Rammstein guitarist Richard Kruspe reveals why he thought about quitting music after the last tour.
Richard Kruspe (54) is a founding member and guitarist of Rammstein. Since 2005 he has had another band, which he describes as his “personal balance”: With Emigrate the musician will release his fourth studio album “The Persistence of Memory” on November 12th. In an interview with the news agency spot on news, Kruspe tells whether he will ever go on tour with the group. He also talks about the “deep hole” he fell into after the last Rammstein tour and reveals when the cult band’s new album will be released.
For you, Emigrate is the musical balance to Rammstein. How do you manage to keep this balance?
Richard Kruspe: The balance was only created through Emigrate. Emigrate is not only a musical freedom, but also the freedom to be able to do what I want – whenever I want it. There is no commercial pressure. An Emigrate album is also much more personal for me because the creative process is completely up to me. Nevertheless, I keep noticing that working in a team has many positive aspects. Sometimes you have ideas that you don’t know whether they are good or bad. The team then quickly notices whether ideas are sustainable. I need emigrates for my personal equilibrium.
In 2014 you said in an interview that you don’t want to give concerts with Emigrate. Will it stay that way?
Kruspe: I got the world of live playing with Rammstein. I never had the feeling that I wasn’t playing live enough. I still see it that way today, even if the ice is getting a little thinner, because of course I am asked from many sides. Should Rammstein stop playing live at some point, then I might think about it again.
Many people in the lockdowns remembered what is really important to them in life. How was that with you?
Kruspe: To be honest, I had already gone into isolation before Corona, after the last Rammstein tour. That was maybe the biggest tour in our band history and when I came home afterwards, I fell into a deep hole for the first time. I withdrew and in between thought about stopping music because I didn’t see any point in it. Of course, you don’t like to experience such a depression and if you don’t get help from outside, you have to be able to reflect extremely strongly on yourself.
So I fled into the memories, into the past. She was the only one I had. I came across all of these old songs and ideas and looked at them again. They helped me move back into the present so that I could finally look into the future again afterwards. A journey back in time to inspiration.
The live industry was and is particularly idle. How have you been and how are you with this situation?
Kruspe: Playing concerts is definitely part of my job, but only a small one. I never had this feeling “I have to play myself on stage”. For me the moment when a composition was created was always more interesting, the creative process in the studio is more important to me than the creation on stage.
You have worked with many music stars, including Marilyn Manson. What do you think of the allegations against him? Would you work with him again anyway?
Kruspe: In dubio pro reo (“In case of doubt for the accused”, editor’s note). In principle, however, I am very much against power manipulation of any kind, whether as a musician, TV producer, photographer or parent. I hate the use of power on others. I would no longer work with Mr Manson, not because of these allegations, but because I have already worked with him.
The planned European tour with Rammstein was postponed to 2022. How much do you miss the stage?
Kruspe: Of course you miss something especially when you are not allowed to or when it is not possible at the moment. So yes, I’m looking forward to the upcoming tour with Rammstein.
Do you think concerts with 2G or 3G rules make sense?
Kruspe: I always think concerts make sense.
Rammstein has an album in the pipeline. Are you allowed to reveal something about it?
Kruspe: The album is expected to be released next year before the tour.
“The Persistence of Memory” is not only the title of the new Emigrate album, but also that of a well-known work by Salvador Dalí. What do you associate with the painting?
Kruspe: The passing of time, decay, transience and at the same time the feeling of timelessness. The connection between the past, present and future.
How did it come about that you covered the classic “Always On My Mind” together with Till Lindemann?
Kruspe: Long story. Years ago a record company wanted to do an Elvis cover album. I started to write, but eventually dropped it. But I was so fascinated by Elvis’ voice in this song. No matter which instrument I started up in the studio: it always prevailed. I wanted to bring this version out for the release of “Silent So Long”. But then there were legal problems. I was wondering who has such a concise voice. And then I came up with Till. Sometimes it’s just too obvious. I asked him, he felt like it and we ended up recording the whole thing as a duet because I found it more emotional.
You have recently rediscovered your love for electronic music. Are you still going to continue making rock music?
Kruspe: Modern and young influences are important. I am interested in how music evolves. Rock music is no longer folk music. The rebellion is no longer to be found in rock music these days, but in lyrics that can be heard above all in hip-hop. Now we are living in a transition from the analog to a digital world. Listening behavior changes. And then I ask myself the question: will that change the songwriting as well? Is a music revolution imminent?
I already had a penchant for electronic music in my youth. Bands like Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode have always inspired me. The way I write songs has of course also changed for me. In the past, there was always a guitar riff at the beginning, from which everything developed. Today I work with many other instruments.
Emigrate was originally supposed to be just a project, but they are now releasing their fourth album. What are you planning for the band’s future?
Kruspe: With Emigrate I am of course always facing new challenges. A purely electronic album could be the new challenge.