From left to right: Paul, Doom, Till, Ollie, Flake, Richard
Du, du hast, du hast mich.note
Rammstein is a six-man self-described "tanz-metall" (dance metal, though their actual style has them as the codifiers
of Neue Deutsche Härte, a form of industrial metal) band hailing from Germany. They take their name from the Ramstein airshow disaster of 1988, adding an extra 'm' to give the double meaning of "Battering Ram" (literally 'Ramming Stone'). The band consists of:
- Till Lindemann - lead vocals
- Richard Z. Kruspe - guitars, backing vocals
- Paul Landers - rhythm guitars, backing vocals
- Oliver 'Ollie' Riedel - bass
- Christoph 'Doom' Schneider - drums
- Christian 'Flake' Lorenz - keyboards
Check them at the Musician sheet
Discography as of 2011:
- Herzeleid (1995)
- Sehnsucht (1997)
- Mutter (2001)
- Reise, Reise (2004)
- Rosenrot (2005)
- Liebe ist für alle da (2009)
- Made in Germany 1995 - 2011 (2011)
- Live aus Berlin (1999) - A recording of their 1998 concert tour (also available as a live album). Features music from their first two albums. Known for their controversial performance of Bück dich.
- Lichtspielhaus (2003)- A compilation of their music videos up to Feuer Frei!.
- Völkerball (2006) - A recording of their 2004-2005 tour (also available as a live album). Features music from their first five albums.
- Videos 1995 - 2012 (2012) - Contains all of their music videos and making-of documentaries.
- A DVD of their Madison Square Garden and Montreal shows is confirmed.
The band has named the following tropes
This band provides examples of
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- Abusive Parents: "Laichzeit", "Tier" and "Wiener Blut".
- And I Must Scream: The victim in "Stein Um Stein" is being trapped inside the walls of a house. Lampshaded in that the last line of the song actually translates to "And no one will hear you scream."
- Album Filler: Rosenrot as a whole. In fact, most of it is composed by leftover material of the recordings for Reise, Reise. Aside from "Mann Gegen Mann", "Rosenrot", "Benzin" and "Te Quiero Puta", no songs from Rosenrot were played in concerts.
- All Germans Are Nazis: The band wrote "Links 2-3-4" as their counterarguement to this accusation. They've even said in interviews that they hate Nazis as well. In addition, actually paying attention to their lyrics reveal that none of their songs contain any fascist or Nazi-sympathizing lyrics, but try telling certain critics that.
- Anti-Love Song: Many of them, but "Stein Um Stein" and "Amour" come to mind.
- Artistic License – Geography: "Amerika" includes in one refrain such American brands as Coca-Cola and Wonderbra. The latter is actually originally a Canadian product. That's some kind of irony right there.
- Audience Participation Song: "Ich Will", "Ohne Dich", "Du Hast", "Engel"...
- Author Vocabulary Calendar: The sun shining is referenced in some way in "Rammstein," "Engel," "Küss Mich (Fellfrosch)," "Mein Herz Brennt," "Sonne," "Mutter," "Morgenstern," "Mann Gegen Mann" and "Hilf Mir." Liebe Ist Für Alle Da is the only album where this theme does not come up.
- Based on a True Story: Rammstein (the song), Mein Teil, Wiener Blut and Donaukinder were all based on true events.
- Rammstein narrates the stark contrast between the beautiful day and the horror of the Ramstein air show disaster (from which they also take their name).
- Mein Teil tells the story of Armin Meiwes, from the viewpoint of his victim.
- Wiener Blut refers to the Fritzl case.
- Donaukinder is a song about the aftermath of the Baia Mare cyanide spill, considered the greatest ecological disaster in Europe since Chernobyl.
- Bilingual Bonus: "Moskau" has parts sung in Russian; "Amerika" and "Stirb Nicht Vor Mir" have parts sung in English, while "Pussy" is in straight English apart from invoked Gratuitous German; (there're also English versions of "Du Hast", "Engel" and "Amerika" among the singles) "Amour" and "Frühling in Paris" have some parts sung in French; and "Te Quiero Puta!" is sung entirely in Spanish.
