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From left to right: Paul, Doom, Till, Ollie, Flake, Richard
Du, du hast, du hast mich.note "You, you have, you have me", however the line is also a homophone for "You, you hate, you hate me" in German. This has been one of the biggest sources for confusion and arguments in the Rammstein fanbase.
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:
We All Live in America: From a line of the song "Amerika". Richard did live in America, specifically New York City. Have you ever heard him sing for Emigrate? He even sounds American. Just a wee bit'a irony.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
Intercourse with You: Pretty much half of their songs. Special mention for including "Blitzkrieg mit dem Fleischgewehr"note blitzkrieg with your gun of flesh. VERY subtle, I know. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Shout-Out: The strange screaming noises in "Wollt Ihr Das Bett in Flamen Sehen?" are creature death sounds from Doom.
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 niche 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.
Wer zu Lebzeit gut auf Erdennote Who in their lifetime is good on Earth
wird nach dem Tod ein Engel werdennote will become an angel after death
den Blick gen Himmel fragst du dannnote you look to the sky and ask
warum man sie nicht sehen kannnote why you can't see them
Erst wenn die Wolken schlafengehnnote only once the clouds have gone to sleep
kann man uns am Himmel sehnnote can you see us in the sky
wir haben Angst und sind alleinnote we're afraid and alone
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Volkerball, Ollie and Paul both end up shirtless by the end of the show.
And, as mentioned above, the original "Herzeleid" cover.