Several hundred Rammstein fans of all ages gathered around Torstrasse in central Berlin to see the premiere of a music video by one of Germany's best-known rock bands. Grouped around various sides of the busy intersection, no one was visibly holding a radio they'd been instructed to bring to listen to the new single as it premiered on local radio station.
The video was projected on the side of a building and when the countdown started, the crowd roared and loudspeakers playing the song’s music cranked up the volume. The mood was relaxed, with many fans sipping beers and taking photos of the video as it played.
This latest "Rammstein action," as the event was billed, appeared to be a more intimate return to the band's roots nearly 30 years ago in Berlin — though there were also screenings in Hamburg and Cologne. This year is also the 30 year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, thus the single also seems to refer to a time when radio signals were able to traverse the divide — and bring banned rock music to the East.
'Sucked into the ether!'
The single is officially released on Friday morning, April 26, at 11 am. In advance, the band posted a teaser trailer on social media along with the slogan "Lass dich in den Äther saugen!" ("Let yourself be sucked into the ether!"). The black and white video, seemingly set in a century-old power station, sees the band standing behind electronic keyboards in black suits while an ominous beat kicks in.
In a clear nod to the German band Kraftwerk, whose name translates as Power Station, the clip continues a long-running informal collaboration between the Teutonic music pioneers. Rammstein covered the Kraftwerk single Das Model in 1997.
The official "Radio" video trailer released on YouTube features a couple of apparent sound engineers listening to an analogue recording of an industrial rock beat. Then the camera pans across an empty stage on which drums and walls of speakers await the main act.
After the release of Rammstein's self-titled album on May 17, the Neue Deutsche Härte (New German Toughness) act embarks on its first stadium tour in Gelsenkirchen on May 27. The thirty planned appearances across 24 European cities between then and August 23 also include one at at Berlin's Olympic Stadium — the venue of what has been called "Hitler's Olympics" in 1936.
All 10 German concerts were sold out within hours of going on sale, with the online ticket site crashing due to the demand.
Back on top
Last month, when one of Germany's most successful bands of all time dropped a video teaser for "Deutschland," its first song in a decade, it generated international controversy within hours for its now infamous concentration camp scene.
"Rammstein abuses the suffering and murder of millions for entertainment purposes," Charlotte Knobloch, a holocaust survivor and former president of the Central Council of Jews, told the daily Bild newspaper in the wake of the release.
The approach and the resultant controversy worked, with "Deutschland" back atop the German singles chart this week, having been on the summit for most of the last month.