The story is like something out of an action movie: during the production of the Rammstein album, “Mutter“, Flake and Lindemann spent few days in the Swedish countryside, where they walk into a local bar. Bikers, beer, high spirits. But the good moods threaten to drop when the ex-boyfriend of one of the accompanying girls comes looking to create a scene. It’s almost coming to blows before Peter Tägtgren cuts in between and sternly exclaims: “These are the guys from Rammstein, they’re cool.” The situation cools down and a couple of hours later, they’re at Tägtgren’s house, drinking moonshine from his brother’s still.
Fourteen years later and two of the protagonists, Till Lindemann and Peter Tägtgren, have remained in contact, continuing to speak about projects and, finally,their project has been realized – “Skills in Pills” is the name of their first mutual album. The road was clear since Rammstein was about to take a longer break when Tägtgren and Lindemann met up at a festival in the summer of 2013. The first song the two recorded together was “Ladyboy”, a song about the Shemale-scene in Bangkok.
Then it just kept rolling. They came up with a lot of material that was recorded in Tägtgren’s The Abyss Studio, north of Stockholm. “The production had the ambiance of a vacation. Peter’s studio is right next to a lake. I could put the fishing rod out the window and while we were working, something or other had taken the bait,” says Lindemann, who, for the first time, is singing in English on an entire album. But the typical humor won’t get lost on anyone. The title song is a cynical piece about the fact that from birth to death in our society, there’s a pill for every occasion. “It comes back to someone I got to know briefly at a party. This guy was radically opposed to illegal drugs, but popped pills all day long, for or against everything,” explains the singer. “Skills in Pills” is altogether catchy, witty and often very explicit. “We are surely going to hell for this album,” Peter Tägtgren rejoices.
Stylistically, the album is somewhere between Industrial Metal and Goth Rock, and thus, a ballad won’t be missing. Lindemann is sometimes singing more melodically and varied than ever and the production is brutal. To make the songs fit into the appropriate mold, Tägtgren used a few tricks. He didn’t record the drums to a Click Track, which automatically made the music sound more organic. And for the lavish strings- and orchestral parts — he secured the help of a Dutch friend, Clemens Wijers, who inflated the arrangements to extravagant proportions.
“Skills in Pills“ will be released on Warner Music the 19th of June, 2015, in several different editions on both CD and vinyl.
Translation: Murray / Schnitz