German cannibal inspires hard rockers Rammstein to new hit
August 27, 2004
BERLIN — It will inevitably result in a book and a film, but the story of
Germany's cannibal has already brought a summer chart hit to the
country's masters of the macabre: the hard rock band Rammstein.
The hard rock band - Rammstein.
"He loves me so much he could eat me. The soft and the hard
parts are all on the menu, it's so good with seasoning and
flambed," go the not so subtle lyrics of Rammstein's Mein Teil,
or My Part.
For those who may have forgotten, Armin Meiwes was jailed in
Germany in January for more than eight years for killing and eating
a willing victim: both of them tried to eat the man's dismembered
penis before he died.
The story of the "cannibal of Rotenburg" was manna from hell for
the group's singer, Till Lindemann: "It's so sick that it becomes
fascinating and there just has to be a song about it," he said
Mein Teil rocketed into second place in its first week in the
charts in Germany after its release in early August, before
slipping down to sixth place by the middle of the month.
The video clip, which shows the musicians held on a leash by a
transvestite and rolling around in mud, has sparked heated debate
and is only being aired by music television channel MTV after 11:00
A few other stations have been giving day-time airings.
But controversy is not new to Rammstein, which, with an extra
"m", takes its name from the site of a 1988 aircrash in which 70
The six piece group from Hamburg, northern Germany came together
in 1993 and their particular fusion of industrial and progressive
rock and heavy metal have made them one of the better-known bands
Rammstein's first success came in 1995, with Herzeleid, or
heartbreak, but it was the group's second album Sehnsucht,
nostalgia, two years later that really put their name up in lights.
The disc went platinum in Germany and the United States.
Their pyrotechnical stage show, including firebreathers,
explosions and flame throwers, has contributed to their notoriety.
They have also been known to walk on stage through a giant fake
womb in their underwear.
It's a repertoire that has won them fans as far afield as Japan
and Australia, not to mention their wide following in Europe.
But it has won them few fans among police in the United States.
Lindemann's musings in his deep, guttural howl and grinding against
the group's keyboard player during the song Bueck Dich, bend
over, earned the two a few hours in custody after a show in
Other incidents they could have done without, such as when the
teenage gunmen in the 1999 Columbine highschool massacre, in which
12 people were killed, declared that Rammstein was their favourite
That same year, though, the band won the Echo award in Germany
for "best artist abroad" and received a prestigious Grammy
nomination in the United States.
Film-maker David Lynch also included two of their songs on the
soundtrack to his dark cinema classic Lost Highway.
Even Kurt Cobain, the late and legendary frontman for the grunge
group Nirvana, had described them as a dream band. – Sapa-AFP
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