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This work is dedicated to a constantly searching for new creative challenges person, a Man whose vivid image, great personal charm makes girls’ hearts tremble and boys spend enough time before mirrors in improving their skills to do the same hairstyle. He is very sexy and he knows it. A natural frontman, a backup vocalist, a talented workaholic, a creator of impressive, inspiring songs and music full of power and energy. A leading guitarist and founding father of a legendary international German band and one more an industrial/alternative metal band,band that was firstly started out as a solo project.
Here you will be able to make yourself aware of some moments from his personal life and his music philosophy.

Submitted: August 30, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 30, 2016






This writing is dedicated to a constantly searching for new creative challenges person, following the idea that “you simply know that there is a certain role for you to play in life. You receive certain signs and then take on that role. That's normal”. (RZK) A Man whose vivid image, great personal charm makes girls’ hearts tremble and boys spend enough time before mirrors in improving their skills to do the same hairstyle. He is very sexy and he knows it. A natural frontman, a backup vocalist, a talented workaholic, a creator of impressive, inspiring songs and music full of power and energy. A leading guitarist and founding father of a legendary international German band and one more an industrial/alternative metal band, the band that was firstly started out as a solo project. “He’s the number one guitarist in Germany”. (Hotei)

Here you will be able to make yourself aware of some moments from his personal life and his music philosophy. That is not fiction at all but information gathered and systemized thoroughly from a different number of sources as a well-known world-wide-web, extracts from articles, video interviews. Unfortunately, I haven’t got a personal interview with this great man but it gives a way to have a dream. “Some people cherish a special dream. And this dream is meant to be dreamt. The dream itself is all about a dream. And when you question and confront it you will notice that it isn't a dream after all. Sometimes it's important to simply let people dream”. (RZK)

So, let’s start with some private events.




He was born on June 24, 1967 with a name Zven Kruspe which he changed to Richard. He also used to be named "Bernstein," after his South African ex-wife Caron Bernstein. Richard’s nickname from the time of wrestling is Scholle and also known as Fuchs (Fox), which he personally invented. He speaks fluent English, having studied it with the help of magazines and TV programmes, and sings in English for Emigrate. Of special signs and hobbies, the following was found. First, the right ear is pierced. Secondly, the temporary tattoo to be occurring at fight past. Eyes are the standard blue, he loves to scare people around him wearing contacts like Marlyn Manson. Height is 1.80, hair is dark brown.

Kruspe was born in Wittenberge, East Germany. He has two elder sisters and an elder brother. His parents divorced when he was young:

-My world is dark it’s not bright, it’s not sunny, it is very dark. Since I was a little kid, I knew that I’m alone and that I can also help me alone. I had that feeling very strong. The divorce of my parents played a huge part. I had an extremely well relation to my father. I’m second born- always a little difficult, well in my case it was the first-born, my brother got the whole love of the mother and the second child wasn’t so well endowed.

Basically, we are all here to be loved and I didn’t really get that feeling and I think that’s why I developed such a good relation to my father. Just to dodge and so on. And that deprivation of my mother had a certain meaning for the rest of my life.

His mother remarried, but he did not get along with his stepfather. They moved to the village of Weisen when he was young:

-My father was away from home, my mother didn’t tell me where he was and my stepfather tried to be a father what I didn’t accept and because of that I got educated with violence.

As a child, Kruspe was a fan of Kiss:

- Even in East Germany, you got the information coming across, and big bands, of course, you got information about. You didn’t have records at all though. You had to make tapes from second or third copies. KISS, for example, was an absolute phenomenon. They represented capitalism in its purest sense, and every child was KISS infected because they were so big. Kids wrote KISS on their notebooks, and if the teachers saw it they could get kicked out of school, just for having it written on their books. When I saw one of their videos in the U.S., it took all the illusions away from what I thought they were about when I was a child. I used to have a poster of them in my room as a child, and when I was 12 years old my stepfather tore it down and into a thousand pieces. I was up all night trying to put it back together, and you can be sure it was hanging the next day. When I saw their video, my illusions faded away, of course you can’t keep the sentiments you had as a child because your imagination is so much bigger than the reality is.

I tried to listen to other American bands as well, and as I got older I got really, really into one band, Big Black, a great industrial band.

Being 13 was so bad for Richard:

-There was no peace, not any ‘being home’. Being home was always related with violence, darkness and loneliness.I had the feeling that I can’t stand it anymore and I just ran away. I remember sleeping on park benches in November that was just unthinkable at that time, in East Berlin. It was just like ‘how will I survive the next day? How will I scrape by?”

That was a feeling kind I had. Of course, it was lonely and I was mad and sad because of all those matters but I just kept trying to survive, how it will go on and stuff. I just wanted to go away. I wanted to take charge of my life.

I often had confinement to my room, was often in my room, wasn’t allowed to go outside and the music was always a bridge to another world for me, leave the reality, escape. And I think that’s why music had such a great influence on me, and still has. It was like a friend because it couldn’t hurt me and I was able to live out my feelings with it.

With a defiant behavior, Richard kept trying to get his mother’s attention. His preferred provocation: aggressive, loud music. Later in one of the interviews, Richard Kruspe will mention that his own mother, in her own way, has had a great influence on his life - just by being a woman. He didn't realize it at the time, but she really laid the tracks for his life in many ways, and he didn't even feel that he knew her.

Even now the musician care his mother’s opinion:

-I had somehow always hoped that my mother wouldn’t see the video “Pussy”. But she did and even thought it was good. So, that was a little disappointing.

Kruspe’s music teacher called his parents once and asked him because she thought there was a kind of something going out of him but his parents said no and he became a wrestler:

- I grew up in East Germany and have been into sports since I was four. I was a wrestler for seven years.

Richard hasn't wrestled for many years, although he did wrestle his "twin" in the video for "Mein Teil":

-So, I thought ‘Mein Teil’ is my alter ego, my shadow- what you are always struggling with in life and have to balance. And that’s what I tried to act out by wrestling with myself.

