Music and Being Different
I have a strong desire to be different. I want to differentiate myself from the crowd. I was raised to be that way. Ironically, when in high school, I did everything I could to fit in. Through music, I found a connection with my classmates and friends. And no, I didn’t join any punk or alternative music groups. For the first time in my life, I was exposed to pop music and to the phenomenon of ‘fandom.’ Together with my friends, I became a big fan of the Backstreet Boys. When that was over, I transitioned to listening to R&B music. That too, in the end, lost my interest. During this transition period, I was exposed to my first metal band: Rammstein.
Several times I have talked on my blog about my first ex, the one with whom I first experimented with BDSM and who gaslighted me. He was a big lover of music, and we would often scour music stores to find the best CDs. On one of these tours, we found the DVD of Rammstein, Live aus Berlin. Of course, he wanted to listen to this show when we got back home. My memories are a bit muddled of what exactly happened. I remember something of being tied down in the living room on a mattress while the music was playing. I also remember my boyfriend saying something along the lines of ‘I’ll turn this off now, not to bore you any further with it.’ And I thought: ‘But it’s not that bad. I don’t know why, but I kinda like it.’
From that moment on, it became my guilty pleasure. I felt so naughty listening to such a dark, evil band like Rammstein. I was raised to be a ‘good girl’ who only listened to classical and other decent music. And here I was, listening to songs about sex, BDSM and necrophilia.
From the outside, still today, you cannot see that I have a darker, kinkier side. I look like your average ‘girl next door’. Long blond hair (now purple), blue eyes, glasses, unassuming, regular taste in clothing. But this innocent girl was listening to evil Rammstein.
I would sit on the train, listening to this band on my headphones, and it would feel like an act of rebellion. I dreamt of the band joining the train while I was going through the tunnel at Schiphol Airport and I could show them proudly, that I was listening to their songs! Me, the goody-goody blond girl with the dorky outfit. I felt so naughty.
Still, today, I enjoy listening to their music. Both my husband and his sister enjoy this style too, together we went to their concert last year in Rotterdam. What I enjoy about their music is the poetry in the lyrics. The main singer and songwriter Till Lindemann is a fantastic poet too and their texts are intelligent and profound. Yes, they use shock-value, but often enough there’s a deeper layer.
An example is their recent song ‘Puppe.’ Not only is the singing magnificent, but the story of a destitute prostitute meeting her tragic end is a clear message of the vulnerability of women in such a position. It also exposes how that has its impact on family members.
Metal is Alright
I’ve become more at ease with the fact that I enjoy listening to industrial metal and have seen shows by metal bands Nightwish and Oomph!. In the audiences to these shows, there are actually many people like me: a bit nerdy, dorky, unassuming, and almost…gasp…normal. I feel less special moving around in these scenes than I did at the beginning. And yet a naughty tingle arises when I hear the words ‘Bestrafe Mich.’