Rammstein announce first-ever stadium tour

rammstein-2019

Two things that are hard to believe: First, that it’s been nearly 10 years since Rammstein‘s last album, and second, that a band known for its over-the-top, pyrotechnic-heavy live show has apparently never done a proper stadium tour before. But in 2019, both those things are set to change.

Less than a month after guitarist Paul Landers casually let slip in a gear interview that the band was working on new music, the German industrial demigods confirmed via their website that not only will they drop a new album next spring — their first since 2009’s Liebe ist für alle da — but they’ll be supporting it with a massive European stadium tour, with stops in 25 cities (full dates below). What will a stadium-sized Rammstein tour look like? Probably something like this, only with even more fire.

As far as the new music, Landers told MusicRadar that the band has been working together in one room, rather than tracking all the parts individually as they’ve done in the past. “We’ve decided to make the record more of a band-unit recording than a bunch of guys playing separately,” he said. “We’ll have to see how it all ends up on the record, but the basic idea is you are hearing a band playing … you could say it’s inspired by our live sound.” In the news post announcing the tour, they also mentioned that they’re working with an orchestra and choir. So it sounds like Rammstein fans are in for something epic.

Tickets for the European tour went on sale today and it looks like several dates are already sold out, so get your ass over to the Rammstein website if you want in on the action. (No tour dates for the rest of the world yet, unfortunately, except a couple dates in Mexico around New Year’s Eve.) Full dates below, right after Till and the gang rock your faces off with this live clip from Hellfest in France in 2016. That spark-shooting bow-and-arrow contraption really ought to be available in the Rammstein online store, don’t you think?

12/31/2018 Puerto Vallarta, Explanada Hotel Secrets
01/02/2109 Puerto Vallarta, Explanada Hotel Secrets
05/27/2019 Gelsenkirchen, Veltins-Arena
05/28/2019 Gelsenkirchen, Veltins-Arena
06/01/2019 Barcelona, RCDE Stadium
06/05/2019 Bern, Stade de Suisse
06/08/2019 Munich, Olympiastadion
06/09/2019 Munich, Olympiastadion
06/12/2019 Dresden, Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion
06/13/2019 Dresden, Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion
06/16/2019 Rostock, Ostseestadion
06/19/2019 Copenhagen, Telia Parken
06/22/2019 Berlin, Olympiastadion
06/25/2019 Rotterdam, De Kuip
06/28/2019 Paris, Paris La Défense Arena
06/29/2019 Paris, Paris La Défense Arena
07/02/2019 Hannover, HDI Arena
07/06/2019 Milton Keynes, Stadium MK
07/10/2019 Brussels, Stade Roi Baudouin
07/13/2019 Frankfurt am Main, Commerzbank-Arena
07/16/2019 Prague, Eden Aréna
07/17/2019 Prague, Eden Aréna
07/20/2019 Luxembourg, Roeser Festival Grounds
07/24/2019 Chorzów, Stadion Śląski
07/29/2019 Moscow, VTB Arena – Central Dynamo Stadium
08/02/2019 Saint Petersburg, Saint-Petersburg-Stadium
08/06/2019 Riga, Lucavsala
08/10/2019 Tampere, Ratina Stadion
08/14/2019 Stockholm, Stockholm Stadion
08/18/2019 Oslo, Ullevaal Stadion
08/22/2019 Vienna, Ernst-Happel-Stadion
08/23/2019 Vienna, Ernst-Happel-Stadion

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Earth to American news media: Rammstein doesn’t kill people. Guns do.

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Hey, remember that asshole who shot up a Dark Knight Rises screening back in July? Know who that guy’s favorite bands were? I don’t either, because here’s the thing: The media never reported it. We know he booby-trapped his apartment the night of the shootings and blasted what has been described as a “techno song that sounded like it included gunshots” on an endless loop—an attempt, apparently, to lure the neighbors into breaking down his door and thereby blowing the place up. We even know from his Match.com profile that he was into techno and electronic music, but hated dubstep. (Wow, dubstep, even mass murderers hate you now. Talk about a backlash.)

But the media response to those details has been a giant collective shrug. No one’s even bothered to find out what the song was he tried to kill his neighbors with. They’d rather psychoanalyze his other dating profile on Adult Friendfinder and his obsession with comic book characters, because apparently that is all somehow more germane to this horrible tragedy than the fact a grad school dropout had access to enough automatic weapons to shoot 70 people in a matter of minutes.

I harp on the whole music thing because this past week, a thankfully much more inept gunman showed up on the first day of school with his stepfather’s antique shotgun and blew a hole in a kid with Down syndrome. And within 24 hours, the New York Daily News was reporting on the story with this headline: “Teenager who allegedly opened fire in Baltimore area high school was heavy metal misfit obsessed with Rammstein and Manson Family.”

