Back in the late 80’s I was over at my friend Woody’s house and he worked for a local and totally awesome record store (Record Rack), which meant he always had the newest and cool music. He happened to put on KMFDM “Don’t you blow you top” and I instantly fell in love with the aggression beats and lyrics. Since then for the last 20 years I have been a huge fan and supporter.
KMFDM has included countless members over the years, but their leader has remained Sascha Konietzko, whose multiple roles have included that of songwriter, producer, mixer, programmer, sampler, vocalist, percussionist, bassist, and electronic sound maker. together for almost 20 years and seem to be only get better with each new album
KMFDM is considered to be one of the first bands to bring industrial music to mainstream audiences. The band incorporates heavy metal guitar riffs, electronic music, samples, and both male and female vocals in its music, which encompasses a variety of styles including industrial rock and electronic body music. They are also known to be very political with many of its lyrics taking stands against violence, war, and oppression.
The band’s name has been the subject of countless debates among fans over the years as to what it stands for (they even held a contest in 1994 for fans to submit possible meanings, resulting in more than 1,000 entries), but the confirmed meaning is “Kein Mitleid für die Mehrheit” which, when translated into English, means “No Pity for the Majority.”
KMFDM had its beginnings in Paris, France; this is where Konietzko teamed up with German painter/multimedia performer Udo Sturm. The duo made their in-concert debut on February 29, 1984, at an opening for an exhibition of European artists at the Grand Palais in Paris. KMFDM issued their debut release the same year. Opium, Sturm exited the group shortly thereafter but was joined by drummer En Esch, Konietzko and Esch put KMFDM on hold at first to lead their talents to another band (Missing Foundations), but both Konietzko and Esch had dropped out and returned to KMFDM.
Around 1986, KMFDM meet with artist Aidan Hughes (aka Brute!), who would help the band stand out by suppling cover artwork for the group; the images would become synonymous with KMFDM’s hard-hitting music. They also signed with Record Company Wax Trax! Wax Trax! Quickly became one of the leading industrial labels in the world, as they were the home to such other similarly styled acts as Ministry, Revco, Front 242, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, etc.
KMFDM’s sophomore effort, What Do You Know Deutschland, also came out in 1986 and was the group’s first of many for Chicago’s famed industrial label Wax Trax! Though a new album most of these songs were written between 1984 and 1986. Other ’80s releases included 1988’s Don’t Blow Your Top and 1989’s UAIOE, this was at the height of the Industrial music scene and they were primed to achieve greatness.
KMFDM had yet to tour America by 1989, however they were offered a slot opening a U.S. tour for label mates Ministry, who was just releasing their classic The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste release. The tour lined up for a summer launch, however it was pushed back several times (due to Ministry leader Al Jourgensen falling ill) the tour finally got underway in December 1989. This tour established KMFDM as a band to be reckoned with in the industrial underground scene.
1990 brought their fifth full-length release Naïve, but realizing that industrial’s future lay in the U.S., Konietzko moved KMFDM’s from Hamburg to Chicago during 1991. In 1992, KMFDM issued a new release as well, Money.
KMFDM were about to break through to a wider audience, until Wax Trax! Suddenly found itself struggling resulting in the label being bought out by TVT Records. But 1993 - 1999 is what was consider the best of the best from them: 1993’s Angst (which earned the group their first video on MTV for the track “Drug Against War”), 1995’s Nihil, and 1996’s XTORT. During the same time, Konietzko relocated once more, this time to Seattle. Further releases followed in the late ‘90s, 1997’s Symbols, 1998’s Agogo, and 1999’s Adios before KMFDM disbanded on January 22, 1999. But you couldn’t keep, Konietzko away from making music and he assembled a
new outfit, MDFMK (KMFDM spelled backward) and issued a lone self-titled release in 2000.
KMFDM reunited in 2002 with their own record label KMFDM Records and an all-new album Attak, and the live album Sturm & Drang Tour 2002. In 2003 the release of WWIII, followed by WWIII Live. In 2005’s Hau Ruck became an instant classic in all its aggressive industrial power. The Ruck Zuck EP followed in 2006, with the full-length Tohuvabohu landing in 2007. Remix album Brimborium and rarities collection Extra, Vol. 1 were both released in 2008. Blitz followed in 2009, with the greatest-hits compilation Würst arriving a year later. The aggression of WTF arrived in 2011 Kunst followed in 2013, with a song dedicated to the Russian anarchist group Pussy Riot. In 2014, the group celebrated “Over Two and a Half Decades of Conceptual Continuity” with a live album, and their 19th studio effort, Our Time Will Come.
KMFDM signed a new contract with Ear Music in 2016. Their first release for the label was ROCKS: Milestones Reloaded, which featured remixed and updated versions of their hits.
Which brings us to the present (2017) with the band putting out a new EP Yeah, with plans to release a full-length outing, Hell Yeah later that August.
KMFDM normally tours at least once after every major release and band members are known for their accessibility to and interaction with fans, both online and at concerts.
You can see KMFDM live Oct 15th here in Houston at the White Oak Theater
In addition to leading KMFDM, Konietzko has also worked with other artists, either playing, producing, or remixing tracks and/ or albums by Die Krupps, Front 242, kidneythieves, M People, Peter Murphy, Pig, Schwein, Sister Machine Gun, and Swamp Terrorists, among others And now a quick interview:
Lets start with the obvious question ..what is the correct way say KMFDM. What is its meaning(s)? Kay-Emm-Eff-Dee-Emm is an acronym with more than 1000 established meanings. It originated as a german phrase where two words were intentionally swapped which losely translates into No Majority For The Pity What impact do you want to have in the world ? It’s not about what impact I want to have, it’s more about what can I do ? How can I make a difference and be useful ? What singer/group was the very first to influence you . Johnny Cash
How much of your personality or personal experiences are reflected in your songs I am not writing lyrics about personal stuff but i think my personality is reflected in the music I make.
Is acid better now than it used to be? How about the x? This is just a silly question. No need to answer. (Laughs) Who have you wanted to collaborate with that you haven’t yet? Nobody comes to mind. What is your first ever album to buy? T.Rex The Slider What are you listening to right now on your media device? I do not own any media devices. I am oldschool. I am currently rehearsing the newer material for the upcoming tours. What can people expect at a Live show ? To hear and see KMFDM on a stage with impressive lighting and kick-ass sound ! What is the difference in American and European fans at your shows ? There really isn’t much of a difference anymore
Any last word you would like to tell our readers, for example where to buy your music and merch or what you are currently working on? That sort of thing.