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Richard Z. Kruspe Speaks On Rammstein’s New Album, Fighting Less With Bandmates & Rock Being “Dead”


Revolver have published an interview with Richard Z. Kruspe conducted a few months back that discusses the band’s internal power struggles and creative differences when it comes to new music. This year has found the band working on their first full-length album since 2009’s Liebe ist für alle da” with plans to release it in 2019.

Speaking of their progress with the album at the time, Kruspe commented:

“We’re still in the process of working on it. Everything we do takes so long. Rammstein is such a different cosmos than any other band.

I mean, we’re all basically in a room fighting for each fucking sound and that takes forever! It’s so funny. But it has to be this way. There’s no other way, you know. There are seven guys in the room going through each detail of the song. It’s exhausting, but it’s exciting at the same time.

At the moment, we’re going through the last polish. We had some test mixes made from certain big names and I wasn’t really happy.

I wasn’t happy about the mix and the guys decided — I don’t want to put any names here — but the guys decided on one certain name and I couldn’t sleep. I woke up and I went, ‘I can’t believe they want to do that. The mix was not good.’

At the last second, Rich Costey made a mix and, bang, it was there. I remember back in the day, our old producer Jacob Hellner, was trying different mixers and I think that Rich did a remix of ‘Du Hast.’

And I remember thinking it was unbelievable. He was able to put certain instruments in certain spots and I was amazed. He just nailed it.”

When asked of the sound in comparison to past records, he replied:

“What we were trying to do in the beginning was to actually have more of a live feeling to it. When we started to do the record we were playing together in a room using electric drums and everything came through studio speakers.

We were almost in a living room playing very low in volume and we found we could actually perform much longer that way than if we were using loud amplifiers and real drums.

We could play for eight hours and not get home with headaches and say, “Oh man, I’m too old for this shit.”

Interestingly, Kruspe notes that bringing in their front of house guy, producer Olsen Involtini into the fold for the sessions has eased the tensions that used to permeate the band’s creative process—particularly between himself and fellow Rammstein guitarist Paul Landers. With Envolltini there as a buffer of sorts, Kruspe said the process has taken a change for the better:

“It was more about listening and thinking, ‘OK, you know, you might have a point.’ Or, ‘Yeah, you have a point, but I don’t agree with that because I see it a different way.’

It was more grown-up and not so much, ‘Fuck you!’ ‘No, fuck you!’ Maybe we’ve gotten older. You can learn so much. Music is such a fragile thing So, yeah, there was arguing, there was fighting, but in a very civilized way.”

Earlier in the chat, Kruspe lamented the current state of rock n’ roll, which has largely been eclipsed by hip hop in both sales and media perception in recent years. He said in part of that:

“…Rock is dead. It’s sad, I know it is. But sometimes you kind of have to make peace with the facts of reality. Every time I’m listening to what’s new and it’s definitely not rock.”

When it was pointed out that bands like Metallica, Slipknot and  Rammstein were still doing extremely well with live shows, he replied:

“There are always going to be these old dinosaurs that have a certain kind of performance that will survive. I’m talking about the new generation rock. What happens at the moment is that kids these days don’t have that feeling when they play their favorite rock tracks to annoy the parents.

Guitars are not annoying anymore so what they’re using, especially in Germany, they’re using their voice, the lyrics, which basically mostly happens in hip-hop. They start to rebel against everything, and hip-hop is the soundtrack. It’s all about hip-hop at the moment, which is hard to me because hip-hop was always kind of a music that I couldn’t relate to.

If I got to a festival and see a hip-hop group play, I’m so bored. That’s one advantage rock still has over hip-hop. There’s a visual and sonic connection between the band and the audience.”

For more from Kruspe on the recording process for the album, why he almost left the band and a unique arrangement that allows any member who decides to quit remain on the band’s payroll, hit up Kruspe himself just put out a new album titled “A Million Degrees” from his Emigrate project late last month.

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