Granted, the alleged Baltimore shooter’s Facebook page (which, somewhat shockingly, is still up) does feature a prominent photo of Rammstein frontman Till Lindemann, looking slightly deranged as is his wont. So the whole Rammstein connection was pretty much handed to the media on a big silver social media platter. But you would think the better headline might be, oh I don’t know, “Teenager who allegedly opened fire in Baltimore area high school lived in a house full of guns with a criminal stepdad.”

So, to recap: Crazed, costumed gunman listens to techno—no big whoop. Crazed, shotgun-toting 15-year-old listens to Rammstein and Marilyn Manson—stop the presses!

Look, America, I get it: Heavy metal and industrial music are scary. Especially when sung in German. But there is zero correlation between listening to bands like Rammstein and going out and shooting people. Zero. None. If there were, Germany, where the band is far more popular, would be a Mad Max-like hellscape full of lunatics in black trench coats marauding through the streets and shooting everything in sight. But it’s not. 99.99% of all Rammstein fans can listen to a song like “Ich tu dir weh” (“I Want to Hurt You”) and not actually go out and hurt anyone. It’s sorta like how the rest of us can listen to a song like Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart” and not actually abandon our wife and kids.

Sooner or later, we as a society are going to have to stop blaming all this gun violence on music and cosplay and what ever other horseshit our sensationalist media latches onto and look at the main cause, which is easy access to guns. Until we can beef up enforcement of background checks and reinstate some kind of federal ban on assault weapons, these kind of incidents will continue to happen with far too much regularity. Blaming it all on a handful of provocative musicians is like blaming speeding on Sammy Hagar.

I know this is a divisive issue, so I expect a lot of you readers to passionately disagree with me about gun control. That’s fine. Leave your pro-Second Amendment comments below and we can continue the debate. But I hope we can at least all agree that dragging Rammstein into this conversation again (the same thing happened, you may recall, after Columbine) is almost as dumb as bringing a shotgun to school.

Rammstein

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Like a lot of Americans, I never heard of Rammstein until they were all over the news as one of the favorite bands of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, a.k.a. the kids who shot up Columbine High School in 1999. A yearbook photo even surfaced of Harris wearing a Rammstein T-shirt. Apparently, this German industrial band was the Embodiment of Pure Evil and had somehow influenced (along with Marilyn Manson and KMFDM) these impressionable Colorado kids to join the “Trenchcoat Mafia” and go on one of the most horrific shooting sprees in U.S. history. At least that was what the hyperbolic, ham-brained, frothing-at-the-mouth morons who pass for mainstream media in this country would have had you believe. (Sorry, Rest of the World. We’re not all as idiotic as Fox News, I swear.)

Since then, I’ve come to learn that while yes, Rammstein can be a little dark, they aren’t in the habit of encouraging their fans to go on shooting rampages. They’re pretty much just your average metal/industrial band, except they sing everything in German—which, to a certain conservative strain of Middle America, automatically makes everything they do terrifying. Not because they’re German, per se—in Middle America, all foreign languages are terrifying. We Americans aren’t so good with the whole foreign language thing. It’s why when we travel abroad, we yell at your waiters in slow, over-enunciated English.

I’ve also come to learn that, actually, there’s nothing “average” about Rammstein’s version of brutal, Teutonic hard rock. Their music and their stage shows tend to be bigger, louder and more bombastic than pretty much all of their peers, in Germany (where the term “Neue Deutsche Härte”—”New German Hardness”—was coined to describe bands like Rammstein and Oomph!) and elsewhere. The word “Wagnerian” gets used to describe them a lot. Their shows feature over-the-top props like giant, foam-shooting penises and pyro—lots of pyro. Lead singer Till Lindemann is actually a certified pyrotechnician, which must come in handy when the band does stuff like this.

But the coolest thing about Rammstein—and the thing that really earns them an entry here on TWBITW—is that they’re funny. This sometimes seems to get lost in translation, for obvious reasons—but then again, can anyone really watch their “Amerika” video and not get the joke? Judging from the YouTube comments, apparently the answer is “yes.” Oh, my fellow Americans. Y’all need to lighten up.

Fortunately, for the irony-challenged among us, Rammstein just released a new video to promote Made In Germany 1995-2011, their first greatest-hits album. (Yes, they have hits. They’ve sold over 15 million records worldwide, in fact. So color us clueless for having never heard of them prior to Columbine.) It’s for a new song called “Mein Land,” it was directed by Jonas Åkerlund (whose other credits include Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” and the Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up”) and it’s awesome. It’s a German industrial beach party! (Stay with it till the 3:33 mark; that’s when it takes a real turn for the, uh, Härte.)

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