Infobox musical artist
Img_capt = Rammstein performing with
Img_size = 250
Landscape = Yes
Background = group_or_band
Years_active = 1994 – Present
Label = Motor Music
Republic Records Slash Records Universal Music Group
Emigrate Feeling B First Arsch
URL = [http://Rammstein.de www.rammstein.de] [http://www.rammstein.com www.rammstein.com]
Till Lindemann Richard Z. Kruspe
Paul H. Landers
Oliver "Ollie" Riedel
Christoph "Doom" Schneider
Christian "Flake" Lorenz
Rammstein (pronounced|ˈʀamʃtaɪ̯n) is a German
industrial metalband, founded in Berlin, and consisting of Till Lindemann(lead vocals), Richard Z. Kruspe( lead guitarand backing vocals), Paul H. Landers ( rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Oliver "Ollie" Riedel ( bass guitar), Christoph "Doom" Schneider (drums and Electronic percussion) and Christian "Flake" Lorenz ( keyboards). The band is widely accepted as part of the NDH-scene, alongside bands such as Oomph!and Die Krupps. Their sound has been dubbed as "Tanz-Metal" (lit. "Dance Metal"). [cite web
url = http://www.unk.be/what_is_dance_metal_detailed.htm
title = What is Dance Metal?
accessdate = 2006-12-03
publisher = UNK!] [cite web
url = http://www.metalhammer.co.uk/bands/band/?searchstring=Rammstein&filtersectionname=all&filtersubsectionname=all&articleid=42878
title = Metal Hammer article
accessdate = 2006-12-03
publisher = Metal Hammer] [cite web
url = http://www.artistopia.com/rammstein/fans
title = Rammstein Fan Sites
accessdate = 2006-12-03
publisher = Artistopia] Their songs are performed almost exclusively in German. Formed in 1994, they have sold over 22 million records worldwide.cite web
title = Pringaos timeline
publisher = Rammstein
url = http://www.rammstein.com/_Rosenrot/Band/Timeline/T2005/ ] Rammstein's entire catalogue is published by
Universal Music Group. Since its formation, Rammstein has had no changes in lineup.
Although the majority of their songs are written in German, Rammstein has had success across the world. It has been confirmed that in 2007, the band has reunited from their vacation and has begun working on their sixth studio album, which will be released sometime in 2009.
Richard Z. Kruspe- Lead Guitar, Backing vocals
*Paul H. Landers-
Rhythm Guitar, Backing vocals
Till Lindemann- Lead vocals
*Oliver "Ollie" Riedel -
*Christoph "Doom" Schneider - Drums, Percussion
*Christian "Flake" Lorenz - Keyboards, Samples
Rammstein takes its name indirectly from the West German town of
Ramstein-Miesenbach, the site of the flight show disaster on August 28, 1988. The band's signature song, the eponymous "Rammstein", is a commemoration of the tragedy that took place at the Ramstein Air Base. The extra "m" in the band's name makes it translate literally as "ramming stone" to convey the Teutonic sound of their music. In a short period before the band became well known, they performed using the name "Rammstein-Flugschau" (literally meaning Rammstein-Airshow.)
Rammstein was founded by guitarist
Richard Z. Kruspe. In 1989, he escaped to West Berlinand started the band, Orgasm Death Gimmicks. At that time, he was heavily influenced by American music, especially that of Kiss. After the Berlin Wallcame down, he moved back home to Schwerin where Till Lindemannworked as a basket weaver and played drums in the band First Arsch(loosely translated as "Apex Ass"). At this time, Richard lived with Oliver Riedel, of the band The Inchtabokatables, and Christoph "Doom" Schneider (of Die Firma). Richard realized that the music he had previously created did not properly suit him. He envisioned something that would combine machines as well as the sound of hard guitars. The three started working together on a new project. Richard soon found it extremely difficult to write both music and lyrics at the same time, so he persuaded Lindemann to join Rammstein. Richard first discovered Till when he overheard him singing while he was working.
Early Years (Pre-Herzeleid Era - 1994)
A contest was held in Berlin for amateur bands in 1994, the winner of which would receive the opportunity to record a four track demo CD in a professional studio. Kruspe, Schneider, Riedel, and Lindemann entered and won the contest, which sparked the attention of
Paul Landers, who wanted in on the project upon hearing their demo. To complete their sound, Rammstein then attempted to recruit Christian "Flake" Lorenz, who had played with Paul Landers previously in Feeling B. At first, Lorenz was hesitant, but eventually agreed to join the band.
