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Rammstein – Making Of The Video "Du Hast".
(From "Made In Germany" DVD, 2011).
English subtitles.
Age rating: 12+.


P.C. - Philipp Stolzl (Regisseur).
S.P. - Sebastian Pfaffenbichler (Operator).
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).

P.C.: Rammstein is a very greatful band. It is rewarding making videos with their music.
You can tell that the music is very cinematic. You feel: "I can edit something great with that" or the music brings an image to mind.
To apply the German language in such a way and binding it with rock music, I found that new and clever. I was really impressed when I heard it for the first time.

S.P.: I think I saw them in concert before the video. It was a very opera-like production and I thought they were good guys, good rock music.

(Photos with Rammstein on screen).

P.C.: I remembered them from the last shooting of "Angel". But I heard the song and knew that these were six boys that looked the way they did and just let myself go with the way the song felt – the lyrics and the music and what I could see.

P.C. & S.P.: (On shooting stage) The last shoot - the bag. We do that with a wide lens 14 please... 10.

S.P.: I was a very young cameraman and had made a few videos – just horrible pop music – and suddenly this music video came in with good rock music and Philip asked me if I wanted to do this with him and then we did it. And it was a particular style that we had in mind that was different from anything else on the market at the time.

(Shooting video "Du Hast" on screen).

P.C.: This strange combination of heavy metal and electro music was something that I felt was new about Rammstein and that remains, even after the numerous attempted copies that appeared later on.

P.C.: (On shooting stage) Sound off. Okay. And action.

(Shooting video "Du Hast" on screen).

P.C.: (On shooting stage) Cut. It's okay.

R.Z.K.: This song is actually about a kind of loyalty. We see Rammstein like a kind of family. We have a strong awareness, a strong sense of tradition in this band. And for me this song is a bit like it's a bit like that promise of faith we know from weddings. That's kind of been integrated into this family.

P.C.: Rammstein is simple due to its music being hard and a bit sweaty, and due to there being six big angular men that convey the feeling of a men's alliance, a gang, an army; all these associations come to mind. And when you do something cinematic with this you notice that it takes the same line and that it works. And Rammstein comes across well and that makes it live. They start to twinkle. That's why I think the video works so well.

S.P.: I don't know what it's like now, but back then it definitely seemed to me as though they were one. When people are together for so long and when there are several of them, I reckon that this makes smaller groups form with some always being outsiders, but in principle they stick together and are one band.

C.S.: We were no longer the youngest; we're all a bit older now and have had long term relationships over several years. Some with children and some separated. We started all over again just like when we were 14. That made the energy what it was. So everything was brushed aside, and there was just the band.

P.C.: And as always it did have something to do with man and woman and with sex and love and death and blood and so on. Like all Rammstein things it's quite a sinister song.

S.P.: The image they have in public is like with any artist - not how they really are; they're very different, they're sensitive, quieter and more introvert than when they perform.

P.C.: To me the boys were more of a Prenslauer Berg artist collective that made a great and powerful job of inventing Rammstein and presenting and perfecting it. I think they're a classic example of the fact that the individuals and what is created don't necessarily have to be linked.

S.P.: Well, it is certainly meant to be provocative. The question is what's behind it. But I think it's good that way if provocation shakes people up a bit. I hope that it's provocative and not that you just take the symbols and use them. That wouldn't be a good thing.

P.C.: Basically the songs are complex and riddled artworks. Even the lyrics are associative and metaphoric. And the songs aren't interpretable in any simple political sense.

P.C.: (On shooting stage) Action.

(Shooting video "Du Hast" on screen).

P.C.: (On shooting stage) Cut. Wondeful. Okay. Another rehearsal.

(Shooting video "Du Hast" on screen).

S.P.: (On shooting stage) Yes, that's good.

P.C.: (On shooting stage) Wonderful. We'll film that.

O.R.: (On shooting stage) I've filmed it.

(All laugh).

P.C.: (On shooting stage) Really? Okay. Then we've finished. Thanks.

S.P.: He had always had a very strong visual approach; he always put it together. It was always important how it looked. There were a big discussion during interior shootings. When the boys are waiting for one of them and he has to come out of the dark. How dark that should be. Darkness was an important element in this film. Then I set up lamps but I had to take them all down again. It had to be completely dark. He had to step out of the dark and into the light. The visual aspect was always very important to him and it was something he knew a lot about.

