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Rammstein – Interview (September, 1997).
(From DVD "Live aus Berlin", 1999).
English subtitles.
Age rating: 16+.


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).
M. – Message on screen.

(Different videos Rammstein on screen).

R.Z.K.: For me Rammstein is really the first natural boy-group band.

(Video "Rammstein" on screen).

P.H.L.: A six-way marriage.

T.L.: The main idea is love in all forms and in all variations.

P.H.L.: Rammstein is Rammstein.

(Video "Du Hast" on screen).

P.H.L.: In the GDR you were required to work. You couldn’t "not work".

O.R.: I trained as a plasterer.

C.S.: Something with installing phones.

P.H.L.: Boilerman.

C.F.L.: Toolmaker.

P.H.L.: You virtually weren’t allowed to make amateur music without having a real job. You still had to have an alibi-job.

R.Z.K.: Before Rammstein we all knew each other. We were all friends.

(Video "Rammstein" on screen).

O.R.: A couple of us come from Schwerin and were making music there. And some of us were making music in Berlin at the same time. Band musicians playing in the GDR inevitably got to know each other.

T.L.: Back then I made punk music. Pretty much the same with Paul. Olli played in a folk-fiddle band. And Richard comes from crossover.

(Performance on screen).

P.H.L.: Then there were five of us. Only Flake the keyboarder was missing. We really had to talk him into it, he didn't want to play in the band. He said it was too silly. He said it was too blunt, boring, and too strict. On the one hand we knew we needed a keyboarder. On the other, a person who’d speak up with their objections. Rammstein is like goulash and needs a pinch of sugar for taste. We were always saying, "Man, Flake, come on and join the band". "Are there six or five of us?". He never really answered. And he still hasn’t answered even today.

(Performance on screen).

R.Z.K.: We wanted to join machines together with hand-made music. We then made a kind of demo at home. At night Till used to record his songs under the bed-covers. It was late at night and we didn’t want to disturb the neighbors. We sent this tape away and won the Berlin Senate’s Music Competition. On top of this we all had problems in our love-lives. Either we’d just been left, or we’d just left girlfriends. Of course a lot of discussion resulted out of this sorrow. There was a connection between discussion and making music. A kind of elemental force existed back then.

(Performance on screen).

O.R.: Pain or sorrow is the best starting point for artistic expression.

(Performance on screen).

C.S.: We all had this feeling: it’s a new beginning. A new name, new music and all the possibilities of the new system. Meaning that you could make record contracts.

(Video "Du Riechst So Gut" on screen).

C.S.: We’d thought about what we could do differently to the mainstream. Our musical picture of the West was: a bunch of good musicians. All of them trying to copy American and English bands. And so very few individual bands developed.

(Video "Seemann" on screen).

C.F.L.: We found our style by knowing what we didn’t want: no American funk or punk or
something we couldn’t do. We’ve recognized we can only do what we play. And this music is very simple, blunt and monotonous.

P.H.L.: It suits the way we are.

(Video "Stripped" on screen).

R.Z.K.: We’re a very, very open band that’s always trying out new paths.

P.H.L.: Each member of Rammstein has a different opinion on every topic. Of the six of us, one of us is always strongly opposed.

(Video "Engel" on screen).

C.S.: For me personally there’ve been two important developments: first, the music’s become a bit more sensitive. Not so coarse and angry as on the first album.

(Video "Engel" on screen).

C.S.: The best part about the second album is that Till began to sing. And not just talk.

R.Z.K: The big bang when writing a song, and it works, when the harmony changes, when you’ve the feeling that the song’s finished, that feeling is the most rewarding experience for me.

(Video "Du Hast" on screen).

R.Z.K.: I like playing a role on stage and being dressed up. It’s good fun. For the others probably as well. In my opinion this is a big part of the show.

(Video "Du Hast" on screen).

T.L.: Our stature and stage presentation is flirting with the entire thing. It’s got nothing to do with some sort of "man cult" on our part.

C.F.L.: We just do what we feel like.

(Performance on screen).

P.H.L.: There’s a bit of theater involved. But the guy who plays Mephisto has to be a bit Mephisto to play him.  

(Performance on screen).

C.F.L.: You can’t really misunderstand our texts. They’re just normal, romantic lyrics. Every 16-year-old has already seen so much shit on TV. We’re as dangerous as choirboys by comparison.