"Herzeleid" (1995 - 1997)
Rammstein began to record their first studio album entitled
Herzeleidin March 1995 with producer Jacob Hellner. [cite web
url = http://www.rammstein.com/_Voelkerball/Band/Timeline/T1995/
title = Rammstein :: Band :: Timeline
accessdate = 2008-06-21
publisher = Rammstein.com] They released their first single
Du riechst so guton August 17th and later released the album on September 24th 1995. Later that same year, they toured with Clawfingerin Warsaw and Prague. Rammstein headlined a tour of their own through Germany from December 2nd to December 22nd consisting of 17 shows which helped to boost the band's popularity. They then went on several tours throughout early 1996, releasing their second single entitled Seemannon January 8th 1996.
March 27, Rammstein performed on MTV's "Hanging Out" in London; their first performance in the UK. Rammstein's first major boost in popularity outside of Germany came when music director Trent Reznorchose two Rammstein songs, namely 'Heirate Mich' and 'Rammstein', for David Lynch's new film, " Lost Highway". The soundtrack for the movie was released in the US in the fall of 1996 and later in Europe April 1997.
Rammstein then went on to tour through Germany, Austria and Switzerland from September to October 1996, doing an anniversary concert on 27th September called '100 years of Rammstein'. Guests to the concert included
Moby, Bobo and The Berlin Session Orchestra, Berlin director Gert Hof was responsible for the light show.
"Sehnsucht/Live aus Berlin" (late 1996 - 2000)
Rammstein started recording Sehnsucht in November 1996 at the Temple Studios in Malta. [cite web
url = http://www.rammstein.com/_Voelkerball/Band/Timeline/T1996/
title = Rammstein :: Band :: Timeline
accessdate = 2008-06-21
publisher = Rammstein.com] The album was again produced by
Jacob Hellner. The first single off the album, entitled " Engel" was released on April 1 1997 and later reached gold on May 23. This prompted the release of a fan edition of the single, appropriately named "Engel Fan Edition". This contained two previously unreleased songs "Feuerräder" and "Wilder Wein". Release of the 2nd single off the album "Sehnsucht" was Du Hastwhich hit the German single charts August 1997 at number 5.
Rammstein then continued touring in the summer whilst Sehnsucht was released on August 22nd 1997. The album reached number 1 after only two weeks in the charts. Simultaneously,
Herzeleidand both the singles off Sehnsucht ( Du Hastand Engel) were in the Top 20 of the German charts. Rammstein continued to headline sold out shows throughout Europe in September, October and November 1997 before releasing their cover of the Kraftwerksong, Das Modell. The single included another unreleased song entitled "Kokain". On December 5th 1997, Rammstein embarked on their first tour of the United States, with support from KMFDM.On August 22nd and 23rd 1998, Rammstein played to over 17,000 fans at the Wuhlheide in Berlin; the biggest show the band have ever played there up to that date. Supporting acts were Danzig, Nina Hagen, Joachim Wittand Alaska. The show was professionally videotaped, intended to be released on their upcoming live DVD, Live aus Berlin. Rammstein embarked on a live tour with Korn, Ice Cube, Orgyand Limp Bizkitcalled the Family Values tourin September through to late October 1998. To further continue their success in the US, Sehnsucht received Gold record status on November 2nd. The Band was nominated at the MTV European Music Awardsfor "Best Rock Act" and performed Du Hastlive on November 12th of that year.
Rammstein had further success in 1999, starting off the year in February with a nomination for "Best Metal Performance" at the 42nd-annual
Grammy Awards. A year after it was filmed, the Live aus Berlinconcert was released on CD on 30th August 1999, with a limited edition double CD also available. Two weeks after it was released, Live aus Berlinwent to number one in the German Album Charts. On September 13th and November 26th 1999 the video and DVD versions of the concert were released respectively.