 Now I always do sports and try to be in shape. It has become the part of my life. I think lot, so to have some balance, I also train my body. My day begins with exercises – no matter which.

But a friendship between Richard and the music prevailed over sport:

-I was around 14 and liked hard music, heavy metal stuff. On the other hand, I always liked pop too. I always had to keep something secret, as Depeche Mode were too much pop. But I like the melodies and Martin Gore’s song writing talent. 

At the age of sixteen, Kruspe and some friends visited Czechoslovakia, where he bought a guitar. He had originally planned to sell it, because they were very expensive and thought he could make a nice profit. However, once he returned to East Germany, a girl at a campground he was staying at asked him to play. He told her that he couldn't play, but she kept insisting, and Richard got mad and started strumming the strings. "The harder I played," Kruspe said, "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, and as a result, he began playing every day and night for the next two years in a conservatorium in Schwerin in East Germany. (where he learnt jazz guitar)

At that time, Richard as any high school student in East Germany had a vocational training in a particular field of work and graduated his school receiving a cook specialty. Also the future musician had a chance to earn his living as a long-distance truck driver (in making of Benzin Kruspe confessed: ‘As a kid I always wanted to be the driver of a big truck. That was my childhood dream.”) but after the car accident his license was revoked; a window cleaner (but left it because of a fear of height) and a cashier at the bottle recycle till.

At the age of nineteen, bored with the apathetic music scene in his hometown, he moved to East Berlin and lived on Lychener Straße and "made music all day." For two years, Kruspe lived in an apartment with a drum kit and guitar, and he 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.

The first concert which made an impression on Richard was probably Motorhead.

On 10 October 1989, before the fall of the Berlin Wall, he was riding through the subway. When he came 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. In those days, one couldn't just leave East Germany, so he entered West Germany through Czechoslovakia. When the wall came down, he moved back east.

Richard’s love affairs are confused enough. The first sexual experience was quite early  at 13 and a half. In 1999 Kruspe married South African (American) actress Caron Bernstein. The ceremony was Jewish and Kruspe composed the music for it. He took on the name Richard Kruspe-Bernstein during their marriage. They separated in 2004. His name is now back to its original "Kruspe" 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. It was also at this time that Richard announced he was becoming a father for the third time.

On February 28, 1991, Khira Li Lindemann is the daughter of Rammstein's Richard Z. Kruspe. She has the last name of "Lindemann" because her mother was previously married to Rammstein lead singer Till Lindemann. Khira's mother kept the last name "Lindemann" when she divorced Till and later, she and Rammstein guitarist Richard Kruspe got together and had Khira but never married and later split. This gave Khira the last name of "Lindemann." Sometime in 2001 he moved from Berlin to New York where he resided to live closer to his now ex-wife Caron.

In 1997, Khira Li appeared in Rammstein's "Tier" performance in Live Aus Berlin. In 2001, she sung the backing vocals for "Spieluhr" on Rammstein's 2001 album Mutter.

On December 10, 1992, Merlin Besson is the son of Richard Z. Kruspe. Different surnames suggest that he and Khira Li Lindemann are half-siblings. Both he and Khira Li Lindemann are believed to reside in Berlin, Germany.

Kruspe’s second daughter, and third child, is Maxim Alaska Bossieux. She was born on September 28, 2011. Her mother is Margaux Bossieux, former bass player of the all-girl NY punk bad Dirty Mary and background vocalist, bass player of Emigrate.

He tries not to involve his children and to keep his family life separate.



Musical career


“Every band is not together for 10 years, should not call themselves as a band.

The hardest part to be in a band to stay together for more than 10 years.”



In late 1988, a few months before the Berlin Wall came down, Richard Kruspe was riding the subway. When he came above ground, he walked into the middle of a political demonstration. Richard was hit on the head, arrested for just being there and then thrown in jail for six days. When he got out of jail, he decided the smartest thing for him to do would be to leave East Germany for good. In those days you couldn't just leave East Germany, so Kruspe had to escape to West Germany through Czechoslovakia.

So, Richard decided to move to Berlin, which was a big step for him because he was moving out on his own for the first time and into a big city. Kruspe lived alone there for two years in an apartment with a drum kit and a guitar. He made music by himself because he didn't know anyone there. It was a lonely time, but he used it to explore music. In 1991 Richard Kruspe started a band, Orgasm Death Gimmicks. But he was always a little bit bored:

-So, I started side-projects in other bands and this was the origin of Rammstein.

After the wall came down, he moved back home to Schwerin, where Till Lindemann worked as a basket weaver and played drums in the band First Arsch. In 1992, Kruspe made his first trip to the United States with Till Lindemann and Oliver "Ollie" Riedel. With Till Lindemann, he covered the Aria song "Shtil", which was published as Schtiel in order to be pronounced properly in German.

At that time, he was very influenced by American music:

- I tried to imitate American music. Following that, I spent six months in America absorbing their music. I wanted to see if it was possible to integrate their musical style and culture but I realised quite quickly that it wasn’t.

Richard realized that the music he had previously made was not right for him. He envisioned something with machines and hard guitars together. At this time, Kruspe lived with Oliver "Ollie" Riedel (of the band The Inchtabokatables) and Christoph "Doom" Schneider (of Di Firma).The three started working together on a new project.

Kruspe soon found it hard to write music and lyrics at the same time. He got Till to join them as he had often heard him singing while working:

-Till was- and still is- a friend who I asked to sing in the band. He didn’t want to do it at first. But I persisted and eventually persuaded him to come to Berlin where we rehearsed for the first time.

A contest for new bands was announced and the prize was studio time. The four of them recorded the first Rammstein demo and won. This was basically the beginning of Rammstein. It was conceived as a side project as everyone had their own bands. (At that time, he had a hairstyle aptly described by Lindemann: "Front, he was tonsured briefly, and behind him was a long" ponytail "with white stripes - the whole he looked like a striped squirrel". Over 10 years in Rammstein Richard had already changed his hairstyle twice, from uncut locks to the beloved crazy hedgehog. The color varied from dark to a natural silver-blue and black with a red tip.)

