Richard Z. Kruspe interview in Metal Hammer Poland

Feuerrader.pl as a Polish fanclub,  were approached in late 2009 by Polish Metal Hammer journalist and asked for questions, that will be used in interview with Rammstein. Then on November the 27th when R+ played in Katowice, questions were asked (Richard was answering) and then published in February 2010 issue of Metal Hammer Polish Edition.

Author: Ewelina Potocka/ Feuerrader
Source: Metal Hammer Issue 02.2010; interview taken on 27th of November 2009
Translation: Joanna Kujawa, Łukasz Adamczyk, Marek Piorko

Many thanks to the members of Feuerrader – Official Polish Rammstein Fanclub. Unspoken help was delivered by Michał Zapart and Tomasz “Diesel” Konrady – thank you for the commitment.


THE INTERVIEW

Rammstein is in the spotlights again. The Germans issued their sixth studio album at the end of the last year, which sparked even more controversy than their previous recordings. In the last days of November the group gave stunning performance in Katowice, much to the fans enjoyment. The Rammstein’s guitarist, Richard Z. Kruspe, was kind enough to talk to us before the Spodek gig. This time the questions were prepared by members of Feuerrader – the official Polish Rammstein Fanclub! Just in the matter of three days more than a hundred of questions were published on the fanclub’s site. We have selected the most interesting ones and presented them to Richard.

Qubass: There have already been songs about Moscow, Paris, America, a song in Spanish – can we count on a track with a Polish flavor?

Huh, we don’t plan such things. They come naturally, from within. This time we have an English touch again… To tell the truth, I can’t say anything because I don’t write the lyrics. I don’t think about it because I can’t imagine work on a next album right now. I am glad we were able to finish this album because I had moments of doubt that this undertaking was ever going to succeed. So, the answer for the time being is: NO.

Hostur: Is it true you don’t want ever to record with Rammstein again?

Yes! In this point in time for sure, but nobody knows what’s gonna happen in 3-4 years. I think that the current band situation is that no one wants to record the next album.

Metal Hammer: So what’s gonna be with you?

I’m happy we’re playing concerts together at the moment. I don’t want to leave the band, don’t get me wrong. I love the boys and everything’s OK. I’m happy we’re playing gigs, but I don’t feel like recording another album. Simply, our creative work at new tracks is not a priority for me. I think that Rammstein have achieved a certain level. Let’s take AC/DC for instance – I don’t care much about their new album, I just want to see them live and listen to their old tunes. Same case with us. People always come to our show because they want to listen to the old songs and they don’t care about the new.

MH: Do you like your new album then?

Let me put it this way – I don’t have the best memories when I think about out last album. There was plenty of suffering, pain and frustration, in which I am not able to see anything positive. As time passes, this memories fade away and you can just listen to the music. Apart from that, I think this album has plenty of good moments, e.g. “Roter Sand” is just outstanding. Lyrics and the music perfectly come together, this is arguably one of my favorite songs.

Luk_ramm: Allegedly you had a conflict with Paul while recording the album.

I think we’re the total opposites. When he says black, I say white and the other way round. It’s very hard for us to reach a compromise. This has always been our problem, we have always chosen different paths. Everyone in the band has their own opinion, so I cannot say that the conflict was only between me and Paul. Each wants to push forward his own ideas and it has been difficult to make decisions. It’s hard to live with the awareness that you have to constantly struggle with opposition, that you have to fight. Problems multiply with time, and because we hadn’t talked about them, the frustration only grew deeper. However, I need to say that the differences mainly work out in favor of the band. The truth is we all need one another. I bet if anyone was to leave the band, Rammstein would cease to exist. All in all it doesn’t really matter who has the biggest influence on whoever, because there is this constant good vibe that drives us. Even if you hate one another, you’ll eventually love one another again.

Sauvage: There is a great division over “Pussy”, some of the fans don’t like it. Do you regret this brave move?

No. When we talked to the record label about “Pussy” we felt it was preferred to proceed just like with previous recordings. It other words, the 1st single was supposed to be an anthemic track with a choir, such as “Mein Teil”. We felt really bored with that, with repeating the same trick. The strength of Rammstein has always been to cross the boundaries, regardless whether it’s been music, lyrics or imagery. “Pussy” is different, even though it is heavily influenced by pop. For me it’s a typical party song, nothing more. So I felt that in case of the video we can afford doing something visually totally different and darker. We wanted to juxtapose a pop tune with a strong image. We asked Jonas Akerlund if he’s got an idea how to do it, so he immediately suggested shooting porn, haha! You didn’t have to ask twice – we instantly agreed. So I regret nothing. I’d have to even say it’s totally opposite. We initially didn’t care if they were going to promote it in the media. We were totally hooked with the idea of shooting the video this way. It was clear we weren’t going to be in the TV, but the Internet still remained the open issue. And what happened – in just two weeks time we had 15 billion views! I am proud that we achieved such a result, because it proved there is always another way you can follow. You can succeed without trying to conform to anyone.

MH: You chose different path that turned out to be right.

Sure. To tell the truth, if you ask me, I don’t like the video at all and sure as hell I don’t think that this is the best video in Rammstein’s videography. I like the idea that was behind the project, though.

Pancur: What were your families’ reactions to your roles in the “Pussy” video?

I knew from the start it was going to be the first video I won’t be able to show to my mum. I was excited because she comes to our shows, loves our band but I knew that if she watches the video she won’t enjoy it. I still don’t know if she already has seen it. My 19-year-old daughter has fallen in love with this video, my girlfriend too. It’s nothing special to me. Sure, no one has done a video this way, but it’s not hardcore porn, it’s just a little bit of sex. You watch it like a film. I sometimes wonder why “Pussy” was that scandalous. I don’t really get it.