"Mutter" (2000 - 2002)
Mutterrecording took place in the south of France between May 2000 and June 2000, and was later mixed in Stockholmin October of that year. During the Christmas holidays 2000, Rammstein released an MP3 of Links 2 3 4as a taster for their new album. 2001 was a busy year for Rammstein, starting out in January and February with the band playing the Big Day Out festival in Australia and New Zealand. January also heralded the shooting of the video for their upcoming single Sonne, recorded in Potsdamat Babelsberger Filmstudios from 13th to the 15th. The video was released on 29th January 2001.The single for Sonnewas released on February 12th 2001 in Europe, featuring an Instrumental version of the song, two remixes by Clawfinger, and "Adios" off the upcoming album. Mutterwas released on April 2nd 2001, sparking another Rammstein tour through Germany, Austria and Switzerland. On May 14th, the second single off the album Links 2 3 4was released, along with a video of the single on May 18th. After a tour throughout Europe in June, the band then toured USA, Canada and Mexico from June 2001 to August 2001. Ich Will, the third single from the album was released on September 10th 2001 and a Tour edition of the Mutteralbum was released, featuring alternative artwork and live versions of "Ich Will", "Links 2-3-4", "Sonne", and "Spieluhr".Between January 8th and January 12th 2002, Rammstein travelled to Prague to participate in a minor scene from the movie ' xXx'. The band is seen in the opening scene of the action movie performing a concert with their song Feuer frei!.Feuer frei! was released across Europe as first single from the Triple X Soundtrack on 14th October 2002. Rammstein released two remixes of the song, Furthermore, the single's tracklisting included "Du Hast" and "Bück Dich" cover versions by Battery. The single cover was an artwork by New York artist Robert Longo. The video for the single was cut by Rob Cohen, which is partly the Rammstein performance at the beginning of the movie and partly snippets from the movie itself.
"Reise, Reise" (2003 - 2005)
Reise, Reiseat the El Cortijo studio in southern Spain between November 2003 and December 2003, it was later mixed at Toytown studio in Stockholm, Sweden in April and May 2004.The first single off of the album was Mein Teil, released on 26th July 2004. The shooting for the video is shot in the Arena, in the Treptow district of Berlin. Outdoor shooting takes place at the Deutsche Oper (Opera House) U-Bahnstation on Bismarckstrasse. The director is Zoran Bihac, who was also behind the "Links 2-3-4" video.The "Amerika" video is filmed on the 6th and 7th of August 2004 in the ruins of the former chemical factory in Rüdersdorfnear Berlin, Germany under the direction of Jörn Heitmann(who also directed the "Ich will" video, among others). The spacesuits for the moon scenes were borrowed from Hollywood and 240 tons of ash was needed to create the moon landscape. The video premiered on 20th August 2004.
The second single from "Reise, Reise" was Amerika, released on September 13th 2004. With the album released on September 27th, it went straight to top 10 charts throughout Europe. According to the Billboard charts, Rammstein were now the most successful German-language band of all time.Rammstein then toured Germany through November and some of December 2004, releasing the single
Ohne Dichon 22nd November.
In February 2005, Rammstein tour Europe again. Ending on February 28, 2005, Rammstein will have played 21 concerts in front of more than 200,000 spectators in 10 countries.
Keine Lustwas the fourth single released from Reise, Reise on 28th February 2005. From May 27th 2005 to July 30th 2005, Rammstein play festivals all around Europe and in Russia. Footage from these concerts eventually end up on Rammstein's live DVD Völkerball, released later in November 2006.
"Rosenrot/Völkerball" (2005 - 2006)
In August 2005, Rammstein revealed the name of their latest studio album,
Rosenrot. Their first single from the new album, Benzin, was released on October 5th 2005, with its video premiere on 16th September 2005. The album Rosenrotwas released worldwide on October 28th 2005. Directly following the release, the album continues the success-story of forerunner Reise, Reiseand takes the top 10 charts in 20 different countries. December 16th 2005 spelled the release of the title track on the album "Rosenrot". The video for Mann Gegen Mannwas released on 6th February 2006, with the single being released on March 3rd. On February 19th 2006, Rammstein had the honour of having an asteroid named after them, 110393 Rammstein. Some believe their name was chosen because of the music video for "Amerika," which displayed the six members of the band floating above the moon sporting NASA's astronaut suits.On November 17th the first Rammstein Live DVD since Live aus Berlinfrom 1998 is released. Völkerballshows concert-performances by the band in England, France, Japan and Russia. The Special Edition is extended by a second DVD, which contains the documentaries “Anaconda in the net” by Mathilde Bonnefoy and the “Making of the album Reise, Reise” by Rammstein guitarist Paul Landers. The limited Edition is released as a large black/white photo-book with photos by Frederic Batier, who had accompanied the band through their recent tours. The Photo-book edition contains 2 DVDs and 2 Live albums.
