Mon, 16 Nov 2009 09:17:37
Rammstein aren't afraid to talk about anything. They never have been either…
However, on their latest album, Liebe ist für alle da, Germany's most thought provoking [and musically talkative] industrial metal machine delves into some seriously dark territory. Examining sexual obsession and other psychotic idiosyncracies is usually all in a day's work for Rammstein, but this time around, it's more poetic than ever before. Rammstein do still sing in German, but English single "Pussy" is catchy enough to be the darkest crossover hit ever…
Rammstein guitarist Paul H. Landers sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino for this exclusive interview about Rammstein's latest album, French whores and oh, so much more…
"Frühling in Paris" really stands out. What's the story behind that one?
Basically, it's a poetic description of someone's first sexual experience with a Parisian whore [Laughs].
Is there a certain psychosexual undercurrent to the entire record? Would you say it's your sexiest record?
Cerebral sex has always been one of the lyrical topics that we've enjoyed exploring as a band—anything to do with sexual obsessions. Oddly enough, when you have a bit of distance, you look at what the band likes to read about and consume and it's a little horrifying. The list of taboo topics being dealt with is something that many journalists confront us with. It seems shocking at first, but we actually don't necessarily think about it happening. It's just something we naturally like to deal with. If you're honest with yourself, sex is the topic that drives humanity and everyone in the world [Laughs].
The album moves like a symphony. Did you approach it as one piece of music, like a concept record?
When we get together, there's this heavy concentration on developing the music. It really captures a moment. There's a certain mood that's inevitably reflected in the songs. That's probably why it seems symphonic or almost like a concept record. It's interesting because if you tried to take other songs and put them on this album, they just wouldn't fit. They would break the mood. It's a result of the creative process. Internally, we decided to get back to something heavier that hammers a little bit more. We went back to our metal roots. There was also a conscious decision to use less strings, violins and so on. Instead, we're using horns and brass.
In some ways, this could be a continuation of Mutter.
Your comparison to Mutter is interesting because everyone seems to have a different opinion on this album. On this record, there was a choice to put less ketchup and mayonnaise drooled across the music.
What tends to inspire you outside of music?
It's interesting because the band is made up of six really different personalities. There's a quite a bandwith of influences that end up coming into the music. Ollie and myself are both avid wind surfers for example. Till is big on hunting. Flake likes to go on trips to the mountains and he also reads a lot. Richard likes watching movies, and Schneider does Yoga, so there's a huge range of influences that end up in the music.
Which element bonds everything?
On this record, Till's voice keeps everything together, in a way. Musically on "Frühling in Paris" and "Roter Sand," the band has gone into new areas, and it's actually Till's voice that ends up holding it together and giving it that Rammstein stamp. Because it's a band of six separate bosses, there are always influences coming from different directions and it's much better that way because otherwise the music would end up moving too strongly in one specific direction.
Why'd you come out with "Pussy" first?
The band always has a hard time choosing a single, and this was something the record label suggested. We thought, "Okay, why not?" It's sort of an untypical Rammstein song.
This is definitely your deepest record overall.
If that's your opinion, you're not going to hear anything to the contrary from me [Laughs].
Check out Rick Florino's new novel Dolor available now for FREE here…