- Also, an astounding amount of wordplay in their songs, just in general.
- Till is fairly well qualified for the title of Pungeon Master.
- "Mein Land" is pretty much the only song whose name anyone can guess the English translation.
- Brother-Brother Incest: "Spiel Mit Mir".
- Call-and-Response Song: "Ich Will", whose chorus translates to:
I don't understand you.note
- Careful With That Axe: The end of "Stein Um Stein".
- Cloning Blues: "Mutter", sung from the perspective of a clone very unhappy about not having real parents.
- Cover Version: They have done covers of Depeche Mode's "Stripped", The Ramones's "Pet Semetary", Kraftwerk's "Das Model" (with the title of the cover version being spelt as "Das Modell"), and Aria's "Shtil" (with the cover titled "Schtiel"). Recently, Till worked with Apocalyptica to do a German cover of David Bowie's "Heroes".
- Cue the Sun: Sonne.
- Driven to Suicide: The song "Spring", where a man gets on to a bridge to enjoy the view, but a crowd forms eager to see him jump. He gets pushed off.
- Drugs Are Bad: One possible interpretation of the song "Adios", where the narrator talks about a person injecting himself with a drug and overdosing.
- Eagleland: "Amerika" satirizes Type 2, in a nuanced way: the lyrics describe how Americans believe that their culture and way of life are the only successful and "right" ones, and attempt to make everyone follow them.
- Egomaniac Hunter: "Waidmann's Heil", with bonus implications of rape.
- The End of the World as We Know It: "Der Meister", describing a classical biblical apocalypse.
- Evil Laugh: "Eifersucht" and "Benzin".
- Excited Song Title!: "Feuer Frei!".
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "Ein Lied" is German for "A Song". This is, of course, a song. A song about, you guessed again, a song...
- Foreign People Are Sexy: Sort of parodied in "Pussy". This is why there's the Gratuitous German in a predominantly English song. The song itself is also a parody on the sex tourism trade.
- Hermaphrodite: The song "Zwitter" (which does indeed translate as "Hermaphrodite").
- I Love the Dead: "Heirate Mich" is about marrying a corpse. The exact translation of the title is "Marry Me", or alternatively, "Be My Wife".
- I Taste Delicious: "Mein Teil".
- I'm a Humanitarian: "Mein Teil", which is about a famous news story of a cannibal who advertised on the internet for someone willing to be killed and eaten by him. His victim being entirely willing and cooperative in his own brutal demise did not prevent a conviction for manslaughter in the case. In the Völkerball performance of this song, Till "cooks" Flake.
- With a flamethrower.
- Taken to new heights during the Made in Germany tour. When Flake laughs off the flamethrower, Till brings out an industrial size flamethrower and torches him. Till laughs joyously and continues singing only to be flabbergasted when Flake climbs out of the cauldron and runs around the stage.
- Incest Is Relative: "Spiel Mit Mir" and "Wiener Blut".
- Intentionally Awkward Title: "Pussy" and "Te Quiero Puta!"note .
- Intercourse with You: Pretty much half of their songs. Special mention for including "Blitzkrieg mit dem Fleischgewehr"note and references to putting bratwurst in someone else's sauerkraut in "Pussy". "Rein Raus" also deserves a mention. Some of the Double Entendres Till comes up with are impressively creative.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence: Fairly common, usually wound up in Intercourse with You. "Wollt ihr das Bett in Flammen sehen?" has a bridge chant of "Sex ist eine Schlacht! / Liebe ist Krieg!" ("Sex is a battle! / Love is war!").
- Complete with a sound of a reloading shotgun. And in some versions, a shot right after that.
- Interrupted Suicide: Inverted in "Spring", in which a man climbs onto a bridge to enjoy the view and is mistaken for a jumper — and encouraged by the crowd to kill himself. He's eventually pushed off.
- Last Note Nightmare: "Stein um Stein".
- Lighter and Softer: A surprising number of their remixes are almost ambient sounding.
- Lyrical Dissonance: "Der Meister" qualifies, with happy-sounding keyboards and riffs in a song about a predicted apocalypse.
