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Oliver Riedel

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Oliver Riedel
© Bryan Adams
CAE / IPI:00253658647 (Riedel, Oliver)
Birth: (1971-04-11) 11 April 1971 (age 53)
Schwerin, German Democratic Republic
Member of:Rammstein
Former member of:The Inchtabokatables
Emigrate (temporary, co-founder)

Oliver Riedel (born 11 April 1971) is the bassist for the band Rammstein.


Early years

Riedel was born on 11 April 1971, in Schwerin as an only child. Growing up, Oliver had a good relationship with his parents. They were young, so the age difference was small. Riedel says they liked the same music, and he describes his parents as more like friends than family.

As a child, Oliver was bad at school, though he was not sure if it was because of him or because of bad teachers who couldn't explain and whose views differed from those of the students. His mother found it ridiculous that his teachers were so bad, so she let him go sporting instead of doing homework.

Oliver describes his childhood as quite normal. In his town, there were plenty of places to play and hang out. He would also go to the disco, though he was very shy and didn't dare dancing, so he would hang around until the lights went out and then go home.[1]

Before becoming a musician, Oliver trained as a plasterer.[1]

Musical career

Oliver Riedel started playing classical guitar at 19 years old. At the time, he felt a bit lonely as there weren't that many musicians in East Germany, though this changed when he met and became friends with Richard Z. Kruspe.[2]

In 1992, Riedel began playing the bass in a folk-fiddle/punk-rock band called The Inchtabokatables. He joined as a guest member for one year as the band's regular bassist, Franziska "Franzi Underdrive" Schubert, was having a child. Riedel, at the time also known as Orgien-Olli, played on the album White Sheep which was released 20 March 1993. Although the Inchtabokatables was an established band where the members had a fixed salary and earned good money, Riedel left the band after the one year was up, stating that "With you, I'll never learn to play the bass".[3]

After Riedel left the Inchtabokatables, he was recruited as a bassist by his then roommate Kruspe for a new band project. The two of them started playing together their other roommate, Christoph Schneider. Kruspe was singing and playing guitar at the same time, which did not work out very well. Eventually, Kruspe convinced Till Lindemann to come to Berlin and sing.[4]

In 1994, Riedel, Kruspe, Schneider, and Lindemann entered and won the Berlin Senate Metro beat contest that allowed them to record a four track demo professionally. Paul Landers and Christian Lorenz would later join the band that got the name Rammstein.

In addition to being a bassist, Riedel still plays the classical guitar and has tried to learn to play flamenco. Riedel has played the guitar with Rammstein on stage on a few occasions (such as for the intro of Tier at the 1997 Bizarre Festival, as well as for all performances of Frühling in Paris), and he played the guitar on the album version of the song Ein Lied.[5]

Personal life

He likes photography and sports, especially skateboarding and surfing. In the making of the video for Keine Lust, he mentions wanting to go snowboarding while wearing a fat suit. It has been said he is the most computer-literate member of the band.

Before the Mutter recordings in France, Oliver Riedel sold all his things and bought a mobile home that he lived in. He drove around and stopped wherever he felt comfortable, often by the sea.[6]

His character is more mature and subtle during live performances. He tends to keep crew cut and skin-bald hairstyles along with some styles of facial hair. Often, he has worn heavy make-up and/or masks on stage. Oliver is the tallest member of the band.




Previous bands





Live performances

As guest

Band Date Location City Country
The Inchtabokatables 27 Apr 2001 Columbiahalle Berlin Germany


  1. 1.0 1.1 Break Out 2002
  2. Bassiste 2005
  3. Mix mir einen Drink
  4. Rock Hard 2001
  5. Piranha Magazin 2005
  6. Ursprung Punkszene: Rammstein hätte es im Westen nie gegeben