(Performance on screen).

T.L.: I don’t know why people get so hooked onto these taboo topics. There’re maybe two, three or at most four on one album.

(Video "Seemann" on screen).

T.L.: For some hard riffs I really can’t think of anything else. It’d be like putting a Baroque frame round an abstract picture. At some point it has to fit.

P.H.L.: Hard riff, hard lyrics. Soft riff, soft lyrics.

(Video "Seemann" on screen).

C.F.L.: It’s the same with our photo. After making our first cover photo, they later wrote in the papers: "They’re selling themselves as members of the master race."

(Video "Du Hast" on screen).

C.F.L.: It’s all total nonsense. It’s just a photo.

(Video "Du Hast" on screen).

P.H.L.: I’d rather be a Spaniard. Then we wouldn’t have all these problems.

(Video "Du Hast" on screen).

C.S.: To just scratch the surface, and then read things in that aren’t there, that I really find presumptuous.

(Video "Du Hast" on screen).

O.R.: Our audiences understand us better than journalists do. Unfortunately the journalists do the writing and not our audiences.

C.F.L.: The news media amaze us again and again with their ideas.

(Video "Du Hast" on screen).

T.L.: I always try to make extreme statements, cloaked as allegories. A bit oblique, like in pop songs of the 60s. With lyrics like: "l want to stay with you tonight." And everyone knows they’re both just going to fuck.

(Video "Du Riechst So Gut ‘98" on screen).

C.S.: What I like about our lyrics is they’re on two levels. Never with a bias in one direction.

(Video "Du Riechst So Gut ‘98" on screen).

T.L.: Women want you to go after them. That’s the normal mating ritual. Male peacocks have a large plumage. And each spotted woodpecker is more colorful than the female.

(Video "Du Riechst So Gut ‘98" on screen).

C.S.: I can well imagine it’s impressive to see us in concert. But I don’t know what I’d think
if I weren’t part of the band.

(Performance on screen).

P.H.L.: We’re the quality control. What we like is good, and that’s always been good.

(Performance on screen).

C.S.: Some people say: keep doing the same thing.

(Video "Engel" on screen).

M.: (Message on screen) MY FIRST PAY.

O.R.: I earned my first pay as an apprentice.

R.Z.K.: As a cashier at the bottle-return.

T.L.: I earned my first pay in a peat-cutting company. In the summer holidays. I was fired after 3 days.

M.: (Message on screen) HOPE.

T.L.: Without would mean the end.

C.S.: If you’ve no hope left inside, then you can’t do very much.

R.Z.K.: Yes, absolutely, every day and every morning.

M.: (Message on screen) BELIEF.

P.H.L.: Comes with time.

C.S.: A very important thing.

T.L.: Unimportant.

M.: (Message on screen) RESPECT.

R.Z.K.: You should have a bit of respect for everyone.

P.H.L.: You lose it with time.

O.R.: Is a good thing.

T.L.: Important.

M.: (Message on screen) DOMINATRIX.

O.R.: Dominatrix? Yea, why not?

P.H.L.: Not for me.

C.S.: Not my line.

T.L.: I know one.

(Video "Du Hast" on screen).

C.F.L.: When we wanted to make our first video we didn’t know a video director. We simply sent our CDs to all the directors we knew from movies.

(Video "Rammstein" on screen).

C.F.L.: Including David Lynch. He wrote us a nice letter: Sorry, no time, but the music’s good. He had the CD in the car and had to drive to the shoot location each day. So he just happened to listen to it and got used to it.

R.Z.K.: You hardly sense success yourself. You usually sense success from the people that approach you.

(Video "Stripped" on screen).

R.Z.K.: The people reflect this by reacting differently from before. Because in their eyes you’re suddenly a star.

(Video "Stripped" on screen).

C.S.: I’m happy that we’re all around 30. We can deal differently with success than 18-year-olds.

C.F.L: We’ve been making music now for 16 or 17 years. Towards the end it can’t go fast enough.

(Video "Engel" on screen).

R.Z.K.: The most important thing for this band is staying together. For me there can only be Rammstein in this constellation. If someone left, that’d be the end of Rammstein. That’s why staying together is the most important thing for me.

(Video "Du Hast" on screen with music from single "Rammstein").

Text by Shman.


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