Atari Teenage Riot’s Alec Empire Questions Rammstein’s Sincerity

One of the highlights of this past weekend’s CMJ MusicFest in New York City was the showcase for the German-based Digital Hardcore Recordings, which was held at the legendary punk club CBGB’s and hosted by label founder and Atari Teenage Riot frontman Alec Empire.

Shortly before Empire and labelmates Cristoph de Babalon, Ec80r, and Bomb 20 unleashed their industrial-driven tech punk on the industry-laden crowd, MTV asked Empire for his thoughts on Rammstein, Germany’s most successful musical export since Einst├╝rzende Neubauten.

“I haven’t seen a show over here,” Empire said of the German metal group, “but what was really bad was that in Germany, [Rammstein is] successful for all the wrong reasons. I think they’re not a fascist band at all, but I think in Germany there’s a lot of misunderstanding and that’s why they sell records and I think that’s dangerous.”

“And I’m still waiting for them to make a real statement,”
he continued,” because you just can’t make a Leni Riefenstahl video and just say that it’s just a joke, because my grandfather died in a concentration camp and for me, that’s not a joke at all.” [28.8 RealVideo]

Rammstein have headed back to Germany after recently completing a successful stint on Korn’s Family Values Tour. As for Empire, the man behind Digital Hardcore, he is finishing up work on Atari Teenage Riot’s new album, which is due out in January.