*Richard Z. Kruspe - guitar
*Paul H. Landers - guitar
*Till Lindemann - Lead Vocals
*Oliver "Ollie" Riedel - Bass guitar
*Christian "Flake" Lorenz - Keyboards
Rammstein takes its name indirectly from the western German town of Ramstein, site of an airshow disaster in 1988. The band's signature song, the eponymous "Rammstein", is a commemoration of the tragedy that took place at the Ramstein Air Base. The extra "m" in the band's name means that it translates literally as "ramming stone", or "battering ram".
Even though the lyrics are in German, the band has enjoyed success outside of Germany, and with the album Reise, Reise (2004), they became the most successful German-language band of all time. Rammstein has had several top ten singles in Germany.
The band's members all come from the former East Germany, specifically East Berlin and Schwerin.
Riedel, Schneider and Kruspe were the original founders of Rammstein, following an attempt by the latter to compose American-influenced music with a West Berlin band called Orgasm Death Gimmicks. As Kruspe put it, "I realized it's really important to make music and make it fit with your language, which I didn't do in the past. I came back [to Germany] and said, 'It's time to make music that's really authentic.' I was starting a project called Rammstein to really try to make German music." He invited Till Lindemann, a basket weaver and drummer for the band First Arsch, to join the project as a vocalist. The four entered a contest for new bands and won, attracting the interest of Paul H. Landers, who knew them all and decided to join the band. "Flake" Lorenz was the last member to join; he had played with Landers before in the band Feeling B and was initially reluctant to come on board, but was eventually persuaded to join. Their first album was released a year later.