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Press: The New Gods of Hellfire


By Kurt Loder

Taken from MTV.com
June 1998


KURT LODER: Could you explain the group philosophy, as well as what "Rammstein" means?

TILL LINDEMANN, Lead Vocals: The name came from the big catastrophe that happened in Ramstein, which is a place in Germany, where the American airforce had a flight show. They crashed and over 80 people got hurt and killed. So the first song, actually, was about that accident. And then there was always like a cause when they'd say: "Ramstein, Ramstein!" So it came into our head and it stayed there. We just changed the spelling slightly because Ramstein is actually spelt with one "m". It also became somewhat of a provocation, by just repeating it, it kind of became like a symbol for us, an anthem.

KURT: Could you explain the whole story of how you got on "The Lost Highway" soundtrack and how you got involved with David Lynch?

TILL: We sent him a CD because we wanted him to direct our first video. And we sent tapes to other directors as well. He was in the process of doing "The Lost Highway" soundtrack, so he really didn't have time to do it, but at some point, his wife put the CD in the player while they were driving to the set, and during that drive, he fell in love with the music, and that's how he decided to put it on the soundtrack.

KURT: The "Du Hast" video seems very similar to "Reservoir Dogs," the film by Quentin Tarantino. Was that an influence on the video, or just coincidental?

TILL: All six of us are great fans of Tarantino, so we wanted to follow-up on that with our second video. Now we are really big Tarantino fans.

KURT: Could you explain your live act -- the fire in it?

TILL: Basically, we just wanted to provide some visuals, not just sounds, because the sounds you can here at home on the CD. So we added it into our show because we wanted to make a big impression, a visual impression as well as a musical one. But it's hard because we encounter a lot of trouble with fire marshals and authorities, and it just takes a lot of effort and time to get through a show.

KURT: Does it become dangerous and fearful at times?

TILL: We once had an accident in front of a large audience, at a festival where a burning beam fell down. But before that accident happened, we did it all ourselves -- all the pyro effects. And after that accident, we hired professional people to take care of that. As far as we go, we have gotten hurt -- like minor burns on your ear, or your hair kind of catches fire. But nothing really dangerous has happened to us.

KURT: Is that what those burns on top of your head are from?

TILL: It was from something going on on-stage between the band members. I always make sure the audience is never in any kind of danger -- that's a very high priority.

KURT LODER: Is there pressure to translate songs into English when going on tour in America?

CHRISTOPH DOOM SCHNEIDER, Drums: It just makes me wonder why people sing along if they don't understand the German lyrics. But we sing in German and we don't want to translate it into English.

KURT: As far as playing live, what do guys think you do differently than other bands, bands for instance, that use a lot of stage theatrics within their shows -- like industrial bands have? And what do you think they do differently than you?

CHRISTOPH: We make good music, that's the difference.

KURT: Can you tell me about any other East German bands that we don't know about?

CHRISTOPH: There are a few German bands that make a similar kind of music, especially one called "Oomph!".

KURT: Are you into American pop music?

PAUL LANDERS, Guitar: We don't necessarily distinguish between English, American or Spanish pop. We are not necessarily into only American pop... Madonna's last single I liked a lot.

KURT: Living and growing up in East Germany, were you able to hear a lot of American and British music?

CHRISTOPH: A lot of people think that we didn't hear different kinds of music behind the wall, but that's not really the case. We heard a lot through radio and we also heard about Depeche Mode, which was very popular in Germany.

KURT: What are your feelings on Celine Dion?

PAUL: "Titanic"! I like her.

KURT: And what do you think about the Spice Girls?

PAUL: We are not so restricted to just one particular genre.

CHRISTOPH: I admire the Spice Girls' marketing. They never had to play live.

KURT: Would you ever let Puff Daddy do a remix of one of your songs?

CHRISTOPH: I am not necessarily a fan of Puff Daddy, but I thought the last song he did was kind of good, so I wouldn't really mind if he did a remix

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