The keyboard from legendary German rock band Rammstein has recently released a new video on the climate crisis. The vid features the star’s daughter Mimi and, as well as being a powerful criticism of environmental destruction; it’s also a subtle attack on the music industry itself.
The two-minute piece sees Christian ‘Flake’ Lorenze bundled up in an underground bunker, sheltering from a world above that has seemingly undergone an apocalypse and lies in ruins. The keyboardist represents the older generation, and his daughter the younger; Mimi blames her father and his generational counterparts for the destruction that has unfolded.
The video was created in collaboration with the Berlin City Cleaning Service (BRS):
Drawing Attention to Environmental Pollution
During the video, Mimi brings the viewers’ attention to the part that environmental pollution is playing in the imminent crisis. She draws focus to the fact that two billion disposable plastic cups are thrown in the trash every year in Germany alone.
Experts estimate that disposable cups take around thirty years to decompose – they’re also resource-intensive to make. Producing four paper cups results in the emission of about a pound of CO2. Mimi addresses the audience directly, asking viewers to make the switch to reusable cups to help prevent a future environmental cataclysm.
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The Role of the Music Industry
The music industry isn’t let off the hook in Lorenzo’s video. Mimi points the finger at her dad, pointing out that his band’s mega-world tours were responsible for significant damage to the environment, too.
With concerns for sustainability increasingly taking center stage in recent years, there has been a spotlight on the impact of huge music tours. In response, the band Coldplay canceled shows, while superstar Billie Eilish has banned single-use plastic from her shows. With audiences keen to see their favorite bands’ values are aligned with their own, we can expect to see much more eco-aware touring as the years go on.
The Californian rapper K.Flay recently released a track titled ‘Not in California’ with an accompanying video that showed an Earth ravaged, similar to that depicted in Lorenzo’s vid – in this apocalyptic visions, floods, and waste plastic covered the planet, creating a largely hostile habitat. Meanwhile, The 1975’s track of the same name features a speech by the world-famous climate activist Greta Thunberg, who is known for challenging world leaders in attempts to draw focus on an impending crisis catastrophe.
Music Declares Environmental Emergency
Wider change is on the cards, too. Last year, the Music Declares Emergency collective emerged in the UK, designed to challenge the accusation that the music industry was not taking the climate crisis seriously enough. The group was behind a series of announcements and artist-reach outs that strove to raise awareness and drive green change.
Beggars Group, meanwhile, that’s home to labels including 4AD and Rough Trade, also announced significant carbon reduction initiatives recently, committing to almost half their emissions by 2030.
Earth Percent – affiliated with the musician Brian Eno – aims to raise $100 million by 2030 from the industry itself to put towards transitioning to sustainability.
A-List Environmental Activists
‘Flake’ Lorenzo is one of a growing number of stars who are publicly advocating for the environment. Superstar Sting was one of the earliest celeb voices that spoke up for the rainforests; he subsequently founded the Rainforest Foundation alongside his wife, Trudy Styler. This organization has saved over 115,000 square kilometers of precious rainforest to date.
Movie star Leonardo DeCaprio not only produced the powerful environmental documentary, ‘The 11th Hour,’ but also serves on several boards that support animal and environmental activism, including the World Wildlife Federation and Global Green USA.
Actress Cate Blanchett, meanwhile, has been a long-time ambassador for the Australian Conservation Foundation and supports many causes that have a focus on climate care. Cate has previously actively lobbied for the introduction of a carbon tax to limit the emission of greenhouse gasses and promote climate control.
And supermodel Gisele Bundchen does her bit, too, having initiated the Clean Water Project and was named as the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program in 2009. In 2014, the star became a member of the board of directors of the Rainforest Alliance, a non-profit organization that works to promote and support biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods.
With celebs and other high-profile figures now regularly speaking up about environmental issues, it’s likely that changes on this front will continue to come thick and fast, whether via carbon-offsetting being used to reduce the impact of a world tour, through ethically-manufactured merchandise or from a new focus on virtual events.
If we don’t make these changes now, then the future – as Mimi reminds us – will be too late.