RAMM­STEIN

A decade on from Liebe Ist Für Alle Da, we will fi­nally see a new Ramm­stein al­bum this year. But will it be worth the wait?

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Contents - WORDS: MER­LIN ALDER­SLADE / ELEANOR GOOD­MAN

kick off our mas­sive 2019 pre­view, fea­tur­ing MEGADETH, CODE OR­ANGE, GAME OF THRONES, SLIPKNOT, JINJER, KILLSWITCH EN­GAGE, TOM G. WAR­RIOR, TOOL, PUPPY, AVENGERS, VENOM PRISON and more. And… breathe. How good are the next 12 months gonna be?

it was in the spring of 2017 that we first got gen­uinely ex­cited about the pos­si­bil­ity of a new Ramm­stein al­bum see­ing the light of day. As the Ger­man metal ti­tans presided over the re­lease of their bonkers, Jonas Åk­er­lund-di­rected con­cert movie, Ramm­stein: Paris, they dropped a few tan­ta­lis­ing hints about how the long-awaited fol­low-up to 2009’s Liebe Ist Für Alle Da was com­ing along. Gui­tarist Richard Z. Kruspe ad­mit­ted that he was a lit­tle wary of get­ting back into the writ­ing process with his band­mates in the first place, while fel­low six-stringer Paul Lan­ders sug­gested that the sex­tet had reignited a vibe last felt when they were putting to­gether their de­but al­bum, Herzeleid, more than two decades prior.

As 2019 ar­rives, Ramm­stein have seem­ingly sig­nalled that their next chap­ter is of­fi­cially un­der­way, with two ex­plo­sive Mex­ico shows ei­ther side of New Year lead­ing into a stacked sum­mer of sta­dium shows. More im­por­tantly than that, though, 2019 will in­deed be the year when we hear new Ramm­stein mu­sic – and we reckon it’ll come this side of sum­mer if all goes to plan. That said, this is Ramm­stein.

“What comes out in the end is al­ways mys­te­ri­ous, even to us,” chuck­les Richard on the gen­eral di­rec­tion of Ramm­stein’s seventh stu­dio al­bum, which fi­nally started to come to­gether af­ter a make-or-break meet­ing in drum­mer Christoph Sch­nei­der’s gar­den a few years ago. Util­is­ing the ser­vices of Olsen In­vol­tini, who worked on Richard’s Em­i­grate al­bums, helped kick work on the record up a gear, as well as of­fer­ing a fresh take on Ramm­stein’s pound­ing, in­dus­tri­alised metal thun­der. “Olsen com­ing in was re­ally in­ter­est­ing, be­cause he changed the en­ergy,” Richard notes. “Ev­ery­one was more fo­cused and con­cen­trated. It was a great ex­pe­ri­ence, ac­tu­ally. I was re­ally sur­prised that ev­ery­one was re­ally re­spect­ful, and that ev­ery­one could say what they had to say – there was no hold­ing back, no grudges, and no knives com­ing around.”

Any­one who’s paid at­ten­tion to Ramm­stein for more than two sec­onds will know that they’re about as con­ser­va­tive mu­si­cally as they are po­lit­i­cally, and the new record has seen plenty of room for ex­per­i­men­ta­tion.

“We tried a lot of dif­fer­ent things this time,” Richard notes, while still re­fus­ing to go too deep into specifics. “Some­times we felt like, ‘This could be an in­ter­est­ing song, even though maybe it’s not a ‘typ­i­cal Ramm­stein song’. In mu­sic, there are thou­sands of ways to go, and some­times it’s hard to say [which ways are] the right ones or wrong ones. There’s much more out there than our own ego.”

“The first phase was get­ting back into the groove of mak­ing mu­sic again and get­ting the band chem­istry to­gether again, get­ting close to each other,” adds Paul. “Be­cause the band are not un­der con­trac­tual obli­ga­tions to bring out al­bums at any spe­cific in­ter­val, this has been more of a vol­un­tary process – fol­low­ing fate, and not try­ing to de­ter­mine it. And things are look­ing good!”

af­ter re­hears­ing songs at Christoph’s home stu­dio, the band got to work proper and, aside from the afore­men­tioned Mex­ico dates and the an­nounce­ment of their

“IT’S A MYS­TERY, EVEN TO US”

RICHARD Z. KRUSPE

2019 Euro­pean tour, had re­mained largely silent since. In Novem­ber, Richard fi­nally con­firmed that the al­bum was go­ing to be mixed in LA dur­ing the fol­low­ing weeks, mean­ing that for all in­tents and pur­poses, it’s reach­ing its fi­nal form. And, judg­ing by their com­ments, it looks like we could be get­ting some of the big­gest Ramm­stein ear­worms yet.

“We started on five or six years of ideas and took it from there,” Richard re­veals. “[We were] talk­ing about har­monies, how cer­tain kinds of melodies can change things. Things we never re­ally cared about in the be­gin­ning, but things that mat­ter more now. It’s more in­ter­est­ing for me as a mu­si­cian to see how the vo­cals fit into a song, and which melody fits in that.”

Once the al­bum is fi­nally done and dusted, it will be time to hit the road for that afore­men­tioned Euro­pean trek, tak­ing in some of the most iconic sta­di­ums and help­ing to bed in Mil­ton Keynes’ Sta­dium MK – home of English foot­ball team MK Dons – as a new home for UK live mu­sic. Ev­ery new Ramm­stein tour­ing cy­cle brings an in­creased ex­pec­ta­tion of the fan­tas­ti­cal and the down­right shock­ing. Can they still de­liver on those kinds of terms a decade on from the de­but of that pe­nis can­non?

“We don’t think in terms like that,” replies Paul. “The way we think about it is: what would we like to see if we were watch­ing a con­cert? How would we like the con­cert to be­gin, how would we like the mid­dle sec­tion to be, and how would we want it to end? That’s the way we think about what we do.”

But surely it takes some se­ri­ous brain­storm­ing to im­prove on a show which con­tin­ues to ex­ceed ex­pec­ta­tions at ev­ery turn? How do you go about evolv­ing it?

“That’s a good ques­tion,” Paul replies thought­fully. “When we start a new show, we start with a blank slate, and be­fore we know it, one and a half years later, we’re amazed! ‘How did all these ideas hap­pen? Where did it all come from?’ It’s a magic process. We al­ways end up amazed at what we’ve come up with.”

In a year that will see new al­bums from heavy­weights like Slipknot, Tool and Babymetal, and a ton of metal’s next gen­er­a­tion pro­duce mu­sic that will doubt­less take the scene in exciting new di­rec­tions, there’s never been more pres­sure on Ramm­stein to de­liver some­thing that’ll be be­fit­ting of their legacy. Are they up to the task?

“The only pres­sure we have is from us,” replies Richard con­fi­dently. “That is way enough any­way. If it’s shit, we just don’t put it out!”

You can’t ar­gue with that, can you?

RAMM­STEIN’S NEW AL­BUM LANDS LATER THIS YEAR VIA SPINEFARM. THEY PLAY STA­DIUM MK ON JULY 6. THE NEW AL­BUM FROM RICHARD Z. KRUSPE’S EM­I­GRATE, A MIL­LION DE­GREES, IS OUT NOW VIA SPINEFARM

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