Lead guitarist with German industrial metal band Rammstein, Richard Kruspe started his side project Emigrate in 2005. Since then, Emigrate teased fans with leaks of album tracks up until the announcement of their debut album.
'Emigrate' will be released on 31st August, and we caught up with Kruspe for chat about his work.
- You've been busy with your new project Emigrate which began as just you - what inspired you to create this music?
I've been writing music my whole life. You know, I think moving from Berlin to New York and the changes that I went through influenced me. There is a lot of pain in my past and that was an influence to me while in Rammstein. I became reborn again when I moved and so everything changed; it was just a great thing living in New York and seeing all these different people and their stories. After all the drama I have had in my life trying to escape Berlin and all these different situations, New York allowed me to start work on Emigrate. This brought about new emotions and ideas that helped create and fuel the music.
- When and how did your band meet? One of your members is from the Swedish band Clawfinger - d-d you know each other from touring?
Actually, I met our bassist Arnaud Giroux [known for his work with French singer Axel Bauer first as we were friends while in Berlin, and while I was with Rammstein. We had always talked about working on something together and making a new start. I met our drummer Henke Johansson [of Clawfinger] while touring with Rammstein. I said to him immediately that we should start work together - we had been friends, we all wanted this new start and to work together on some new material.
- The sound of your song 'Babe' is far more melodic than anything Rammstein have done. Do you want to appeal to a more commercial audience with Emigrate?
Emigrate is really about finding balance in my life, something new and moving away from Rammstein. I think that with Emigrate, I can explore a different side to myself and who I am - there is so much freedom. It's really an exploration of a different side to my personality - where in Rammstein I felt very male, the music was much heavier and much more raw, Emigrate looks at my feminine side specifically.
- That leads nicely onto the next question. 'Babe' sounds like a bit of a love song. Can you elaborate?
Actually, I have a rule where I can't really talk about my lyrics, but I will tell you why. I can't really describe them, or how I create them. When I was in school, we were asked to paint these images, anything that came into our heads. Each class member was asked to guess what was going on in these paintings, and the artists had to come up with a story about the painting. There were some crazy imaginative answers. Nothing you can really describe or explain. That's why I don't talk about my lyrics.
- Since you founded Rammstein originally, you must have learned a lot being with the band. Is there anything you want to do differently now you are with Emigrate?
Well, I wanted to sing myself for one! I felt tied in Rammstein. I spent so much time with those guys, and we achieved so much, and I new exactly what I was doing day in and day out. To create, I needed to stay hungry and not to stay in Berlin. I need to move on and keep writing and experiencing new things for myself. With Emigrate, I have had the chance to do that. It's much simpler that way.
- Is there a particular theme that is explored on your new self-titled album?
I think so yeah. Emigrate as a band, and as a word, is really about saying 'goodbye' to an old world, and creating a new identity for myself specifically. I think that will be shown on the record. 'Emigrate' is simply something new.
- Have there been, or are there now, any times when your home country of Germany has inspired you in the music you have made?
I think anywhere you go and the environment you're in can inspire different feelings and emotions. I think Berlin had a big destructive energy to it. In the 80's drug use was a big problem, and Berlin was a drug Capital with a big electro and rave scene. Drugs had been a great problem for me, and that time had been my inspiration for music in the past. I moved to New York to escape, and I found it really interesting and so there I found new inspiration.
- Do you feel then, that Emigrate is the start of a new life for you?
Exactly. Emigrate is my cure, I had to continue with it, so that I could keep working on new material with Rammstein. Now everything is great again!
- What are you looking forward to most when you get back on the road with your new band?
Honestly, I promised the Rammstein guys (who all have important family commitments now) that I would hold back on touring with Emigrate and take some time out and not move around. This is because we are currently in the writing process on the new Rammstein record.
- Emigrate incorporates the Industrial sound that Rammstein are a huge part of - can you see Emigrate being seen in the same light in a few years?
Obviously, there is where I would like the band to be. However I can't predict the future - I'd have to be a mind reader to do that. It's more important to keep challenging myself, and things change every day. I have no idea what will happen in the future, so we will see.
- Will there be an elaborate stageshow accompanying Emigrate on tour, much like you did with Rammstein?
Again, I can't tell you, as it really isn't in my schedule to tour at the moment, but I certainly don't want to repeat myself with what we did in Rammstein. I think it shall be very different. Again, this project is very much my feminine side if you want to look at it that way, and much more emotional. More of myself and my inner feelings are explored, so that will definitely be put across differently to what you have seen with Rammstein.
- What can your UK fans expect from the band when you come over here?
I can't tell you right at this moment, just something very different and exciting.