by Karolina Lamroth, Helsinki
Rammstein dug into my soul
The German band Rammstein is famous all over the world. Both Germans and Non-Germans are often thinking that the band is more famous abroad than in their home country. But the chart positions are proving that this is a prejudice. The band had most of their #1-albums at home. Alternative people in Germany normally don’t like Rammstein, thinking that the band uses elements of the extreme right-wing culture without clear dissociation. In Eastern Europe, Scandinavia und the USA it seems to be no contradiction to consider oneself as left-wing and a Rammstein-fan at the same time (Justyna said though, that this is not concerning the surrounding of the Mózg-club in Bydgoszcz, Poland). One element of Rammstein’s singing, not recognizable for Non-Germans, is the tongue-tip-pronunciation of the ‘R’. This sound, which is unusual for the German phonological system, was the official theatre pronunciation until the fifties. You can find it in some dialects and in old films, but today it is associated above all with the public speaches of Adolf Hitler. East-German fans of the independent music scene of the eighties have a special reason for disliking Rammstein. Some of the members of Rammstein are coming from this scene – to be specific they played in the band Feeling B. But the strictly commercial character of Rammstein entailed that many fans of Feeling B did not become Rammstein fans in the nineties.
In this edition there is this pro-Rammstein article from Suomi. The plan to have an article in this edition already about a conspiracy of the direction of stripes on ties Rammstein wore on its latest album cover failed. We hope to find a contra- Rammstein article in the next edition.
For me Rammstein is a representative of punctilious German heavy metal, nothing more or less. It doesn’t matter that I don’t speak much German. It is not the question. Their music is so organic and strong, it feels like a dark old shabby blanket which you can pull over your head when needed. Outside the blanket is the hard and complicated world, inside just me and Rammstein. The world is simple again. Listening to Rammstein is like some kind of meditation. It is relieving to listen to the music, play air drums and sing along to it in bad German and let your thoughts wander. Inside your head you can go through your bad feelings. How the hell is it possible that a German heavy metal band with a middle-aged looking singer who is nearly the size of a house can express my feelings so accurately? Because of Rammstein I am nowadays much more interested in German language than I was in school. Wunderbar! A year ago I attended a Rammstein concert in Helsinki. When looking at the audience I felt that we all formed together an enormous organic animal, under the command of the small doll-like figures who play on stage. When they order, we obey blindly. I couldn’t help thinking that the band was from Germany, as were the Nazis. I started thinking happier thoughts, for example what happens if you are a skinny keyboard player and in the same band with a muscle man. You will end up to a pot. The concert was good, but that wasn’t enough for me. I want to have Rammstein all to myself. And I have it every time I listen to it alone. Sometimes I can share it with other people. But the best moments are when I am alone with the band. I listen to lots of different kinds of music and I like to go to gigs. Why is Rammstein an exception? I think the reason is that Rammstein has a direct effect to my soul. The band allures my bad and unpleasant thoughts and feelings into daylight. And I do not want to show my dark side to anybody. Besides the language aspect Rammstein is only music to me. I am not interested in their videos or political opinions. I’m just a gloomy Finn who likes to spend time in my summer cottage and who likes to listen to heavy music.