Rammstein, a German Neue Deutsche Härte band toured South Africa in February 2011. I was privileged enough to see their show at the Coca Cola Dome in Johannesburg. I must say that they delivered one of the best live performances I’ve ever seen. Rammstein are renowned for their brilliant live shows.
I started listening to Rammstein in 1996 or 1997. I still remember hearing Du Hast for the first time. My favorite song by these German rockers is definitely “Sonne”. Hearing them perform this song in Johannesburg has definitely been one of the highlights of 2011.
Here are 20 facts you might not have known about Rammstein
1. Rammstein were formed in Berlin, Germany in 1994.
2. Rammstein have never lost a member since they started. Till Lindemann, Richard Z. Kruspe, Paul H. Landers, Oliver “Ollie” Riedel, Christoph “Doom” Schneider and Christian “Flake” Lorenz have always been the members of the band.
3. The band have sold more than 15 million records worldwide.
4. Contrary to popular belief Rammstein are not associated with or are not influenced by the Nazi movement. It is very sad that the media must describe them as such. This allegation was based on the cover art for their album Herzeleid (which features the bands members with their shirts off, standing in front of a flower), “a photo for a new master race”. Rammstein laughed off all allegations. At the time Landers said “If we were Spanish, we wouldn’t have to deal with this hassle”.
5. The video for their song “Stripped” (a Depeche Mode cover) caused controversy in 1999 because it contained clips from video propagandists Leni Reifenstahl’s ‘Fest der Voelker’ for the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.
6. Rammstein‘s name is taken from a fatal crash during an air show at Ramstein Air Force Base. Their song with the same title is also about this accident.
7. The band was nominated for Metal Performance twice at the Grammy Awards (in 1999 and 2006).
8. David Lynch used 2 songs by Rammstein in the film The Lost Highway which put the band on the map in the United States in the late 1990s.
9. Christoph Schneider was a telephone installer before Rammstein was formed.
10. Till Lindemann was a participant in the European Junior Swimming Championships in Florence in 1978. He was shortlisted to go to 1980 Olympics inMoscow but discontinued the sport soon after.
11. Landers And Kruspe Kissed Onstage To Show Support For LGBTQ+ Rights. This happened in In July 2019, at a concert in Moscow, Russia. The moment was in direct protest of Russia’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws, one of which was passed by Vladimir Putin in 2013.
12. The band actually made themselves bleed for the music video for their song “Rosenrot”. The wounds you see in the music video are real.
13. Till Lindemann has faked being on fire at at least 20 Rammstein concerts. He’s actually been a trained pyrotechnist since 1996. He told Playboy magazine the following in the an interview:
“One time the fans really thought I was burning: we made up a scene like I was having an accident and my leg was burning. Flake came with a fire extinguisher, but it contained a flammable powder. I was in flame, the music ended, the lights in the room went on. I rolled on the stage and assistants came with real fire extinguishers. We did that on 20 shows, but had to stop, because fans considered it to be too much and complained in the Internet. They were really shocked.”
14. Till Lindemann And Flake Lorenz Were Arrested After A Concert in June 1999. Till Lindemann simulated banging from behind with keyboardist Flake Lorenz using a fake phallus. While though both men remained fully clothed during the act, they were arrested for “lewd and lascivious behavior”. This happened in Worcester, Massachussets in the USA.
15. Till Lindemann has been a grandfather since 2008. His daughter gave birth to her son in that year.
16. In Russia and some Scandinavian countries, Rammstein texts are used in schools during German lessons.
17. Drummer Christoph “Doom” Schneider’s music history predates the Berlin Wall coming down in Germany. His first proper band, Die Firma, was part of the underground music scene in the late ’80s and included two government spies.
18. The band have released 7 studio albums to date: Herzeleid (1995), Sehnsucht (1997), Mutter (2001), Reise, Reise (2004), Rosenrot (2005), Liebe ist für alle da (2009) and Untitled (2019). They’ve also released 2 live albums: Live aus Berlin (1999) and Völkerball (2006).
19. Oliver (Ollie) Riedel has come close to being kicked out of the band on nearly a dozen occasions.
20. “Sonne” has been described as the adult version of Snow White. The dwarves worship Snow White but have to work really hard to supply her with gold for her addiction, where she eventually dies of an overdose from gold cocaine.
Well, there you have it, 20 facts you might not have known about Rammstein. If you have something else that you can add, feel free to post it in the comments below.
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