We all know Rammstein. However, we also know very little about Rammstein – especially their pre-history. One thing, though, is that they’ve somehow kept the same six-piece lineup since forming in 1994. But what came before? Hammer‘s scoured the depths of the internet to find every band Till Lindemann and co. were in before becoming the faces of German metal.
These East Germans were active from 1983 to ’93, during which time future Rammstein guitarist was a founder member Paul Landers, while guitarist Richard Kruspe and drummer Christoph Schneider also passed through their ranks. speaking to metal hammer, Christoph described Die Firma as “a new-wave punk band… with gothic influences.” He also revealed that two one-time members were government spies keeping an eye on East Berlin’s music scene.
Also active from ’83 to ’93 were these experimental punks. Paul and keyboard player Christian ‘Flake’ Lorenz were part of the band for their entire decade-long history, while Christoph joined in 1990. Feeling B released three albums before splitting, although Rammstein briefly kept their memory alive, performing their song Lied Von Der Unruhevollen Jugend during a 2001 Russian tour.
Till Lindemann may be Rammstein’s imposing singer, but he manned the drums for this art punk crew he co-founded in 1986. First Arsch (“Arsch” meaning “Arse”, because it’s Till Lindemann) released one album in 1992, which also featured Paul and Richard, then of Feeling B and Das Elegant Chaos respectively. The trio left in 1993 to focus on Rammstein – in hindsight, not a bad idea.
Das Elegant Chaos
This Schwerin-based quartet lasted just two years, from 1987 to 1989. However, the fact that their guitarist was Richard Kruspe has given the band and their sole release, ’89’s Lyric EP, a posthumous fanbase. Like many pre-Rammstein outfits, Das Elegant Chaos were a punk rock band, ranting in German over scurrying guitar chords.
Orgasm Death Gimmick
Two years after Das Elegant Chaos broke up in 1989, Richard co-founded Orgasm Death Gimmick. The four-piece sounded much more clearly like the guitarist’s future band, dealing in monolithic industrial metal. In fact, the title track of Rammstein’s Sehnsucht uses the riff from this band’s track Cybereven going as far as to earn them a songwriting credit.
Bassist Oliver Riedel played for these folk rockers from 1992 to ’94, although they’d persist for another eight years after the bassist left to join Rammstein. The Inchtabokatables paired violins with drums and bass to create a half-modern, half-traditional sound, and of course threw German lyrics on top. The resulting music was dramatic, energetic and, calling a spade a spade, a bit fucking weird.
Frechheit, Sam’s Dice Group, Keine Ahnung
Christoph has the most extensive CV of any Rammstein member. Not only was he apart from Feeling B and Die Firma; he’s also had cups of coffee in bands called Frechheit and Sam’s Dice Group. He enjoyed a stint in Keine Ahnung during the ’80s as well. In 1989, the band released 6/8 Freiheita ranting post-punk effort, though they split the very same year.