Public News (Houston) - - FRONT PAGE - by Robert Castro

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.

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