- Magic Realism: "Dalai Lama" is a modern reworking of "Der Erlkönig" by Goethe.
- Meaningful Name: "Dalai Lama" refers to the 14th Dalai Lama's fear of flying, and the song is "Der Erlkönig" on a plane.
- Metal Scream: Used (to an extent) in the chorus of "Wiener Blut", and at a few points in "Mann Gegen Mann". The ending of "Stein um Stein" also counts... doubly reinforced by the final word meaning "scream."
- Misplaced Nationalism: "Amerika" is not meant to be a pro-America song. You'd think the bridge, "This is not a love song!" growled repeatedly would be a clue.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Varies wildly up and down the scale, from 1 or 2 (e.g. "Ein Lied") up to 7 or 8 (e.g "Mein Teil"), and everything in between.
- Movie Bonus Song:
- The songs "Halleluja" and "Mein Teil" have been featured on the soundtracks for the first two live-action Resident Evil movies, respectively. The soundtrack to Resident Evil: Extinction featured Emigrate's "My World".
- xXx featured the song "Feuer Frei!", which resulted in Rammstein making a cameo at the beginning of xXx.
- Mummies at the Dinner Table: "Heirate mich" and "Klavier".
- Murder Ballad: "Weisses Fleisch", "Du Riechst So Gut", "Mein Teil", "Stein Um Stein", and "Klavier". "Heirate Mich" is a post-mortem version, of sorts.
- Non-Appearing Title: "Nebel", "Dalai Lama", "Wiener Blut", "Rammlied".
- Obligatory Bondage Song: "Bück Dich", "Ich tu dir weh" and the unreleased "Feuerräder".
- Obsession Song: "Du Riechst So Gut", among others.
- Ominous Music Box Tune: "Spieluhr". (The title translates to "Music Box", as well.)
- One-Woman Wail: The finale to "Sonne." Notable for being a stock sample played on Flake's keyboard instead of an actual, y'know, woman.
- Parental Incest: "Wiener Blut" is supposedly based off the Josef Fritzl case.
- "Laichzeit" mixes this with Sibling Incest and, in the third verse, Bestiality.
- "Tier" had father/daughter rape, The Live aus Berlin features Richard's daughter Khira Li as the child in the cage.
- Parental Abandonment: "Mutter".
- Power Ballad: "Ohne Dich", "Amour", "Roter Sand", "Nebel", "Stirb Nicht Vor Mir" and "Frühling in Paris", amongst other examples.
- Precision F-Strike: From "Das Alte Leid": "Weiss ich endlich... ICH WILL FICKEN" — "I know at last, I want to fuck". Punctuated in the early live shows with a firework launched from Till's crotch for further emphasis. Especially jarring when one remembers that the man himself rarely swears in interviews and the band's catalog, for all its rampant innuendo, contains little to no profanity (there's a stray "fick dich" in "Zwitter").
- Even more impressive? "Das Alte Leid" is from their first album.
- Pun-Based Title: "Du Hast" translates to "You Have" (in the song, the line is extended to "Du hast mich gefragt und ich hab nichts gesagt." — "You have asked me and I haven't said anything."), but sounds just like "Du Hasst" which means "You Hate." It doesn't help that an English version was recorded under the latter title.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "RAMM! STEIN!"
- Pyro Maniac: "Benzin" is, in many ways, a love song to flame. It's more surprising that it took them five albums to write it than that it was one of the few songs from Rosenrot ever played in concert.
- Some lyrics from "Benzin" are also the top quote on the trope page itself.
- Rape Is Love: Horrifically deconstructed in "Liebe ist für alle da", at least according to one interpretation.
- Record Producer: All of Rammstein's albums have been produced by Jacob Hellner.
- Rule 34: "Pussy". The video premiered on a porn site. And that's just the canon example.
- Shout-Out: The strange screaming noises in "Wollt Ihr Das Bett in Flamen Sehen?" are creature death sounds from Doom.
- "Mein Teil" ends with a bunch of freaks on a leash.
