Total Guitar interview with Paul Landers (2006)

Ever wondered exactly how far German metalists will go? The band with a history of onstage S&M, fake cocks, face-melting explosions and sordid German lyrics have nothing left to hide, surely? TG was certain we could delve deeper, so we took it upon ourselves to collar straight-fringed chugmeister Paul Landers to unleash the filth. Some of what Paul said must have been lost via a bewildered translator, leaving us with possibly the most bonkers interview (a calf with a lazy eye, anyone) TG has ever conducted. Nevertheless, we did it all for YOU! So, follow us into the belly of the beast to hear tales of Jägermeister, (more than) adequately sized cocks, glass-eating and, er, Danny Devito.

14627918_1291690447529978_125927139_nTotal Guitar: What’s the weirdest thing a groupie has ever done to you? 

Paul: Next question!

Total Guitar: Does being the guitarist in Rammstein get you laid? 

Paul: What’s your problem? Some of us are in relationships and it would be pretty stupid of me to start talking about things like that.

Total Guitar: Er, OK… how would you like to die?

Paul: I’d hate to die in a car accident, but I have a feeling it will happen to me. Either that or I think a heavy rock will fall on me.

Total Guitar: What would you like to have written on your gravestone?

Paul: I would like a solar-powered device to that if someone stands in front of my stone it will automatically tell them to go away, or give a demonic laugh. Just something to make people laugh.

Total Guitar: Is there a particular song you would like played at your funeral?

Paul: I would write a song from the point of view of me lying in the coffin singing to the people at my funeral. The lyrics would be something like, ‘Don’t be sad, you’ll be following me in the future.’ I would have to write it before the rock falls on me, though.

Total Guitar: What’s the strangest thing you have ever worn onstage?

Paul: On the last tour we decided to wear traditional Bavarian costumes with a gritty industrial edge. We knew they would look really creepy, and we wanted to go with something that no-one else would dare do because it looks too weird. As a German band, we owe it to our people to wear traditional costume. If we were a Chinese metal band, I’d like to think we’d wear coolie hats.

Total Guitar: Is there anything the band wouldn’t wear onstage?

Paul: No. We have, in fact, performed naked before. It was at a Halloween show on tour with Korn and Limp Bizkit. Korn dressed as a 1980’s metal band and Limp Bizkit dressed like Elvis. We don’t have Halloween in Germany, so we couldn’t think of what to do. Everyone had made so much effort we couldn’t ignore it, so we decided to play in the nude.

Total Guitar: Did you have pyros at that time?

Paul: Yes. It’s always a little hot with those, but being naked made it easier, cooler.

Total Guitar: You’ve played flaming guitars, too…

Paul: Yes, we’ve done that with the flames coming from the headstock. They make the strings glow red hot!

Total Guitar: Has anyone in the band ever been injured onstage?

Paul: Yes, but we like the pain. We used to have explosions on the stage, and Till [Lindemann, vocalist] would kneel right next to them so he could feel the pain. It had an effect on his hearing, but he likes it when it hurts. It doesn’t have to look good as long as it hurts. We’re from Eastern Germany, don’t forget, and we can take worse [than that]. Only the Chechens are tougher than us!

Till can also eat wine glasses, including the stem, but you have to be able to chew properly. There are so many show-offs where we come from. When you’re out in bars, people will give you dirty looks and bite through glasses to start fights. These guys spit it out, but Till’s thing is to keep eating the whole glass while still staring and swallowing it. Nothing happens if he does that.

Total Guitar: If you had to break your guitar over anyone’s head, who would it be and why?

Paul: It would be unhealthy to store up anger and hatred. You’d end up with cancer. I’ve just read a book on Zen. It says, if you sail a boat over a lake and you’re rammed by another boat, you could be tempted to yell at the other person. But when you notice there is no-one sitting in the other boat, you don’t quite know who to yell at. I’m trying to live my life in such a way that the other boat is always empty, but it doesn’t always work.

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Total Guitar: Who would you most like to have a riff battle with?

Paul: Richard [Kruspe, Rammstein’s second guitarist]! As it happens, we have this competition every day because the guitars are the only instrument in Rammstein that are doubled up. We have a competitive battle on a daily basis. But I would rather have a coffee drinking competition with him, or anyone else for that matter.

Total Guitar: If you could be any animal in the world, what would you be?

Paul: I would be a tiny cross-breed dog that’s permanently yapping at you. While we’re on the subject, Till would be a dog the size of a calf with a lazy eye, and Richard would be a boxer dog. If you tried taking food away from his bowl, he’d really growl at you.

Total Guitar: Who would play you in a film?

Paul: Danny Devito.

Total Guitar: If you weren’t the guitarist in Rammstein, what would you be doing?

Paul: I’d have a company called ‘Unasked-For Advice.’ You could come to me and get hints and tips on anything from feeding birds, to the color of your car, to how many children you should have, to fixing a problem with your shower.

Total Guitar: What would happen if the band found themselves stuck in a lift with Baywatch babe David Hasselhoff and 10 – count ’em – bottles of Jägermeister?

Paul: We’d probably have to drink it all! We’ve learnt over the years that people in the public eye who are perceived to be unpleasant tend to be good fun in private. Saying that, people you like could turn out to be the opposite. But Jägermeister does help you get over a few personal hurdles.

Total Guitar: Rammstein have a lot of songs about cocks. Do you see your guitar as an extension of your penis?

Paul: No, not really. I’m not really a typical guitarist. I don’t like lead guitar. A good solo is OK, but it must be unique and very special.

Total Guitar: So would you ever consider having your own penis enlarged?

Paul: No, mine is already way too long.

 

Original source: Total Guitar
Date: February 2006

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