Till Lindemann (German pronunciation: [tɪl ˈlɪndəman]; born 4 January 1963) is a German singer, songwriter who is the lead vocalist of the German band Rammstein and the German-Swedish duo Lindemann. He is noted for his muscular stature, bass voice, and unique stage performances (which includes the use of pyrotechnics and a specific move known as "The Till Hammer").
Lindemann in October 2017
|Relatives||Werner Lindemann (father)|
|Origin||Schwerin, East Germany|
Rammstein has sold over 45 million records worldwide, 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 minor roles in films and has also 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.
Lindemann was born on 4 January 1963 in Leipzig (then in East Germany), 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. He grew up in Wendisch-Rambow. At age 11, he went to a sports school at the Empor Rostock Sport Club, and he attended a boarding school from 1977 to 1980. 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 1500 m freestyle and 7th in the 400 m freestyle, swimming a time of 4'17"58; he was shortlisted to go to 1980 Olympics in Moscow, but 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 von Rammstein ("My son, the frontman of Rammstein") to Lindemann in 2009.
Lindemann started to play drums for Schwerin-based experimental rock band First Arsch in 1986, who released an album titled Saddle Up in 1992, 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 in 1989. During his time in Feeling B, he played the drums 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, Lindemann 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, although this was not the case for all remaining US shows on the tour. For example, on 18 June 1999, "Bück Dich" was performed in the same controversial manner at the Roseland Theater in Portland, Oregon. In 1999, the band was blamed for the 1999 Columbine massacre, but 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, author of the book Rammstein, who was also 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.
Lindemann 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 his thigh with a fist 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 Lindemann, whilst doubling as a spectacle for the audience. Lindemann often opts to just look directly at the mixing booth in the center of the crowd, except when directly interacting with an audience member. 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.
In 2018, Lindemann embarked on a book signing tour across Russia for his poetry book, Messer, originally released in German and then translated into Russian and re-released to the Russian market. Lindemann showed up to his book signing in Moscow with an unknown person in a gimp costume. The female gimp was led through the crowd by Lindemann before he sat down to sign autographs and talk to fans. It is still unknown who was in the outfit, but suggestions are that of his girlfriend at the time.
Film and televisionEdit
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. Lindemann and the rest of Rammstein also appeared in the 2002 movie xXx (Triple-X starring Vin Diesel) while performing "Feuer frei!"
As guest artistEdit
- 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.
- Lindemann once again appeared with Kruspe, this time with Richard's band Emigrate to record guest vocals on the song "Lets Go", on their third album A Million Degrees.
Lindemann's vocal range is that of a dramatic baritone. Lindemann has the urge to press his voice with force from below. He has a tendency to use the alveolar trill, where he stated in an interview that he sings it out of instinct.[failed verification] 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. According to Lindemann the lyrics of the song state 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".
The song Cowboy is a critic of the hyper-masculine character of Americans. Despite Hollywood propaganda, Lindemann states that it was actually that Cowboys that beat up the Indians
Lindemann's first daughter, Nele was born in 1985, and he spent seven years as a single father. He has one grandson through Nele. He has a second daughter, Marie Louise (born 1993), with ex-wife Anja Köseling. He dated media personality Sophia Thomalla from April 2011 to November 2015.
Lindemann is an atheist. In a 2011 interview, he stated he still has strong connections to traditions of East Germany. He finds "de-traditionalisation" disturbing and stated there is no authenticity anymore. He dislikes how American cultural and political imperialism has spread around the world, and this is covered in the Rammstein song "Amerika." In 2014, Lindemann presented two sculptures and his original scripts of poems in his book In Silent Nights in a Dresden gallery. He also wrote some lyrics in 2014 for German schlager singer Roland Kaiser for his album Soul Tracks. Lindemann has stated that he "hates noise" and would often go to a village between Schwerin and Wismar.
- Herzeleid (1995)
- Sehnsucht (1997)
- Mutter (2001)
- Reise, Reise (2004)
- Rosenrot (2005)
- Liebe ist für alle da (2009)
- Untitled Rammstein album (2019)
- Saddle Up (1992)
- "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. Archived from the original on 28 October 2014. 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). Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. 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. Archived from the original on 8 August 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
- "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.
- 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.
- "Till Lindemann turned up to a book signing with a gimp". December 5, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
- 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. Archived from the original on 25 December 2014. 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.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
- 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"
- "Till Lindemann Talks Skills In Pills. Rammstein Singer". Maniacs. 28 May 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- "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.
- "SZ: Till Lindemann about desire". Archived from the original on 28 August 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "NNDB". Retrieved 22 June 2006.
- 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.
- 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.