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Rammstein A - Z Part One

16 February 2010 at 21.53

Think you know everything there is to know about the Sonisphere bound German mentalists Rammstein? Test your knowledge with Rock Sound’s A- Z guide!

Think you know everything there is to know about the Sonisphere bound German mentalists Rammstein? Test your knowledge with Rock Sound’s A- Z guide!

From Arrested Development to Zven, literally, we reveal everything about your favourite pyromaniacs…

A = Arrested Development
While touring the US as part of Korn’s Family Values tour back in 98, vocalist Till Lindemann and keyboardist Christian Lorenz were arrested for “lewd and lascivious behaviour” in Worcester, Massachusetts. Local cops took umbrage to the two musicians simulating an excitable bout of man-on-man action during the song ‘Bück Dich’, and promptly carted the pair off to jail.

B = Berlin
As immortalised in their Live Aus Berlin DVD, the German capital is considered the band’s hometown. Built around the river Spree, its many tourism highlights include the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate and street vendors selling a variety of meat-based treats.

C = Controversy
No strangers to controversy, Rammstein delight in eliciting outrage from the moral majority. If they’re not busy using their videos to paint Snow White as a junkie (‘Sonne’) or to celebrate the beauty of the oiled, naked male form (‘Mann Gegen Mann’), if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing outrageously.

D = Dildos
Clearly a band with dildos on the brain, the ultra limited edition box set of new album ‘Liebe Ist Für Alle Da’ comes in a flight case that contains handcuffs, lube and six (yes, six) dildos, allegedly moulded on the, ahem, unmentionables of each member of the band.

E = Emigrate
Featuring Rammstein guitarist Richard Z. Kruspe and Clawfinger drummer Henka Johansson, Emigrate’s self-titled debut album was released in 07 and utilised the talents of Rammstein’s producer, Jacob Hellner, and artwork designer Dirk Rudolph.

F = Flake
AKA Christian Lorenz. Sporting the sexy, nerd-chic look, on the band’s ‘Reise’ tour Flake was seen inside a giant cooking pot being blasted with a flamethrower during performances of ‘Mein Teil’. Apparently the sides of the pot would get so hot that Lorenz often burnt his hands getting out. When it comes to being buggered or burnt, Flake is Rammstein’s go-to guy, much to his (probable) dismay.

G = Gigs
Famous for their spectacular arena shows, it may surprise you to learn that Rammstein’s first ever London show took place in a tiny pub / club in Finsbury Park called the Powerhaus. Failing to take the seismic shift in venue size (from stadium to somewhere the approximate size of a toilet) into consideration, the band failed to downsize their use of pyrotechnics. Not only did this result in one crew member being carted off to hospital, but meant that their second UK date at the London Astoria was effectively banned following restrictions to the band’s stage show. Interference from the powers that be failed to prevent Rammstein’s next show at the Brixton Academy going ahead and selling out in advance, proving that, for this band, there would be no compromise.

H = ‘Herzeleid’
Rammstein’s debut album, ‘Herzeleid’, saw the band preoccupied with matters of the heart. Translated as ‘Heartbreak’, musically the album featured a greater emphasis on electronics than later offerings and remains a favourite of many fans to this day.

I = Influences
Spearheading the Neue Deutsche Härte (New German Hardness) scene, Rammstein’s tanz-metal (dance metal) sound can be attributed directly to bands like Ministry and Oomph!

J = Josef Fritzl
Hypothetically the winner of Austria’s Worst Dad Of The Year award for 24 years running, Josef Fritzl inspired the song ‘Wiener Blut’ from the band’s most recent album, ‘Liebe Ist Für Alle Da’. Having previously used the disturbing case of German cannibal Armin Meiwes as inspiration for the track ‘Mein Teil’, it seemed Rammstein were almost obliged to tackle the twisted subject matter, a song drummer Christoph Schneider described as “a horror movie”.

K = Kitchen Utensils
The cover to their second album, ‘Sehnsucht’, features shots of the band’s faces adorned with various kitchen utensils and bits of metal in this probable homage to the artwork of ‘Blackout’ by fellow German rockers the Scorpions. Rumours that the original ‘Sehnsucht’ artwork featured one member of the band with a whisk up his bum are entirely fabricated, but let’s face it, would anyone be surprised?

L = Lost Highway
David Lynch, director of such mind-boggling fare as Eraserhead and Twin Peaks, is a friend and fan of the band. Rammstein were asked to contribute to the soundtrack of his 97 movie Lost Highway, which also featured Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie and Smashing Pumpkins.

M = ‘Mutter’
Released in 01, ‘Mutter’ is, arguably, the definitive Rammstein album. The highlights are numerous; ‘Links 2 3 4’, ‘Mutter’, ‘Feuer Frei!’ and ‘Sonne’. It just didn’t get any better than this and its influence can be heard today in the work of younger bands like Deathstars and Hanzel Und Gretyl.

Check back tomorrow for Part Two!

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