- Marilyn Manson, a long time friend of the band and especially Richard, has a cameo role at Till's funeral in "Haifisch", the only celebrity at the funeral who is not a part of the band.
- Also, the cover of Sehnsucht is a reference to the music video for "The Beautiful People", which had a similar head-contraption-thing.
- Manson returned that shout out by using a platinum version of the "Du Hast" masks on the "mOBSCENE" single cover, which also has a remix by two members of the band.
- Soprano and Gravel: "Engel", "Nebel" (where they're performed by Christiane "Bobo" Herbold), "Moskau", to some extent "Spieluhr" (which features vocals from Khira Li, Richard's daughter), and "Stirb Nicht Vor Mir (Don't Die Before I Do)" (featuring vocals from Sharleen Spiteri of Texas, though the original German version was performed by Bobo). Also "Halleluja", the hidden track from Mutter.
- Spiritual Successor: "Ohne Dich" is this to a song by Franz Schubert, "Wandrers Nachtlied II", which itself is a setting of the poem by the same name by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, probably the most famous poem in German literature, in which a solitary man looks out over a peaceful forest in which "die Vögelein schweigen im Walde", "the birds in the trees are quiet", and feels that soon, he too will be at rest. In "Ohne Dich", a man looks at a forest which is "so schwarz und leer", so "black and empty", and in which "die Vögel singen nicht mehr", "the birds sing no more", because his lover has either left him or has died — but at any rate, he's "ohne dich", "without you", and not at rest at all, but in despair.
- Split Personality: "Führe Mich".
- Stalker with a Crush: The narrator of "Du Riechst So Gut".
- Stars Are Souls: "Engel" (Angel) is about this.
Wer zu Lebzeit gut auf Erdennote
wird nach dem Tod ein Engel werdennote
den Blick gen Himmel fragst du dannnote
warum man sie nicht sehen kannnote
Erst wenn die Wolken schlafengehnnote
kann man uns am Himmel sehnnote
wir haben Angst und sind alleinnote
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Ohne Dich", "Ein Lied", "Amour", "Nebel", "Frühling in Paris", "Roter Sand" and "Stirb Nicht Vor Mir" (the latter two are notable for not featuring any heavy guitars)... They have a fair few songs like this.
- Take That:
- "Amerika" can be seen as one towards Eagleland.
- "Pussy" is a mockery of sexual tourism, with lines like "I can't get laid in Germany!"
- "Mein Land" is an anti-nationalism song.
- Take That, Critics!: "Links 2-3-4" was written as a counterargument against those who accuse the band of having Nazi sympathies.
- Things That Go Bump in the Night: The subject of "Mein Herz Brennt".
- Title Only Chorus: "Herzeleid", "Heirate Mich", "Links 2-3-4", "Mutter", "Rein Raus", "Benzin".
- True Companions: "Haifisch" can be seen as a form of principle declaration.
- Unusual Euphemism: A lot of them, but "steck Bratwurst in dein Sauerkraut" probably takes the cake.
Music Video tropes
- The Band Minus the Face: "Haifisch". The rest of the band are already discussing who to replace Till with at his own funeral.
- Beach Episode: The video for "Mein Land".
- Call Back: Among others, the video for "Haifisch" references the videos for "Du Hast" and "Sonne".
- The Cameo: Marilyn Manson (the person) appears in "Haifisch" in a few blink-and-you'll-miss-it shots.
- Concept Video: Most of them.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Frau Schneider in "Mein Teil".
- Dominatrix: Snow White in "Sonne".
- Driven to Suicide: Flake plays a suicide jumper in "Benzin".
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Schneider makes a surprisingly convincing woman in "Mein Teil".
- Easter Egg: The "Ich tu dir weh" video. If you keep an eye on Richard's hands, you'll see a ring from his other band, Emigrate.
- Fanservice: The "Mein Land" video features the entire band shirtless and in beach wear for most of it (and Till as a lifeguard), not to mention a lot of bikini-clad women. Towards the end, there are very quick shots of topless women and other women making out with each other.
- Fille Fatale: In the "Rosenrot" video. Emphasis on "fatale".
- Fireman's Safety Net: In "Benzin". It rips.