P.C.: Particularly in Du Hast there are several David Lynch quotes, the explosion that goes backwards was pinched from "Lost Highway". And this black hut really is very Lynch-like. Otherwise there is a clear quote from Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs", where you've got men in black suits in a warehouse that draw blood from each other.

S.P.: I think this comes from a long tradition of men going on a hunt together and fighting together. I think that it comes more from that. But it's important for men. They always need mates. At least one of them.

P.C.: They were Lynch fans, too. And it fitted together well with this kind of sinister, mysterious film aesthetics. And then I have to say that I really did like this heavy, surreal, expressive style of verse by Lindemann. I just love those powerful, sinister colours he paints with.

(Shooting video "Du Hast" on screen).

P.C.: So the pictures he uses are very cinematic. Which makes it very easy to be inspired.

C.S.: Well, what moved us to ask him to sing with us was more his type, his appearance, and we we thought that he would come across well on stage and that he just should try to do it. At the beginning he didn't think he was up to it. As I said, it took a bit of time until something useful came out of it After we performed the first concerts he broke the ice. He realised what it's like on stage and what you can do as a singer. From then on he was hooked.

P.C.: Fire's always good when it's part of a Rammstein performance. Because fire is a Rammstein motif. It's part of an element that plays a large role in Rammstein. On videos, on stage there's always fire.

T.L.: Somehow, the music is not really the kind that you can dance to on stage, or jump around to. I just stood there and felt like a real prat, so I thought about making up for it by doing something on stage. And beforehand when I saw a band that were just making music, there was nothing really to look at other than them.
Nothing going on… on stage. And that's how the fire came in; it looks good and people are always a bit scared of it. It was a good lead-in. And at some point it just got more intense. The coat and all the effects and trappings.

S.P.: There was the big scene – a person on fire. There was a stuntman with an asbestos suit on and flammable materials wrapped around him. He was set on fire. Then he had to go through the room - on fire. And Philip was so fascinated by this performance that he forgot to say "cut" to the stuntman. And a stuntman just carries on working until someone says "cut" because he never knows when the end comes. And no one said "cut". We all stood there with our mouths open and no one said "cut, cut". The assistant director just stood and stared and didn't say "cut". The stuntman just carried on walking and got hotter and hotter. And then he jumped into a water tub himself because no one had told him to stop.

(Shooting video "Du Hast" on screen).

T.L.: I've often had a few burn blisters on my arms and back. They were quite bad. And when you're on tour they fill up with puss and the next day you're left with the same mark. Sometimes I got fountains on my face, but with time you learn to cope with it and avoid these more dangerous variations. You become more careful.

(Shooting video "Du Hast" on screen).

S.P.: It was cold. It was wet. And it took ages. No, it really was fun. We were at an abandone airport runway and actually we wanted to film in the sunshine but it was raining. And then the wind picked up and not much worked. But we got through it. It was a good shooting.

(Photos with Rammstein on screen).

P.C.: I'm quite a preparation freak so I always come really well prepared to the set. And that's what I did then, too. So I always work with storyboards so the shots are always defined with precision beforehand. I'd had a look at the location often enough and have fiddled things right down to the last detail. And that's why it tends to work quite well.

S.P.: I think it was his first video, a very good, very powerful one. It supported the band and the music. At that time that kind of video didn't exist in German-speaking countries. Not in that style and form. It was a bit violent but also very authentic. The girl that played in it was an actress from the Volksbuhne Theatre. Actors had never been cast for music videos before, it was unimaginable. They'd always used models. She was an actress who played very well.
It was a video full of content, and nothing like that existed in German-speaking countries at the time.

P.C.: Actually I wanted to have a real character face apart from the fact that you can work better with an actress than with a model, and it was Astrid Mayerfeld, a star from the Volksbuhne. And I was really glad that she agreed to do it. But that has to do with the fact that Castorf had always let Rammstein play in his performances. At that time there were many Rammstein fans at the Volksbuhne.

S.P.: There were scenes with her sitting in a car and waiting for him. It was just beautiful.
And when you film that you can feel that it's incredibly good. And you feel emotion - an emotion that you feel through the camera. I had the feeling that it was the first time that we did something authentic that was filmed with actors. And you always try to make something genuine. And this authenticity was suddenly there.

P.C.: I still think the video is good and shows music and the band in a way that came off well. They're people who invented themselves through hard work.


Text by Shman.


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