Paul H. Landers knew them all and wanted to know what they were doing. After listening, he agreed to join. At this point, all they needed for the machine-sound was a keyboarder. They tried to get Christian "Flake" Lorenz to join, as he had played with Paul before in the band Feeling B. Flake was not entirely thrilled with the idea at first and didn't want to join for a long time. But, he eventually agreed.

In January 1994 the band was formed. Richard saw their coming together as fate.

They all had relationship problems which provided the foundation for their debut album, Herzeleid (Heartache), in 1995. Since then, they have reached gold and platinum status for their music and have become Germany's number one music export. Rammstein’s rigorous metallic hardness was based upon steely guitar riffs, violent industrial beats, and provocative lyrics causing feelings to run high.

Within three years, Rammstein rose to the top of the German music scene. Because some of the band had already settled down and had children they had accepted that their future would be fairly average but their sudden success got in the way of this:

-You don’t really feel the success within yourself. You mostly notice it in the way others behave towards you. It’s particularly noticeable with people who knew you beforehand- and who now act differently. You are suddenly a star for them.

So, they could expect a band to develop itself further:

-The first album (Herzeleid, 1995) was, of course, somehow the beginning of being together, the first encounter we had with one another. The first energy, which we had, was very rebellious and incredibly aggressive. This is the type of energy we had when we were first together. The second album (Sehnsucht,1997) was somehow more of a pop album, more through, more constructed and more deliberate. The third album (Mutter, 2001) is somehow a mixture out of the two. People who listen to this album realize that music can stand on its own.

When we’re recording I really listen to our music a lot. I analyze it and listen really closely to catch every detail. When an album is ready I am generally so soaked with it that I really can’t stand it anymore. However, when I go jogging in the morning and one of our songs is on my mp3 player, I won’t overreact and skip it.

So, you can see that the band is developing, which is always important. If you understand the lyrics, you’ll see they are in credibly dark. You can take a ride into the unknown, the darkness and evil, into magnificence and compassion. We are choosing certain things, we always had a dark side and we are interested in certain things. I guess that’s why people think we are controversial. Rammstein is emotional and all the more you try to cram into a concept, the more you lose. The lyrics our singer Till Lindemann writes are really very complicated and they shouldn't be taken literally. We are no politicians that should say things as clearly as possible. Our lyrics should be read by using your fantasy.

We do believe if you want to make true art, you have to follow your instinct. Everyone in the band has morality, and there are certain things we’d never do. But Germany is still wounded by its own history. That’s why there was some kind of misunderstanding. But I think this is over. I think also, since the last World Cup, things have changed. When we had the World Cup, even people who felt it was not cool to have a German flag on their car were driving around with the German flag. The new generation Germany is getting much more a balanced feeling of its identity than it was a couple of years ago. It’s important that you have a balance of feeling to your own country:

- The situation now is actually perfect. But I'm astonished that many of our fellow Germans don't want us to succeed outside Germany. The thing became especially clear when Rammstein was nominated for a Grammy in the US. People started talking that we should not even agree to the nomination. Why on earth? I don't understand... What harm can such a thing have? It's just an advantage for us and other German groups.

Richard Kruspe has always dreamt of playing in a legendary venue in New York, Madison Square Garden. Everybody told them in the beginning that this would never happen, and the project would lead to nothing. But we always stuck to what we were doing, and it was a big surprise that with German lyrics and German music we would make it anywhere, especially in the United States. Long story short, in seventeen minutes it sold out. People thought playing over here that the language barrier was going to be an issue. Richard thinks that if you create something that’s authentic and unique as Rammstein, then you don't think you really have a problem with the language. He just remembers when he was a child he couldn't understand English and he was still rocking and it worked for him. Also the he thinks that because they're so visual when they play live that they kind of are trying to build visual riches that people understand. It becomes more of an opera:

- You know, when you go to an opera then you expect people to sing Italian or German or whatever. So, with Rammstein it is kind of the same thing. But if you put on more of a visual thing like when you go to an opera, fans don’t care if you are singing in English or German. When you make the show big visually, they get it, they can sell that. That is why a lot of promoters jumped on it and said they can make it all happen. Then we got this tour here and it got sold out. We now have an offer for next year for 21 shows. Things are really going. It is great that we can play here in venues of the same size as other countries.

In the history of Rammstein, there was one time when our record company asked us to translate at least one of our singles into English because they were afraid that they wouldn’t work in the U.S., and we were, of course, curious to do that and listen to the songs in English. The fact was, the U.S. DJs, at radio stations, refused to play the English song, they wanted to play the original German song. That was when I understood that you couldn’t jump from one language to another, because it does change the song. The German language is very important to go along with the music, it fits the music, and is an important part of the picture.

It was funny to perform in the U.S., hearing people sing along and knowing that they probably didn’t know what they were saying. But it was fun for us to hear people not singing, but shouting the lyrics. The audiences were emotional, and we were touched by that. It reminds me of back when I was a child, singing along to English songs, not understanding what I was singing, but just singing along because I had too. The same thing is happening now in the U.S., so it’s very nice!

Eventually Rammstein became the second headliners in a tour like Family Values so that even some of America’s famous bands, including Metallica, have reportedly asked not to perform after Rammstein, due to their spectacular live show:

- We did some really crazy things sometimes. On the first concerts there weren't that much people of course, but we wanted to get them to move. So we run into the audience, threw some gasoline on the floor and put it on fire... it's really true! It was of course dangerous and early in our career a small accident also happened. We put gasoline on the stage as well and some of the stuff splashed by accident on the people in front row. A few people then got some minor burns. We were really worried and went with them to the doctor, but fortunately they managed without serious injuries.

I enjoy the role-playing and costumes on stage. It’s a big part of the show for me. Two designers from Berlin – Irmgard and Sofie design the concert outfits. We work with them for almost ten years, everything began during “Mutter” works. They are very creative.

One more the band’s strong point is their sensational videos as well as breathtaking live shows:

-Rammstein’s strength lies, I think, more in the area of telling stories. To make videos where we have the possibility of bringing the song to another level.

