Oliver “Ollie” Riedel is a German musician, notable for being the bassist for the German Neue Deutsche Härte band Rammstein.
Oliver Riedel was born on April 11, 1971, in Schwerin. Growing up, Oliver had relatively good relationships with both of his parents. He attributes this to the small gap in between their ages. As a child, Oliver wasn’t a good student, but he made his way through school with the assistance of his mother. Oliver was quite shy, especially during his teenage years, and while his friends partied at discos, he would often be found just “hanging around”.
In 1990, at the age of nineteen, Oliver began playing in a folk-fiddle/punk-rock band called The Inchtabokatables. In 1994, Riedel, Till Lindemann, Richard Z. Kruspe, and Christoph “Doom” Schneider entered and won the Berlin Senate Metro beat contest that allowed them to record a four-track demo professionally. Paul H. Landers and Christian “Flake” Lorenz would later join the band they named Rammstein.
The six released their first album, Herzeleid (Heartache) in September 1995. Their second album, Sehnsucht (Longing) was released in 1997, which would later become platinum. In April 2001, the album Mutter (Mother) was released and a European tour followed, ending on 13 July 2002. It has been reported that at this time the members of Rammstein were seriously discussing whether to continue or not in their present form. It was decided that they should all take some time off and then reconsider whether to continue.
In 2003, Rammstein started work on the fourth album, which was to prove a turning point in Rammstein’s sound and maturity. September 2004 saw the fruits of this work in the release of Reise, Reise (“Journey, Journey”).
In 2005, Rosenrot (Rose Red) was released.
Rammstein’s latest album Liebe ist für alle da (Love Is For Everyone) was released in October 2009.
He has two children, one a girl named Emma, and is separated from her mother.
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.
He tends to keep his hair crew cut or completely shaven, accompanied by a [goatee]]. He is also the tallest member of the band, standing at 200 centimetres (6 ft 7 in).
Riedel is primarily a fingerstyle player, although he also uses a pick for most songs when playing live.
In certain softer songs, Ollie has been known to play with a banjo style plucking technique with his right hand to play arpeggiated chords, such as in Seemann. He also plays the acoustic guitar introduction to “Frühling in Paris” in live shows.
His known gear is:
- Sandberg California PM
- Sandberg Terrabass signature model
- MusicMan Stingray (used during the early days of the band)
- ESP Eclipse bass (used during the Sehnsucht tour)
- Sandberg Plasmabass 4-string custom built model
- Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI
- Glockenklang Heart-Rock Amp (Later rig)
- Ampeg SVT-II (Early rig)
- Ampeg 8×10 Cabs
Oliver also uses selected overdrive/ fuzz pedals for songs such as Mein Teil and Rosenrot.
Quotes and interview
On the separation rumours
“We never wanted to, but after Mutter we had some difficult times because the third album is the most difficult one and we had a lot of pressure on us. We also had our differences between the group members and everyone’s expectations were different. We took a year to rest, and after that we realized that we wanted to be together and to go on.”
On his early family life
Interviewer: Did you have a lot of problems with your parents?
Ollie: Not a lot at all. My parents are quite young, which is good. Because the age difference isn’t that big, we had it good with each other. My father and mother also liked the same music as me. We were almost more like friends than family.
Interviewer: But of course you did tease your brothers and sisters…
Ollie: No, because I don’t have any, too bad. But if I would have had them, I would definitely have teased them!