Richard Zven Kruspe is best known as one of the two guitarists for RAMMSTEIN, yet he is also getting more and more success with his other band EMIGRATE. Initially this started out as a side-project for Kruspe since he wrote more music than his band members could record, but with the well-received second album Silent So Long hitting stores this month EMIGRATE is now becoming a force to be reckoned with in its own right.

Would you agree that Silent So Long sounds more catchy and accessible than the first Emigrate-album? Are there any other significant differences between the two albums?

gallery_10659398_874403942570091_335762033785378754_nThere are a few key differences between both albums; the first one I recorded in New York, and the second one in Berlin. My New York-record was more rocky, the second one is moodier and darker, and I believe Berlin has a big influence on that.  Another big difference between the albums is that I wasn’t yet ready to be a singer at the time of the first album. I was trying to be a singer, but I needed seven years to find that mental switch and flick the singer-button on in order for me to enjoy singing. With this second album I delivered vocals of which I can say “this is cool”.

When it comes to recording the guitars for this album, I had such a specific idea of the sound I was chasing that I basically ended up re-recording all parts five times. I ended up with 21 songs recorded that each had between 16 to 18 guitars on them. Replayed by five, you can do the math, I spent a lot of time recording guitars over and over again. I ended up giving my guitar engineer the key to the locker where my guitar cabinets are and told him “Do not give me this key back”,  otherwise I would have still been in there recording guitars right now. I am really obsessed with guitars.


So that’s how you get that big guitar sound? It’s just layer upon layer upon layer. I always wondered about that.

Yes, and the guitar tracks have to be really tight. And I also use different guitars, I use different microphones, I use different cabinets, different amps, different pre-amps. I even created a sort of a microphone robot that moves microphones from left to right and up and down in the control room.


You obviously have a unique guitar style of your own, but were there also specific musical influences for you while writing this album? I’m specifically referring to ‘Hypothetical’ which sounds a lot like Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’.

‘Kashmir’ is one of those rock songs that I always had in mind as a song that would be fun to play with. I also referred to it in Rammstein with ‘Spiel Mit Mir’, and one or two other songs. It is such a classic song and it’s so much fun to play with that beat. Jimmy Page is one of those guitarists I really admire, another one of them is actually AC/DC’s Malcolm Young, who I think is one of the best guitar players in the world.


There are some very interesting guests on this album; Marilyn Manson, Lemmy, Peaches,  Jonathan Davis from Korn, Frank Dellé from Reggae-band Seeed. How did you get all these people together? And did you write all the music yourself or did you write the songs with them?

emigrate-eat-youThe world of Rammstein is quite closed and I was missing things. I wanted to try and create a musical project that would be more of an open source, where I could do a lot of collaborations with other musicians. On this second album I was being the open source and I reached out to people I wanted to collaborate with. I didn’t have a wishlist, the tracks dictated themselves which musicians I wanted to work with. I contacted them all personally before I contacted their managements and record labels. One good change in the music industry is that people now just want to make music, and they don’t care about whether it sells or not.

Initially I thought I would only do two albums with Emigrate, and then I’d start something new, but cooperating with all these people gave me such pleasure that it has made me see a future in Emigrate. This is the first album in my life where there isn’t anything I’d want to change and that’s a great feeling.


To say “this is the first time I don’t want to change anything about an album”, that is a big call for a guitar player who made classic albums such as Sehnsucht and Mutter.  How come you’re more happy this time around?

Because Emigrate became the balance that I needed. When I started this band a lot of people feared it’d be the end of Rammstein, while the opposite is true; Emigrate was created out of a frustration I had with the world of Rammstein. Together these bands bring me the balance I want in my life, which is such an important thing. Being in Rammstein I realised I like to be in charge, I like to be the person who calls the shots, I like to be the one who takes responsibility, and realizing all that made me a better team player.