Future upcoming album (2007 - Present)
The band took a time out in 2006, and began work again in 2007. In an interview with German rapper Bushido, who contributed to the "Electro Ghetto Remix" of "Amerika", on
January 21, 2007, Bushido reported recording a song with Rammstein called "Vergiss uns nicht" ("Don't forget us"). In this interview Bushido also mentioned that he was unsure of whether it would be on their "Best of" album or not. This was the first mention of a "Best of" album, or the new album all together. [cite web
title= Rammstein News
accessdate = 2007-04-10
publisher = Rammstein-Austria.com] [cite web
title= Bushido Interview
accessdate = 2007-04-10
publisher = Rammstein-interviews.com] In addition, keyboardist Christian "Flake" Lorenz confirmed this in an interview with Metal Hammer Germany in November, stating that they would most likely release a new album in 2008. The band didn't tour during 2007 due to current album production. Their website confirmed work on a new album, but no word of a "Best of" album has yet been mentioned. In January 2008 Guitarist Richard Kruspe confirmed on the Talking Metal Podcast that Rammstein was recording an album as they spoke, during that same interview he confirmed a "big world tour" following the next album to contain U.S. dates.
filename = Rammstein - Bestrafe mich (sample).ogg
title = "Bestrafe mich"
description = A sample of Rammstein's older style and Till Lindemann's deeply voiced lyrics.multi-listen item
filename = Rammstein - Ohne dich (sample).ogg
title = "Ohne dich"
description = The range of Rammstein's style and Till Lindemann's vocals are demonstrated in "Ohne dich".multi-listen item
filename = Rammstein - Zwitter (sample).ogg
title = "Zwitter"
description = "Zwitter" is an example of the unique subject matter and sense of humor in Rammstein's lyrics.Although Rammstein is often generalized as
Neue Deutsche Härte, its music spans a variety of related styles, including industrial hard rock, heavy metal and electronic musicwith influences of punk rock, pop musicand gothic rock, due to their use of keyboards to emulate strings, choirs or pianos. The band was influenced by Laibach, a Slovenian neo-classical and industrial group. Other influences include, Oomph!, and Ministry, but the contrast between individual songs such as " Du riechst so gut", " Bestrafe mich", " Ohne dich" and " Te quiero puta!" makes the band difficult to classify, though most simply refer to them as industrial metal. The band's diverse range of influence has made them appealing to tastes of all kinds, but they are chiefly renowned in industrial, electronica, and heavy metal circles.
The band has a flair for costumes of all sorts, both in live shows and in videos. In the "Keine Lust" video, all members of the band except Flake were dressed in fat suits. In the "Amerika" video, all members of the band wore space suits. Live, the band experiments even more with costumes. In the Volkerball concert, among others, Till would change constumes in between songs, dressed accordingly for each song. For example, in "Mein Teil", he was dressed as a butcher, in "Reise Reise", a sailor. The rest of the band each wears their own preferred costume, but none as outlandish or themed as Till's.
Rammstein's style has tended to divide critics, some of whom have responded with memorable comments. "Jam Showbiz" (April 2001) described "
Mutter" as "music to invade Poland to." New Zealand's "Southland Times" (Dec. 17, 1999) suggested that Till Lindemann's "booming, sub-sonic voice" would send "the peasants fleeing into their barns and bolting their doors," while the " New York Times" (Jan. 9, 2005) commented that on the stage, "Mr. Lindemann gave off an air of such brute masculinity and barely contained violence that it seemed that he could have reached into the crowd, snatched up a fan, and bitten off his head." Stephen Thomas Erlewine of " Allmusic" commented that "their blend of industrial noise, grinding metal guitars, and operatic vocals is staggeringly powerful."cite web
title = Sehnsucht review
author = Stephen Thomas Erlewine
publisher = Allmusic
url = http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=A6s27gjyr16ix
accessdate = 2006-07-10 ] "We just push boundaries," said Till Lindemann in an interview with rock magazine "
Kerrang!". "We can't help it if people don't like those boundaries being pushed."
