If there was ever a question of whether or not music could break the barrier of language, Rammstein was proof that it was possible. Sure, there are certain non-musical aspects to the best-selling German act that are hard to ignore. But image alone doesn’t sell records, and Rammstein’s blend of dance metal has made a mark all of its own. Founder and guitarist, Richard Z. Kruspe is now ready to unveil the next chapter in his musical evolution. In order to save his sanity and salvage Rammstein, Kruspe decided to embark upon a solo career. The fruits of that labor have now been unleashed in Kruspe’s newest band EMIGRATE. They band recently released three songs, “My World”, “Wake Up” and “Babe”. For the track “My world” the band released a video with scenes of ‘Resident Evil.
The Rocker and I spoke with the musical visionary and talked about his new band Emigrate. Here is what he shared with us…
AAM: Talk to us about your band, Emigrate, when did it evolve?
Richard Z Kruspe: The Emigrate actually started in 2001.
AAM: Would you consider Emigrate a side project?
RZK: It’s not a side project. It’s a new project and it will continue, and will be always a part of me.
AAM: Are you satisfied with the response you’ve gotten so far with Emigrate?
RZK: You know, I have never received more positive reviews in my life about my music. Even more than with Rammstein, so I am very please with response that I’ve been getting so far.
AAM: How important was it for you to form a band different from what you did with Rammstein?
RZK: It was really important for me to distant myself from what I did with Rammstein because a couple of years I did not feel healthy being in that band. I needed something else. Emigrate was formed to balance myself out to cure myself to go back to Rammstein and be back at the top of my game. Both with Rammstein and with Emigrate.
AAM: Three of the songs on the album, “My World”, “Wake Up” and “Babe”, are quite a different direction musically than what you did with Rammstein. By the way all three are amazing songs. Do you worry about what the die hard Rammstein fan thinks about Emigrate as far as musical direction?
RZK: I think to make music, it is something really selfish. You can’t think in the beginning about anything else besides yourself. So for that, I never really thought about what everybody else was going to think. I had to make myself happy and do what I have to do. I think it’s really important in life in general. We’re here basically to do our own things. One of the reasons why I feel this way is because you learn when you go the opposite direction.
AAM: Emigrate has more of a hard rock edge to it versus the work you did with Rammstein. Were there any keyboards used at all in making the Emigrate album?
RZK: It’s funny because a couple months ago, I listened to the record for the first time. I was kind of surprised myself how rock-oriented this record sounded. I always pictured myself much darker in my new idea of what I am. I’m a big believer that an environment or the city leads you into the sound. I kind of realized that even in the punk era in the 70s, The Ramones sounded really rock. Maybe it’s something about living in New York.
AAM: Speaking of New York, have you made the transition from moving from Berlin to New York?
RZK: You know what? It’s really the city. I don’t know what it is, but New York just drives me in insane when it comes to creativity. I can write. Getting up everyday in the morning and doing all my things that I do in the studio and I’m writing everyday. The city is great inspiration to me. It’s good. Maybe it’s also the house that I’m living in. I’m living in an old firehouse and it’s real spooky. It’s haunted, actually.
AAM: Who are some of your musical influences?
RZK: There’s, people that I admire, that I appreciate music-wise. I love Jimmy Page as a guitar player, I love Bon Scott as a singer, I love Jeff Buckley as a singer, I love Trent Reznor as a lyricist. They are people at extreme that I like, but it’s not that I’m into it. I wished sometimes that I could be more focused in a way. Focused means like, being into New York Hardcore. That’s what I do, my whole life. But I’m not. And you listen to the tracks and there’s a lot of different angles on the record. They only thing I realize as well is that in the end it became kind of a concept record, because all those themes, talking about my first entry to the new world or leaving my old world and all my experience that I lived through this time, are in those songs.
AAM: Sounds like you are really focused with both bands?
RZK: Yes. I can really concentrate on what I’m doing, which is basically playing the guitar. Before I was doing so many things that I couldn’t really concentrate on what we were actually doing. At the moment I’m happy to be just a guitar player. That’s cool! I don’t take things as personally anymore. For me, it’s such a big step to give up control. It’s something that you have to learn in life. For me to give up control and let it go and to trust in this band, it was a big step and that was really important to me. At the end of the day, it saved the band. That’s what I always say that, Emigrate, for me at least, saved Rammstein.
AAM: What about touring for Emigrate?
RZK: Eventually, there will be one but at the moment nothing is planned because. I gave my word to the band that the band is always priority number one, which at the moment is writing new songs for the new record. So there’s no time at the moment.
AAM: Richard truly a pleasure talking with us. The album is amazing and we are sure it would be a success for you.
Richard Z Kruspe: Thank you very much it was a pleasure for me as well. Have a great day!
By The Atomic Chaser & The Rocker
Date: January 24, 2008
Original source: All Access Magazine