel comfortable talking directly about the lyrics. There are so many ways of interpreting them, and yet everyone wants to know what Till [Lindemann, the band’s intense vocalist] is thinking. However, all of us in Rammstein believe that people should deal with the lyrics in their own way.”

Besides, who wants to really know what’s going on in Till’s head? It’s a scary place, even in the moments of supposed tenderness, such as the murder ballad ‘Ich Tu Dir Weh’. The listener can never quite shake the feeling of creeping unease, right? “Hey, I’m in the band and sometimes even I’m afraid of him after what he’s written!” quips Paul.

“It’s funny how other people interpret or perhaps misinterpret what we do, particularly the lyrics,” laughs ‘Flake’. “I remember planning a big family night out in Berlin, where we all went to see a famous German actress turned singer, and on this particular night she was doing a full performance of Rammstein songs in a classic style. But when we turned up at the opera house, they wouldn’t let my kids go in on the grounds that the lyrics were ‘too offensive’!”

Schneider’s view when it comes to people searching for a lyrical insight on ‘Liebe Ist …’ is to offer that, “the overriding theme, if there is one, is looking at extreme forms of love…”.

That should tell you everything you need to know about this Rammstein record!

AS ANY follower of the Rammstein journey knows, it is in the live arena that the band truly connect with their fans. Cue mountains of pyro, flame-throwers, bazookas and enough ordnance to level a small country! This time, the musicians are looking to surpass their already formidable reputation as masters of orchestrated chaos, promising that no-one will leave disappointed ...

“There’s definitely a will within the band to do something the fans haven’t seen before, and of course it has to top the last show because you can never allow yourself to slip back – the audience won’t allow it!” laughs Flake. “And I hope that every single song from ‘Liebe Ist…’ is going to be played live; while working on these songs in the studio, we were all concerned with just how they would translate into the live medium. Ultimately, I think that the final song selection for this album was influenced by how well a particular number might come across live,” reveals the keyboardist.

And as for that live experience completing the circle of Rammstein’s return … well, you just can’t take away the contributions of the man who has been ‘rogered’ by explosive dildos or ‘cooked’ onstage by Till on a nightly basis … “Never! You couldn’t take me out of Rammstein because then the live experience just wouldn’t work. I mean, there’s always a need for someone to get blown up on a Rammstein stage!”

Chris Ingham, 2009

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

SOME BANDS entertain, Rammstein destroy!

There are so few legends left to be written in the world of music. There are so few genuine rock monsters waiting to take up the mantle created by the likes of AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Well, look no more: enter the dragon, enter Rammstein!

Unveiling ‘Liebe Ist Für Alle Da’ (‘Love Is There For All Of Us’), the band’s sixth studio outing in their 15 year existence, Rammstein stand poised to re-write rock history, finally cementing their place amongst the legends. ‘Liebe Ist…’ is the sound of musical tour-de-force, and, unlike any other band on the planet, when we say it is a sound forged in fire and thunder, with Rammstein’s reputation for pyromaniac-led insanity, you can believe that this is no hyperbole!

Working as a close-knit unit with long-time producer Jacob Hellner, this latest record comes four years after ‘Rosenrot’ and took over two full years of constant work in the studio to complete, welding together the unique dynamic that comes from the six members themselves. Upon hearing ‘Liebe Ist…’, it becomes clear that this is no vehicle for one dominant member’s vision of Rammstein – rather, it is a bona fide product of band democracy, where all points of view and each individual’s ideas have been fully explored and often even fully recorded before being discarded along the way!

“Everyone likes to avoid confrontation, but it’s the confrontation that makes it Rammstein!” laughs guitarist Paul Landers. “It wasn’t a lack of ideas that was causing the problems and the delay between records, quite the opposite … We had over 160 ideas or parts of ideas for different styles of songs! We fully worked and recorded 40 different compositions and from that we cut it down to a final 12. We basically took a wire brush to the songs we had, and got rid of the stuff that didn’t suit our core style; that way, it finally came out as the Rammstein sound that everyone wants.”

