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Rammstein - Left or Right?

category international | arts and media | opinion/analysis author Saturday May 28, 2005 02:31author by Floatilla Report this post to the editors

A short analysis on the politics of Rammstein

I thought this might be of interest for assorted lefts. I've written this article for a music fanzine in my own area, but it certainly has political relevance, especially for fans of the German industrial metal group. The politics of Rammstein have been debated for years, but those who I have spoken with have always been a little unsure of the actual stance of the band. Hopefully this article will go towards clearing this debate up in some ways. Any constructive criticism is appreciated.

RAMMSTEIN - LEFT OR RIGHT?

Politics are always tied to music, whether it be in the lyrics of your favourite songs or the financial backing of the music company promoting the artist. Many artists repeatedly use their abilities to express political opinion, and as a result of this their fan base is moulded partly through such ideas. However, German industrial heavy metal act Rammstein have consistently found themselves courting both ends of the political spectrum since they formed in 1993. This is due to a number of reasons : not least that the combination of their reputation as the worlds biggest selling German-speaking band as well as their stirring, almost orchestral, lyrics and music have resulted in the modern day acolytes of Hitler and Nazism embracing the band with little enquiry into the bands political leanings.
Therefore, I am attempting to look at the truth behind Rammstein, and where they see themselves upon the political spectrum, if anywhere.

FASCIST SUPPORT

There is no doubt that within fascism internationally, there is a great deal of support for Rammstein. A lot of this support is simply derived from the fact that the band are German, without any real delving into either the contents of the lyrics or the views of the band itself. For instance, on the well-known fascist message board (Details of nazi site removed by editor in line with our 'No Platform' policy), FarStar88 states, I'm from South Africa and have recently been introduced to a German Rock band called Rummstein (I think that's how it's spelt). I don't understand the lyrics but the feeling that the music conjures for me is pure Germanic strength and pride.. FarStar88 later posted again in a darker fashion, I want to go into battle with that music blaring over some serious speakers. It'll scare the **** out of the Niggers over here.

It is interesting to note that although there is an underlying number of people, including fascists, who believe that Rammstein may have their roots in White Power music, there is no well-known critical study into the band which proves that this is the case. There is no doubt that the band have been criticised for flirting with fascist imagery, the most famous incident when they used clips from the work of Leni Riefenstahl for their music video Stripped. Critics have also jumped quickly to brand the band politically - Jam Showbiz (April 2001) described their album Mutter as "music to invade Poland to.

THE RAMMSTEIN DEFENCE

Rammstein over the years have courted their share of controversy, once spending a night in a US jail back in 1999 after using a giant dildo at a show in Massachusetts. They have consistently by their own admission pushed the boundaries of good taste, enraging Christian morality campaigners wherever they go, particularly in 2004 when they were accused of trivialising the Armin Meiwes cannibalism case in their video for Mein Teil. They were also on the end of a vicious press backlash after the Columbine school massacre when it was discovered that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold - the two boys who carried out the shootings - were discovered to be huge fans of the band. Due to pressure by right-wing Christian protest groups, the band issued a press release, stating, "The members of Rammstein express their condolences and sympathy to all affected by the recent tragic events in Denver. They wish to make it clear that they have no lyrical content or political beliefs that could have possibly influenced such behaviour. Additionally, members of Rammstein have children of their own, in whom they continually strive to instill healthy and non-violent values."

It is also interesting to note that after the Belsan hostage crisis, the Russian state claimed that the Chechen rebels responsible had been listening to Rammstein throughout the siege, listened to German hard rock group Rammstein on personal stereos during the siege to keep themselves edgy and fired up." This however was never independently verified.

The truth is that despite their on the edge stage shows and provocative material, Rammstein have always unequivocally denied that they are nazis or have fascist sympathies. The use of Leni Riefenstahls works in Stripped caused the media to publicly question Rammsteins political allegiances. Angered by the claims by the press, Rammstein wrote and recorded Links 2 3 4, designed as a riposte towards the insinuations of fascist ideology. Kruspe-Bernstein states that the song means, "'my heart beats on the left, two, three, four.' It's simple. If you want to put us in a political category, we're on the left side, and that's the reason we made the song."

NO POLITICS PLEASE - WE'RE RAMMSTEIN

The one conclusion we can take from this is that Rammstein have been mainly caught up in a political debate that they have no real interest in whatsoever. They have sadly been branded due to their own tendency to push morality to the limit and damn the consequences. Rammstein will undoubtedly be the subject of much more controversy as they continue to produce music, but one thing is for certain - they will live by their own motto, which according to drummer Doom Schneider is simply : Do your own thing. And overdo it!. Rammstein are hardly active Trotskyists, but lets be fair - theyre not fascists.

author by w - dissentpublication date Sun May 29, 2005 15:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Rammstein are hardly active Trotskyists, but lets be fair - theyre not fascists."

You say this as if an active trot is something to aspire to.

author by Floatillapublication date Sun May 29, 2005 23:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's hardly a neutral article but I'm not the type to hide my politics behind journalistic neutrality if i can help it!

author by jeffpublication date Mon May 30, 2005 16:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Noughties version of the likes of Laibach, and even, to a certain extent, Kraftwerk. Both groups had 'questions' asked about their alleged sympathies. No I wouldn't bother losing sleep or pulling your hair out over Rammstein...

author by Philpublication date Wed Aug 24, 2005 00:21author email philippe_labonte at yahoo dot caauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

This song is supposed to be a reponse to all the critics calling them right-wing.

The lyrics in the song state 'the say my heart beats right, but my heart beat left, left 2,3,4...'
Meaning that he is left-wing.

author by kevin healy - nonepublication date Wed Aug 24, 2005 01:50author email kevhealy24 at eircom dot netauthor address 24 st killians pk clondalkin d22 irelandauthor phone 014594045Report this post to the editors

i,m fed up hearing about bands being blamed on the irresponsable actions of easily led, highly impresionable youths in todays society. but whatever excuse they have, what of the so called educated journalists who jump at chance to write a sensationalist piece of shite all to sell a few more copies of their bullshit rags
rammstein make great music, and i emphasise the word music

author by dragopublication date Wed Sep 21, 2005 20:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

they're still sexist, you know.

author by 99d - none.publication date Mon Dec 24, 2007 22:58author email skinned at techemail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Deluisonal Fascist's may think that Rammstein is right-wing, but only a minority of mentally-degraded Nazi's could be so wrong. Proof:

In the Song Moskau (which is more recent) it has the words in the chorus in Russian saying:

Pioneers are going there,
singing songs for LENIN.

Rammstein have been very happy in the past with their support from Russian fans, this is more than likely what it is directed at.
Also, the Song 'Links 2 3 4' starts with Links which means Left. This song was deliberately made to settle a political argument.
Thats enough proof that Rammstein does NOT hold Fascist symapthies.

my Email: skinned@techemail.com (no, thats not Skinhead!)

author by lehammerpublication date Sun Nov 13, 2011 13:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Considering the lead singer is part Jewish and their manager is mixed race, part black African,  I think the Fascists need to rethink their allegance to this group. It's too late for that nonsense - the world is a fully integrated place these days. Hybrid vigour will prevail.

author by mojo5150publication date Wed Mar 07, 2018 05:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They said the same thing about Wagner.

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