Nearly all of Rammstein's songs are in German. However, the band did record English versions of "Engel" ("Angel"), "
Du hast" ("You have", which is most commonly confused with "You hate", since 'hast' and 'hasst' sound phonetically identical. In the English version of the song, the lyric is translated to "You hate" for stylization purposes.), and "Amerika", as well as covers of the songs "Stripped" ( Depeche Mode) and "Pet Sematary" (The Ramones). In addition, the songs "Amerika", "Stirb nicht vor mir//Don't die before I do" and "Moskau" ("Moscow") contain not only German verses, but also English and Russian choruses, respectively; " Te quiero puta!" ("I love you, whore!") is entirely in Spanish. Oliver Riedel commented that, "German language suits heavy metal music. French might be the language of love, but German is the language of anger". [cite news | title ="Sunday Herald Sun", Melbourne, Australia | accessdate = 2006-10-24 | publisher = Sunday Herald-Sun ]
The lyrics of Rammstein and above all their talk by singer Till Lindemann are an essential element of music and shape the perception by fans and a wider public. This is, among other things that are often very controversial, and taboo subjects such as
sadomasochism(Bück Dich, Rein Raus and Bestrafe Mich), homosexuality ( Mann gegen Mann), incest (Spiel mit mir and Tier), pedophilia (Tier and Halleluja) , Necrophilia (Heirate mich), Pyromania( Benzinand Hilf mir), cannibalism( Mein Teil), the game with religious images ( Asche zu Asche, Engel) having sex and violence (Wollt ihr das Bett in Flammen sehen).
Wordplay is a fundamental component of Rammstein's lyrics. In many instances, the lyrics are phrased such that they can be interpreted in several ways. The song "Du hast", for example, is a play on German
marriagevows ("Willst Du, bis der Tod euch scheidet, treu ihr sein für alle Tage?" - "Will you, until Death separates you, be faithful to her for the rest of your days?"). In the song, the traditional affirmative response, "Ja" ("Yes"), is replaced by its negation "Nein" ("No"). The final repetition of this line further perverts the meaning of the original vows through a minor change in the wording "Willst Du, bis zum Tod der Scheide ..." (Will you, until the Death of the vagina...). The song starts, in fact, with a play on words: "Du... Du hast... Du hast mich..." meaning "You have me". This line is often mistaken for "You hate me", because in German, there is no clear distinction between the pronunciation of "Du hasst" which means "you hate" and "Du hast" which means "you have". The word game is later resolved as the line is completed; "Du hast mich gefragt" ("You [have] asked me"). Confusingly, the band did also make an English version of the song named "You hate" which was not translated directly from "Du hast".While many arguments about 'Du Hast' are around, it is known that Rammstein used this wording to mislead and create humour in the song. It was a play with the pronunciation of words, causing many non-native speakers of German to be confused.
Rammstein has achieved particular fame (not to mention notoriety) for its hugely over-the-top stage show, using so many
pyrotechnicsthat fans eventually coined the motto "Other bands play, Rammstein burns!" (a quip at Manowar's song "Kings of Metal", which states, "other bands play, Manowar kill"). After an accident in the Arena in Berlin where some burning decoration parts fell on the audience ( September 27, 1996[cite web
title= Till Lindemann Biography
accessdate = 2007-05-10
publisher = Rammstein-Europe.com] ) the band took to employing professionals to handle the
pyrotechnics; Lindemann himself is now a licensed pyrotechnician who spends entire songs engulfed head-to-toe in flames. He has suffered multiple burns on his ears, his hair and his arms.
The heat is so intense that on occasion, people have been carried out of Rammstein concerts suffering from heat exhaustion, and lighting gantries have been seen glowing red-hot from repeated fireball hits. The variety of the pyrotechnics can be seen in a recent concert playlist, which includes such items as "
LycopodiumMasks", "Glitterburst Truss", "Pyrostrobes", "Comets", "Flash Trays" and "Mortar Hits".
