You have me – you have me hooked Rammstein, with your wacky videos, your over the top pyrotechnics in which you light your keyboardest on fire, your simulated sodomy on stage, your crazy gimmicks (such as selling a box set of six penis replica dildos for each member of the band) and of course your well written punny songs. I have been a large fan of yours for the last 13 years. After watching a few silly Rammstein videos today, I decided to give a piece of my blog to this bizarre and fascinating act.
Since their formation in 1994, the band has not experienced any changes in line-up, which is pretty remarkable for a band that has been in business for almost 20 years.
Genre: The best way to describe Rammstein as a genre is “Neue Deutsche Härte,” which means “New German Hardness.” They are also Industrial, Hard Rock.
The Name: The band itself was named after the “Ramstein air-show disaster,” but the extra ‘m’ in the name makes it sound like “ramming stone.” A Ramming stone truly is the best way to describe their sound, it is hard, heavy, chock full of blatant sexuality, aggression and apologizes for nothing.
The Du Hast Debate: Most people became familiar with Rammsetin after “Du Hast” was popularized by the Matrix. Thus starting the never ending debate on whether the song meant “you have me” or “you hate me.” “Du Hast” actually means “you have,” but it is a play on words. The German word for hate is “hassen.” So if you pronounce “hast” like “haasst,” it sounds a little like hate. While it is true that they sang “you hate me” in an English version of the song, this was not a direct translation. Rammstein often creates puns like this to cause confusion and humor among those who try to understand their lyrics.
Why Does Rammstein Only Sing in German? Well…that’s not exactly true all the time. Rammstein has written some lyrics in English, Spanish, Russian and French. Yet a majority of their music is decisively in German. This is big for a world famous band with 7.2 million fans on facebook. Most bands that become global start singing all their songs in English to be more universal and sell more albums. Yet Rammstein has enjoyed tremendous success despite their refusal to abandon their mother tongue.
The Bassist, Oliver Riedel states “German language suits heavy metal music. French might be the language of love, but German is the language of anger.”
Download 2013 Festival: Rammstein will also be headlining in the Download 2013 Festival this weekend. Don’t miss it! Download is a three day festival in England that really makes me wish I was European. This festival includes a diverse array of musical giants, including Iron Maiden, Satyricon, Devin Townsend and more.
Shows: Rammstein has all kinds of zany antics in their shows. Key among these are their pyrotechnics and blatant simulations of sexual acts and BDSM on stage.
Bück Dich (Uncensored)
In Bück Dich, Till Lindeman (vocalist) simulates sodomy with Christian “Flake” Lorenz (keyboardest), then proceeds to ejaculate on the audience. Of course Till is actually using a dildo and the “seamen” is just water mixed with Ouzo. This act even got the two arrested at a concert in Massachusetts, where they were each fined $200 and spent the night in jail.
Videos: Rammstein also delivers several injections of insanity and bizarre humor in their videos.
Sonne (Sun): Snow White is a dominatrix of sorts who spanks the seven dwarfs and overdoses on sparkly gold cocaine.
Rosenrot (Rose Red): Some advice. If you happen to be a priest in a Rammstein video, don’t fall in love with a 14 year old girl. She will convince you to kill her parents and then have you burned at the stake. “Rosenrot” itself contain lyrics from Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s poem “Heidenröslein.” The plot of this video mirrors the songs lyrics, in which a man embarks on a pointless and dangerous quest for his lover’s amusement.
Engel (Angel): This is for the folks out there with foot fetishes. At 2:07 you’ll understand what I mean. However, the singing children in the cage might be a little bit of a turn off. Also, I learned when Rammstein goes to strip clubs, the strippers can magically turn into band members at the end of the video. Pretty cool!
Amerika: This song may seem like an ode to America at first. It contains images of different cultures around the world dancing and celebrating American culture. Buddhist monks eat burgers. An African family eats pizza and watches TV. Yet true to Rammstein’s sense of irony, the song is the farthest thing from a ballad to “America.”
Most of the song is in German, but one of the few English lyrics states “This is not a love song, I don’t sing my mother tongue.” It is clear that the undertones of this song are something darker. Examine the following lyrics:
when there’s dancing I want to lead, even if you’re whirling around alone. Let yourselves be controlled a little. I’ll show you how it really goes. We’re making a nice round dance…I know moves that are really useful and I will protect you from missteps. And whoever doesn’t want to dance at the end, doesn’t know yet that they must.