The idea for a band dawned on Richard in 1993 during his time in West Berlin. At that time he lived in a flat with Schneider and Olli, all of which started working on the idea of a band. A band with a sound which should be a combination of hard guitars and machines. After convincing Till he also worked on the band.
Being with four members the band heard of a competition for young and unexperienced bands. Directly the band started to work and record some songs. Since Till always arrived late at night he had to sing his lyrics under a blanket to not disturb the neighbours (according to rumours the demos included "Das alte Leid", "Seemann", "Weisses Fleisch" and "Rammstein", and all songs were sung in English). After the band sent in the demo tape they won one week in a professional recording studio.
Hearing of that, Paul asked if he could join the band. Being five members now the band felt that someone was missing, who is completely different. Paul asked his long-time friend Flake if he would like to join in. Flake was never really addicted to that idea, because he completely disliked the music of the band. But he agreed to jam a little together.
Being the full band they started working on songs and were practicing every day, between Berlin and Schwerin. In one week, several new demos were recorded on tape, which were all sent out to different record labels. But it was not until a employee of Motor visited one of their concerts, until the band was discovered. He played the tape to officials of Motor and the label invited the band over to an intimate gig in front of many Motor people. During that concert Schneiders drumhead of his snare ripped, so he was forced to hit the edge of the snare, hoping no one would notice.
A little later the band signed the contract with Motor through Petra Husemann and started working with Pilgrim Management, represented by Emu.
Finding of a producer
Rammstein wanted to start recording their first album, but there was still a producer missing. To find a producer, the band was looking at the producers of their favourite records. After seeing his name on a record of the band Killing Joke, they invited Greg Hunter to watch them rehearse. They played the songs of their first album "Herzeleid" for him. After the first few songs he didn't say anything. One song later he was asleep on the couch. But when they found a CD of the Swedish band Clawfinger, they were instantly convinced by its sound. Looking in the credits they found the producers name: Jacob Hellner. The band asked Jacob if he would like to produce their first record. He was sent some demos and was invited to one of their concerts in Hamburg. After listening to the demos and going to the concert he directly said yes and went to Berlin, to produce Rammsteins first album.
In 1995 the band started to record their first album "Herzeleid" in the Swedish Polar Studios. After a while the band felt uncomfortable and so they moved to the private studio of producer Jacob Hellner. The band recorded the entire album in three months and also recorded some songs, that were not released on "Herzeleid" but on later albums, like "Alter Mann". The album was mixed by Carl-Michael Herlöffson. After listening to the mix, Richard was really disappointed. He called all other band members and together they decided to fire Herlöffson and get Ronald Prent to do the job. During this mixing the whole band was at present. This mix was finally released in September 1995 on the album: Herzeleid.
After the release of the album the band went on tour with bands like Project Pitchfork, Clawfinger and their own first Germany tour. In January Rammstein are special guests on the German leg of the final tour of The Ramones. In May 1996 Rammstein played their first and only concert in China. In Autumn of 1996 the movie "Lost Highway" hit the theatres in the US. Director David Lynch used the songs "Rammstein" and "Heirate mich" for the soundtrack. The songs were not played in the movie itself. Also in 1996 the band played their famous "100 Jahre Rammstein" concert. During the concert a little accident happened: the burning Rammstein lettering fell into the crowd and injured some people. The band kept playing while Till was trying to help. One visitor had to go to hospital but was released the day after.
A few songs from their second album, "Sehnsucht", were already written during the Herzeleid sessions, some others were written during the Herzeleid Tour. Recording of the album began in November 1996 in the Temple Studio on Malta. It was mixed by Ronald Prent and released in August 1997.
Following the release of the album, the band went on a long tour. Starting on 05.12.1997 the band also played their first US tour, which was followed in September '98 by the Family Values Tour, also in the US. During that tour the band had to stay a night in jail after a concert on Halloween '98, for performing almost naked. Also later Till and Flake were arrested and had to go to jail, for the performance of "Bück dich" after the show on 23.09.1998. To this day both always have to go to court as soon as they come to the US.
Following the first concerts in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Canada, the band started the pre-production for the third album "Mutter". Rammstein went to Heiligendamm and rent a house with nothing inside. They just bought what they barely needed, like a bed and a cupboard. During that time songs like "Ein Lied" and "Ohne dich" were already written.