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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Weird of the Day: Knorkator, “Buchstabe”

Knorkator

Many readers, most recently a fellow named Timmey, have tried to turn us on to the German band Knorkator over the years. They’re a satirical rock band and, unfortunately, a lot of their humor gets lost in translation. But their industrial/Neue Deutsche Härte parody “Buchstabe” works in any language, I think, and is a fun way to start the work week. It’s like Yo Gabba Gabba! meets Rammstein.

New Rammstein video collection coming soon, with two new videos for “Mein Herz brennt”

rammstein2013

A big reason Rammstein is on our Weird 100 List at all—let alone at No. 1, a spot they’ve occupied for several months now—is because of their music videos, which range from the absurd to the action-packed to the downright disturbing. So it’s about freakin’ time they compiled all their greatest clips into a single collection. That collection, Videos 1995-2012, arrives Jan. 15th and features over seven hours of Rammstein visuals, including 25 music videos and 24 behind-the-scenes clips. If anyone makes it through the whole thing in one sitting, let us know. Me, I’ll be sticking to lighter fare like Walking Dead and Intervention marathons.

To celebrate the arrival of this monumental collection, Rammstein have released two new videos for the previously video-less 2001 track, “Mein Herz brennt.” The first, a piano-only remake of the song, just features frontman Till Lindemann emoting for the camera in what appears to be Joker makeup and a black strapless evening gown. The second…well, just watch the clip and see for yourself. You might not wanna watch it alone, though.

For more on Videos 1995-2012, visited Rammstein.de.

“Mein Herz brennt” (piano version):

“Mein Herz brennt” (full version):

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.

Tanzwut

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Sometimes, it would be a lot more convenient if this site was called Weirdest Genre in the World. I mean, when you’re diving into the Renaissance-Faire-meets-Euro-Hesher world of medieval metal, how do you pick just one band as the weirdest? But after an all-night bender of bagpipes and drop-D tuning, I think I can safely say that Germany’s Tanzwut takes the crown.

Medieval metal traces its roots…well, technically to medieval times, I guess, but the whole let’s-mix-Ren-Faire-instruments-with-electric-guitars thing really got its start in the ’90s, when it became really popular in Germany for some reason. Among the first bands to do it was a group called Corvus Corax, who started out playing semi-authentic versions of medieval folk songs on traditional instruments like bagpipes, lutes and something I’d never heard of before called a shawm, which sort of looks like a wooden vuvuzela and sounds, as far as I can tell, pretty much like a bagpipe. (Instruments didn’t have tremendous tonal range back in olden days.)

Anyway, as a one-time experiment, Corvus Corax did a metal-influenced 1996 record called Tanzwut, but it was so popular that they eventually just spun the whole thing off as a separate side project, also called Tanzwut, which apparently translates to “dance-rage.” Only in Germany would there actually be a word for that.

In the years since, Tanzwut and Corvus Corax have evolved into completely separate groups. While Corvus still sticks for the most part to traditional medieval music, Tanzwut has become one of several bands mixing medieval instruments and melodies with a heavy (and sometimes more industrial) rock sound. There’s also the oddly named Subway to Sally, the much more appropriately named In Extremo, and a bunch more you can read about on Wikipedia if that’s your thing.

Again, nearly all these bands are from Germany, although there is one excellent medieval metal band from Italy called Folkstone, who a reader named Michael turned us on to back when we were expounding on medieval metal’s even geekier cousin, Celtic folk metal, back on St. Patrick’s Day. When it’s sung in German, medieval metal kinda makes sense in a bombastic, “Ride of the Valkyries” way. Sung in Italian, there’s something kind of insane about it. It’s like Andrea Bocelli trying to make an Anthrax record. (Side note: Michael has a nifty little genre-mashing project of his own called Blood and Banjos, a work-in-progress melding of black metal and bluegrass. Check it out.)

But back to Tanzwut. Lots of medieval metal bands like to play dress-up, but mostly they just wind up looking like the Capitol One vikings or Game of Thrones fans at Comic-Con. Tanzwut look more like a cross between Rammstein and the world’s scariest Burning Man theme camp, with post-apocalyptic pirate bagpipers and a lead singer named Teufel (“Devil”) who sports actual devil horns (OK, they’re just his hair, but still). They’re also one of the few medieval metal bands who can rock just as hard in an all-acoustic setup. Well, maybe not quite as hard, but dig those hands-in-the-air moves at the 0:28 mark. If you can find us another medieval bagpipe band with that much swag, let us know.

Tanzwut’s live shows look pretty epic, but I’ll leave you with instead with their latest music video, for the title track to last year’s Weiße Nächte (White Nights). It seems to take place in some parallel universe where electricity was discovered in the Middle Ages, but it was only used to power guitar amps and halogen worklights.

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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.)

You might also like: Laibach, Author & Punisher, Einsturzende Neubauten

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