What do the other guys in Rammstein say about Emigrate? Do they say “Congrats on a great album” or do they say “Goddammit, why didn’t you use those riffs for our own songs?”

emigrate-richard-300x300I think they’re really happy that I found another outlet. I’m constantly writing, and before I had Emigrate I was bombing them with ideas every day. I think they felt overwhelmed because Rammstein is such a democracy, to the extent that if someone does anything then everyone thinks they can do it too. So if I’d come up with 45 ideas, then others in the band may feel they’d have to come up with 45 ideas as well. There was lot of pressure going on within Rammstein because of that, so when we went into the studio for the last record we decided I wouldn’t write anymore because it was just too much. So there is no competition anymore because everything I’m putting out right now goes to Emigrate.


Some songs on this album like ‘My Pleasure’ or ‘Faust’ for instance, have got such great riffs that they would have been perfect for Rammstein.

Yeah, that’s right, especially those two songs. ‘Faust’ is the most obvious one. That song is inspired by the movie ‘The Devil’s Advocate’, remember the scene where Al Pacino has a monologue where he talks about God? That inspired me to write this song. That monologue was actually included in the demo version but it made the song too long.


Speaking about movies, you have quite a history with songs being used in films; Emigrate’s song ‘My World’ was used for a Resident Evil-movie, and of course Rammstein’s ‘Feuer Frei’ was used in ‘xXx’ while David Lynch’s ‘Lost Highway‘ featured multiple Rammstein-songs. Have there been expressions of interest already to use songs from ‘Silent So Long’ on any movie soundtracks?

I don’t know yet but I hope so! One of my talents when it comes to writing songs, is to create a visual side-effect to the music. When I write I need to have a visual sequence in my head, if I don’t have that I can’t write. I think this record has a lot of music with a soundtrack-quality to it, so I hope people will use it.


This time around Emigrate is presented more as an actual band than as a solo-project, on your website there are more photos of the whole band together. Now that Emigrate is more of a band does that mean you are also going to tour this time?

That is a big question that I’ve been getting a lot lately. I never felt I needed another band to play live, since I always love playing live with Rammstein. But what I missed in my life was making great records. As much as I enjoyed playing live with Rammstein, I missed writing songs and making great records (Rammstein’s only studio album in the last nine years was 2009’s Liebe Ist Für Alle Da). Also Rammstein is such a visual band and people always talked about our shows – to the extent that no one seemed to talk about our music anymore, so maybe I was subconsciously trying to prove that I could do a band without any visual effects. But there is a big demand for Emigrate to play live, and people keep asking me and asking me, and now a little plan is growing inside of me. So who knows?


A lot of Australian fans were hoping Rammstein would be the headliner for 2015’sSoundwave Festival, but the promoter tweeted you are taking all of 2015 off, and that Rammstein would now be a “maybe” for 2016. Are there any plans yet?

I don’t know anything more than you. The last time I saw the guys was a couple of months ago. We always meet up once a year to decide what we are going to do the following year. We decided to wait another year, which means we are going to meet again in 2015 to decide what we’re going to do in 2016.


Well, if you decide you want to be headlining Australia’s biggest music festival then I believe the invitation is there.

That’s good to know, haha. But I have to leave that up to the other guys.


Since Rammstein is such a spectacular live band and your stage show is getting bigger and bigger, have you ever considered doing a residence show in one city with stuff that is too hard to take on tour? A bit like what Cirque du Soleil is doing with their shows in Las Vegas, that feature too much fire, water and ice to take them on the road.

We actually talked about that in the early days! But I think that’s something you have to do as a band when you’re too old to travel and see the world. Sometimes we do three or four shows in a row in Berlin, and that almost becomes like going to work. There is a certain aspect to being a rock band which implies you have to be on the move. If you stay in one place it almost becomes like doing a musical. Plus we can take our fireshow on the road!


Original source:
By Jules on November 9, 2014 in Exclusive, Interviews, On the Spot


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