Richard Z. Kruspe

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Richard Z. Kruspe
Richard Zven Kruspe.jpg
Kruspe with Rammstein in 2010
Background information
Birth nameSven Kruspe
Born (1967-06-24) 24 June 1967 (age 52)
Wittenberge, East Germany
  • Guitar
  • vocals
Years active1985–present
Associated acts

Richard Zven 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 vocalist of the band Emigrate.

Early life[edit]

Kruspe was born in Wittenberge (then part of East Germany).[2] He was named Sven at birth, but later changed his name to Richard Zven, as he believes that everyone should be able to change their name if they so choose.[1] He has two older sisters and an older brother, Gordon. 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. He later got into wrestling as a way to channel his anger.

At the age of sixteen, Kruspe and some friends visited Czechoslovakia, where he bought a guitar. He had originally planned to sell it, as it was very expensive and he thought he could make a nice profit from it. However, once he returned to East Germany, a girl he met at a campground asked him to play it for her. He told her that he couldn't play; however, she kept insisting, so Kruspe got mad and started strumming. He recalled: "The harder I played, the more excited she got. Something clicked in my head, and I realized girls like guys who play guitars." This got him interested in playing the guitar; as a result, he began playing every day and night for the next two years.[1]


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 through Hungary. When the Berlin Wall came down, he moved back east of Berlin.

Kruspe's first band, Das Elegante Chaos, 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, 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 featured in releases by 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]

Richard Kruspe during "Feuer Frei!".

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. Sometime in 2001, he moved from Berlin to New York to live closer to Bernstein. They separated in 2004. His last name is now back to its original form, as the divorce was finalized. In 2011, he left New York, because "it is not the right environment for the next part of my life", and moved back to Berlin.[3] It was also at this time that Kruspe announced he was becoming a father for the third time.

Kruspe has a daughter, Khira Li Lindemann (born 28 February 1991). Her mother was previously married to Rammstein lead singer Till Lindemann and kept Lindemann's last name when she divorced. Later, she and Kruspe had Khira. As the couple never married, Khira was born with the last name of Lindemann.

Kruspe's son, Merlin Esra Besson, was born on 10 December 1992.

Kruspe's second daughter (and third child), Maxime Alaska Bossieux, was born 28 September 2011. Her mother is Margaux Bossieux, bassist of the all-girl New York punk band Dirty Mary. Bossieux was also involved in the recording of Emigrate's debut album.[4]

Kruspe speaks fluent English and sings in English with Emigrate.


  1. ^ a b c Hartmann, Graham. "Richard Kruspe of Rammstein + Emigrate - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?". YouTube. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Rammstein Interview". The Gauntlet. 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  4. ^

External links[edit]