The band's costumes are equally outlandish. During the "Reise, Reise" tour they were wearing
Lederhosen, corsets and vague military uniforms with steel helmets, while during the "Mutter" tour the group kept to the themes of the album artwork and descended onto the stage from a giant uteruswhile wearing diapers.
According to Kruspe, the on-stage wackiness is entirely deliberate (Rammstein's motto according to Schneider is: "Do your own thing. And overdo it!"). The aim is to get people's attention and have fun at the same time: "You have to understand that 99 percent of the people don't understand the lyrics, so you have to come up with something to keep the drama in the show. We have to do something. We like to have a show; we like to play with fire. We do have a sense of humor. We do laugh about it; we have fun... but we're not Spinal Tap. We take the music and the lyrics seriously. It's a combination of humor, theater and our
East Germanculture, you know?" [cite news
title="The Grand Rapids Press'
accessdate = 1999-07-22
publisher = Grand Rapids Press]
Their onstage antics have led them to trouble as well. During their stint on the American Family Values Tour 1998, alongside acts such as rapper Ice Cube,
Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Orgy, the band was arrested for indecency. In one of the more infamous moments, Rammstein's vocalist, Till Lindemann engaged in simulated sodomy with the keyboardist, Christian Lorenz, during their performance of "Bück dich" in Worcester, Massachusetts. They were subsequently arrested and fined $25 and spent the night in jail. The band attempted to appeal the fine, but spent more in legal fees and court fees than the $25 fine.
Covers and adaptations
Rammstein's songs have been covered by a number of other artists, These include:
Engel" : The group Gregorian reworked "Engel" as a Gregorian chantfor their album "The Dark Side". The same song has been covered by Belgian girls choir Scala & Kolacny Brothers, resulting in a very quiet, brooding version; contrary to the original.The Chilean Aggrotech/Industrial Metal Band Vigilante Also Covered This Song On Their 2008 Remix Album
Mein Herz brennt" : The German composer Torsten Rasch has produced a classical symphonic song-cycle entitled "Mein Herz brennt" ("My heart burns"), based on the music of Rammstein.
* "Seemann" : by
Nina Hagenand Apocalyptica. This cover impressed Rammstein so much that they took Apocalyptica as co-headliner on tour with them in Spring 2005, and invited the band on stage to perform "Ohne dich" ("Without you") and "Mein Herz brennt" ("My Heart burns") together. The " Benzin" single also featured a remix of the song, called "Kerosiini" by Apocalyptica.
Ohne dich" : by Laibach.
Weißes Fleisch" : by the German death metalband Debauchery covered the song for their "Back In Blood" album.
Mein Teil" : A bluegrass version appears as a bonus track on the band Hayseed Dixie's 2007 album Weapons of Grass Destruction.
Rammstein has also done several covers themselves, including "Das Modell" ("The model") by
Kraftwerk, "Stripped" by Depeche Modeand "Pet Sematary" by The Ramones (sung by keyboardist Christian "Flake" Lorenz). Cover version of " Schtiel" ("Calm") by Aria was released by vocalist Till Lindemann and guitarist Richard Z. Kruspe as a side project, due to disagreement with Universal recordslabel.
It was recently announced that the German pop singer
Nena, author of "99 Luftballons" ("99 Air Balloons"), will be doing an album of covers named "Cover Me" in which it will feature a Rammstein cover of the song "Ein Lied".Till Lindemann appears as a guest singer along with Richard Kruspe on guitar on the Apocalyptica album " Worlds Collide". They took on David Bowie's song "Heroes", which was also released in German as "Helden". Lindemann sings the German version, making his song the only German-language song on "Worlds Collide". [cite web | url=http://www.herzeleid.com | title=Herzeleid.com | accessdate=2007-06-08 ]
Rammstein singles traditionally also have a great quantity of remixes, particularly often from
Described by the New York Times as a "powerful strain of brutally intense rock" who "bring gale-force music and spectacular theatrics together", Rammstein has been a band with a highly controversy-prone nature. [cite web
title= NYTimes Movies
accessdate = 2007-04-10
publisher = New York Times Corporation] Rammstein have not been shy about courting this controversy and have periodically attracted condemnation from
moralitycampaigners. Their stage act earned them a night in jail in June 1999 after a liquid-ejecting dildowas used in a concert in Worcester, Massachusetts. Back home in Germany, the band has faced repeated accusations of fascistsympathies due to the dark and sometimes militaristic imagery of their videos and concerts, including the use of excerpts from the film "Olympia" by Leni Riefenstahlin the video for "Stripped". Their debut album "Herzeleid", released in Germany in 1995, originally had a cover featuring the band members' upper bodies without clothing; critics accused the band of trying to sell themselves as "poster boys for the Master Race". [cite web
title= Herzeleid.com (FAQ)
accessdate = 2007-04-10
publisher = Herzeleid.com] Rammstein have vigorously denied this and said that they want nothing to do with politics or supremacy of any kind. Christian "Flake" Lorenz, annoyed by the claim, has remarked that it's just a photo, and should be understood as such. "Herzeleid" has since been given an alternate cover in the
United States, depicting the band members' faces.
