Lindemann performing with Rammstein in February 2012
4 January 1963 |
Till Lindemann (German pronunciation: [tɪl lɪndɛman]; born 4 January 1963) is a German singer, songwriter, musician, actor, poet, and pyrotechnician. He is best known as the lead vocalist and frontman of the German Neue Deutsche Härte band Rammstein. He is noted for his muscular stature, unique stage performances (including the use of pyrotechnics and a specific move known as "The Till Hammer"), and bass voice. He is also known for his lyrics, some of which have caused controversy. Worldwide, Rammstein has sold over 10 million records, with five of their albums receiving platinum status.
Lindemann has been listed among The 50 Greatest Metal Frontmen of All Time by Roadrunner Records. He has appeared in some films in minor roles, and he also has two published books of poetry, one titled Messer (2002) and the other In stillen Nächten (2013). He has presented some of his original poems and scripts to galleries. In 2015, it was announced that Lindemann would start a new project with Peter Tägtgren named Lindemann.
Lindemann was born in Leipzig (then in East Germany) and grew up in the village of Wendisch-Rambow, the son of children's poet Werner Lindemann and journalist and writer Brigitte Hildegard "Gitta" Lindemann, who worked for Norddeutscher Rundfunk from 1992 until her retirement in 2002. His parents first met at a conference in Bitterfeld in 1959. Lindemann has a younger sister named Saskia. At age 11, he went to a sports school at the Empor Rostock Sport Club, and from 1977 to 1980, he attended a boarding school. His parents lived separately for career reasons after 1975, and divorced when Lindemann was still young. Lindemann lived with his father for a short time, but the relationship was unhealthy; in the book Mike Oldfield im Schaukelstuhl, Lindemann's father wrote about his own problems with alcoholism and the difficulties of being a father to a teenage Lindemann.
In 1978, Lindemann participated in the European Junior Swimming Championships in Florence, finishing 11th in the 1500m freestyle and seventh in the 400 m freestyle, swimming a time of 4'17"58; he was shortlisted to go to 1980 Olympics in Moscow. He left the sport due to an injury. According to Lindemann, "I never liked the sport school actually, it was very intense. But as a child you don't object." He later worked as an apprentice carpenter, a gallery technician, a peat cutter, and a basket weaver. His mother dedicated a letter titled Mein Sohn, der Frontmann um Rammstein ("My son, the frontman of Rammstein") to Lindemann in 2009.
Lindemann started to play drums for First Arsch, who released an album titled Saddle Up, and played one song ("Lied von der unruhevollen Jugend") with a punk band called Feeling B (which was the former band of Rammstein members Paul H. Landers, Christoph "Doom" Schneider and Christian "Flake" Lorenz). During his time in Feeling B, he played the bass guitar in the band. In the 1990s, Lindemann began to write lyrics. In 1994, the band entered and won a contest in Berlin that allowed them to record a four track demo professionally. When questioned as to why Rammstein was named after the Ramstein air show disaster, he said he viewed images of the incident on television, and that he and the band mates wanted to make a musical memorial. Lindemann then moved to Berlin. During Rammstein's early years, because of his use of over-the-top pyrotechnics, Lindemann has burned his ears, hair and arms. Band mate Christoph Schneider commented, "Till gets burned all the time, but he likes the pain". An incident in September 1996 caused a section of the band's set to burn, and as a result, Lindemann got his certification in pyrotechnics so the band could perform with pyrotechnics more safely than it had previously.
During Rammstein's US tour with Korn in 1998, Till and his band mate Christian "Flake" Lorenz were arrested in Worcester, Massachusetts for lewd conduct performed during their song "Bück Dich", which consisted of Lindemann using a liquid squirting dildo and simulating anal sex on Lorenz. Both Lindemann and Lorenz were released the following day after bail was met. This incident did not stop Lindemann from performing in the same manner for future shows outside the United States, particularly in Australia when they performed at the 2011 Big Day Out, but the United States performances of this song were changed into a sadomasochistic theme that did not feature dildos. In 1999, the band was blamed for the 1999 Columbine massacre, which they denied their music was a factor. In November 2002, Lindemann's poetry book Messer was published. It consists of 54 poems compiled by Gert Hof, the author of the book Rammstein and was the band's pyrodesigner for the last seven years. In July 2010, Lindemann, along with Flake, was interviewed by heavy metal anthropologist Sam Dunn for the VH1 Classic series Metal Evolution, on the topic of shock rock.
