Een interessant interview met rythm gitarist Paul Landers:
Let's start with the obvious; Liebe Ist für Alle Da just came out, and it's apparently a monster, as far as sales go. You've gone platinum in multiple countries, platinum in pre-sales alone in Finland, and the album even hit number 13 on American charts. That's quite a start for this album. Is that surprising to you, or at this point have you grown to expect a certain amount of sales when a new album comes out?
Landers: It's not directly surprising. This isn't the first thing that the band is waiting to hear, but now that it has come, it's really a pleasant thing to have. Everyone in the band thinks that it's good that it's been received so positively, because it really is a record that the band is proud of.
As far as structures and themes go, it seems that the album has returned a bit to the sounds of Herzeleid and Sehnsucht in that the orchestral elements have been scaled back a bit in favor of more aggressive synthesizer sounds. Was bringing back this electronic sound intentional, or did it come about naturally as the songs were being written?
Landers: There was definitely a general consensus in the band to return to a heavier, harder sound, that being the band's roots, and we were thinking about what makes Rammstein so special, what are the strengths, and those are the things. The idea this time around was to take those aspects and put it into a contemporary package that sounds like today.
This album was actually recorded in California, which is rather surprising. What inspired this decision, and what was it like recording an album in the USA?
Landers: The fact that Rammstein had never actually recorded in the States before was something that made recording in California attractive to us. Starting with the drum recording, we went to Henson Studios, well known for producing The Muppet Show, and that was an excellent experience, a really professional studio with great technology that's well maintained. The drum room that they have sounds really great, so we got a great drum sound there, and having a great drum sound down will put you halfway there. For the second part, a certain studio was planned, but the arrangements didn't work out, so we had to go to another studio at the last minute. This studio wasn't really an optimum situation for Rammstein; it wasn't something we really enjoyed. But since we had the songs more or less finished, it was just a matter of getting into the studio and recording them. We did our work as quickly as possible and then went home.
You've done a video recently advertising Guitar Rig, and you made a comment that you planned on using Guitar Rig for the clean sections of the new album. How much of the guitar on the album was recorded through the program, and how much was recorded through conventional means?
Landers: It's interesting; through the work with Guitar Rig, I got turned on to the hardware that was modeled in the software, and I returned to using the hardware. In a way, it became more traditional as a result, and I've been using more and more old-fashioned hardware.
The special edition of Liebe Ist für Alle Da contained a song at the end called 'Liese' that was essentially 'Roter Sand' with different instrumentation and entirely different lyrics. What is the connection between the two songs?
Landers: The simple answer is that 'Roter Sand' is a result of the band's continued development of 'Liese.' 'Liese' was the original song, and it was something that Ollie, Till and Flake came up with after a bottle of red wine. It took them a grand total of about eight minutes to come up with it, and 'Roter Sand' was the result of the band working on it and developing it. It's like the brother song to 'Liese.' Some of the band members said, 'No, leave it. "Liese" is the better one,' and another fraction said, 'No, the new version is much better,' so the only choice was to put both versions on there.
The song and video for 'Pussy' seem to have had a very polarizing effect on many fans. Some people are saying that it's Rammstein's big return, that it's a great song and very catchy, and others are calling it juvenile and below what Rammstein normally does. Do you have any comment on that?
Landers: Both sides are correct in their assessment.
Are there future plans to make other videos from the album, or will you be too busy with the tour in the coming months to work on that?
Landers: There are two more videos already in the works. 'Ich Tuh Dir Weh' was shot last week by the band, and it's a straight performance video that we shot on our new stage. The other video will be for 'Haifisch,' and it's going to be a classic Rammstein video with a story behind it, but I'd rather not give any more details and let you be surprised by it. The band will also be touring Europe soon, and in fall of 2010, we hope to be in North America.
The song 'Wiener Blut' seems to take its inspiration from a recent high profile case in Austria. Fans will remember the controversy surrounding Armin Meiwes and 'Mein Teil.' Has there been any backlash or criticism regarding this song?
Landers: We've always stated in interviews that when we're coming up with songs, it's not public perception we're worried about. The songs we come up with work out the way they work out, and when stories come up like the one behind 'Wiener Blut,' it's just something where we say, 'This is great, this is a perfect topic for us.'
After Rosenrot was released, the band took some time off from touring and recording before returning to the studio. What did you do during the break from Rammstein?
Landers: For the one year that we had off, I ended up traveling around the world with my wife. It was interesting, because when she suggested the idea to me, I said, 'No way, no way, that's all I've been doing is traveling around the world with Rammstein, I want to stay in Berlin,' but she convinced me. We spent a month in New York, a month in LA, two months in Hawaii, another month back in LA, and it was really the greatest time of my life, actually. I really enjoyed it. I got into windsurfing, and it's something I'm semi-good at now.