MH: I like the video, because it makes me laugh when I watch it. Tons of fun.

Sure, the video was meant to be fun. We’ve got sense of humor, we want to laugh and it’s all about it.

MH: How did you shoot the video?

I don’t want to talk about this. It’s a secret.

Dzar: You have stated that your videos contain extra meaning not included in the lyrics. Why in case of“Pussy” both lyrics and the video are one-dimensional?

There’s a certain kind of problem with such statements – there is six of us in the band and I don’t know who said this. I’d say you could push a video in a different direction than the lyrics of the song. It’s the perfect situation and I love to change the story and to present it from a different perspective. Sometimes it doesn’t work, though. This was the case and I had nothing more to do than just to accept it. But just wait for the 2nd single “Ich Tu Dir Weh” and you’ll see what’s going to happen.

Moonwalker: Your music is fresh, heavy and very inspiring guitar-wise. How often do you practice? Which exercises do you mostly focus on?

I don’t really practice much. My only practice is writing songs. When I started playing the guitar I used to practice a lot, but the truth is that I got quickly bored with that. I’m a composer and I don’t care much how you play the guitar or the piano. My task is to be creative. During this tour I have a few instructional DVDs with me, but I use them mainly for a warm-up. The only thing I practice is writing songs.

LimaK: Why aren’t there any guitar solos on the latest album?

It’s not true, there’s one! There is only one because, hmm, good question! Our whole music activity has never been based on soloing. It’s the spirit of time. Heavy metal, especially in the 80’s, was mainly based on guitar solos. We have never really cared to play in that way. For us a song is more important than a guitar show-off. I don’t take guitar solos as anything special and we are just not that kind of band.

Rebeliantka: Are there any words you tend to overuse while recording a new material?

Yes, we have one and its “braten”. We use it to describe a heavy riff. Every time a guitar plays harder we say “braten” (roast)

Elvis: Do you listen to your old albums or just record them, play during the concerts and then just are fed up with them?

When we’re recording I really listen to our music a lot. I analyze it and listen really closely to catch every detail. When an album is ready I am generally so soaked with it that I really can’t stand it anymore. However, when I go jogging in the morning and one of our songs is on my mp3 player, I won’t overreact and skip it.

Domii: Which songs do you enjoy playing the most during shows?

I love performing “Roter Sand”, “Sonne”, “Du Hast”, “Mein Herz Brennt”. Should I tell some more?

Feyd: Why does Till use a playback in some songs during this tour?

I don’t think, he would sing from playback. Sometimes during choruses some phrases are played from “the can*” – to strengthen the message.

Wahnsinn: How do you find yourselves in the world in which more and more often the audience records….” – how do you find today’s crowd recording the show by a cell phone instead of enjoying it? You can see those films 15 minutes after the end in internet.

Naturally, you will not find any lighters during live show these days. But hey, we all live in this specific moment in time and everything in the world changes. However when you play the concert, you do not feel such difference, everything is the same. People make pictures, but they still like our music. I often check YouTube, and when I like some recordings, then I ask for a copy.

Caron: You have a marvelous support act during this tour – Combichrist. I like them very much, but surely for some fans they would be musically different too much. Why such an idea?

I love Combichrist. I know Joey, the band’s drummer, because he played with me in Emigrate. One day he asked me if Combichrist could tour with us. Rammstein boys enjoyed the idea very much. I hear lots of positive opinions about this band. They are very kind people, we have a lot of fun together. Many times we dance the whole night together after the concert. I am really glad that they are with us.

Dominik: Who designs the concert outfits?

Two designers from Berlin – Irmgard and Sofie. We work with them for almost ten years, everything began during “Mutter” works. They are very creative.

Metal Hammer: Do they also listen to Rammstein?

I don’t think so. They know the band, of course, but they rather cooperate with us in terms of design.

Hank: How long did the current tour preparations last? It is easy to notice, that you did your time on the gym.

I always do sports and try to be in shape. It has become the part of my life. I think lot, so to have some balance, I also train my body. My day begins with exercises – no matter which. So in terms of new tour this was nothing unusual for me.

Metal Hammer: Do you still live in New York?

Yes, I am still there.

Raddstein234: How much do you earn on one concert?

Haha, hmm… I don’t know, really. Surely more than a year or four years ago.

Cruzifixus: Can you – as a band – participate in some sort of charity? For example in fundraising for treatment of sexual violence victims or kids with mental disorders?

Personally I don’t like, when two things are being mixed. If you want to do something good, do it without talking about it everywhere. I have nothing against charity, but music is music. You can help people without being so overly announcing on your album. So I don’t think, that Rammstein as a band would participate in such events.

von_egern: On YouTube and similar websites there are lots of movie clips re-made by your fans. For example the famous “Bayern des samma mia”. Do you often watch such clips?

Yes, it is definitely very funny. Especially, when two years ago “Bayern des samma mia” appeared – we have laughed our asses off. Some time ago on our concert, boys entered the stage and performed this track. Sometimes these pieces are really creative and I enjoy watching them very much. I am a fan of such actions.

Dominik: Are there perhaps any song titles, that haven’t made it to the 2CD edition of current album?

Yes, I think that there are like two such tracks… Someone asked me recently about one song, that could fit into „Twilight” movie soundtrack. I do not know if this song was finally placed there, I have to ask.

Mortiana: Is it true, that some of your tracks will be used in the movie „The Absinthe Drinkers”?

I know nothing about it.

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