Richard Kruspe is very serious and laborious about what he is doing (even through pain) and shootings are not the exceptions:

-While making the video Engel there was one scene where us three quasi go into the bar. We had to jump up the wall and there was a nail in it. As we were filming, I couldn’t shout “ouch”. I had to hold onto the nail and pull myself up.

"Engel" song can be attributed to  Richard’s  personal merit.

The band’s line-up has not changed and managed to stay together since its founding:

-I suppose everything has a good and a bad side, obviously. I do believe that we have this special chemistry between us and I would try to make any kind of compromise possible not to change that. Everyone has to, because we have this little democracy going on in the band and… which is very difficult to live as we know in real life.

The same thing as in a band. You know, the older you get, the more complicated it gets because everyone has his own way of dealing with things and it's complicated but not undoable. So you have to be patient, you have to be trying to compromise a lot, you always have to see the bigger picture. You just have to try and put your ego behind the door and try to think is it really important for you right now or is it just an ego thing?' It is kind of a life therapy that you go through. At the end of the day it's worth doing. It is kind of like the same thing with relationships – you're changing and breaking up every time you have a problem until you realise 'well, if the next girl or whatever comes, then you have the same problem'. So I mean the problem really here in life is to learn and I see it more like 'why can't you learn right now' rather than to do it to someone else?

Everyone in the band has their own opinion. Each wants to push forward his own ideas and it has been difficult to make decisions. It’s hard to live with the awareness that you have to constantly struggle with opposition, that you have to fight. Problems multiply with time, and because we hadn’t talked about them, the frustration only grew deeper. However, I need to say that the differences mainly work out in favor of the band. The truth is we all need one another. I bet if anyone was to leave the band, Rammstein would cease to exist. All in all it doesn’t really matter who has the biggest influence on whoever, because there is this constant good vibe that drives us. Even if you hate one another, you’ll eventually love one another again:

-All six of us have always decided everything together. All six of us have always a tremendous amount of time but of course this takes that we’ve reached a point. Now we have realized where we need to divide the tasks, talents in the band. There are certain strengths, and we have to learn to accept this.

Mutter is one example and in some way it’s indicate of the band that it’s important that these six people are involved whether it’s visual or creative. When this component is missing, this chemical reaction between each other, then you arrive at this, as in Mutter. Richard considers himself a control freak. This fact nearly led to the band splitting up after Mutter as he has confessed that his need to control all aspects of Rammstein caused huge problems. It was decided that they should all take some time off and then reconsider whether to continue.

Rammstein have been together for such a long time and they are a democracy and it gets really complicated. They have to talk a lot about everything. It all has to be talked through and takes a long time. They have had those moments with the band and they are great. Richard is grateful for what they did but everything has an end. There is a time when you have to move on:

-I’m happy we’re playing concerts together at the moment. I don’t want to leave the band, don’t get me wrong. I love the boys and everything’s OK. I’m happy we’re playing gigs, but I don’t feel like recording another album. Simply, our creative work at new tracks is not a priority for me. I think that Rammstein have achieved a certain level. Let’s take AC/DC for instance – I don’t care much about their new album, I just want to see them live and listen to their old tunes. Same case with us. People always come to our show because they want to listen to the old songs and they don’t care about the new.

 I think that every band that has been together for over 15 years has had a moment. In every band there is that highest moment of creativity and you reach that certain level of outcome or genius. After that you are just trying different things to get that moment back together. I think that with the right amount of distance and time between each event, you can reproduce this as often as you want. Right now I am not looking to get back into the studio again with Rammstein because that was just hell for me. It was too much. I am really looking forward to playing these shows and I am looking forward to doing an unplugged version of Rammstein which is not the way most bands do it. I want it to be a way to get excited. But going back into the studio with Rammstein, no way.

I think that the current band situation is that no one wants to record the next album but nobody knows what’s gonna happen in 3-4 years. It always had its own rhythm and we never produced one-year records, ever. We always took our time and Rammstein is the only band that could headline a festival without putting any records out. It's a great situation to be in because there's no pressure. That's what I like; I don't like to be forced.

 Anyway, Richard Kruspe gave his word to Rammstein that the band is always priority number one. He likes the fact that when you turn up whatever, your iPod or your radio and you listen to a song and you know its "Ah, it is Rammstein. It can only be Rammstein." It has to be authentic, it has to be original and that is what Rammstein is all about.




“ Emigrate gave me the opportunity to split my energy in half.

I never believed in monogamy. I always believed in duality of life.

But for me to create a new identity and really

separate those two lives was a great possibility in the beginning.”


Richard Kruspe realised he has achieved something very special with Rammstein. And there is a lot at stake:

-You know, you don't wanna throw it away, you're financially independent. In a way, You're afraid of losing it. There's a lot of things there too. You think twice before you make a decision and there are so many times where anyone felt like "That's it, I'm moving out. I can't take it anymore!" Everyone has his own little trick to deal with it.

Richard’s trick was to move away to New York to have the distance between the band and himself. Since Richard Kruspe moved to entirely a new world for him where he has finally discovered how happy he really is with what he's doing:

- I'm the kind of person, you see, who has a very restless spirit. I need challenges all the time, and luckily New York is a constant challenge, I think.

The thing about New York City is that I think it's female. It's definitely a female city. It's really erotic, it's drama, it's exciting. All of those things describe it for me. Since I was a young boy growing up in Germany, I never really felt at home when I left my little village basically. When I went to Berlin, I lived there for 16 years. I was always feeling I had to do something and that I had to be here because of what this town has with music, but I never really felt at home.  Now with New York, I'm home again. I can't describe why. Obviously, I come from a totally different culture growing up in East Germany. I must say I like a lot of things that symbolize American culture. What differentiates America is to exaggerate: the good as well as the bad things.

It's a big inspiration. Being a musician or being artsy or whatever, the best thing you can do is stay hungry. For me, living in Berlin after 16 years and having achieved a lot of things in my band, I felt I needed a change.

