Rammstein used to rehearse not in a bondage dungeon, but an old bottle warehouse. It was above a sewage pipe and smelled like shit, neighboured by an overly friendly Russian woman whom they dubbed ‘the meat lady’, on account of her nipping over to feed them goulash. It’s a far cry from the stadiums they thrust their unique brand of industrial metal into today.
Our favourite Germanic jizz-maesters – comprising vocalist Till Lindemann, keyboard player/treadmill enthusiast Christian ‘Flake’ Lorenz, guitarists Paul Landers and Richard Z. Kruspe, bassist Oliver Riedel, and Christoph Schneider on the drums – have played more than 850 gigs since first gracing the stage in 1994. That’s a lot of cum, fire and death.
And, as Rammstein prepare to subvert the stadium rock experience once more with their 2023 tour, it got us thinking: how many of their songs have they straight-up not played live? Which nuggets of Neue Deutsche Härte have we till now been denied?
You’re guaranteed to get the staples. Sure, there might be variations, but you’ll always hear Du Hast, Links 2 3 4 and Sonne. But what about the deep cuts?
Rammstein have released 88 original songs across their eight full-length records, 11 on each. Given they air B-sides almost as regularly as their backsides, we’ll be jamming those in, too. Fact fans, that doesn’t include leaked demos, or the batshit Russian cover Till and Richard did for Harley Davidson’s 100th anniversary.
We’ve cross-referenced a bunch of sources including setlist.fm, the bible of such matters, and RammWiki, the sacred texts for all things Rammstein. Apparently, there are 23 songs the band have never played live. We’ll have to wait for their upcoming Zeit tour to see if that list depletes, but in the meantime, check out what you’ve been missing.
Every track from Rammstein’s 1995 debut, Herzeleid, has been bellowed, burned and bummed to onstage, in one way or another. The follow-up, Sehnsucht, came two years later and received a similar level of overexposure. Lead singles Du Hast and Engel have been played more than 400 and 600 times respectively, with even their controversial ode to sodomy, Büch Dich, getting 261 live outings.
Aside from Eifersucht, which has allegedly been played once, it’s only the album’s parting shot, Küss Mich (Fellfrosch), that’s not been afforded a chance. Perhaps it’s for the best, given the song’s premise: a woman longs for oral sex yet seldom receives it, on account of, er, taste. ‘Fellfrosch’ translates as ‘furry frog’, there’s a motorboating frog noise (it’s actually a Bugs Bunny sample)... you don’t need a PhD to figure it out. They’ve since bettered this kind of shtick with 2022 single Dicke Titten, concerning a grumpy old incel.
Kokain, the B-side to Rammstein’s excellent cover of Kraftwerk’s The Model, has never officially been logged on setlist.fm, but according to Flake, that’s a load of old bollocks. “We played Kokain two or three times live and it is a really hard song to put across,” he told fans in 2000.
Rammstein’s third album, 2001’s Mutter, is the one. The masterpiece. The benchmark for industrial metal. Each of its eleven tracks have been dragged and ball-gagged across the globe – justice for Adios, though. Bring that back for 2023! – and the follow-up, Reise, Reise, is the same.
Everything from this record has been rinsed, but if we’re chatting B-sides, let’s shout out the solemn Vergiss Und Nicht. Recorded during the Reise, Reise sessions and sitting on a shelf until the Mein Land single in 2011, it’s never had its day in the sonne.
Often considered the würst of the lot, Rosenrot is far from rubbish. Sure, it’s Rammstein at their least good, but to say their fifth record is an assemblage of odds, sods and 4/4 plods would be patently untrue. It’s a bit of a shame, then, that most of Rosenrot’s melancholy album tracks have been consigned to the memory-hole.
Just five of its songs have been rolled out onstage, leaving Spring, Wo Bist Du?, Hilf Mir, Feuer Und Wasser, Ein Lied and Stirb Nicht Vor Mir (Don't Die Before I Do) consigned to the turntables of dedicated fans and curious sonic tourists. We’d love to see the latter track performed live. Sure, Flake went on record saying “The English version is not good… it’s just embarrassing”, but you can’t always trust the opinions of men who operate milk-squirting strap-ons for a living.
Liebe Ist Für Alle Da
LIFAD established Rammstein as festival headliners worldwide, exploding babies and phallic foam cannons to boot. It’s a drum-heavy, decidedly more metal album, inspired by Meshuggah and Dimmu Borgir – Till even described the record’s demos as ‘beginner’s death metal’. The resulting sixth entry to their catalogue got a fair crack of the whip – ooh, matron – during live shows, with only Mehr and the record’s tragic coda, Roter Sand, missing out.
If you’re being anal – which is always a possibility when Rammstein are concerned – none of LIFAD’s B-sides have seen the light of the stage. That would be Donaukinder, Halt, Liese, Gib Mir Deine Augen and Führe Mich, the latter at least popping up, amongst other things popping up, in Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac movie. The excellent Mein Land has been played twice at rehearsals attended by Rammstein’s LIFAD fan club members, but never for paying punters.
It took Rammstein ten years to follow up LIFAD. Before Rammstein was even announced in 2019, our beloved Berlin fuqbois revealed their first stadium tour, cementing themselves as the biggest touring metal band of the modern age. Their seventh studio album was handsomely represented on the trek, just Weit Weg and the horrendously perverted Hallomann absent.
The second leg of Rammstein’s world tour was delayed by two years thanks to you-know-what, meaning Zeit – written and recorded during that barren nothingness – scarcely got a look-in. As a result, the following tunes from Rammstein’s eighth record have yet to air: Schwarz, OK, Meine Tränen and Lügen, alongside singles Dicke Titten and Angst. Sort it out in 2023, lads.