Till is not a stranger to injury, as he mentioned in Rammstein's early career that he'd gotten burned several times with unprofessionally rigged pyrotechnics. At a performance in Sweden in 2005, he received a knee injury on stage when keyboardist Flake accidentally ran into him while riding a Segway PT. This injury caused several tour dates in Asia to be cancelled. In 2005, five Rammstein albums received platinum awards and the band also received the "World Sales Awards" for over 10 million sold copies worldwide. During the filming of the band's music video for "Ich tu dir weh", Lindemann wanted a light put in his mouth to create a visually stunning effect. Band mate Paul Landers suggested that he use a flesh colored wire and run it along his cheek to shine a light into his mouth from the outside. Lindemann refused, and instead opted to have a surgical incision in his left cheek, so that a light could be fed into his mouth directly, and largely out of sight.
There is a specific performance move of Lindemann's, dubbed "The Till Hammer". This move is where he bends his knees, beats one fist off his thigh in a hammering motion while turning his head from side to side. On occasion, Flake has been seen to parody the move onstage. Unlike most frontmen, Lindemann stated in an interview that he does not like being looked at while on stage, and would wear sunglasses to block out views of the audience. The main purpose of the band's signature pyrotechnics has also been stated to actually be a tool in taking the audience's attention away from Lindeman, whilst doubling as a spectacle for the audience. Lindemann also opts to look at the back to the mixing booth, or does hand gestures during guitar solos to distract the audience from looking directly at him. Due to his onstage anxiety, Lindemann usually gets his bandmates to use a rubber dinghy to crowd-surf during shows, as it gets the audience's attention away from the stage for several minutes at a time. In 2011, Roadrunner Records listed Lindemann at number 50 of the 50 greatest metal frontmen of all time. In 2013, Lindemann's second poetry book, In stillen Nächten was published. He commented on the poetry, saying "The vast majority of my poems could have been written a few hundred years earlier."
On his 52nd birthday (4 January 2015), it was announced that Lindemann would start a new project with Peter Tägtgren named Lindemann. The band released their debut album Skills in Pills in June 2015.
Film and television
Two songs from the album Herzeleid were used in David Lynch's 1997 film, Lost Highway. Lindemann has also played minor roles in some films, appearing with his bandmate Christoph Schneider as musicians in the 1999 film Pola X, playing a character named Viktor in the children's comedy film Amundsen der Pinguin (2003), and also appearing as an animal rights activist in the 2004 film Vinzent. Till and the rest of Rammstein also appeared in the 2002 movie xXx (Triple-X starring Vin Diesel) while performing "Feuer frei!"
As guest artist
- Lindemann appeared as guest drummer on the album Hea Hoa Hoa Hea Hea Hoa by Feeling B for the song "Lied von der unruhevollen Jugend" which, despite its German title, is sung in Russian. Years later, this track was performed live at a Rammstein gig in St. Petersburg on 19 November 2001, during the Mutter tour.
- Lindemann provides vocals for the track Helden (a cover of Bowie's Heroes) on the Apocalyptica album Worlds Collide.
- Lindemann also sings on "Wut Will Nicht Sterben" by Die Puhdys.
- Lindemann and Richard Kruspe covered the Aria song Shtil and released it as Schtiel.
- Lindemann also appeared on Knorkator's music video to the song Du nich.
Voice and lyrics
Lindemann has a powerful stage presence; his vocal range was that of a bass-baritone, or perhaps even lower. Lindemann has the urge to press his voice with force from below however. He is also well known for his continuous tendency to use the alveolar trill, where he stated in an interview that he sings it out of instinct. His use of rolling his r's however has bought up criticism, where some critics compare this act to Adolf Hitler as he also rolled his r's. However, this trait could be connected to his youth years in Mecklenburg. In 2005, the New York Times commented on Lindemann's voice, saying "He commands a low, powerful bass rarely used in contemporary pop music, untrained but electrifying."
