Shortly before the first Rammstein reunion after a five-year absence from the studio, the frontman, Till Lindemann, together with his musical partner, Peter Tägtgren, just happen to storm the charts with the album, “Skills in Pills“.
Xavier Naidoo, Sarah Connor, die Amigos, Helene Fischer and company: in July, 2015, the German charts are more domestic than ever. Next to swinging Schlager-sounds and chords taken straight out of Pop-Hell, the wide-range high-voltage act crashes the party. Presented by two men who have marched in front of the international metal scene for decades: the singer of Rammstein, Till Lindemann, and Sweden’s own stainless steel-guru, Peter Tägtgren.
In the past few months, the two have forged together a musical framework, now named “Skills in Pills“, which is causing a sensation not only in Germany. We met with the men responsible for Lindemann in Berlin and chatted about valuable sightseeing tips, giggling kids and completely crazy Russians.
Hello you two! You’ve found quite a neat little place for yourselves here…
(The interview is taking place under the open sky in a small café not far away from the famous Oranienburger Straße.)
Peter: Yes, it’s nice here, isn’t it? The sun is shining. Everyone is wearing a smile on their lips. The perfect place to talk about the perfect party album, don’t you think, Till?
(While Peter makes an effort to keep constant eye contact, Till, on the other hand, lets his eyes roam)
Peter: Till, focus, why don’t you?
Till: Can’t help it. There’s always a lot of pretty girls walking by on the opposite side from here. I love this street corner. Peter, do you know what the street back there is?
Till: A lot of scantily clad ladies are hanging around there in the evenings, you know?
Peter. Ah, gotcha.
Till, I thought you didn’t chase skirts anymore?
Till: That’s true. This was rather some sightseeing info for Peter. I mean, when we’re here and all…
(A group of somewhat older girls sit down at the table next to us)
Peter: Now I believe that we can focus on the important stuff again (laughs).
Till: Which is?
Till: Sounds good.
Till: That too, yes.
“We didn’t have any master plan“
I was a bit surprised, I had expected a somewhat more brutal parcel…
Till: Me too (laughs). No, but seriously. A lot of people did, I suppose. But that didn’t interest us, we only listened to ourselves. And this is what came out of it.
Peter: There wasn’t any concept. We just let the whole thing run its course. Maybe we would not have been able to make it otherwise, at all. If we had dictated to each other some planned structures, one of us would doubtlessly had jumped ship before long. You can only make this kind of album when the mind is free and there are no limits.
Do you miss such a gut-feeling-driven way of working with your own bands at times?
Till: No, not really. Those are two completely different workshops. In Rammstein, we’ve plotted out an artistic field over the years, within which we’re moving. That works just wonderfully, too. If we were to come up with some folk- or jazz thing, the whole structure would probably fall apart overnight. I mean, there really aren’t any major surprises on “Skills in Pills”. It’s basically just sounds that can be traced back to both our names throughout. It just ranges a bit wider.
Did you get onto the same wavelength quickly?
Peter: From the very first moment.
Till: The stage of measuring each other up was extremely short. We knew relatively quickly what we wanted.
Peter: That is also what fascinates me the most with this project. We’ve known each other for ages, and we had long wanted to create something together. But when it was time, there was still a small sting of insecurity in both of us. Till had the Rammstein way of doing things instilled in his head, and I had that which I was used to with my other bands. That we, despite this, and practically overnight, gravitated into the same universe was really cool. We only had small issues from the beginning – move a bridge here, double a refrain here; we didn’t need to discuss more. It all just kept rolling.
Did you just plan on single songs in the beginning? Or did you already have a complete album in mind?
Till: When we started, it was only about the joy of finally having found the time to be able to work together. We didn’t have any master plan. We didn’t even think about making a whole album until we realized that the songs kept bubbling out of us. I still remember when we had “Ladyboy” in the can, our first song. I suggested that Peter should spread the song around to see what people thought of it. But just for fun.
Peter: We sat in my studio and giggled like two children who had just been up to some mischief. That was a lovely feeling. And it remained.
“Everything is possible“
What fascinates you the most about the other?
Peter: Till is incredibly open. He listens to everything. That’s what I like most about him. Normally, artists like him, who have enjoyed success for decades, are not all that receptive for change. Till is something else entirely. He’s not scared of experimentation.
Till: Well, to sing in English all of a sudden took some persuasion, though. That was a big challenge for me. Peter had to keep encouraging me.
Peter: Worked out like a charm, though.
Till: Yes, I got with it at some point.
Till, what’s the case with Peter?
Till: Peter’s a Jack-of-all-Trades. That has always fascinated me with him. He can do just about anything. He’s like an entire band on two feet. And he’s a calm, balanced guy. Really the polar opposite to myself. I tend to come across as a bit more choleric. Peter’s the opposite. He’s the steady element.
Even when you were in Moscow a few days ago? You had a signing session there and, in the end, there were reportedly just short of 9,000 people outside the door. Did Peter keep calm then too?
Peter: I was even calmer than I usually am. Most likely because I couldn’t find the words.
Till: Not even I had counted on that. I’m well aware that the Russians are crazy about Rammstein. But this was something extraordinary. No one was prepared for that. The security, our management, the promoters – everywhere you looked, you stared into pale faces.
Peter: But it was cool anyway.
So, what will happen next after this promotion marathon? Rammstein’s hiatus will be over in September. Is Lindemann a one off?
Peter: Our regular bands have first priority, of course. This is really to be compared to a hobby. Even if it’s a very fun one. We’ll see what happens. It could definitely be that we’ll make another album.
What do you have to say about that?
Till: About what?
Clue: another album.
Till: Oh, right! Of course, why not? There just has to be time for it.
Peter: We’ve thought about that too. A huge tour would be very difficult, there’s too much going on around us for that as it is. But, maybe, you’ll see us next year at some big festival or other. That would be more appropriate.
You’ll get the last word. Lindemann live: yay or nay?
Till: Everything is possible.
Original Source: LAUT.DE
Interview by Kai Butterweck. July 8, 2015