I don't know what it is, but New York just drives me in insane when it comes to creativity. I can write. Getting up everyday in the morning and doing all my things that I do in the studio and I'm writing everyday. Richard was re-inspired by the city, by all the experience and new influence that he got from the city. He moved into an old firehouse which is real spooky and haunted having a lot of history. “It was quite interesting to live there - I'm still living there.”

In 2005 when Rammstein decided to take a year off from touring and recording Kruspe began work on a solo project, called Emigrate (p/s:actually started in 2001, RZK from Story and Interview by The Atomic Chaser & The Rocker, January 24, 2008) . The idea for it came to him around Rammstein's Mutter era:

- I am a creative guy and it becomes so frustrating having to compromise all the time. Even if it works out. Compromising isn't a good thing for me. I take it too personally. I do believe in a team. I also believe in the chemistry of the band. I think I like to be the one that calls the decisions. I believe the music itself must be the king, but I want to be the queen. It took us a while to learn this. At the moment, we are at the position where we are all really happy again. We are all equal. That was the most important thing.

In New York Richard Kruspe met a French guy, Arnaud Giroux, and they had a little bit of the same kind of history. Like he came to New York, got married there, and he was kinda by himself. He was looking for something. They met and  had a deal together basically saying Richard helps Arnaud with some stuff, he helps Kruspe, so then he came to Richard’s studio and he was impressed by the stuff that Kruspe did, and said "listen, lets do it. Lets write together". Arnaud was the guy who recorded Richard’s vocals in the beginning. Richard met Henke Johansson when he played with Rammstein on a tour. Kruspe always loved his childish smile that he had on when he was playing. Kruspe played him the demos from Emigrate and he was really into it and wanted to be a part of it. The other two guys were friends from Berlin that Richard always liked to do something with but hadn't had a chance yet:

-When we started this band, I was emigrating out of Germany to America.
When I was looking for a name for the band, I found the word Emigrate written on the street on a piece of paper. It exactly described the situation I was in. The band’s logo symbolises for me the circle of life, and the 'E' is breaking out of that. Being open, getting out of your comfort zone, getting other people in. That's the idea.

Emigrate became the balance that Richard needed. When he started this band, a lot of people feared it’d be the end of Rammstein, while the opposite is true; Emigrate was created out of a frustration he had with the world of Rammstein:

- With Emigrate, I always try to explain it that basically Emigrate is the cure of Rammstein. Emigrate brought back the balance for Rammstein, it was really important because Rammstein has their own kind of rhythm, and I'm a little bit too fast sometimes for the band. So I had to cut my speed in half to fit into Rammstein, and that's why Emigrate was born.

So, when Richard Kruspe started Emigrate, he was asking himself the question: does the world need another record? Does the world need anything new? He’s always thinking about that because there is so much music around. Then he realized that he needed this record so badly, he needed to do it for his own health, for his own sake, and that's the main purpose. That's something he had to do to survive:

-So doing this, I would not think about what other people think, or what they would think about my new thing. It was a really selfish thing, and that's why I'm saying nothing, because in the end of the day, it was important to cure Rammstein back, and it was important for me to complete myself as a songwriter in Emigrate, to start something new. That's the most important thing for me. If people appreciate it, it's fine, if not, it's fine too.

 Together these bands bring Kruspe the balance he wants in his life, which is such an important thing. Being in Rammstein he realised he likes to be in charge, he likes to be the person who calls the shots, he likes to be the one who takes responsibility, and realizing all that made him a better team player.

Richard thinks members from Rammstein are really happy that he found another outlet. He’s constantly writing, and before he had Emigrate he was bombing them with ideas every day. Kruspe thinks they felt overwhelmed because Rammstein is such a democracy, to the extent that if someone does anything then everyone thinks they can do it too. So if he’d come up with 45 ideas, then others in the band may feel they’d have to come up with 45 ideas as well. There was lot of pressure going on within Rammstein because of that, so when they went into the studio for the last record they decided he wouldn’t write anymore because it was just too much. So, there is no competition anymore because everything he’s putting out right now goes to Emigrate:

-I never felt I needed another band to play live, since I always love playing live with Rammstein. But what I missed in my life was making great records. As much as I enjoyed playing live with Rammstein, I missed writing songs and making great records (Rammstein’s only studio album in the last nine years was 2009’s Liebe Ist Für Alle Da). Also Rammstein is such a visual band and people always talked about our shows – to the extent that no one seemed to talk about our music anymore, so maybe I was subconsciously trying to prove that I could do a band without any visual effects.

With Emigrate, even though I had put a band together that had never played together, it was mostly 95% playing. So I think trying to bring it to a live situation it will be more music than a show. It's just the organic of the band, or the music, it's.. I don't know, we will see.

The band became significant because it was the first time in Richard’s career that he took the role of lead vocalist, and also because all the lyrics were in English (in the self-titled CD's liner notes, Kruspe credits his former wife Caron Bernstein as a co-writer):

- I think every guitar player kind of has this thing in their head that they actually want to be a singer, and they're just afraid or whatever. I think when I'm in Rammstein, I always thought I'd want to sing.

In the beginning obviously Richard was advanced in writing music, but as a singer he was like a baby. So he was really frustrated about this imbalancing going on. And  Kruspe thought in the beginning that maybe he should use a singer, and then his bass player came and said "You wrote the songs, there's no-one left who can sing those, you have to do it". So it helped Richard to just conquer his fear basically, that there is nothing he can do, he just has to do it. Singing is all about attitude anyway.

On September 5, 2006, members of the newsletter were sent an invitation to the Emigrate newsletter and given the chance to download the song "Wake Up", a sneak peek of the upcoming album. Three song samples were also posted on Emigrate's website: "My World", "Babe", and "Temptation". Fans voted "Babe" as being their favorite, and newsletter recipients were allowed to download “Babe” in its entirety starting November 29, 2006.

On May 21, 2007 the Emigrate Official Website opened and “My World” was made available for download, in its entirety, to newsletter subscribers.

