Rammstein, the German industrial band at the centre of a spat with London Records labelmates Goldie and Asian Dub Foundation over Nazi imagery in their video, have contacted NME to deny any link with the extreme right.
Rammstein whipped up a storm of controversy after they used footage from Olympia, Leni Riefenstahl’s infamous film of the 1936 Berlin Olympics for the promo clip for ‘Stripped’, their contribution to the Depeche Mode tribute album ‘Various Artists For The Masses’.
In a statement they declared: “We are not Nazis, Neo-Nazis, or any other kind of Nazi. We are against racism, bigotry or any other type of discrimination.” They added that they had used the film simply as an example of a visionary work of art, rather than to endorse Nazism or fascism.
A spokeswoman for the Anti-Nazi League applauded the band’s strenuous denial of any Nazi links, but added: “I still think they are misguided on the Leni Riefenstahl front. They really should have been a bit more upfront about what they are trying to say. You have to be very clear in your message when you use those kind of images.”
A statement issued by their record company defended Rammstein’s video: “The band are humanists… They eschew any connection to the Neo-Nazi movement or the philosophy of the Third Reich. “Furthermore, Rammstein believe that good art knows no political allegiances, thus, the Leni Riefenstahl footage they used for ‘Stripped’ is an expression of good art rather than an endorsement of Nazism. By using these images outside of their original context and in combination with other media (the Russian newsreel footage, the music of Depeche Mode sung in English) the band hopes to create a collage that conveys a broad range of emotions.”
London are now set to go ahead with the release of their debut UK single ‘Du Hast’ on November 16. ‘Stripped’, which features on the Depeche Mode tribute album ‘Various Artists For The Masses’, out now, could be released at a later date as a single, London records said.