Rammstein is a name you either know well, or have never heard at all. Once you see what makes the band what it is, you cannot unsee it. These industrial metal behemoths are undeniable, and their live show has to be seen to be believed. Formed in former East Berlin in the early 90s, all of the members came from musical backgrounds, picking up instruments and playing in bands through their teens and early 20s. Getting by in former GDR could be difficult, and two of the members became good friends as they played music and worked in bootlegged clothing together. It was a better wage than the alternative that many of the other members worked in. Engineering and factory work, as well as military service was the norm, and hard to get away from. Taking what they learned, meeting through mutual love of punk and metal music, Rammstein came together after the split of two other bands, just after the fall of the Berlin Wall. They took their name from the Ramstein Air Base air show disaster in 1988, and said that everything they would do under the banner would be in tribute of the seventy people killed, and hundreds of others who were injured. Their first album is entitled “Herzeleid”, which means “heartache” in English, and the closing track on the album is a poetic and dark observation of the disaster itself.
Since “Herzeleid” in 1995, Rammstein have released five studio albums as well as live albums and collections of remixes and b-sides. In 1999, their track “Du Hast” from their second album “Sehnsucht” was featured on the soundtrack to The Matrix, and propelled their popularity outside of Europe and into The Americas. They continue to have a strong following in the US, Canada, Brazil and Mexico. Their third album was the most difficult to make, and involved a lot of creative differences, as well as a will to rebel against their newfound fame. As a result, “Mutter” features tracks with moments of ironic humor, in which frontman Till Lindemann asks the audience to sing with him, but him replying that he can’t understand them. Many of the lyrics featured in Rammstein’s songs are full of double meaning, controversial topics and even old-German words. The band also write in English, French, Spanish and Russian - all of which Lindemann is fluent in. This cements their fans as loyal and expecting of a certain kind of tongue-in-cheek set of subject matters, and it also leads others to despising them enough to blame them for “the destruction of youth”.
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Rammstein 2017 US Tour
The Rammstein live show is a spectacle of pyrotechnics (even leading to Lindemann being a trained pyrotechnician in order to make all of it safe), and loud metal music. There are six members including two guitarists, a drummer with kit and electronic set up, and a keyboardist and sampler. The band use live loops as well as playing instruments to ensure that the whole thing is in the moment and as loud as possible. The band are about to release a live DVD/Blu-Ray and album package, “Rammstein: Paris”, and have apparently written over 35 songs since their last album. The new album is rumoured for release at some point this year, though there are no details on it. However, whether or not Rammstein are playing new songs, their lengthy back catalogue will guarantee the show of a lifetime, with something for everyone. Rammstein will headline Amnesia Rockfest in Montebello in Canada from June 22-25 before playing New York, Chicago, Dallas and Las Vegas on July 1.