Lindemann himself describes his lyrics as "love songs". Some songs written by him have references to 19th century or earlier literature. For example, Dalai Lama from the album Reise, Reise is an adaption from Goethe's Der Erlkönig. He also used more of Goethe's poems, as Rosenrot contains element from the poem Heidenröslein, while Feuer und Wasser has narrative elements from Friedrich Schiller's Der Taucher. Lindemann also used elements from Der Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffmann for their eighth track on their album Rosenrot, Hilf mir. Mein Herz brennt has lyrics taken from a narrative line in German children's show, known as Das Sandmännchen.
Lindemann has used contemporary literature for intertextual references; a song title, Non, je ne regrette rien was used as a chorus for the song Frühling in Paris, and the song lyrics of Links 2-3-4 are based from the song Einheitsfrontlied by Bertolt Brecht. The lyrics of the song may imply the band's political category, positioning themselves on The Left. He had also used another song composed by Brecht, titled Mack the Knife, and the chorus was used for the song Haifisch.
Lindemann's first daughter, Nele, was born in 1985, and it was mentioned in a German interview that he spent seven years as a single father. Lindemann has one grandson through Nele, who is referred to as "Little Fritz". Lindemann has a second daughter with his former wife Anja Köseling, named Marie Louise, who was born in 1993.
In a 2011 interview, Lindemann has stated he still has strong connections to traditions of East Germany. He finds that "de-traditionalisation" is disturbing, and stated there is also no authenticity anymore. In 2014, Lindemann presented two sculptures and his original scripts of poems in his book In Silent Nights in a gallery in Dresden. Lindemann has also written some lyrics in 2014 for German schlager singer-song writer Roland Kaiser for his album Soul Tracks. Lindemann has stated that he "hates noise", and would often go to a village in the north between Schwerin and Wismar. Among Lindemann's favourite bands are Deep Purple, Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath and singers Marilyn Manson and Chris Isaak. Lindemann is an atheist.
- Saddle Up (1992)
- Herzeleid (1995)
- Sehnsucht (1997)
- Mutter (2001)
- Reise, Reise (2004)
- Rosenrot (2005)
- Liebe ist für alle da (2009)
- Lindemann, Till (2002). Messer [Knife]. Frankfurt am Main: Eichborn. ISBN 3-8218-0927-2.
- Lindemann, Till (2013). In stillen Nächten [In silent nights]. Köln: Kiepenheuer & Witsch. ISBN 978-3462045246.
- "Who the hell are Rammstein?". Rammimages.com. 2006. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
- Bettendorf, Michele (2002). Ursprung Punkszene, oder: "Rammstein hätte es im Westen nie gegeben" (in German) (1st ed.). Book on Demand. p. 116. ISBN 978-3831144938. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- Irgendein Neuerdings Mike Oldfield – ein Vater – Sohn Geschichte (RF radio play) 2011
- Adrienne Didur, Cheryl (2013). "Till Lindemann's Childhood and School Days". TillLindemann.com. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- Pilz, Michael (28 September 2004). "Rammstein erfolgreichste Lyriker sind Deutschlands". Die Welt. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
- Lindemann, Werner (1988). Mike Oldfield im Schaukelstuhl: Notizen eines Vaters (in German). Ingo Koch Verlag. ISBN 978-3938686614. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
- Haack, Melanie; Dunker, Robert; Schurer, Petra (21 November 2009). "Biedermann und Lindemann über Musik und Sport". Die Welt Online (in German). Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- Grundke, Vincent (4 January 2014). "Rammstein-Poet Till Lindemann wird heute 51". Ampya (in German). Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "Deluxe Rostock number 3/2009" (PDF). Rostock Deluxe Magazine. 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
- Bettendorf, p. 117.
- Ronald Galenza, Heinz Havemeister: Feeling B. Mix mir einen Drink. – p. 262. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-89602-418-3
- "OOR Interview – Till – October 1997". Rammimages.com. 2005. Archived from the original on 9 July 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
- Peisner, David (February 2007). "Rock Stars Who've Caught Fire Onstage!". Blender Magazine Online. Archived from the original on 18 December 2008. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- France, Pauline (27 October 2011). "Top 10 Creepiest Moments on Stage". Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. Retrieved 2016-09-21.
