Richard Kruspe

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Richard Kruspe
Kruspe with Rammstein in 2011
Kruspe with Rammstein in 2011
Background information
Birth nameSven Kruspe[1]
Also known asRichard Z. Kruspe
Born (1967-06-24) 24 June 1967 (age 54)
Wittenberge, East Germany
  • Guitar
  • vocals
Years active1985–present
Associated acts

Richard Kruspe (born Sven Kruspe;[1] 24 June 1967) is a German musician and guitarist of the German Neue Deutsche Härte band Rammstein, as well as the lead singer of the US-based band Emigrate.

Early life[edit]

Kruspe was born in Wittenberge (then part of East Germany). He was named Sven at birth, but later changed his name to Richard.[1] He has two older sisters and an older brother. His parents divorced when he was young, and his mother remarried; Kruspe did not get along with his stepfather. The family moved to the village of Weisen when Kruspe was young. Because of his poor relationship with his stepfather, Kruspe often ran away from home in his early teens, sleeping on park benches.[citation needed]

In a 2014 interview with Metal Hammer, he commented on life in East Germany, stating: "The thing about East Germany is that it was great to grow up there, until you were 12. You were presented with the illusion of a very healthy society, which worked unless you asked questions – and you don't ask questions until you're 12."[2]

At the age of 16, Kruspe and some friends visited Czechoslovakia, where he bought a guitar, originally planning to sell it at a profit, but then started playing it.[1]


Kruspe during a performance of the Rammstein song "Feuer frei!"

In 1985, bored with the apathetic music scene in his hometown, Kruspe moved to East Berlin and lived on Lychener Straße, where he "made music all day". For two years, he lived in an apartment with a drum kit and a guitar, and made music by himself because he did not know anybody there. "It was a lonely time", according to Kruspe, but he used it to explore music.

On 10 October 1989, before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Kruspe was riding on the subway. After coming back above ground, he found himself in the middle of a political demonstration. He was hit on the head and arrested just for being there, and thrown in jail for six days. Once out of jail, he decided to leave East Germany. Because of the Eastern Bloc, he entered West Germany by traveling through Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Austria. When the Berlin Wall came down, he moved back east of Berlin.

Kruspe's first band, Das Elegante Chaos,[2] was formed in the late 1980s. The band played live with other bands such as First Arsch (in which Till Lindemann was a drummer). In 1989, when Kruspe was 22, some songs were recorded by the band; these songs were later released in 2011 on the album Lyrik by Dachboden-Records. Seeking a more independent experience, Kruspe formed Orgasm Death Gimmick,[2] which operated between 1991 and 1993; Orgasm Death Gimmick released three demo tapes, and a promotional tape through their label, Wydoks, before disbanding.

During his early career, Kruspe also played with other bands, such as First Arsch. Finally, Rammstein was formed in 1994, when Kruspe, who lived with Oliver Riedel and Christoph Schneider at the time, was looking for a new band in which to create a new style of music.

Personal life[edit]

Kruspe married South African actress Caron Bernstein on 29 October 1999. The ceremony was Jewish, and Kruspe composed the music for it. He took the name Richard Kruspe-Bernstein during their marriage. He moved from Berlin to New York in 2001 to live closer to Bernstein, but they separated in 2004, and he changed his last name back to its original form. He moved back to Berlin in 2011.[3]

Discography (selection)[edit]





  1. ^ a b c d Hartmann, Graham. "Richard Kruspe of Rammstein + Emigrate - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?". YouTube. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Everley, Dave (4 July 2019). "Rammstein: The birth of a legend". Metal Hammer. Future plc. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  3. ^ "Rammstein Interview". The Gauntlet. 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2012.[dead link]
  4. ^ "Richard Z. Kruspe | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 October 2020.

External links[edit]