Emigrate released its first self titled album on August 31, 2007. Emigrate is the first thing Richard Kruspe did in his life that he has not felt pressure. Richard felt not pressured that he had to prove anything for anyone, except for himself. Not to record companies, because he was financing it himself, not to my management, not for anyone else, just for himself.

 Richard can't really say how long he took because it was a lot of involvement in the beginning, trying things out, he never really had time... it was just two weeks or three weeks because he was back recording with Rammstein and touring with them. It was always a time in between, so it's hard to say how much he actually worked for it. But he worked a lot!

The band Richard put together had never played together:

-I was nervous about the scenario. You can build up this great band on paper, but until they get in the room together, the chemistry might not be right. Because I was nervous in the beginning, I asked Jacob Hellner to join us. Once I realized that there was nothing to worry about, he just became a consultant basically. We wrote 17 songs in like 2 weeks. With Stephan Glaumann, I had a lot of engineers in America that I admired, but I couldn't afford them. I have worked a lot on Rammstein stuff with Stephan and he was a guy that I could trust. It wasn't easy in the beginning I must admit. He was trying to adapt the Rammstein sound to the Emigrate songs. I was listening to the tracks and I was quite frustrated. It was not the way I envisioned the songs would go. I couldn't really explain it to him. Then I came back and I always used a cube metaphor to explain Emigrate. I don't know where it came from. I told him about the cube sound, but I told him it needed to be more "cubey" and it worked. From there he moved away from the Rammstein sound. Jacob would come in and listen to the tracks and let us know if he liked them or not. We changed the roles. I really liked it in the end. I was really nervous though about reversing the roles. Stephan was great as you could get his opinion on the songs. With mixing there are so many directions you can go with a song. It was great that he listened to my opinion and he did a great job.

I was surprised actually how, at the end of the day when I was listening to it after not listening to it for a long time, easy listening it is, kinda. I always thought I had a much darker side. This sounds kind of like rocky, in a way. I was surprised myself because I am not a big rock fan. I mean I am in the old days, but then I moved to a different world and then I was thinking like: "Okay, it's interesting because I am a big believer that an environment has a big influence on music anyway". So I was thinking about New York City and I thought about the history of rock music in New York. There's always sometime each year when a new band comes up from New York and people go "Wow, that's the new sound of New York City!" And then you see that it's the old sound from five years ago. So basically what I am saying is that New York's sound never changed. So maybe this also has had an influence on my record. I don't know, it's interesting.

The video for "My World" has been released and can be viewed on the official website. The video was also included on the limited edition release of the album Emigrate. In addition to the video, "My World" is featured on the soundtracks to the third Resident Evil movie, Resident Evil: Extinction and True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet. The soundtracks to the previous two movies contained "Halleluja" and "Mein Teil" from Rammstein, respectively. On July 27, 2007 Richard made an appearance on Bruce Dickinson rock show on BBC. A video for "New York City" has been released.

Richard then left the Emigrate project aside due to Rammstein reuniting in the fall of 2007 to work on their new album Liebe ist für alle da which was released in October 2009, and also to take part in the subsequent Rammstein tour.

The band was currently on a break, but founding member and guitarist Richard Z Kruspe was back with Emigrate, who were readying the release of their second album Silent So Long - the follow-up to 2007's self-titled Emigrate. On December 9th, 2014, Emigrate's second album titled Silent So Long was released.

There are a few key differences between both albums; the first one Richard recorded in New York, and the second one in Berlin. His New York-record was more rocky, the second one is moodier and darker, and he believes Berlin has a big influence on that. Richard Kruspe has 2 studios: 1 studio in New York and 1 studio in Berlin. It really depends. He’s trying to divide it between both cities. When he’s in New York, he’s writing for Emigrate. When he’s Berlin, basically he’s writing for Rammstein. Sometimes it's really difficult to do the studio stuff.

Another big difference between the albums is that Richard wasn’t yet ready to be a singer at the time of the first album. He was trying to be a singer, but he needed seven years to find that mental switch and flick the singer-button on in order for him to enjoy singing. With this second album Kruspe delivered vocals of which he can say “this is cool”.

He also used different guitars, different microphones, different cabinets, different amps, different pre-amps. Richard even created a sort of a microphone robot that moves microphones from left to right and up and down in the control room:

-When it comes to recording the guitars for this album, I had such a specific idea of the sound I was chasing that I basically ended up re-recording all parts five times. I ended up with 21 songs recorded that each had between 16 and 18 guitars on them. Replayed by five, you can do the math; I spent a lot of time recording guitars over and over again. I ended up giving my guitar engineer the key to the locker where my guitar cabinets are and told him “Do not give me this key back”, otherwise I would have still been in there recording guitars right now. I am really obsessed with guitars.

Richard Kruspe obviously has a unique guitar style of his own, but there were also specific musical influences for him while writing this album:

-Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ is one of those rock songs that I always had in mind as a song that would be fun to play with. I also referred to it in Rammstein with ‘Spiel Mit Mir’, and one or two other songs. It is such a classic song and it’s so much fun to play with that beat. Jimmy Page is one of those guitarists I really admire, another one of them is actually AC/DC’s Malcolm Young, who I think is one of the best guitar players in the world.

Some songs on this album like ‘My Pleasure’ or ‘Faust’, for instance, have got such great riffs that they would have been perfect for Rammstein:

- ‘Faust’ is the most obvious one. That song is inspired by the movie ‘The Devil’s Advocate’, remember the scene where Al Pacino has a monologue where he talks about God? That inspired me to write this song. That monologue was actually included in the demo version but it made the song too long.

The one thing Richard was trying to change was the drummer:

- We write a lot on computers but after that we go the old way, meaning we go into a rehearsal room as a band and play the songs. One thing I wanted was a new drum wipe. Not that I wasn't satisfied with the first record, but I was trying to get something else, more wild and expressive. My guitar tech told me about Mikko from Apocalyptica. I knew them because they opened for Rammstein in the old days. I was never listening for the drummer in that band, but I called him up and he was really excited. We didn't have a chance to try him out, so I was nervous bringing him in, but we got really lucky with this guy. He's lived up. It was a great band feeling.

