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German symbolism in rock music: national signification in the imagery and songs of Rammstein

  • ROBERT G.H. BURNS (a1)

In this article, I discuss aspects of national identity in the performance style of the German rock band Rammstein from the perspectives of imagery, vocal style and the textual content of their songs. Investigation into Rammstein’s music reveals transformations of signifiers from earlier German performance styles and earlier textual themes that the band use as a means of relocating notions of German identity into their own performances. The adoption of national German signifiers enables Rammstein to establish connections between the band and the growth of national awareness among German youth who follow them. In this way, marketing and promotion of notions of a new national German identity to generations unaware of the origins of neo-romantic, national German signifiers in Rammstein’s music supports a successful commercial enterprise that, I argue, runs close to boundaries existing between national and nationalist.

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Popular Music
  • ISSN: 0261-1430
  • EISSN: 1474-0095
  • URL: /core/journals/popular-music
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