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Richard Kruspe

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Title: Richard Kruspe  
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Subject: Rammstein (song), Paul Landers, Till Lindemann, Christoph Schneider, List of German musicians, Mutter (song), List of guitarists, Aria (band), Mein Herz brennt, Rammstein discography
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Richard Kruspe

Richard Z. Kruspe
Kruspe in 2010
Background information
Birth name Sven Kruspe
Also known as Richard Zven Kruspe
Richard Kruspe-Bernstein
Born June 24, 1967 (age 46)
Wittenberge, East Germany
Genres Neue Deutsche Härte, industrial metal, alternative metal
Occupations Musician
Instruments Guitar, bass guitar, vocals, keyboards
Years active 1991–present
Associated acts Rammstein
Orgasm Death Gimmick
First Arsch
Notable instruments
ESP RZK Series
Various ESP Electric Guitars
Takamine EF341SC Acoustic Guitar

Richard Zven Kruspe (born 24 June 1967) is a German musician and the lead guitarist of the German Neue Deutsche Härte band Rammstein, as well as the frontman of the band Emigrate.


At the age of sixteen, Kruspe and some friends visited Czechoslovakia, where he bought a guitar. He had originally planned to sell it, because they were very expensive and thought he could make a nice profit. However, once he returned to East Germany, a girl at a campground he was staying at asked him to play. He told her that he couldn’t play, but she kept insisting, and Kruspe got mad and started strumming the strings. “The harder I played,” Richard said, “the more excited she got. Something clicked in my head and I realized girls like guys who play guitars.” This got him interested in playing the guitar, and as a result, he began playing every day and night for the next two years.

When he was nineteen years old he became bored with the apathetic music scene in his hometown. He moved to East Berlin and lived on Lychener Straße and “made music all day”.[1] For two years, Richard lived in an apartment with a drum kit and a guitar, and he made music by himself because he did not know anybody there. “It was a lonely time” according to Kruspe, but he used it to explore music.

On 10 October 1989, before the fall of the Berlin Wall, he was riding through the subway. When he came above ground, he found himself in the middle of a political demonstration. He was hit on the head and arrested just for being there, and thrown in jail for six days. Once out of jail, he decided to leave East Germany. Because of the Eastern Bloc, he entered West Germany through Hungary. When the Berlin Wall came down, he moved back east of Berlin, Germany.

Rammstein was formed back in 1994 when Richard, who lived with Oliver and Schneider at the time, was looking for a new band in which to create a new style of music. He had left his first band, 'Orgasm Death Gimmick' in search of new band mates.

Personal life

Richard was born in Wittenberge, East Germany. He has two older sisters and an older brother (Gordon Kruspe). His parents divorced when he was young. His mother remarried, but he did not get along with his stepfather. They moved to the village of Weisen when he was young. Because of the poor relationship with his step-father, Kruspe often ran away from home in his early teens and slept on park benches. He later got into wrestling as a way to channel his anger.

Kruspe married South African actress Caron Bernstein on October 29, 1999. The ceremony was Jewish and Kruspe composed the music for it. He took on the name Richard Kruspe-Bernstein during their marriage. Sometime in 2001, he moved from Berlin to New York to live closer to his now ex-wife Caron. They separated in 2004. His name is now back to its original "Kruspe" as the divorce was finalized. In 2011 he left New York because "it is not the right environment for the next part of my life" and moved back to Berlin.[2] It was also at this time that Richard announced he was becoming a father for the third time.

He has a daughter, Khira Li Lindemann (born 28 February 1991). Her last name is "Lindemann" because her mother was previously married to Rammstein lead singer Till Lindemann. Khira's mother kept the last name "Lindemann" when she divorced. Later, she and Rammstein guitarist Richard Kruspe had Khira. The two never married, leaving Khira with the last name of Lindemann.

His son Merlin Esra Besson was born on December 12, 1992.

Kruspe's second daughter, and third child, is Maxime Alaska Bossieux. She was born September 28, 2011. Her mother is Margaux Bossieux, bassist of the all-girl NY punk band Dirty Mary. According to his ex-wife Caron, one of the reasons for their divorce was an affair between Kruspe and Bossieux, her best friend at the time.[3] Bossieux was involved in the recording of Emigrate's debut album. She and Kruspe seem to have had an on-again, off-again relationship over the years.

