Rammstein made a porno: inside their most NSFW music video

Rammstein 2009
(Image credit: Press/Paul Harries)

By 2009, it looked like Rammstein had done it all. Undisputed kings of industrial metal, they'd weathered false accusations of being Nazis, made a litany of stunning, often controversial videos and blown up stages around the world with their pyro-overloaded shows. But as they became enshrined as a top-tier metal band around the world, surely there were no shocks left in the tank? How naive we were.

On September 1, 2009, Rammstein unveiled the video to Pussy, the first official single from their upcoming sixth studio album Liebe ist für alle da, it appeared to show the band engaged in hardcore pornographic acts. But surely there was some camera trickery involved - it's not like Rammstein actually made a porn movie, right? 

"Nope, we shot it all!" beams Jonas Akerlund, the director behind Pussy's ultra-NSFW music video. Speaking to us over a decade on from the video's release, Jonas is probably better known now as the director behind black metal biopic Lords Of Chaos, or the ultra-fun (Mikael Akerfeldt scored) Netflix crime series Clark. But in 2009, he was a highly in-demand music video director, crafting eye-popping visuals for the likes of Madonna, U2 or Pink, keeping his toes in the rock and metal world working with everyone from Blink-182 to Satyricon (no, really). 

He was also no stranger to controversy having directed The Prodigy's infamous Smack My Bitch Up in one of his earliest successes. Jonas and Rammstein already had a working relationship with after working on Mann gegen Mann, so it was only natural the band would return to him when they were trying to come up with concepts for the videos for their upcoming sixth record. On hearing an early cut of Pussy, inspiration struck. 

"Rammstein approached me, which is something they never really do, and asked if I had any ideas for a music video," Jonas explains. "Well, around that same time, there was a guy that had bought the Swedish erotic archives, all these old 70s porn movies. So I pitched to the band to use these old porn movies, actually put them in these old clips and they loved it."

Colour us shocked. The band that deploy a gigantic cock-canon to spray audiences with foam, chomping at the bit to get included in some vintage nudie movies? Heaven forbid. But like many great ideas, it soon became apparent that the concept was somewhat limited by the realities of film-making - and more specifically, the red tape involved in  using archive footage.

"We could buy the footage, but it was a mess trying to deal with the rights," Jonas acknowledges. "I was about to give up when I had another idea - we could just shoot some footage."

Naturally, Rammstein were even more ecstatic about the idea of starring in their own porn movies and quickly agreed. "We actually shot each of those porn scenes," Jonas says. "There was one classic 'porn scene moment' for each band member and then we topped it off with a performance from the band, which is how it all came together."

But there was a little more to it than that, at least. Setting up production in Berlin, Jonas found the perfect location for the shoot - an actual working brothel. "As a director, you sometimes picture a dream scenario in your head like, ‘I wish there was a brothel with like, a stripper pole and themed rooms’. In Berlin, they go like, ‘yeah, we got several of those’." Jonas says gleefully. "The shoot was pretty cool, actually. We were very keen on casting proper professionals alongside the band. Everybody was tested and everybody knew each other before we got on-set. We did the proper way."

Which begs the question, what was the hardest shot to achieve?

"The cum shots! Ha ha ha, no that was actually the easiest shot of the whole shoot," Jonas says. "I’ve shot a lot of nudity, shot a lot of different things, but I'd never shot real porn before Pussy. But it takes a minute and then it’s just like any other shoot – the most normal thing in the world. You’re there with your crew and you're like, ‘okay, first day: we're setting up for anal over here. Then we're gonna go for the cum shot over there’ because everything becomes business as usual."



With some horny German musicians and adult stars in place, Jonas's vision for Pussy came to fruition without fuss - for the band and crew, at least. For the public, it was a fresh example of the band's depravity, the German Federal Office for the Examination of Media Harmful to Young People banning the album from being publicly displayed, singling Pussy out as particularly problematic for "inciting listeners to engage in unprotected sexual intercourse despite the risk of AIDS". 

In spite of this, Pussy proved to be a resounding success for Rammstein, the shock factor only heightening their fame and helping propel Liebe ist für alle da to the top of the charts in countries including Germany, Austria, Finland and Denmark, as well as landing into the top 20 of the UK and US charts. 

Two weeks after its release, Rammstein added an extra devilish cherry on top of the controversy, when they premiered an uncut version of the video on adult website Pornhub. There, viewers could watch Rammstein in all their glory. Shocking? Possibly, but this was Rammstein after all.

"It's always fun to shock people, but that’s never been the purpose," Jonas admits. "It's still about the narrative. As a music video director I always have to think about what I’m doing for the band. If the story around the video is too big, you don't hear the music and the same applies the other way around. You have to find balance. Smack My Bitch Up was the perfect video for The Prodigy, and the perfect video for that song. That video is perfect for Pussy, and perfect for Rammstein. Can you imagine making that video with U2? As a director, you have to adapt to different worlds and Ramstein is the type of band that could do stuff like that."

Clearly the chemistry worked for Rammstein, as after Pussy Jonas was enlisted to work on Ich tu dir weh on the same album campaign, and later Mein Land in 2011 and their epic concert movie Rammstein: Paris in 2016. "Rammstein make me really fucking nervous," Jonas admits with a laugh. "Because, no matter what it is you want to do, they've already done it and everything they do is so good. I always feel like, ‘what do you need me for?’ They keep me on my toes, at least!"

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.