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About Richard Kruspe

Richard Z. Kruspe is the lead guitarist of the German industrial metal band Rammstein. Since the early 90s, Rammstein has been a leading pioneer and a highly influential force within the metal genre, continuously pushing the boundaries and challenging the status quo whenever they can.

As a child living in East Germany, Richard spent a lot of time in his room because he was grounded all the time. Richard explains: 'Music helped me escape and 'go somewhere else'. Living in a country, where you couldn't go anywhere music gave me the freedom to 'travel' in different countries.' At the time Richard listened to a lot of 70s stuff: AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, and, later on punk and metal. After the Berlin Wall came down Richard became aware of the Californian funk-metal wave listening to bands like Faith No More, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Heads Up. Eventually he started getting more into industrial bands like Big Black, Ministry and Swans. Richard's first band was called Das Elegante Chaos (The Elegant Chaos), a punk band from a small town in the north of Germany. However, his desire to create his own music led him to form a funk metal band called Orgasm Death Gimmick. But Richard was never completely happy with being 'half' into a 'California funk-metal vibe', and started thinking about doing something more 'German'. Consequently a band was put together for a one-off show. As he was playing the songs, he realized where he wanted to go musically: to explore a combination of machines, rhythm and the roots of German and Western music in rock. There was nothing serious about it in the beginning - Richard and his band mates were just trying to combine things in a different way. Nobody at this point thought that it was going to be something as big as Rammstein.

Richard was a fan of show bands like Kiss, and show became a part of the concept from the very birth of Rammstein. 'Everyone in the band was interested in more than just the music. So we started out with small show gimmicks always trying to keep the balance between the music and the show. But sometimes we'd go a little bit overboard and create more show than music', Richard admits.

Although Rammstein's lyrics are in German the still play all over the world for lot of people that do not understand German: 'You have to see it more like an opera. If you go to an opera language doesn't matter anymore. We try to create theatre, a visual show that people can see without having to rely on only lyrics'. Richard Kruspe is a perfectionist when it comes to guitar sounds: 'I've tried every preamp on the planet, every microphone and I have built my own studios. It's all about the room anyway - that's the secret if you want to create music.' In his studio Richard is usually a lo-fi guy recording with real amps, cabinets and microphones. He has even invented a robot that changes the microphone position, to avoid running back and forth from the control booth to the recording room. When it comes to effects Kruspe is very open-minded: 'There's not one effect that I use in my sound. I'm trying many different things to feel inspired and I'm always really flexible and go into a lot of different effects to see what comes out. But when you get too much into the studio world and you spend a year trying out all those amps, preamps and microphones you forget writing songs. So I try to keep a balance about it and these days I concentrate more on writing than on sound'.

As a result of Rammstein's elaborate live shows, Kruspe has opted for much of his effects rig to be handled sidestage by his guitar tech, Lutz Buch. Buch explains that the TC Nova Delay is used quite a lot as well as the Nova Dynamics, which is used for adding more compression and volume. The Nova Modulator, D-Two and PolyTune are also essential TC equipment that travel the world with Kruspe whilst he is on tour.

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