In my opinion, we should learn more from the bonobos…

till_lindemann_by_richardlanders-d79ole8Till Lindemann, the singer of the scandalous band, Rammstein, has published a volume of poetry. In this interview, he speaks about the value of poetry, strung-up yoga teachers and a daring movie project.

Herr Lindemann, your poems are very often about the spiritual meaning of copulation – is our society underestimating its importance?

Very much so. I believe we should be more like the bonobos.

How do you reckon?

The bonobos resolve every conflict in their society by fucking. Our genome is 99 percent identical to that of the bonobos, and that ought to get us thinking. This one percent is what’s stopping us from following their example… It would in any case make for a good movie, someone should write a script about it.

A bonobo movie?

Yes, about a fuck-virus which – as so many real diseases actually do – transfers from apes to humans and makes all hell break loose.

Is monogamy an expression of commendable reasoning, or pointless torture?

Monogamy is certainly not natural. But you can’t really have it both ways: it’s either reasoning or nature. Or you could just buy sex, perhaps that is the middle ground.

Besides sex, violence is a big constant in your work. One example, out of many, is the poem “Marie Antoinette”. Are you brutalizing a really unsympathetic character, and thus morally getting away with it, like Tarantino does?

In this case, it was more about the syntax. “Ma-rie An-toi-nette” (emphasizes the syllables) sounds very good. It doesn’t have anything to do with the historical character, I could just as well have called it Katherine the Great.

A couple of your poems are rather amusing, which will astonish most readers. For example, “The Bat”: “The bat from the dovecot/tasted really good/soaked in brandywine/and then gently set ablaze.” Almost like Ozzy Osbourne.

I wasn’t thinking of Ozzy. But a bat is a really cool thing, and I wanted to make a funny rhyme of it. Actually, I have eaten bat, on Mauritius. Tastes like chicken.

What status do poems really have today?

Unfortunately, poetry has over time become completely lame. The older people are still reading it, and perk up whenever a new Enzensberger is published. As far as most young people are concerned, it’s all the same. The schools would need to take a completely different approach to get the youth interested in poetry again. You can’t just make them read more Hölderlin – I’m sad to say.

Speaking of Hölderlin – you yourself are a Late Romanticist.

I search for the idealized, indeed. I like Eichendorff as well as Else-Laske Schüler and Gottfried Benn.

What were you reading when you were young?

We read a lot of Brecht in school, that which was allowed. Additionally, also a lot of socialist-realism, which was absolutely no fun at all. Luckily, my parents had a large library with all the English and American writers, who weren’t banned in the GDR at the time.

The artist Lindemann in the GDR is almost impossible to imagine.

No, that’s unthinkable. My identity as an artist, as well as a person, is closely connected with the time of the Turning. Even the success of Rammstein was only made possible because of the Turning.

What would have become of you, had the proletarian farmer state survived?

Perhaps a craftsman. I’m trained as a carpenter, originally. I would hardly be a swimmer. And I would surely not have become a musician in the GDR, the creative borders were far too narrow.

A surprising poem in your volume is, “Hare Krishna”. What is your relationship with the Indian spirituality?

I have absolutely nothing to do with Indian spirituality. I find all the hype about it in this country ridiculous. Ayurveda back and forth, all these yoga-cunts and all that.

Yoga-cunts? What exactly is the problem?

I don’t have any problem with yoga, per se‘, quite the contrary: yoga is a wonderful thing in India. Only, when it’s brought here by people who have taken a three-week course in Sri Lanka, then I think it’s just ridiculous. The interesting thing is, that all these yoga-cunts are all so extremely strung-out and worked up, even though the whole thing should be about relaxation.

Do you meditate?

No, not at all. I swim, off and on.

What do you think of Nietzsche?

Doesn’t interest me. Too much brooding, too much psycho-analysis. I believe more in the romantic instinct.

Translation: Murray/Schnitz
Original source: Tages Anzeiger

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