A.H. – Alexander Herzog (Post-production).
T.L. – Till Lindermann (Vocalism).
R.Z.K. – Richard Z. Kruspe (Solo-guitar).
P.H.L. – Paul Heiko Landers (Rhythm-guitar).
C.S. – Christoph Schneider (Drums).
C.F.L. – Christian Flake Lorenz (Keyboard).
O.R. – Oliver Riedel (Bass-guitar).
C.S.: The song "Rammstein" is the band's musical hour of birth. The lyrics are also the only ones that we wrote together as a band. In Till's village, where he comes from, in the village pub, we wrote the lyrics together on a bar check and we all said: Let's just imagine, how we had this misfortune back then... We visualised everything practically in images, each of us made a draft and suddenly, the lyrics were ready.
R.Z.K.: The record company approached us back then and asked us: "You're a band now and you need a video too. Can you imagine someone with whom you would like to make a video?" And we answered: "Okay, David Lynch." Now, that was an address, we thought was great. His films etc. They just stared at us and thought: "Who do you think you are?" We said: "Why not? Just ask him."
T.L.: We wanted to have Claudia Schiffer for a video. And Johnny Depp. We weren't megalomaniacs, but we always used to say: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. We still do. Nowadays, we'd like to do something with David Fincher. Maybe it'll work sometime. You can only ask.
R.Z.K.: Our naiveity back then, to simply say: Just ask him. Maybe he's up for it. That always helped us to progress throughout the years. As the story goes, that's how it was, that the record company actually sent David Lynch a parcel. At that time, he was in the middle of shooting "Lost Highway". The postman arrived early as Lynch was in his car and on his way to work. He received the parcel and was so impressed by it, according to what Bill Pullman told me, the lead actor in "Highway", that he made all of his cast perform, apparently act and perform with our music.
A.H.: He was really impressed by the sinister mood of the music. To my mind at least, there are several levels to Rammsteins music. The music does contain atmospheric parts, but the fact that it also transports a certain brute force, is presumably what made it interesting for David Lynch, or spoke his language.
P.H.L.: When we were then asked whether he could use our songs in his film, we thought: oh yes. It flickers briefly on the car radio when they take a drive, or it is played on the kitchen radio, when the protagonist eats his fried eggs or something. But that it played such a massive part, that really surprised us, but pleased us too.
C.S.: Naturally, this also led to the possibility of using scenes from the film to make a kind of video for the song. The "Rammstein" video is actually more of a collage from the film and concert sequences taken from our first real major concert in Berlin.
T.L.: That was in Berlin, here in the arena and I think, that was the first footage from which you could use anything, because two or three cameras were included in the filming.
A.H.: It became problematic, as you had material from a movie on the one hand and film material from a live performance on the other. Different video cameras, different perspectives, plus ten hours of material, a veritable mountain of cassettes. Finding the right pieces, which blend well with the movie footage, is of course pretty difficult.
In principle, I did the directing and Kai Kniepkamp did the editing. The band was quite baffled because I used to do quite a few techno videos in those days. That doesn't fit in. It's a completely different direction. But there was a lot of good feedback and someone, I think it was Flake, said that he liked it. Others said: yes, super. So it all had a happy end after all. Everything went very well. That's nice of course.
C.S.: It was an absolute highlight, a unique situation, that someone like David Lynch, whose films have an intellectual approach, decides to use this music. Naturally, that was more than a great honour for us. In Germany back then, there was a lot of contoversy surrounding us. What's this music for? Who needs it?
P.H.L.: I think, that it was this kind of otherness in relation to American bands, It is the German voice. The song is also something new, in the direction, for the American. That's why he liked it.
C.S.:: At first they said, Lynch wouldn't understand what we were singing, and he can't really assess it at all. But something somehow must have inspired the film team or the people.
P.H.L.: Foreign countries have always been more relaxed in regard to us, because they don't have these manacles, that Germans seem to carry around with them.
A.H.: The lyrics are slightly metaphoric, and have a certain scope for interpretation. Of course, you can't augment them with images of beauty, which would not fit, but they naturally have the scope, with which to interpret images in the David Lynch film. In the film, we have several sections in which video recordings were made. One can see, what's being filmed. We used this random noise and video as a bridge, to connect film material and live material.
T.L.: It began with the sleeves, which were joined by the neck. It just got bigger and bigger. More fire gel was added and the flames increased in height. That is practically the perfected pyrotechnical medium, that enables this coat to burn for almost 4 minutes. But we're still experimenting. We really want it to burn even longer. This is still the very same coat. In the meantime it can speak.
P.H.L.: To be part of a David Lynch film is an honour. Irrespective of where you come from. And I'm not really sure whether we deserved it. In football, no one asks how something happened either. The main thing is, you won. It made many people happy worldwide and drove Germans to despair. We have so many beautiful things, why do you want them? In this respect, it made us happy to be able to make life for these perpetual moaners more difficult. In those days it was still pretty hefty.
R.Z.K.: The whole band was invited back then, to the senator, to a private screening. We watched the film there for the first time. I tried my very best, but I didn't understand it at all. But the pictures and stories, which one probably can't or should'nt understand, fit in so well. At the very moment this music began in the film, everyone said: wow, that's cool.
P.H.L.: We're always too lazy, to make a stop in Los Angeles. It really would interest me, to hear what the master thinks about it (laugh).