As I stood outside of the venue KMFDM
had just performed in, I couldnít help but notice what significance
theyíve made over the past eighteen years. This is a band
thatís spawned 11 albums, numerous remixes and contributions
to soundtracks, a vast amount of singles, and has influenced
countless bands. Now here it was 2am in Oklahoma, and as I
watched founding member Sascha Konietzko interact with
fans in the light Oklahoma rain, it became quite clear that
this is a band that truly cares about music and their fans.
We sat down with Sascha while on tour in support of the new
KMFDM release Attak, and asked him about the new album,
past, and future of the band.
The KMFDM album Adios was thought
to have been the last KMFDM album, what made you decide to
release another one?
I think it was really a matter of public
demand. When the announcement of the split between MDFMK
and Universal Records was made there was a flood of email
from fans asking, "what are you doing now? Why not do KMFDM?"
And at first I was really reluctant to doing it, but I spoke
to everyone who could potentially be involved and the majority
of everyone was totally into it.
What do you feel makes the new album
Attak stand out among the previous albums?
Well it's different
in a number of ways, it's a marked departure from the old
lineup, and En Esch and Gunter Schulz opted
not to be in the current lineup. It was done in a sort of
way in which we pulled all the experience that we have so
that we could focus on what makes KMFDM what we are. We found
that it's the rotation, to just let everyone work and other
then in the past, I decided to let everyone work on their
own time and in their own environment, rather then bringing
everyone into the studio and add that working together pressure.
Just let everyone work in their own time frame and country
or whatever. It made for a pretty relaxed recording process.
It took sometimes months to get something back from Raymond
[Watts} but the results were totally stunning.
It was easier then saying "today we have to do vocals, tomorrow
we have to do drums or whatever."
MDFMK was on UNIVERSAL/Republic Records,
I was wandering why wasn't the new KMFDM album on that label
Universal made it
very clear that they did not want to continue work with me
unless I was basically delivering a commercially accessible
product. I made it very clear that I was not interested in
making music according to their opinions that would be "commercially
Were you in search of label after that?
How did you end up with Metropolis?
As I started thinking
about this, I thought we should get a label to put this out
and that's when the phone calls started to coming in. There
was no effort made to find a label.
Do you plan to work with Metropolis
in the future?
I don't know, it's
a mutual thing. They're not really a label that puts too much
work into each release. They basically believe that the credibility
of the bands on the roster sells themselves, which I think
is a mistake. I mean it would be nice to see a few more flyers
and a few more posters. I would like to get reports from reps,
such as yourselves, that are a little more positive. During
the WaxTrax days it was like "wow". I mean kids got sent to
them flyers and posters and all kinds of materials and it
was just behavior of labels like that and music like this.
Have you ever thought about starting
your own label?
Many times but I
really hate paper work. I'm not a pencil pusher.
KMFDM has had a variety of guests over
the span of albums and I was wandering is there anyone that
you haven't worked with that you would like to?
Not really, everyone I've wanted to work
with so far has been on a KMFDM album one way or another.
What's unique about KMFDM is that it's not a rigid process.
We don't have to suffer through the dynamics of role-playing.
A lot of the members are multi-instrumentalist so maybe someone
played a bass line on a song twelve years ago and Bill
Rieflin is playing it tonight, just because he can.
So would you say it's something similar
to what Pigface is?
I never really identified
KMFDM and Pigface as similar. I think Pigface was botched
in a way by egomania by all the participants. I think Pigface
would have worked really great if it was kept it anonymously
known. I mean you could have seen who it was but it was just
like name dropping at the time. But they never really sounded
like a band to me; the band is like this gigantic germ. Some
stuff is absolutely great and then some stuff is absolutely
From my understanding for what Pigface
is, the way you were explaining KMFDM sounded like it is this
interchangeable thing where there is not any real members.
Well, yeah, in that
respect yes, I mean Martin Atkins probably has ultimately
the same vision.
Have you considered working with him
on any projects?
Well we had fallout
about paperwork a long time ago when I was representing En
Esch as his publisher. Martin Atkins practices in business
are not really up to par. So I think that maybe blocked the
future of any collaborations.
Are there any future plans to work
with Ogre again?
No plans at this
point, I mean Ogre is quite busy with the Skinny Puppy
reunion stuff and heís very secretive about that. There was
talk about Ogre participating on Attak but it never
happened, he was busy doing other stuff.
I noticed that most of your album titles
are five letter words I was wandering what the significance
of that is?
No it was kind of...when we first
came to the US, you know people always ask what does KMFDM
stand for? And it stands for "Kein Mitleid Fur Die Mehrheit"
which translates to "no pity for the majority" so I kept explaining
this and it didn't make any sense and people would say, "what
are you talking about" and then this guy named Shawn Joyce
came up and said why don't you just tell them it means "kill
mother fucking Depeche Mode" so with that came the
kind of pranksterish sort of joke titles. UAIOE was
out at the time and "Naïve" had just came out
and both of those both have five letter titles and it was
like "oh KMFDM this, the guys with the five letter titles
it means KILL MOTHERFUCKING DEPECHE MODE" So we thought ok
we would cater to that for awhile and see how that flies,
granted it was a total joke. We came from Germany and we all
had to have day jobs and work our asses off to afford to be
KMFDM and all of a sudden were in the states and were selling
thousands of thousands of fucking records! And we didn't have
to have day jobs and everything was fine and dandy and it
was like this big joke, I mean these people were buying our
crap, it's great. But needless to say within a year or two
reality sat in and that's when it stuck that this is what
direction our lives are going now.
It was rumored that Attak was
going to be originally spelled with a q instead of a k and
be in middle eastern font is that true?
Was it changed because of September
Yup, we didnít want
to use it after that, especially since Columbine. That would
have been pretty fucking harsh.
What music do you currently listen
to? Are there any new bands that you discovered recently that
you would like to turn people on to?
I listen to mostly
stuff people give me on the road, like demos and CDís. Itís
more interesting then your regular mainstream music.
Is there anybody in particular?
Well just last night
I was listening to a band called VX 7 from San Francisco,
pretty cool stuff, female vocals, very electronic. I havenít
really bought any records lately, not for the last two years.
Do you collect anything?
I collect Playboy
What do you do for entertainment besides
Yeah I bar-b-que.
I was wandering what is one of your
worst or most embarrassing moments that youíve had on stage?
One of the worst
moments actually occurred right behind us (Deep Ellum Live-Venue,
Dallas). They had a wooden barricade, I think it was 1995.
Under the pressure of the crowd the barricade collapsed and
it was absolutely heart stopping, I mean there was people
being completely crushed and pieces of wood. We yanked about
fifth teen or twenty people out of the crowd. Another worst
time was when the dance floor collapsed in Boston, and the
whole crowd started sinking. I thought, "oh my god, whatís
going on". So we stopped the show and pulled everyone
out, it turns out the major beams in the basement that held
up the building had collapsed. Embarrassing moments, I donít
know. Iím not easily embarrassed.
What is the future of KMFDM?
Well I think weíre
going to keep touring in general, go to Japan, Europe, and
then come back and do another U.S. leg. Then start recording
Last not but not least, with all this
talk about nuclear warfare and terrorist threats, I was wandering,
if you were a weapon of mass destruction, who, what or where
would your target be?
KMFDM Attak is now
available at all record stores on Metropolis Records
in the webboard
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