He speaks fluent English and sings in English for Emigrate.


The dates show when Richard used his equipment (and studio dates) during his Rammstein Tours, in exception to the ESP Emigrate Eclipse.

Guitars [4]

Richard's main instruments for touring are ESP guitars, but has used different guitars in the past.

  • ESP RZK-1 Richard Kruspe Signature Electric Guitar. (Platinum Silver, Olympic White, Satin Black, and custom "Burnt" finish) Dropped C tuning during the Reise Reise tour, Standard, Dropped D, and Dropped C tuning for the Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da tour (2004–2005, 2008–2010) Richard also has another RZK model that has a custom paint job for the video of Ich Tu Dir Weh. This guitar was also featured in the LIFAD 2009–2010 tour.
  • ESP/LTD RZK-600 The LTD version of the RZK-1. Richard possibly does not use this one, but it is a more affordable model of the RZK-1.
  • ESP RZK-2 (2009–2010) Titanium and custom "Burnt" finish. Seen in the music video for Pussy, Based on the ESP RZK-1, with an USA Eclipse body, and 24.75 inch neck, (Dropped C tuning and Standard E tuning)
  • ESP KH-2 Kirk Hammett Signature Electric Guitar (Black, Standard and Dropped D tuning) (1997–2000)
  • ESP KH-2 Kirk Hammett Signature Electric Guitar With KH-4 pick guard customization (Black with Pearl Pickguard [also a model with a mirror pickguard] Dropped C tuning before using the RZK-1, Standard, Dropped D) (2001–2005)
  • ESP EC-1000 Electric Guitar (See-thru Black Cherry, Dropped D) (2001–2002, 2004–2005)
  • ESP Custom Emigrate Eclipse Electric Guitar (2007, Dropped C) (Can be seen in the music video for My World, Possibly a modded ESP Truckster)
  • ESP Eclipse CTM1 Electric Guitar (Vintage Black, Dropped C) (2004–2005)
  • ESP Custom Maverick Guitar (Silver with Pearl Pickguard, Dropped D) (2002, 2004–2005)
  • ESP 901 (Red Sunburst and Tobacco Sunbust) (1994 - 1998 [Cherry Sunburst] Standard/Dropped D) (1997 [Tobacco Sunburst] Standard)
  • [1] (2002, Dropped D)
  • Fender Stratocaster (Tobacco Sunburst) (1996, Standard)
  • Takamine EF341SC Acoustic Guitar (2004–2005, Dropped C)
  • Gibson J-200 (2009–2010), Standard D)
  • Gretsch White Falcon Used for cleans on Emigrate and prop guitar in the video for "Mein Land"
  • ESP EC-50 Used as a prop guitar in the video for "Mann Gegan Mann"

Amplifiers/Effects/Misc For over two decades, Richard's main amplifiers have been a Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier, using the revision F, or blackface, versions on almost every Rammstein album to date. Most of the rackmounted units and pedals he uses are not listed.

  • Rath-Amp Amplifiers - Several sources claims he has used Rath-Amps.
  • Bizarre Festival, where a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 4x12 speaker cabinet can be seen behind him, on top of a Marshall 4x12 speaker cabinet. He also owns 2 stock Pre-500 Rev F blackface Dual Rectifiers, which are used for recording purposes and early live performances.
  • Marshall And Mesa/Boogie 4x12 Cabinets. Used both cabinets at the beginning of his career, but eventually phased out the Marshall cabinets.
  • Soldano Decatone head (??? - ???)
  • Soldano Avenger 100 Head. (??? - ???)
  • Unknown Marshall head. (??? - ???)
  • TC Electronic Nova Delay
  • Digitech Whammy (Can be heard in the tracks Stein Um Stein, Zerstören and Liebe ist für alle da)
  • Roland JC-120 Combo (Used in the studio)
  • Dunlop Crybaby DCR-2SR Rack Wah with DCR-1FC foot controller
  • SIT Richard Z Kruspe Signature Strings[5]

Note: Richard does not use a Tech 21 PSA-1.


External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • Emigrate @
  • (English) Rammstein Official Website
  • (German) Rammstein Official Website
  • (English) Emigrate Official Website
  • (German) Emigrate Official Website
  • (English)
  • (Turkish) Turkey Fan Website
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