In an effort to clear up some obvious misunderstandings, I will attempt to make a few things clear.

First, Rammstein is more popular than ever. It is a common misconception (particularly in the United States) that Rammstein was a one-hit wonder. Untrue! They actually had two hits in the U.S. a few years ago (Du Hast and Engel, both from the Sehnsucht album) but they have an enormous following in Europe, Australia and other parts of North America which has done nothing but grow. They also have a pretty solid fan base here in the U.S., they just don't get a lot of airplay (see following sales list). They also didn't tour the U.S. last year because they were busy writing their current album Mutter. Mutter, which was released April 3, 2001 debuted on the following charts:

All in all, not too shabby for a one-hit wonder.

I would also like to address the allegations that Rammstein makes nazi music. The only people who could possibly say that are those who both do not speak any German at all, and people who think there are nazis waiting to pop out of every corner. Rammstein mostly sings about sex and relationships and the emotions brought on by both. Their music is very dark, heavy, and oppressive, but the lyrical subject material is emotional or sexual in most of their songs. Their first two albums were named Herzeleid (meaning heartbreak in English) and Sehnsucht (essentially meaning longing) nothing overtly nazi there. They are also very anti-violence, which is apparent in their songs that are not about sex. They describe the horrors of violence in several songs, and they don't glorify it, they despise it. In summary, all that is German is not nazi. Please remember that.

Another point to make about this group: their stage pyrotechnics, their lyrics and, of course, their name clearly allude to Ramstein, a small German town (nowadays just one half of Ramstein-Miesenbach) famous mainly for one of the largest US air bases outside CONUS, Ramstein AFB, which in turn became 'famous' mainly because of an air show that went catastrophically wrong and ended up killing and maiming hundreds in balls of burning jet fuel.

Most Germans, especially those living around Ramstein, such as me, consider Rammstein's name choice to be extremely distasteful.

Rammstein is a German band that is listened to world-wide. It consists of Till Lindemann (vocals), Richard Z. Kruspe (guitars), Cristoph Doom Schneider (drums), Oliver Reidel (bass), Paul Landers (guitars), and Christian "Flake" Lorenz (keyboard/synths).

The band was actually started by Richard, who lived in the German town of Schwerin with Oliver and Cristoph. Till was originally a basket weaver, and after hearing Till sing, Richard recruited him to the band. They all knew Paul Landers who joined the band after he heard of what they were doing. By this time, they needed someone to add some effects to the music on the keyboard. They decided to recruit Christian Lorenz, who was previously in a band with Paul (Feeling B). He was at first relucant about joining, because he thought "It sounded a bit boring". However, eventually they convinced him. Since the release of their first album, Herzeleid, they have reached gold and platinum status and have become Germany's number one music export. One hit wonder, indeed.

As with all talented and popular bands with a "heavy" musical inclination, Rammstein was accused of being associated with nazis, violence, and other ridiculous things. An example of the latter is the accusation that they were responsible for Columbine, which is ludicrous beyond description. Especially when one considers Columbine happened in America, and they only sing in German. However, that's for another node.

Rammstein is now more popular then ever with the release of their amazing most recent album, "Reise, Reise". The new album has great vocals, new instruments (accordion, string instruments, etc.), and some wonderfully composed songs. Personally though, I still think Live Aus Berlin is their best work as of yet. It just has that powerful, raw, "Rammstein" sound.

If you like Rammstein, you might want to try listening to bands such as Korn, Orgy, Marilyn Manson, or Megaherz.

It's a common misconception of people who don't speak German or have only passing knowledge of Rammstein to denigrate them as untalented Nazi gorillas without a sense of irony. Their music is undoubtedly heavy (they describe it as Tanz-Metal or dance metal, others have described it as heavy metal or industrial), but it is far from mindless. As Cristoph pointed out, their latest album Reise, Reise using non-traditional metal instruments such as the accordion, and their melodies, harmonies and instrumental arrangements are often very complex and musically accomplished.

Rammstein are clearly not Nazis. The fact that they play heavy music and the lead singer rolls his 'r's in a way that sounds very slightly like Hitler (and almost everyone in Austria) has been enough for some to condemn them. In fact, they have specifically said that their music is non-political and they don't want to tell people what to think. However, their lyrics are often ambiguous and can be interpreted in different ways: Du Hast actually means "You Have" (it forms the sentence "Du hast mich gefragt", which means "You asked me") but sounds similar to the German phrase for "You Hate" ("Du hasst"). Their song Mein Herz Schlägt Links purports to directly address the issue of their political affiliation, but leaves it unclear - "You want my heart to beat on the right side" and the chorus "Left, two, three, four" sounds like a military match. Whatever their political affiliation, Rammstein undoubtedly thrive on controversy - Reise, Reise includes a song (Mein Teil, "My Part") about the Armin Miewes cannibalism case of 2004 and their song Engel depicts angels as terrified, desperate beings, and declaring "God knows I don't want to be an angel".

Basically it seems Rammstein enjoy keeping people guessing - the title of their album Reise, Reise in fact does not translate to 'Journey, journey' (as it superficially seems) but to 'Arise, Arise' - it comes from an archaic german phrase "Reise, Reise aufstehen! Kommt hoch nach alter Seemannsart" used to wake or rise other sailors. Their refusal to publicy explain their political affiliation and the intended meaning of their lyrics keeps them controversial - and keeps their CDs selling.

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