Rammstein are renowned for their absurd antics, pyromaniacal production, and envelope-pushing approach to overt sexuality, but a simple kiss between Richard Kruspe and Paul Landers made the biggest statement during a recent set in the notoriously anti-LGBTQ Russia.
As seen in the video from a Berlin performance above, the kiss is no new happening for the German industrial-metal crew. However, it took on much more meaning in Russia. There, on June 30th, 2013, president Vladimir Putin enacted a federal law known as "for the Purpose of Protecting Children From Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values," or colloquially referred to as the "gay propaganda law." Under the rule, even small gestures can carry heavy consequences, and if charged, violators can be detained for 15 days, fined up to 5,000 rubles (honestly, a pretty paltry $78 USD), and foreigners can be arrested and deported.
Rammstein shared a photo of the kiss via Instagram with the caption "Russia, we love you!" No word yet on whether the band, or Kruspe and Landers, specifically, were or will be punished for the act, but it wouldn't be their first brush with the law. Way back in 1998, keyboardist Flake Anderson and singer Till Lindemann spent the night in a Massachusetts jail after they simulated sex onstage during the band's charming number "Buck Dich," with law enforcement citing "lewd and lascivious behavior."
If you want to catch the band's daring show for yourself, Rammstein's European current tour runs through August 22nd. Find a full list of dates here.