++Below, is simply a transcript of the Episode above++When Rammstein formed in the 90s, few people could have predicted that they were to become one of the biggest bands on the planet. With their unique blend of industrial metal, explosive stage shows, and a history of controversy behind them, Rammstein have certainly left their mark on the world and continue to grow.
From their debut album, Herzlied, released in 1995 to what some would consider as their first major tour with Korn, Limp Bizkit and Ice Cube in 1998, all the way to present day to their latest self titled record, Rammstein have become a globally infamous name..
When the Berlin wall was denounced in 1989, Richard Z Kruspe moved to West Berlin to start a band called Orgasm Death Gimmick but shortly moved back to his hometown of Schwerin where he was to meet Till Lindemann, who was actually a drummer in a band called First Ass at the time. It wasn’t until later on that Kruspe would catch Lindemann singing at work and convince him to join a new project, a project that what would become the Rammstein we know today.
Compared to what we see now, you’d have to assume you were about to watch a boy band when Rammstein first emerged in these early years of forming.
Rammstein actually won an amateur battle of the bands style competition in 1994 winning them a week of professional studio recording time. Kruspe, Riedel, Schneider, and Lindemann put together a 4 track demo tape, that would later contribute to their debut album. Taking their name from a combination of an airshow disaster and the German words Ram Stein, meaning ramming stone. Rammstein was born.
Paul H Landers and Christian "Flake" Lorenz would also be recruited to form the final, unchanged line-up that we see today. The band would also help to create a new musical movement called Neue Deutsche Härte, which translates to English as New German Hardness.
Luckily, Rammstein quickly found their own image, an unforgettable image that would also find its way to the shores of the United Kingdom for their first live performances in 1996 on the MTV show ‘Hanging Out’ in the city of London. This was the start of Rammstein's controversial career as half way through, the set was cut short due to Till Lindemann having an incident with some blood live on air.
By today's standards, Rammstein’s debut record, Herzeleid is seen as a very impressive one. however , at the time, the record only made one top ten chart appearance globally, which was in Germany. It wasn’t until Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor teamed up with director David Lynch to have two of their songs included for the soundtrack to the 1997 neo-noir film Lost Highway that they started to become an international name. Rammstein did however support the Ramones on their farewell tour in Germany for 8 shows during 1996 after the release of Herzeleid.
Although Herzeleid was an impressive start for the band and featured ‘Du riechst so gut’ as well as ‘Wollt ihr das Bett in Flammen sehen’, all recorded at Polar Studios in Stockholm Sweden, their second record would truly land Rammstein a place in rock history.
Sehnsucht would completely alter how the world would see Rammstein. Just 1 month after its release, it went gold in Germany, and Rammstein were selling out tours across Europe.
The artwork for Sehnsucht hinted at the band's evolutionary creativity. With six versions of the album cover made available for every member of the band, each one as creepy as the next.
Engel was to be the lead single from the album, with their now iconic ‘Du Hast’ to follow. Not only did Sehnsucht reach Platinum status in over 5 countries, this was the era that would eventually give Rammstein their platform to a bigger stage, bigger audience and bigger pyrotechnics.
However, in the same year Rammstein would have their first global taste of controversy and backlash.
Rammstein were invited to feature on a Depeche Mode tribute record named For the Masses. Other artists included Deftones, Monster Magnet, Smashing Pumpkins and The Cure.
They covered Depeche Mode's, Stripped and with it also produced a music video. The video started to air on MTV but was quickly removed from rotation just two short weeks later after Rammstein were accused of supporting far right ideologies.
The video took aesthetic inspiration from the GDR 1936 Olympic games, which at the time was hijacked by right wing parties as a platform for right wing ideologies and Nazi propaganda.
Rammstein have continued to be misunderstood over the years citing time and time again that they refuse to compromise their artistic expression simply because people misinterpret their intentions.
Considering Rammstein actually took a lot of inspiration from the America rock band Kiss, with their two principle songwriters being Jewish, it’s absurd to think Rammstein could ever harbour right wing views. They even had to release an entire interview explaining the reasoning behind the video.
Let’s also remember the main character in one of their most recent videos…
As Rammstein drew near to closing another chapter in their already illustrious career, and look towards entering a new millennium with the year 2000 quickly approaching, they played their biggest show to date. 17000 fans came out to witness their spectacular performance in Berlin, Germany. Which would later be released on DVD as Live Aus Berlin.
