RAMMSTEIN guitarist Richard Kruspe recently spoke with Australia's Heavy magazine about "A Million Degrees", the new album by his side project EMIGRATE. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On "A Million Degrees":
Richard: "One of the things that people tell me all the time when they listen to the record for the first time, it's a very positive vibe on the record, which I [found] interesting... With EMIGRATE, I'm trying to capture certain kinds of moments in my life. I just let things happen — I don't really force it. If it has a certain feeling to a certain thing, I really try to put it out even if it's very personal... It's very different from RAMMSTEIN. In EMIGRATE, I'm not afraid of having my personal experience part of my work. It's excellent. I love doing that. It's simple and natural for me doing that. I'm not really trying to force certain things. One thing I really learned in the beginning of my writing career is that you have to [not] force things too much when it comes to creativity, I guess in every kind of art, but specifically when you write songs. I realized that when you start to bring those components together and you bring a song to life, the song all of a sudden has a life of its own, and actually, it tells you where to go. My job is to basically bring the components that the song needs. You just bring it on, and the song will answer 'yes' or 'no,' or 'I don't like it — leave me at peace,' or 'leave me alone.' You have to really pay attention to these kind of things, which I do. I don't really force things or think too much about those things [that] really naturally flowed. If it's personal, it's personal. It's a very different concept to what I do with RAMMSTEIN. RAMMSTEIN is more, like, thinking — 'Where do we go?' 'Can we say that?' 'I have a certain theme that I want to talk about. Let's write some music.' It's much more thinking, where EMIGRATE is just really, just let it flow."
On the album's variety:
Richard: "That's the other thing that I really tried to get away from – the idea which, like I experienced of RAMMSTEIN for the last twenty years, this very closed kind of cosmos. [With EMIGRATE], I'm trying to be as open as possible, and I don't think, 'That's the right thing to do' or 'That's the thing people would understand.' I just really follow my own feeling in that way. In RAMMSTEIN, you have, obviously, five guys that say, 'Let's do this,' and then you have to argue about everything. In EMIGRATE, I just do it myself. Music-wise, when I think back [to] how I grew up, I was always listening to very rebellious stuff. Also, I was constantly on the radio. I always had a mixed feeling about the world of metal, rock, punk and also the pop world, which I always liked. My music background is huge, and I love a lot of stuff, and I can appreciate a lot of music even though I don't really understand it. EMIGRATE, it's the idea of let everything happen [and] be as open as possible. Also, I like to collaborate with a lot of people that I normally couldn't if I'd be only in RAMMSTEIN."
On the music that's inspired him over the years:
Richard: "How I listen to music, it's changed a lot. When you're young, you only had music to escape, to create, to dream, to experience pain and suffering. These days are different... I'm not listening to records that much anymore, only when I'm driving, which is not that often. The days of you really take a record, it's kind of over, I must say. I also grew up in a time where you didn't have records – we only had mixtapes. For me, to listen to Spotify or Apple Music, it's kind of normal. I could listen to Lana Del Rey and appreciate the production and the certain kind of mood that she brings me into. I can listen also to NINE INCH NAILS. The most important thing in music is that it has to touch me, and it has to have an emotional effect on me. There's a lot of music out there that can do it. The only thing I kind of realize what's happening right now, I feel like it's almost like rock music is dead. The times are over where rock music was a rebellious factor in the youth of our society, especially in Germany. In Germany, the kids don't listen to rock music anymore, because they can't rebel. Those days where you'd put a song on and the guitars were screaming and the parents would say, 'No!' — they're saying now, 'Yes! Make it louder!' The kids, they don't really rebel with rock music. What they're doing, they have certain kind of lyrics. The rebellion part, it's more in the language, in the lyrics, rather than the music. There's only one music I can't get really my finger on, which is the new trap/hip-hop kind of music in Germany. In America, it's different, but in Germany, those people that are successful right now, it's more about... It's not so much about music. It's more about their lifestyle and how fucked up they are. It's all lifestyle rather than musical achievements."
On his first time taking LSD:
Richard: "I remember the first time I did an LSD trip. I was really afraid. The first thing when the substance got into my system, I looked around and the first thing that popped in my mind was, 'Life is beautiful.' This is something that's inside of me. Somehow, it got hidden — probably because of how I grew up – but it's inside of me, and has to be released in some certain situation. Some sort of substance shows me where to go."
EMIGRATE's third album, "A Million Degrees", was released on November 30 via Spinefarm Records.
The first EMIGRATE album — a self-titled record that cracked the German Top 10 — appeared in 2007. "Silent So Long" followed in 2014, featuring guest vocals from such high-profile artists as Marilyn Manson, Jonathan Davis, Peaches and Lemmy.
Featuring 11 tracks, a fresh production team plus vocal contributions from RAMMSTEIN's Till Lindemann, GHOST's Cardinal Copia and BILLY TALENT's Benjamin Kowalewicz, "A Million Degrees" is less a successor to "Silent So Long" and more a re-booted take on the overall concept, continuing Kruspe's desire to craft something personal.