The song "Links 2, 3, 4" ("Links" being German for "left") was written as a riposte to these claims. According to Kruspe, it means, "'My heart beats on the left, two, three, four'. It's simple. If you want to put us in a political category, we're on the left side, and that's the reason we made the song". [cite news
title= "The Grand Rapids Press"
accessdate = 2001-07-22
publisher = Grand Rapids Press] On the other hand, this is also an allusion to a military marching cadence since "Links, 2, 3, 4" is typically heard during marching practice in the German army with "links" referring to the left foot. The song is also a reference to the saying "the heart beats left", repeatedly used by
Oskar Lafontaine, in 2001 a famous member of the SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany), now leader of the Left Party ( Die Linke), and almost the title of a book written by him (the title is "Das Herz schlägt links" instead of "Mein Herz schlägt links" – "The heart beats left" instead of "My Heart beats left"). [ [http://www.amazon.de/dp/3430159474 Amazon.de: Das Herz schlägt links: Oskar Lafontaine: Bücher ] ] [ [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0745625819 Amazon.com: The Heart Beats on the Left: Oskar LaFontaine, Ronald Taylor: Books ] ] .
According to the German online music magazine [http://www.laut.de/ laut.de] Rammstein, through this song, positioned themselves on the side of
Oskar Lafontaine. They write: [ [http://www.laut.de/vorlaut/news/2000/12/14/01319/index.htm laut.de | Rammstein: Das Herz schlägt links, oder? (News) ] This song is in fact written bei Bertolt Brechtand composed by Hanns Eislerin 1934. The full text can be found here: http://www.ewo2.de/schlauch-live/texte_07.htm]
"Rammstein binden den Lafontaine-Spruch "Mein Herz schlägt links" in ihren Text ein und zitieren eine Zeile aus einem alten Hannes Wader-Arbeitersong ("Links, zwo, drei, vier; links, zwo, drei, vier; wo dein Platz Genosse ist, reih Dich ein in die Arbeitereinheitsfront, wenn Du auch ein Arbeiter bist")."(Rammstein embed the Lafontaine saying "My heart beats left" into their lyric and cite a line of an old
Hannes Waderworkers' song ("Left, 2, 3, 4; left 2, 3, 4; where your place is comrade, line up into the Workers' United Front, if you are a worker").)
Christian "Flake" Lorenz recently stated on an on-line chat that the song was created in order to show that the band could write a harsh, "evil", military-sounding song that was not about Nazi ideals. [cite web
title= Herzeleid.com (Press)
accessdate = 2007-04-10
publisher = Herzeleid.com]
Relation to violent events
Rammstein were cited in relation to the
Columbine High School Massacrein 1999, when photos of Eric Harris and Dylan Kleboldwearing Rammstein T-shirts were revealed.cite web
title = 700 club interview (Archived at The Internet Archive on 2000-01-22)
author = Johanna Michaelsen
publisher = Christian Broadcast Network
date = 1999-10-28
url = http://web.archive.org/web/20000122101421/http://www.cbn.org/the700club/johannamichaelsen.asp
accessdate = 2006-07-10 ] cite web
title = Why did the Columbine shooting happen? Comments from religious sources
publisher = Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
url = http://www.religioustolerance.org/sch_vio6.htm
accessdate = 2006-07-10 ] Though there was no evidence to correlate the two events, the band felt obliged to issue a statement:
:"The members of Rammstein express their condolences and sympathy to all affected by the recent tragic events in Denver. They wish to make it clear that they have no lyrical content or political beliefs that could have possibly influenced such behaviour. Additionally, members of Rammstein have children of their own, in whom they continually strive to instill healthy and non-violent values".