“IT WOULD be so much easier if I could run the f**king ship myself!” laughs guitarist Richard Kruspe, commenting on the album’s extended birth. “On the other hand, I know that a Rammstein record cannot get made without those other points that the rest of the guys bring to the table. It’s frustrating because you have to make compromises all of the time, especially when you think you know what’s right, but inevitably you come to understand that all of the members of Rammstein are really important, and if you take even one away, it just wouldn’t be a true Rammstein record”.

Says drummer, Christoph Schneider: “Working democratically sometimes makes things very simple and sometimes very difficult – especially if you have three people wanting to do things one way and three other people a different way. Sometimes I do feel like we’re running our own little country!”

Says bassist Oliver Riedel: “Music isn’t meant to be something inherently complex, it’s actually very simple, but the hard thing is to find the simple part of it!”

“Oh, I love minimalistic music,” agrees Richard, backing Oliver’s view that dynamic music can be created via a simple vision. “A lot of people when they start playing guitar want to get into solos all of the time, but for me a riff was always much more important than playing a solo – the riff is where the real power and beauty of the song lies.”

“I love the aesthetics of listening to simple artists,” states Flake flatly. “People such as Johnny Cash or The White Stripes. Stripping something down to its bare essentials is a real statement of confidence, and doing it with six guys makes for a very powerful statement. And that’s what Rammstein should always aspire to musically – to strip something down to the essential components.”

It’s a view Paul shares: “As certain bands get more mature they don’t necessarily learn that less is more. With U2, for example, Bono sings over all parts of the song and they keep going behind him. I think differently – I believe it’s more beautiful with a little pause.”

WHEN DISCUSSING ‘Liebe Ist…’ within the Rammstein camp, there is the recurring belief that the writing and recording process became a journey of re-connection and re-discovery for the individual members, some of whom were not entirely convinced there would be a Rammstein left at the end of it due to the differences of opinion over direction and vision …

“The starting point was: do we actually have to make a record, anyway?” admits Richard. “In the beginning, nobody was really into doing a new album at all, then came a period when everyone was really inspired, and then, inevitably, there were moments when no-one was. So it was such an emotional roller-coaster to re-discover what it is we all like about Rammstein. In truth, we didn’t know if we were going to finish it.
But the most important thing was that we made a record as a complete unit, and that we actually got to the point where finally we could say, ‘this album is done and I want to get out and play it to the world’. The most essential thing to me right now is getting back onstage …”

“A big part of the delay was that we had to basically learn to exist with each other again,” says Paul. “Making a Rammstein record is not necessarily an instinctive process, it’s more of a constructive process. We had to re-learn what to do when there are confrontations within the band, and it took a whole other year to get used to working through that situation!”

Adds Richard: “There is always conflict when you have such strong individuals and characters in a band who love and hate each other in equal measure. We have to go through a lot of pain and suffering and arguments, through multiple discussions, and we have to endure disruptive times and an awful lot of frustration – and all of those emotions went into making this record. It was a very tough journey. I’m still amazed and impressed that we made it to the end!”

Some bands have an aura of mystique around them, most famously Led Zeppelin, who used theirs to maximum effect, rejecting the notion of singles and refusing interviews in order to amplify the fact that they would communicate to their fans via the music alone. Even in the age of the internet, Rammstein too are masters of this selective access – a point enhanced by their steadfast insistence of recording all works in their native German, heightening the sense of the exotic for non-Germanic speakers. Using the mystique then, is everything.

Says Oliver: “For sure, we’re not a mainstream band at all, and certainly we don’t indulge in lots of publicity. We do try to make really interesting videos, though, which I think adds a lot to our mystique; so that plus the fact that we’re a very driven band with a definite plan, something that’s quite rare these days, means we can be seen as a very exotic package for outsiders looking in.
What really bores me are all those bands where there’s nothing to discover – bands who put everything there in front of you and leave nothing for your imagination. Rammstein don’t do that and that’s why it’s an adventure following us,” continues the bassman.