Not only did Rammstein secure their place in history by the end of the 20th century, they also featured on the Soundtrack to one of the biggest films of the decade. A science fiction film about the dystopian future of humanity being trapped inside a simulated reality called The Matrix. Starring the one and only Keanu Reeves. Although the song you most probably remember from this film wasn’t Du Hast, but Rob Dougan’s - Clubbed To Death.
Richard Z Kruspe would go on to form a new Project called Emigrate, and Till Lindemann would also release his first solo record with Peter Tägtgren of Swedish Death Metal band Hypocrisy and Pain.
To date, Kruspe has released 3 records with his side project Emigrate and worked with the likes of Lemmy from Motorhead, Marylin Manson and Johnathon davies on the 2014 record, Silent So long.
By today’s standards, Rammstein's antics probably seem somewhat tame, however, they have constantly tried to shock people over the years with their unconventional artistic expression. As we will later discover with their 2009 album Liebe Ist For alle da which spawned a sexual explicit music video, a range of custom rammstein dildos, and their debut album being banned in Germany for promoting Sadomasochism.
We’re now entering one of the most important ERA’s in Rammstein's history. Rammstein were experiencing more success than they could ever have dreamed of. Not only this, the band seemed to be unstoppable, producing 3 globally successful albums within the space of just 5 years and a seemingly endless amount of hits from each one.
Mutter, released in 2001, Reise Reise in 2004 and Rosenrot in 2005 went gold, double and triple platinum in countries all over the world. This was an astonishing achievement for any artist, let alone a German speaking industrial band from Berlin.
Although Rammstein seemed like they were on top of the world, Mutter, was very nearly their last album.
After 3 long months on tour, the band were destroyed, however, they had already arranged for a music video to be made for the single Mutter which was scheduled to take place shortly after they arrived back in Germany.
Throughout their entire history, Rammstein prided themselves in treating every member as an equal. Ensuring nobody took the spotlight from anyone else.
However, whilst most of the band decided to take a break and go on vacation, Till Lindeman and Oliver Ridel were the only ones available to take part in the video shoot. Rammstein had several conflicting discussions regarding this situation, and as Christoher Schnider reveals in an interview, this was almost the end for Rammstein.
Luckily this wasn’t the case and the German power house, continue.
Liebe ist für alle da brought Rammstein into another new Era of controversy with a sexually explicit music video for the equally explicitly titled song Pussy. The video premiered on an adult website called Visit-x. This lead to the German government taking a particular interest in the band and their activities.
The video showed scenes of a sexual nature containing several adult film stars and also see’s Rammstein bare all, literally. Although Rammstein state the sex acts were performed by body doubles. It’s still a topic debated to this day.
Although Liebe ist für alle da took top ten chart positions in over 20 countries globally, German officials thought the latest offering from the band, second single, ‘Ich Tu Da Vier’ had gone too far.
The German Federal Office said that Rammstein were now promoting unsafe sex, AIDS and sado masichism with their music and expressive videos.
Germany banned Liebe ist für alle da from being displayed in stores across the country, and in order to buy the record, you had to show ID proving you were over 18. Many believe this only helped to increase Rammstein's popularity and record sales.
After the huge success of Liebe ist für alle da, and sold out tours, Rammstein decided to take a break. One that would see the band not re enter a studio for almost 10 years.
After almost ten years of waiting, on March 28th 2019, Rammstein returned with one of their most epic videos of all time. Deutschland.
With over 20 millions views in the first weekend of its release, Deutschland set a new standard for Rammstein's creativity. With a 9 minute long cinematic experience.
The artwork for new record, again, reflected Rammstein mysterious nature, but also reassuring fans that they were about to set the world on fire, yet again.
Rammstiens 2019 untitled album went straight to number 1 in 14 countries, and broke German sales records.
Along with one of the fastest selling stadium tours in history, Rammstein have become one the most infamous bands on the planet.
I started my career as a music journalist in 2013 and have been involved in the music industry as a touring musician, studio engineer and artist consultant since 2002, as well as previously being a signed artist. My passion for delivering high quality, informative music-related news is a daily driving force behind the content I create. Also a huge gaming nerd! Born in the United Kingdom and currently living in Sweden. Skål!CONTACT ME HERE
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