- Firemen Are Hot: The "Benzin" video.
- Foreshadowing: At the end of the "Haifisch" video. The postcard turns out to be a minor spoiler for the "Mein Land" video.
- The Fun in Funeral: The "Haifisch" video.
- Glasgow Grin: In "Mein Land", the makeup makes the band members look eerily like Heath Ledger's Joker.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom / Red Eyes, Take Warning: In "Du Riechst So Gut '98".
- Grimmification: The video for "Sonne" is a rather dark take on Disney's version of Snow White, featuring the band members as masochistic dwarves working for a gold dust-addicted Snow White.
- Hermaphrodite: Flake's character in "Pussy".
- If It Bleeds, It Leads: Satirized unsubtly in "Ich Will" video, in which the band members play bank robbers who are out not for money, but for media attention — and even get a Golden Camera award after being arrested. The way journalists and cameramen assault them with questions as if they were celebreties or politicians is rather unsettling, and it really makes you think about how the media, intentionally or not, turns criminals into celebrities.
- Kill It with Fire: Till's fate in "Rosenrot".
- Made of Explodium: The car in the "Du Hast" video. Crosses with Stuff Blowing Up.
- Masquerade Ball: "Du Riechst So Gut '98".
- Media Scrum: In the video for "Ich Will".
- Mind Screw: Half their music videos. Just try to figure out what was going on in the "Pussy" and "Ich Tu Dir Weh" videos, both directed by Jonas Akerlund.
- Mundane Made Awesome: The "Mein Land" video is set at a '60s beach party, despite being for an Industrial Metal song. The end of the video is more Rammstein-ish, however.
- On a Soundstage All Along: The video for "Amerika". The band are rocking out on the moon, before the cameras pull back to reveal it's a film set. This is also a gag at the expense of those who think the moon landings were faked on a soundstage.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: In the video for "Du Riechst So Gut '98", the band members play a pack of werewolves.
- Parody: The "Pussy" video is an over-the-top parody of Gangsta Rap and Glam Rap videos, according to Schneider.
- Pec Flex: "Mann Gegen Mann"'s video.
- Performance Video: They usually avoid this trope with their videos, but both "Feuer Frei!" (also a Video Full Of Film Clips) and "Ich tu dir weh" are this type of video.
- Sexy Secretary: This is the role of the woman who seduces Schneider's CEO character in the "Pussy" video.
- Sexy Soaked Shirt: The "kissing in the rain" scene in the "Du Riechst So Gut '98" video has wet clothes played for fanservice.
- Snakes Are Sexy: "Engel".
- Shirtless Scene:
- "Mann Gegen Mann" is a Clothingless Scene.
- "Mein Land" has the band shirtless for most of it.
- All the fantasies the other band members have of killing Till in "Haifisch" are related to previous videos: "Du Hast", "Ohne Dich", "Keine Lust", "Sonne", and "Amerika". Also, the final fantasy appears to be a shout out to the movie Se7en.
- "Engel" plays heavy homage to From Dusk Till Dawn.
- And "Du Hast" homages Reservoir Dogs.
- During the end of "Mein Land", the band members are wearing Joker-style facepaint.
- A Taste of the Lash: Used in the context of mortification of the flesh in "Rosenrot".
- Throat Light: Till had one installed for "Ich Tu Dir Weh", and also used it during the "Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da" tour when singing "Rammlied." Notable in that he actually got his cheek pierced and ran a cable through it in order to power said light.
- Transvestite: Frau Schneider in the "Mein Teil" video.
- True Companions: Subverted in the video of "Haifisch". The video takes place at Till's funeral, and we see that the other band members have had fantasies of murdering him. They end up getting into a fight, which culminated in Flake crashing into Till's casket, which is when they found out he faked his death.
- Unflinching Walk: The entire band does one at the end of "Du Hast" as a car explodes behind them.
- Video Full Of Film Clips: "Feuer Frei!".
- Walking Swimsuit Scene: "Mein Land".
- Worst Aid: As tearjerking and heartwarming the "Ohne Dich" video is, it's not always a good idea to move someone with a broken bone.
