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German rockers Rammstein still fueling the fire

for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Germany's Rammstein, and its fans, are fired up about the group's current North American tour -- including this weekend's stop at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Since its mid-90s formation in Berlin, the sextet has taken the stage with a pyrotechnic-laden show that even the theatrical likes of Kiss and Motley Crue would envy -- and sets off alarms with fire marshals around the world. But guitarist Paul H. Landers says, through a translator, that "what we have found is that all fire marshals, wherever they are, they're basically people who like to deal with fire, and many times we could convince them that we know how to deal with it and would not cause any problems."

But it does make for great spectacle.

"Pretty early in the band's history, we just felt like we were bad performers without the pyro stuff," Landers jokes. He says Rammstein's frontman, former Olympic swimmer Till Lindemann "was actually quite bored on stage. He thought fire, as an element, would correspond great with the energy of the music.

"And also, he just had fun playing with fire."

The group has also enjoyed making music, of course -- an industrial electro-metal mix that's been good for six studio albums and last year's compilation "Made in Germany 1995-2011. It's sold more than 15 million albums worldwide and notched eight consecutive No. 1 titles in its homeland, but save for some modest breakthroughs such as the songs "Sehnsucht" and "Du Hast," its U.S. impact has been minimal and cultish, mostly because the group refuses to sing in English.

"We're trying to export the German language and teach the American nation to speak German -- not only the Americans, but all people," Landers explains. "The fun we had with 'Sehnsucht' and 'Du Hast' was seeing people get interested in trying to understand the German lyrics, so we'll keep trying to do that."

Rammstein performs at 8 p.m. Sunday, May 6, at the Palace, Lapeer Road at I-75, Auburn Hills. Tickets are $88, $68 and $45. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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