The lyrics on the record come across as very personal and dark:

-Obviously, it comes through life. It’s through good and bad things. We grew up in East Germany. It comes through how you see and go through life and all the good and bad stuff you experience growing up. When you start to write those songs we always attracted to the darker side of life as opposed to the happy side. If you write a song, all of a sudden the song goes in one direction then you have to follow up where the song wants to go, and then it comes kind of naturally, there’s certain things you want to visualize. And then every song gets what it deserves.

One thing I always liked about lyrics is that they shouldn't be discussed. Since the early days of Rammstein, people were asking us and it's such a shame as the listener - who are also part of the whole process of making music - come up with their own stories. If you explain things, you ruin the fantasy. I don't like to do that.I want to create a dialogue with all the people who listen to it. If you can create a story with my lyrics, I think that is fantastic. It is a good thing.

The only song where the theme is clear is 'Rainbows', which is inspired by Richard’s daughter. 

There are some very interesting guests on this album; Marilyn Manson, Lemmy, Peaches,  Jonathan Davis from Korn, Frank Dellé from Reggae-band Seeed.

Richard Kruspe wanted to try and create a musical project that would be more of an open source, where he could do a lot of collaborations with other musicians. On this second album Richard was being the open source and he reached out to people he wanted to collaborate with. Kruspe didn’t have a wishlist, the tracks dictated themselves which musicians he wanted to work with. He contacted them all personally before he contacted their managements and record labels. “One good change in the music industry is that people now just want to make music, and they don’t care about whether it sells or not”.

Initially Richard Kruspe thought he would only do two albums with Emigrate, and then he’d start something new, but cooperating with all these people gave him such pleasure that it has made Richard see a future in Emigrate:

-This is the first album in my life where there isn’t anything I’d want to change and that’s a great feeling.


There was quite a bit of debating among the Loudwire staff, but So Long was chosen as the #1 Best Rock Album of 2014! 


Richard Kruspe found his peace by doing Emigrate but he doesn’t stop trying any kind of collaboration that pushes him to get out of his comfort zone and do something different. This time in 2016 Richard shot the video for the song “Move it” as a guest singer with Hotei:

- A lot of the time, especially with musicians, you stick mostly in the world that you’re in, and sometimes you’re scared to do this kind of work because it brings you into a situation where you think, ‘Oh my god, what am I doing here?’ And especially asking me to sing, I’m on a very new track in my life, so it was a challenge for me to do so. I think it’s great. There’s a lot of things I don’t like about the music industry right now, but this is something I like, that people actually collaborate and are open for that. I thought, ‘You know what? Let’s try – no guts, no glory.’’





“Many, many artists, musicians…need that

But demonize that at the same time somehow and hate it.’’


Every person has got definite addictions and Richard Kruspe is not an exception:

-My drug is I want to worth something. I am only worth something when I am creative. I’m only worth when  I, for example, make another album. I’m only worth something when I’m on stage. Only with this ‘new’ I get the feeling I can continue living or I’m allowed to continue living.

I’m somehow driven by this addiction being worth something and by this addiction to create, getting the confirmation by this addiction only worked with creating, with ‘being’. It just won’t stop, I think it’s like taking drugs. The first ‘kick’ is always the best and you always want to get that exact moment again, and I think that you can never satisfy that.

You certainly know that what you represent there’s an illusion, it’s not real. You always have to know that, you are not god. You are not so strong.

You are a part of a machinery and the music really lets you know where it wants to go, which direction it wants to take. Specially with respect to things having to with sound it the case that when you have a song, the song lets you know, music, for example, lets you know, if the song  should be stately, aggressive or rhythmic- whatever.

I’m a person who wants, I have the strong need to say, who needs to communicate. Of course, it takes place through music I want to tell you something and this is very simple, since music is my medium.

Songwriting for me is simply absolutely the most important process and also the most fulfilling. Because it is about a medium. That is where the real work lies because I’m so deep into the music. The best thing is when a song is finished, when you say ‘okay that is the song, that is how it should be and now it is finished.” That is a totally wonderful experience.

When I don’t write a song, in a week I feel depressed, I feel worthless. There is emptiness. The success doesn’t matter to me. That’s past I can’t rest on that, it’s like a drug I always have to.

I remember being on stage for the first time and actually get the attention, the feeling to be liked, to be loved, to be adored was unbelievable feeling. I thought now it’s like a drug, like when I took cocaine the first time it was just wow and brought me two levels up. It’s an amazing kick standing there and being loved and being carried and your life suddenly has a sense.


Once to recharge his batteries for what lies ahead Richard Kruspe returned to Schwerin, his old home, where everything had started. Lots of people reminded him that as a child he had walked around saying, "I will be a rock star". While we are having people like Richard Kruspe,  who all the time move on towards new challenges, overcome their self-doubts and fears, create something fresh and inspiring – Rock will never be dead.







  1. Rammstein’s line up:

Till Lindemann – lead vocals, harmonica (1994–present)

Richard Z. Kruspe – lead guitar, keyboard, backing vocals (1994–present)

Paul Landers – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1994–present)

Oliver Riedel – bass (1994–present)

Christian Lorenz – keyboard, samples, synthesizers (1994–present)

Christoph Schneider – drums, percussion (1994–present)


  • Herzeleid (1995)
  • Sehnsucht (1997)
  • Mutter (2001)
  • Reise, Reise (2004)
  • Rosenrot (2005)
  • Liebe ist für alle da (2009)


2) Emigrate’s Current members:

Richard Z. Kruspe – vocals, lead guitar (2005-present)

Olsen Involtini – rhythm guitar (2005-present)

Arnaud Giroux – bass guitar, backing vocals (2005-present)

Margaux Bossieux – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2007-present)

Joe Letz - live drums (2008-present)

Mikko Sirén - studio drums (2013-present)

Former members

Henka Johansson – drums (2005-2008)



  • Emigrate (2007)
  • Silent So Long (2014)


3)Kruspe's signature guitar is based upon the signature Kirk Hammett guitars he uses but with the electronics in a simplified form. The guitar features neck through construction, a 25.5-inch scale neck, alder body wings, a maple neck, Floyd Rose tremolo with a locking nut, 24 frets, dual EMG 81 pickups, a master volume control and pickup selector, with a custom Titanium finish.

