Years active 1994-present
Neue Deutsche H?rte
Labels Motor Music
Members Till Lindemann
Richard "Scholle" Kruspe
Paul H. Landers
Oliver "Ollie" Riedel
Christoph "Doom" Schneider
Christian "Flake" Lorenz
Rammstein is a German NDH-metal band that was formed in 1994. They have dubbed their NDH-genre Tanz-Metall ("Dance metal"), and it incorporates elements of metal/hard rock, industrial rock and electronic music. The songs are performed almost exclusively in German. They have sold over 10 million records worldwide.
Rammstein's entire catalogue is published by BMG Music Publishing.
" 1 The band
" 2 Style
" 3 Lyrics
" 4 Movie and video appearances
" 5 Shows
" 6 Discography
o 6.1 Albums
o 6.2 Covers and adaptations
" 7 Controversies
" 8 References
" 9 External links
Rammstein takes its name indirectly from the western German town of Ramstein, site of an airshow disaster in 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 allows the word to translate literally as "ramming stone" or "battering ram", reinforcing the image of the band's music as fierce and relentless. Despite lyrics that are in German, the band has enjoyed success outside of Germany, both in Europe, North America as well as Japan, Australia and New Zealand. With the album Reise, Reise (2004), they became the most successful German-language band of all time internationally. Rammstein has had several top ten singles in Germany.
Rammstein brings on the flamethrowers during Feuer Frei! - Globe Arena, Stockholm, 18 November 2004.
The band's members all come from the former East Germany, specifically East Berlin and Schwerin. They are:
" Till Lindemann - lead vocals
" Richard Zven "Scholle" Kruspe - lead-guitar
" Paul H. Landers - rhythm-guitar
" Oliver "Ollie" Riedel - electric bass
" Christoph "Doom" Schneider - drums
" Christian "Flake" Lorenz - keyboards
Riedel, Schneider and Kruspe were the original founders of Rammstein, following an attempt by the latter to compose American-influenced music with a West Berlin band called Orgasm Death Gimmicks. As Kruspe put it, "I realized it's really important to make music and make it fit with your language, which I didn't do in the past. I came back [to Germany] and said, 'It's time to make music that's really authentic.' I was starting a project called Rammstein to really try to make German music." He invited Till Lindemann, a basket weaver and drummer for the band First Arsch, to join the project as a vocalist. The four entered a contest for new bands and won, attracting the interest of Paul H. Landers, who knew them all and decided to join the band. Christian "Flake" Lorenz was the last member to join; he had played with Landers before in the band Feeling B and was initially reluctant to come on board, but was eventually persuaded to join. Their first album was released a year later. They have been nominated for two Best Metal Performance Grammy Awards: in 1999 with the song "Du hast" and in 2005 with the song "Mein Teil".
Rammstein audio samples
" "Bestrafe mich" (info)
" "Ohne dich" (info)
" "Zwitter" (info)
Although Rammstein is often generalized as industrial metal or - especially in Germany - as Neue Deutsche H?rte (New German hardness), its music spans a variety of related styles, including German hard rock and heavy metal. The band was strongly influenced by Laibach, a Slovenian neo-classical and industrial group. Other influences include DAF (Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft), Oomph! and Ministry, but the contrast between individual songs such as "Bestrafe mich", "Ohne dich" and "Te quiero puta!" makes the band difficult to classify.
Richard Zven Kruspe, guitarist and founder.
Rammstein's style has tended to divide critics, some of whom have responded with memorably dismissive 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." 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." Other critics have been more positive. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of All Music Guide commented that "their blend of industrial noise, grinding metal guitars, and operatic vocals is staggeringly powerful". "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."
Despite Rammstein's brutalist image, many of its songs lyrics demonstrate a certain sense of humour. "Zwitter", for example, is a bizarre take on narcissism (and bisexuality) through the persona of a hermaphrodite:
Wenn die anderen M?dchen suchten (When the others searched for girls)
Konnt ich mich schon selbst befruchten (I could already fertilize myself)
Similarly, the song "Amerika" features a tongue-in-cheek adaptation of the normal chorus:
We're all living in Amerika
Coca-Cola, Wonderbra! Usually Amerika ist wunderbar (wonderful), in one chorus is sung as "Coca-Cola, sometimes war"
We're all living in Amerika
Some of their songs show unexpected influences. "Dalai Lama" is an adaptation of the famous poem Der Erlk?nig by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. "Hilf mir" was inspired by the short story "Die gar traurige Geschichte mit dem Feuerzeug" (from "Der Struwwelpeter") by Heinrich Hoffmann. "Rosenrot" is inspired by the poem "Heider?slein" by Goethe and the story "Schneewei?chen und Rosenrot".
Nearly all of Rammstein's lyrics are in German. However, the band did record English versions of "Engel" , "Du hast" and "Amerika", as well as covers of the songs "Stripped" and "Pet Sematary". In addition, the songs "Amerika" (German version), "Stirb nicht vor mir//Don't die before I do" and "Moskau" contain not only German verses, but also English and Russian choruses, respectively; "Te quiero puta!" is entirely in Spanish. The song "Mein Teil" features one line in English: "Yes It's Mein Teil". "Ollie" Riedel commented that "German language suits heavy metal music. French might be the language of love, but German is the language of anger." (Sunday Herald Sun, Melbourne, Australia, October 24, 2004).
Wordplay is afundamental 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 marriage vows ("Willst du, bis der Tod euch scheidet, treu ihr sein f?r alle Tage?"). In the song, the traditional affirmative response "ja" is replaced by its negation "nein". The song starts, in fact, with a play on words: "Du... Du hast... Du hast mich..." meaning, "You have me" or "You hate me". (The second person singular ("du") forms of the words "hassen" (to hate) and "haben" (to have) are homophones). The ambiguity is later resolved as the line is completed: "Du hast mich gefragt" ("You [have] asked me").
Rammstein often uses rhyming to create similar effects. For example, from the song