Rammstein's guitarist Richard Z. Kruspe used the creative break from Rammstein to make his plans for a solo career become a reality. The band's name Emigrate could hardly be any more suitable because the New York based musician is moving over to new grounds, even though Rammstein's influences are obvious thanks to the guitar sounds. Emigrate is a timeless, yet modern rock album which allowed Richard to realize himself, and even has him standing behind the microphone.
"I had just arrived in New York when I found a piece of paper on the street which read 'Emigrate'. To me, that was a sign. It describes many things, like breaking free from my past. I feel at home in New York meanwhile; it's a city that gives a lot and takes a lot."
Thus, the track "New York City" is about his adopted home. "The city has an extreme frankness which I cannot feel elsewhere in quite the same way. It unites so many different cultures and I see myself as an observer who gets inspired by it. A lot of these impressions end up in Emigrate's songs."
"My taste in music is very global," says Richard. "I grew up in East Germany, moved to the Western part and now I am in the States. I found my own roots, since I grew up with English and American music. Rammstein was an extreme, intellectual variation of this because we purposefully tried to come up with something different." He emphasizes this by saying that Rammstein could only be realized in Berlin, while Emigrate could only happen in New York. Originally Richard did not want to take on the position behind the microphone, but bassist Arnaud Giroux got things going.
"One day he took me aside and said I was the only one who could sing the songs I had been writing. In this moment an inner blockade came undone and there was no way back. It became clear that I had to do it myself and eventually it helped me to find myself."
Richard got his team together rather quickly. Some friendly musical colleagues (such as Clawfinger drummer Henka Johansson), as well as people acquainted with Rammstein. "Everything happened naturally. We rehearsed beforehand because I wanted the band to record the songs live in the studio. However, I also aimed for a familiar and comfortable basis, so Rammstein's producer Jacob Hellner became co-producer of our album."
Rammstein is being linked to provocation, so the question is what Richard is linking Emigrate to? "Liberation, self-expression and selfishness," are the first words that make it out of his mouth. "One cannot predict where the journey will lead Emigrate, and that is exactly what I find so exciting about it. Making music is an addiction to me and I really enjoy that at the moment." This energy and lust for life becomes evident on the album. It is an honest album, full of emotions and very catchy, fantastic compositions. A project full of lifeblood, class and wit.