Adds keyboardist ‘Flake’ Lorenz: “We have always made an effort to treat Rammstein as a single piece of art – from the album artwork to the videos to the stage show, everything in a particular album cycle has to be part of a complete piece. And the truth is, there aren’t many bands who make that kind of effort any more …”

“This whole mystique thing, it first started with the way we write music with strong, dark elements,” explains Richard. “The lyrics are always dark, and I feel we have those dark elements in us as people, so that’s what naturally comes out. Later on in our careers, we came to understand that we don’t have the need to over-analyse our own songs or to reveal every little thing about ourselves, so I can understand why we are now perceived as being mysterious in certain ways.”

CHILLING LYRICAL subject matter is of course often at the very heart of what Rammstein do best, and certainly ‘Liebe Ist…’ offers up a few choice cuts in that particular department. ‘Wiener Blut’ is one track that is likely to attract much eyebrow-raising with its close similarities to the story of a subterranean bunker holding a terrible secret in the dark …

“Ah yes, ‘Wiener Blut’. I suppose it could be about anybody, but clearly it’s inspired by Josef Fritzel,” chuckles Richard. “As artists who walk on the dark side, when real stories like that bubble to the surface in world culture, I see it as our job to take those events and make a song out of it!”

Asked if there is anything on the new album that will shock a Rammstein fan, Schneider gives it due consideration: “I don’t know about ‘shocking’ per se, but there have been some new developments in terms of the music: there’s some new drum ideas, some very different time signatures compared to previous Rammstein records, plus some of the heaviest tracks we’ve ever recorded; there’s even a track with a ‘chanson’ element, and as for the vocals, well, there’s a lot of work been put in there, not just in terms of the lyrics but also in Till’s ability to change his voice according to the character he’s portraying in the song…”

Paul also adopts a wilfully enigmatic position, especially when it comes to deciphering the band’s lyrical output. “I don’t really feel comfortable talking directly about the lyrics. There are so many ways of interpreting them, and yet everyone wants to know what Till [Lindemann, the band’s intense vocalist] is thinking. However, all of us in Rammstein believe that people should deal with the lyrics in their own way.”

Besides, who wants to really know what’s going on in Till’s head? It’s a scary place, even in the moments of supposed tenderness, such as the murder ballad ‘Ich Tu Dir Weh’. The listener can never quite shake the feeling of creeping unease, right? “Hey, I’m in the band and sometimes even I’m afraid of him after what he’s written!” quips Paul.

“It’s funny how other people interpret or perhaps misinterpret what we do, particularly the lyrics,” laughs ‘Flake’. “I remember planning a big family night out in Berlin, where we all went to see a famous German actress turned singer, and on this particular night she was doing a full performance of Rammstein songs in a classic style. But when we turned up at the opera house, they wouldn’t let my kids go in on the grounds that the lyrics were ‘too offensive’!”

Schneider’s view when it comes to people searching for a lyrical insight on ‘Liebe Ist …’ is to offer that, “the overriding theme, if there is one, is looking at extreme forms of love…”.

That should tell you everything you need to know about this Rammstein record!

AS ANY follower of the Rammstein journey knows, it is in the live arena that the band truly connect with their fans. Cue mountains of pyro, flame-throwers, bazookas and enough ordnance to level a small country! This time, the musicians are looking to surpass their already formidable reputation as masters of orchestrated chaos, promising that no-one will leave disappointed ...

“There’s definitely a will within the band to do something the fans haven’t seen before, and of course it has to top the last show because you can never allow yourself to slip back – the audience won’t allow it!” laughs Flake. “And I hope that every single song from ‘Liebe Ist…’ is going to be played live; while working on these songs in the studio, we were all concerned with just how they would translate into the live medium. Ultimately, I think that the final song selection for this album was influenced by how well a particular number might come across live,” reveals the keyboardist.

And as for that live experience completing the circle of Rammstein’s return … well, you just can’t take away the contributions of the man who has been ‘rogered’ by explosive dildos or ‘cooked’ onstage by Till on a nightly basis … “Never! You couldn’t take me out of Rammstein because then the live experience just wouldn’t work. I mean, there’s always a need for someone to get blown up on a Rammstein stage!”

Chris Ingham, 2009

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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