Rammstein was founded by guitarist Richard Z. Kruspe. In 1989, he escaped to West Berlin and started the band, Orgasm Death Gimmicks. At that time, he was heavily influenced by American music, especially that of Kiss. After the Berlin Wall came down, he moved back home to Schwerin, where Till Lindemann worked as a basket-weaver and played drums in the band First Arsch.
At this time, Richard lived with Oliver Riedel, of the band The Inchtabokatables, and Christoph "Doom" Schneider (of Die Firma). Richard realized that the music he had previously created did not properly suit him; He envisioned something that would combine machines as well as the sound of hard guitars. The three started working together on a new project. Richard soon found it extremely difficult to write both music and lyrics at the same time, so he persuaded Lindemann to join Rammstein. Richard first discovered Till when he overheard him singing while he was working.
A contest was held in Berlin for amateur bands in 1994, the winner of which would receive the opportunity to record a four track demo CD in a professional studio. Kruspe, Schneider, Riedel and Lindemann entered and won the contest, which caught the attention of Paul H. Landers, who wanted in on the project upon hearing their demo. To complete their sound, Rammstein then attempted to recruit Christian "Flake" Lorenz, who had played with Paul H. Landers previously in Feeling B. At first Lorenz was hesitant, but eventually agreed to join the band.
Rammstein was formed in 1993 by an assembly of factory-weary proletarians raised in East Germany. They took their name (adding an "m") from the location of a German tragedy where 80 people were hurt and killed as the result of a crash during an American Air Force flight show. The literal translation of "ram stein" is a battering ram made of stone. Word of Rammstein's horror romanticist blend of theater and music spread like wildfire. One-time Olympic swimmer Till Lindemann would sing entire songs engulfed in flame from head to toe. The band's first album, Herzeleid (Heartache), built on the grounds created by the band's live reputation. Scaling the German charts (and remaining there until the release of the second Rammstein LP some two years later), the album also introduced the band to the world outside of the Germany/Switzerland/Austria region. As Rammstein's second album, Sehnsucht (Longing), was released, the band was headlining throughout Europe to crowds of 10,000 to 30,000 people. Sehnsucht entered the German charts at number one immediately upon its release and came very close to doing the same in Austria and Switzerland. Within weeks, entries on other countries' charts had Sehnsucht rubbing elbows with the Prodigy, Radiohead, and the Rolling Stones on Billboard's cumulative Eurochart. From there the fever spread, transcending any perceived language barrier. Mutter followed in 2001, Reise, Reise in 2004, and the live collection Volkerball in 2006. Ed Nimmervoll, All Music Guide