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Richard Z. Kruspe

Richard Z. Kruspe
Kruspe with Rammstein in 2010
Background information
Birth name Zven Kruspe[1]
Also known as Richard Zven Kruspe
Richard ZK
Richard Kruspe-Bernstein
Born (1967-06-24) 24 June 1967
Wittenberge, East Germany
Genres Neue Deutsche Härte, industrial metal, alternative metal
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar, bass guitar, vocals, keyboards
Years active 1991 – present
Associated acts Rammstein
Orgasm Death Gimmick
First Arsch
Marilyn Manson
Notable instruments
ESP RZK Series
Various ESP Electric Guitars
Takamine EF341SC Acoustic Guitar

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


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Equipment 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Richard Zven Kruspe was born in Wittenberge, East Germany. He was originally given the name Zven Kruspe, but changed his name to Richard under the belief that everyone should be able to change their name. 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.

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.


In 1989, bored with the apathetic music scene in his hometown, he moved to East Berlin and lived on Lychener Straße and "made music all day". 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 Kruspe, who lived with Riedel 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 Kruspe during "Feuer Frei!".

Kruspe married South African actress Caron Bernstein on 29 October 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 10 December 1992.

Richard's second daughter, and third child, is Maxime Alaska Bossieux. She was born 28 September 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. His favorite bands are Kiss, Black Sabbath, Big Black, AC/DC, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Suicidal Tendencies, Pantera, and Depeche Mode.


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


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 (Black, Standard and Dropped D tuning) (1997–2000)
  • ESP KH-4 (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 (See-thru Black Cherry, Dropped D) (2001–2002, 2004–2005)
  • ESP Truckster (2007, Dropped C) Has customized Emigrate-themed decals. Can be seen in the music video for "My World"
  • ESP Eclipse I CTM 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 with black pick-guard] Standard/Dropped D) (1997 [Tobacco Sunburst] Standard) (Cherry Sunburst with pearl pickguard, 2000 – 2002) Richard's main guitar before switching to the ESP Kirk Hammett signature models, eventually being used for alternate tunings or as a backup
  • ESP AW-500 Kozi Signature Electric Guitar[5] (2002, Dropped D)
  • Fender Stratocaster (Tobacco Sunburst) (1996, Standard) Used rarely
  • Takamine EF341SC Acoustic Guitar (2004–2005, Dropped C) Used for "Los"
  • 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 C, 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.
  • Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier "Recto Reborn" (2010 – present) Re-designed Dual Rectifier introduced in 2010. Richard's main amps live.
  • Mesa/Boogie 2-Channel and 3-channel Dual Rectifiers Heads (With Voodoo Amps Platinum Mods) (1992 – present) He owns 3 Voodoo Amps Modified 2-Channel and 5 Voodoo Modified 3-Channel Dual Rectifier Heads. Earliest known footage of him using Mesa/Boogie Equipment is during a Rammstein performance at the 1996 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. For recording, Richard prefers an original 1992 Dual Rectifier cabinet.
  • Soldano Decatone head (??? – ???) Can be seen in the studio during the "Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da" recording sessions
  • Soldano Avenger 100 Head. (??? – ???) Can be seen in the studio during the "Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da" recording sessions
  • Unknown Marshall head. (??? – ???) Can be seen in the studio during the "Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da" recording sessions
  • 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[6]

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


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Rammstein Interview". The Gauntlet. 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "Richard Kruspe Dating History". 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "Richard Kruspe Equipment". Archived from the original on 25 March 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Richard Z Kruspe Signature Series". SIT Strings. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 

External links

  • Richard Kruspe at the 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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