Kruspe has a signature ESP guitar called the RZK-1. There is a cheaper version available for purchase as well called the LTD RZK-600. though it was announced in the 2009 catalog to be discontinued

He previously played, and still does play, the Kirk Hammett signature guitar called the KH-2 as well as a custom ESP Guitar based on the Kirk Hammett KH-2 Signature guitar. He is the first German guitarist with a signature guitar series from ESP. Richard uses a black ESP Eclipse I CTM at the Rammstein performance in Nimes, France on July 23rd 2005. He also plans to have a new esp guitar coming out with the emigrate logo on it as seen in the my world music video.




The dates show when Richard used his equipment (and studio dates) during his Rammstein Tours, in exception to the ESP Emigrate Eclipse.

Richard's main instruments for touring are ESP guitars, but has used different guitars in the past:


* ESP RZK-1 Richard Kruspe Signature Electric Guitar. (Titanium, Olympic White, Satin Black, and custom "Burnt" finish) Dropped C tuning during the Reise Reise tour, Standard, Dropped D, and Dropped C tuning for the Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da tour (2004–2005, 2008–2010) Richard also has another RZK model that has a custom paint job for the video of Ich Tu Dir Weh

* ESP/LTD RZK-600 The LTD version of the RZK-1. Richard possibly does not use this one, but it is a more affordable model of the RZK-1.

* ESP RZK-2 (2009–2010) Titanium and custom "Burnt" finish. Seen in the music video for Pussy, Based on the ESP RZK-1, with an USA Eclipse body, and 24.75 inch neck, (Dropped C tuning and Standard E tuning)

* ESP KH-2 Kirk Hammett Signature Electric Guitar (Black, Standard and Dropped D tuning) (1997–2000)

* ESP KH-2 Kirk Hammett Signature Electric Guitar With KH-4 pick guard customization (Black with Pearl Pickguard Dropped C tuning before using the RZK-1, Standard, Dropped D) (2001–2005)

* ESP EC-1000 Electric Guitar (See-thru Black Cherry, Dropped D) (2001–2002, 2004–2005)

* ESP Custom Emigrate Eclipse Electric Guitar (2007, Dropped C) (Can be seen in the music video for My World, Possibly a modded ESP Truckster)

* ESP Eclipse CTM1 Electric Guitar (Vintage Black, Dropped C) (2004–2005)

* ESP Custom Maverick Guitar (Silver with Pearl Pickguard, Dropped D) (2002, 2004–2005)

* ESP 901 (Red Sunburst and Tobacco Sunbust) (1994 - 1998 Standard/Dropped D) (1997 Standard)

* ESP AW-500 Kozi Signature Electric Guitar (2002, Dropped D)

* Fender Stratocaster (Tobacco Sunburst) (1996, Standard)

* Takamine EF341SC Acoustic Guitar (2004–2005, Dropped C)

* Gibson J-200 (2009-2010), Standard D)

* Gretsch White Falcon Used for cleans on Emigrate


5)Amplifiers/Effects Most of the rackmounted units and pedals he uses are not listed:


* Rath-Amp Amplifiers (Before 1995/1996)

* Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Heads (With Voodoo Amps mods) (1995/1996{?}- 2005, 2008–2010) He owns 5 Modified Rectifier Heads. Earliest known footage of him using Mesa/Boogie Equipment is during a Rammstein performance at the 1996 Bizarre Festival, where a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 4x12 speaker cabinet can be seen behind him, on top of a Marshall 4x12 speaker cabinet.

* Marshall And Mesa/Boogie 4x12 Cabinets. Can be seen using a wall of Mesa Boogie 4x12 Cabinets on the music video for Pussy.

* Soldano Decatone head (??? - ???)

* Soldano Avenger 100 Head. (??? - ???)

* Unknown Marshall head. (??? - ???)

* TC Electronic Nova Delay

* Digitech Whammy(?) (Can be heard in the tracks Stein Um Stein, Zerstören and Liebe ist für alle da.)

* Roland JC-120 Combo (??? - 2008) (Used in the studio.)

* Dunlop Crybaby DCR-2SR Rack Wah with DCR-1FC foot controller





  1. Interview “Wenn die Seele Trauer trägt”
  2. “Rammstein: Who are they?” (Live aus Berlin) by Ingrid Götz
  3. Making of  Engel, Sonne, Stripped, Mutter, Mein Teil, Amerika, Benzin, Haifisch, ich tu dir weh
  4. Exclusive Interview with Richard, (Copenhagen, Denmark).March 20, 2001
  5. Interview with Richard, Kaista (English translation from Finnish by Aisling). July 2, 2001
  6. Interview with Richard Kruspe, Ultimate-Guitar.Com 2007
  7. "Rammstein Interview", The Gauntlet. November 9,  2009
  8. Interview “Rammstein Ist für Alle Da” ( interviewsdeur griffin,Watkykjy). February 16, 2011
  9. Interview with Richard Kruspe, The Gauntlet. May 20, 2011
  10. "Rammstein Interview", The Gauntlet. 2011. Retrieved  October 10, 2012
  11. "Richard Kruspe Dating History". 2010. Retrieved  January 14, 2013
  12. Interview Richard Z. Kruspe, Metal Hammer Polish Edition (filed under Interviews & Press translations, LIFAD). June 22, 2013
  13. Interview with Richard Kruspe, Maximum Ink. December 3, 2014
  14. “Exclusive Interview: EMIGRATE”, Jules (On the Spot). November 9, 2014
  15. Rammstein's Richard Z Kruspe on the band's future and Emigrate's new album, Adam Silverstein (Digital Spy). November 24, 2014






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