Pigs, blood, phlegm and characters right out of a Hieronymus Bosch painting alternatively play in morbid grime or on a virginal white stage. Heavy guitar sounds, dark choirs and driving drum beats surge in the background. The lyrics are laced with hatred: "I hate my life, and I hate you / ... / I hate my kids, never thought / That I'd praise abort."
Rammstein's singer knows how to pen mean tunes - yet there's often a hidden message behind the brutality. People who don't know this are likely to simply be outraged and wonder what kind of psychopath would write like that. Pain, blood, flesh, death and tears, as well as necrophilia, rape and other base depravities: Till Lindemann is fascinated by these themes. In his songs, he slips into the character of the freaks of our world. He loves to provoke: "The more it upsets people, the more it inspires me to write something even worse," he said in an interview with German daily "Die Welt."
Living up to the expectations, Till Lindemann's first solo album "Skills in Pills" is filled with disturbing, satirical and ironic lyrics about Thai ladyboys, the everyday use of pills for and against everything, an aging mysoginist or the abortion single "Praise Abort."
A shock rocker and a metal god
Till Lindemann's solo project is in fact a two-man band. Like the other Rammstein musicians, Lindemann took a creative break from his band to finally realize a long-planned collaboration.
Some 14 years ago, Lindemann met the Swedish producer Peter Tägtgren, who has a cult status as the guitarist of the death metal band Hypocrisy as well as the industrial metal band Pain. Tägtgren is a musical genius: He composes and produces his music, and plays all instruments too. He has been wanting to do something with Lindemann for ages, but they didn't get together until recently.
The right timing finally came when Lindemann was considering his options for a project during his two-year-break with Rammstein and Tägtgren was working on his new Pain album. Both settled in Tägtgren's legendary "Abyss" studio in Stockholm to produce an album which would combine Rammstein's vocals and Pain's metal: "Skills In Pills."
The musicians enjoyed the time they spent together: "The production almost felt like a holiday," says Lindemann. "Peter's studio is right by a lake. I could throw a fishing rod out the window, and while we were working, something would bite once in a while."
Apart from the orchestral arrangements, they both did everything on their own. "We are a two-man band," said Till Lindemann, "we're like the Pet Shop Boys of rock'n'roll." They quickly settled on a name: The project would be called "Lindemann," which is easy to pronounce in all languages.
'For this record we'll go to hell'
"Skills In Pills" hit the stores on June 19. The musicians promise that it has something for everyone: From headbangers to romantics, with heavy dirges and ditties you can dance to as well.
Lindemann sings with his well-known Rammstein voice, but this time in English - with a purposely strong German accent. He had first tried to get rid of it, but Tägtgren found his accent so charming that he insisted he should sing in this "f***ing German English." Listeners will get used to it quickly. However, the lyrics might be harder to digest. "For this record, we are definitely going to hell," laughs Peter Tägtgren. Still they hope people will get the humor of their songs.
It already got a good start online: The video for "Praise Abort" was put on Youtube three weeks ago and has already been viewed over 2.5 million times.
Both musicians believe that they'll collaborate again in the future. They had too much fun with this first project, they told the German music magazine "Metal Hammer." They also plan to do concerts together if the album works well.
A new Rammstein album should also be released later this year.