Rammstein is an industrial metal band from Berlin, Germany, that has maintained a huge American following since its inception in 1994. There are six members: Richard Z. Kruspe, Oliver "Ollie" Riedel, Christoph "Doom" Schneider, Till Lindemann, Paul H. Landers, and Christian "Flake" Lorenz.
Rammstein has always been controversial, from its song topics to the elaborate live shows they've staged all over the world.
In addition to the controversy surrounding the music, the band members themselves have been the subject of numerous antics over the years. For instance, guitarist Richard Kruspe had a child with lead singer Till Lindemann's ex-wife. And one night on stage, Lindemann used a dong-shaped canon to blast foam into the crowd during a performance at Madison Square Garden.
Everyone has an opinion about the band, but not everyone knows Rammstein's full story. Check out these Rammstein facts that sound wild - even for this band.
In July 2019, at a concert in Moscow, Russia, guitarists Paul Landers and Richard Kruspe shared a kiss onstage while playing their song "Ausländer." The moment was in direct protest of Russia's anti-LGBTQ+ laws, one of which was passed by Vladimir Putin in 2013.
The law condemns any materials that "[present] distorted ideas about the equal social value of traditional and non-traditional sexual relationships." Violators of the law may be taken into custody and detained, though Landers and Kruspe have not suffered any reported consequences for their show of LGBTQ+ support.
"Rosenrot" is a song about a girl who persuades a priest to attack her parents. While the concept is certainly intense, the members of Rammstein weren't satisfied with the song and wanted something a little more interesting for the video.
They decided to add flagellation to the mix, foregoing all special effects. According to Zoran Bihac, who directed the music video:
"We were going to get a special effects guy to show the whip wounds and the band took me aside and said, ‘Come on, we’ll drink vodka and do it ourselves.’ The blood that you see, the wounds, it’s real stuff, they all went off to this tent that we had for the shoot, drunk a liter of vodka and then they just kept on rocking and went for it, and that was it. That’s what they did, even thinking about it now, it’s incredible.”
One of Rammstein's most notorious songs, "Mein Teil," is based on the true story of Armin Meiwes, a man who is in prison for cannibalism. Specifically, Meiwes dismembered and consumed the body of Bernd Juergen Brandes while the victim was still alive.
Richard Kruspe, the band's guitarist, saw this story as valuable material. With some research, he found out that Meiwes's mother had destroyed almost all of his personal relationships, and concluded that Miewes may have wanted to eat another person in order to always have them with him. "Mein Teil" was directly based on this story; so much so that the band would have used footage from the actual event, which Miewes filmed, if the video wasn't locked up in police custody.
In 2006, Miewes decided to sue, claiming that Rammstein had used his personal story without his permission. He also sued to prevent the release of Butterfly: A Grimm Love Story, a horror film with similar content.
Rammstein uses a lot of pyrotechnics in their performances, so accidentally setting band members on fire isn't exactly implausible. In fact, Till Lindemann actually did scorch his leg during one performance. After that, he started wearing fireproof clothing, but he pretended otherwise on at least 20 occasions. In an interview with Playboy he said:
"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."