September 10, 2001the single and video clip of " Ich will" ("I Want") was released which portrays the band as terroristswho want to get a message across and receiving a kind of "terrorist award" for their "actions". In the United Statesthe video clip was broadcast only late at night after the attacks of September 11, 2001in New York Cityalthough many media officials and politicians requested the video to be pulled from broadcast completely. [cite web
title= Rammstein.com (Timeline)
accessdate = 2007-04-10
publisher = Rammstein]
Following the tragic conclusion of the
Beslan school hostage crisisin Russiain September 2004, the Russian authorities claimed that the terrorists had "listened to German hard rock group Rammstein on personal stereos during the siege to keep themselves edgy and fired up". [cite web
title= Beslan Hostage Situation
accessdate = 2007-04-10
publisher = The Independent] The claim has not been independently confirmed.
Band members said this about the issue: [cite web
title= October Interviews
accessdate = 2007-04-10
publisher = Rammstein in the UK] :"There's been a lot of talk about that, but if there are radical feelings in people anything can wake them – a painting, a picture, whatever. It's just a coincidence that it happened to be our music. It's important to think about what caused them to make their decisions, how they became animals, not their taste in music. Whenever something like this happens it's like 'Okay, let's blame the artist'. Such bullshit". (Till Lindemann).
:"Our music is made to release aggression, and people listening to it are also needed to do that, but it's not our fault. Should we stop making hard music because bad people might like it?" (Christoph "Doom" Schneider).
Pekka-Erik Auvinen, the perpetrator of the Jokela school shootingin November 2007 also included Rammstein in one of his favourite bands. He noted though that, the music among other things was not to blame for his decisions. [cite web
title= The Pekka Eric Auvinen Manifesto
accessdate = 2007-11-07
publisher = Oddculture]
In October 2004, the video for "
Mein Teil" ("My part") caused considerable controversy in Germany when it was released. It takes a darkly comic view of the Armin Meiwescannibalism case, showing a cross dressed Schneider holding the other 5 band members on a leash and rolling around in mud. The controversy did nothing to stop (and may even have helped) the single rising to No. 2 in the German charts. Meiwes (who was convicted of manslaughter in 2004, then retried in 2006 and found guilty of murdercite web
title = 'Rotenburg cannibal' sentenced to life
publisher = United Press International
date = 2006-05-09
url = http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/view.php?StoryID=20060509-120534-3022r
accessdate = 2006-07-10 ] ) brought suit in January 2006 against the band for infringement of rights to the story. The outcome resulted in a loss for the band of $5.5 million.
The band's own views of its image are sanguine: "We like being on the fringes of bad taste", according to Paul H. Landers, while Christian "Flake" Lorenz comments "The controversy is fun, like stealing forbidden fruit. But it serves a purpose. We like audiences to grapple with our music, and people have become more receptive". [cite news
accessdate = 2005-01-29
Not all of Rammstein's videos feature excess and pushing the limits of conventional taste. The video of "
Ohne Dich" ("Without You") from " Reise, Reise" can only be described as lushly filmed and touchingly melancholy.
The video for "
Mann gegen Mann" ("Man against man") from their latest studio album "Rosenrot" may have caused some controversy, as most of the band members are naked in the video. The lead singer Till Lindemann is wearing what can best be described as a "latex panties" - most likely because he does not have an instrument with which to cover his genitalia. In addition, there are multiple naked men in the video, with clearly visible buttocks, though genitaliacould be seen at 32 seconds into the video on Christian "Flake" Lorenz through the arm of the guitarist (Richard Z. Krupse) and below the keyboard. He is wearing a flesh-colored thong to prevent this. The video has been played uncensored on MTV in Europe. The video has been rated FSK 16 in Germany and therefore can be played on television only after 10pm.
* [http://www.Rammstein.de Official Website] de icon
* [http://www.Rammstein.com Official English Website]
* [http://www.volkerball.ru Volkerball.Ru Russian Fan-Site] ru icon
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