We’re in the heart of South Africa and we’re playing at being the guys from Europe arriving in Africa. Euro trash meets metal: I think that’s something we only previously saw in “Pussy.” In my opinion, that’s what made the song so incredibly special and a great summer hit. But the song’s lyrics are also very controversial – very sharp and edgy, leaving lots of room for me to exercise my creativity and come up with something really off the hook. The song “Ausländer” (Foreigner) inspired me to put Rammstein in an inflatable rubber boat, wearing life jackets, rowing across the sea because that is something you definitely don’t do, normally. But that’s exactly why I wanted to do it,
because that’s who Rammstein are for me. You confront society with its own images – bang! The only way to deal with racism is to take a satirical approach. That’s exactly what I wanted to do with “Ausländer.” Even if the song comes across as a happy vacation song. Making videos is a lot of fun, but what we’re actually doing is covering a bit of an old story. It’s the story of how Whites first came to Africa and how they were being received. The song is actually really funny. I hope it comes across as an ironic story. Some of the African costumes were totally authentic
and decorated with real bones, real shells, etc. That’s also true for the clothes we brought from Germany for Rammstein. We got them at costume supply shops in Berlin – just real historical stuff. Flake wears a silk linen suit that cost a fortune. Some of the safari suits still had labels in them saying “German South West Africa.” Those were real clothes from the ’20s and ’30s. Some of the pieces needed to be altered, but they were GENUINE! Then there’s the little side story with Richard and Flake. I got the idea because Flake is usually the one who gets chased across the stage with a flame thrower, as he does on this current tour. But in this scene it’s a Russian Kalashnikov – an allusion to his East German background, so to speak. I could’ve taken any weapon but I found a Kalashnikov. It’s very loud and produces so much gunfire that it totally stirs up the dust – regardless of whether it’s loaded with real bullets or not. It was definitely a fun ride. We wanted to have a good time shooting the video, since it’s a fun song. But some of the fun ends up getting stuck in your throat – because of the barbaric way we’ve behaved over the centuries. I felt pretty uncomfortable to an African crew in Africa what it was that we were wanting to do. I was overstepping so many boundaries with that video and in a way that’s no longer socially acceptable these days. White men just aren’t carried through the jungle on sedan chairs any more. Well, that’s how I was being carried. It definitely doesn’t get me off. Quite the opposite: It makes me sick. We didn’t know how far we should go with this. I knew that this was about the White Man arriving in Africa and acting like a total jackass because he thinks that’s the way to do it. The white man teaches the little black kids his language. He does so in a missionary outfit that implies he’s also teaching them religion. And that is … absolutely … (laughs). Then he has a little girl on his lap which, of course, refers to Catholicism and all the things that go down there. This stuff clearly isn’t okay! Till is a really good painter. You’ll see soon enough. He rocks at it! The women and children are played by regular people. We dressed them up to look like a traditional tribe. The huts were made of paper-mâché: You could pick them up and carry them off. It was just cardboard, but made to look authentic. We brought in a goat and some dust and used gas to make a fire. You could turn the flame up or down. When someone says “thanks,” the flame goes back to low. What’s artful about it is that it actually looks real. When you hear the words “Du kommen mit, ich Dir machen gut (Come with me, I do you good),” the band members get paired up with a woman and disappear one after another as couples. Each man takes one women. This is ultimately what the song is about:
Why are we even here at all? To score, of course! I really wanted to do something for the different cultures. I definitely wanted to show that all of this – that we’re all pretty much set in our ways as far as labeling goes and in terms of the way we want people to perceive us – the notion that you and I are totally different, and all that bullshit. That was my goal. I wanted to break with stuff like that. That was very important to me.