- "Rammstein's Act Lands Two Members in Jail". MTV. 7 June 1999. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
- Northover, Kylie (14 January 2011). "Rammstein get out their phallic cymbals". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
- Powers, Ann (25 April 2000). "The Nation; The Stresses of Youth, The Strains of Its Music". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
- MTV News Staff (23 April 1999). "KMFDM And Rammstein Speak Out About Columbine". MTV. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Till Lindemann: Messer. Gedichte und Fotos". perlentaucher.de. 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
- "Shock Rock (Ep. 1-09) Metal Evolution". VH1.com. 23 January 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
- "Rammstein Cancels Shows in Asia". Metal Underground. 1 August 2005. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
- "History (December 16, 2005)". Rammstein. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Sonisphere. "RAMMSTEIN – Making of Ich Tu Dir Weh". Muzu.tv. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- "Rammstein frontman pierced his cheek for new video". The Gauntlet. 21 December 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
- Schmidt, Rainer (12 December 2011). "Rammstein: Exclusive Interview with Till Lindemann and Flake Lorenz". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
- "Till Lindemann – Interview Anakonda im Netz (English Subtitles)". YouTube. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
- Rosen, Jeremy (2011). "The 50 Greatest Metal Frontmen of all Time". Roadrunner Records. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- Schoepfer, L. (3 October 2013). "The Misunderstood". Tages-Anzeiger (in German). Retrieved 16 November 2014.
- "Rammstein Frontman Till Lindemann Joins Forces with Pain/Hypocrisy Mainman Peter Tägtgren in New Project". Blabbermouth.net. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
- Childers, Chad (5 January 2015). "Rammstein's Till Lindemann Forms New Project With Peter Tagtgren". Loudwire. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- "Rammstein's Till Lindemann and Hypocrisy's Peter Tägtgren form new project". The Guardian. 5 January 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- "Details Released For Rammstein Frontman's New Project Lindemann". The Guardian. 5 January 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- Ankeny, Jason. "Allmusic review". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "Pola X". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- "English long interview (Playboy January 2006): Till Lindemann". Till-lindemann.skynetblogs.be. 28 November 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
- Constable, Burt (11 May 2011). "Rammstein show like Blue Man with flamethrowers". The Daily Herald. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Pareles, Jon (12 December 2010). "Offering Sturm Galore, Fire and Drang as Well". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Music Express interview with Richard and Till". Music Express. July 1997. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Littlejohn, edited by John T.; Putnam, Michael T. (2013). Rammstein on fire : new perspectives on the music and performances. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 19. ISBN 978-0786474639. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
- Berlinski, Claire (9 January 2005). "Das Jackboot: German Heavy Metal Conquers Europe". The New York Times. Berlin. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Bettendorf, p. 99.
- Littlejohn, p. 218.
- Littlejohn, p. 100.
- Littlejohn, p. 240.
- Nestingen, Andrew (2008). Crime and fantasy in Scandinavia : fiction, film, and social change. Seattle, Wash.: University of Washington Press. p. 101. ISBN 978-0295988047. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- Littlejohn, p. 126.
- "Rammstein: Das Herz schlägt links, oder?". Laut.de. Retrieved 20 November 2014. This song is in fact written by Bertolt Brecht and composed by Hanns Eisler in 1934. The full text can be found here: "Einheitsfrontlied"
- "Rammstein vocalist Till Lindemann admitted that he hates the noise". RIA Novosti. 6 July 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
- "Till Lindemann – Biography". IMDb. 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
- Bauermeister, Juliane (19 February 2014). "Die bizarre Kunst des Rammstein-Sängers". Bild.de (in German). Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- "Rammstein-Sänger hat Songtext für Roland Kaiser geschrieben". T-Online (in German). 17 April 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- "SZ: Till Lindemann about desire". Retrieved 22 June 2016.
- "NNDB". Retrieved 22 June 2006.
- Henne, Bruce (1 March 2015). "Lindemann tease album debut". MetalHammer. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- Kanetzky, Aurelia (5 February 2015). ""Lindemann": Debütalbum für Mai angekündigt". Rollingstone (in German). Retrieved 2 March 2015.
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