- Zerg Rush: How the ants in the "Links 2-3-4" video dealt with the beetles that invaded their anthill. The beetles never stood a chance.
- All Germans Are Nazis: They are frequent victims of this, for no other reason than singing Metal in German.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Schneider makes a surprisingly attractive woman, as do Ollie and Paul.
- Awesome McCoolname: The band name itself (see above).
- Butt Monkey: In the Made in Germany tour, Flake's status as the band's Butt Monkey is alleviated somewhat by the performance of "Bück dich", in which the entire band falls into Butt Monkey status. Till, Paul, Flake and Ollie are led on all fours and abused by Frau Schneider towards Richard, who also gets abused as well. Then, later, Till squirts his dildo right into Schneider's face mid-performance.
- Eagleland: While previously mentioned as part of "Amerika", it should be mentioned that two members, Richard and Flake, firmly hold to each type, with the former living in (and writing a song about) New York City until 2011, the latter vehemently despising the country's attitude and culture.
- East Germany: All of the band's members hail from here, though it had ceased to exist by the time the band was formed.
- Easter Egg: The voice clip hidden either in the pregap of Reise, Reise for European pressings or at the start of the song for the US pressings. The clip itself is the last 38 seconds of the cockpit voice recording from the JAL123 disaster of 1985. What with the wee tiny matter of it being the deadliest single aircraft incident in history, said easter egg was removed from Japanese pressings and later US pressings. It's complicated.
- Five-Man Band:
- Gag Penis: The cannon used during live performances of "Pussy".
- Great Balls of Fire: All of their live shows and a fair few of their videos too.
- Harsh Vocals: Till sings with highly distinctive, raspy, towering vocals.
- Iconic Logo: The font used for the band name on CDs and DVDs, and the Rammstein cross.
- Industrial Metal: (Tanz Metall).
- Impressive Pyrotechnics: The concert shows. Aided in that Till is a licensed pyrotechnician. The band claims that it's meant to hold the attention of fans who don't speak German (which is probably a majority of the fanbase). It also crosses with Pyro Maniac.
- Long Runner Lineup: The band was founded in 1994 and there hasn't been a single lineup change since then. They've expressed their intent to take this to its Logical Extreme.
- Macho Masochism
- Made of Explodium: It's not uncommon for things like Mic stands to either burst into an explosion when slammed into the ground... or burst into flames (while still being sung into) for no real reason.
- Moral Guardians: A frequent target. They've been blamed for Columbine, and "Ich tu dir weh" was indexed in their home country. The reason behind it was "abuse promotion". There's also a picture of Richard spanking a nude woman in the album art for Liebe ist für alle da which got the same treatment for being "degrading to women".
- Myspeld Rökband: The band took their name from the Ramstein airshow disaster in 1988 and added an extra M.
- The Nineties: The band formed in 1994.
- Non-Fatal Explosions: When your band has a licensed pyrotechnician, you can't go wrong.
- Pyro Maniac: The concerts and the songs. About the former, they routinely fire a flamethrower just above the mosh pit. About the latter, there are about as many songs about fire as there are about sex.
- Rated M for Manly: And nothing epitomized it more than the original ''Herzeleid'' cover.◊ Of course, that also started the Nazi accusations. Go figure.
- Real Person Slash: Don't even act surprised.
- Shirtless Scene: When it comes to live shows, it's not a matter of whether this trope will happen or not, it's who specifically will invoke this trope. Take Völkerball, Ollie and Paul both end up shirtless by the end of the show.
- And, as mentioned above, the original "Herzeleid" cover.
- Shout-Out: The cover art◊ for "Mein Land" is based on the cover art◊ for The Beach Boys album Surfer Girl.
- Transvestite: This photoshoot.
- Also, Frau Schneider makes a reappearance in the Made in Germany tour.
- True Companions: The band has repeatedly stated that if any of its members were to leave, the entire band would quit. They have had the same lineup since they first began in 1994.
- Whip It Good: During the Made in Germany performances of "Bück dich", Schneider (in full "Frau Schneider" mode) whips the other band members around with a riding crop.