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KMFDM “Sick New World” Interview

May 1, 2023

Posted By Chad Carsten

Chad Thomas Carsten is a Music lover that wants to do nothing, but travel the world and interview his favorite musicians., He has Published numerous music articles/band interviews that includes content for the Billings Gazette, Detroit Metro Times, Underground Nation Magazine, Faygoluvers.net, Vandala Magazine, and Noise From The Pit.

Nearly 40 Years of German Industrial Greatness!

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, an industrial counter-cultural movement was brewing across Europe. This movement sought to challenge the status quo of mainstream music by embracing electronic instrumentation, bold lyrics, and provocative imagery. One of the most prominent groups to emerge from this underground scene was KMFDM – a German industrial band that would go on to become one of the genre’s biggest names.

Formed in 1984 by Sascha Konietzko, with musicians En Esch and Raymond Watts joining soon after, KMFDM (which stands for “Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid,” or “No Pity for the Majority”) swiftly gained a die-hard following thanks to their energetic live shows and politically charged lyrics. Their early music was heavily influenced by punk rock and new wave but also incorporated elements of metal, techno, and other experimental genres. All throughout the 1990s KMFDM unleashed a massive amount of Industrial masterpieces back to back, beginning with the 1990s ‘Naïve’. Quickly followed by ‘Money’ (1992), ‘Angst’ (1993), ‘Nihil’ (1995), Xtort (1996), Symbols (1997), and Adios (1999), all released in less than 10 years! The band took a brief hiatus from 1999 to 2002. Which lead to Sascha creating music under the short-lived MDFMK project with KMFDM alumni Tim Sköld and current KMFDM vocalist Lucia Cifarelli.

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A drug against war!

KMFDM then fully returned to kick ass again with 2002’s ‘Attack’. And the industrial titans have been creating music and performing sold-out shows non-stop since! Frontman Sascha Konietzko’s musicianship worth ethic simply cannot be matched. It’s as if the man creates music every second of the day, even during his sleep. Simply awe-inspiring how much great music he can produce in under a year. KMFDM’s most recent record ‘Hyena’ (2022) is another instant classic release that will grab hold of first-time KMFDM listener’s musical souls, due to its vicious, virulent, vocal presentation and compelling lyrical structures that helps give the misfits of society the courage to stand up to the corruption of our World Leaders on a global scale! If you’re attending Sick New World in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 13th, be sure to not miss KMFDM”s upcoming explosive Sick New World performance!

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Sick New World 2023 Las Vegas


Please enjoy this in-depth Noise From The Pit interview with the legendary Sascha Konietzko below!

Current KMFDM line-up

Sascha Konietzko – vocals, guitars, bass, programming, keyboards, synthesizer, percussion, drums (1984–present)
Lucia Cifarelli – vocals, keyboards (2002–present) Andy Selway – drums (2002–present)
Andee Blacksugar – guitars, backing vocals (2017–pres
ent)

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1990s Discography

Ahead Of Their Sick New World Set Sascha Konietzko of KMFDM Chats With NFTP

Chad Thomas Carsten: Define Industrial Music in your own words.

Sascha Konietzko: Thesaurus list among other synonyms, “machine-made” and “mechanized”.
Tchaikovsky’s 1812 “Ouverture” is technically the very first piece of industrial music since cannons were fired in the end of the composition in order to create massive percussive impact. Generally speaking, industrial music is music that utilizes sound sources that are not commonly associated with the term “musical instrument”. If for instance jackhammers, vacuum cleaners, power tools, etc. are being used to create a musical performance then it’s fair to call it industrial music. The genre evolved throughout the 70s and 80’s of the last century and mutated into industrial rock, where such sound sources were combined with sampling technology, later guitars were more and more used as well as synthesizers which in turn are actually “musical instruments”. All that said, KMFDM may have begun as an industrial project, over the years we have branched out into a number of other musical genres such as reggae and dub, techno and metal, etc. KMFDM is not your typical industrial band.

CTC: What was life like for you during your youth, growing up in Germany in the mid-1960s and 1970s?

SK: Some of the most memorable impressions during my growing years was the fact that we lived literally 20 minutes away from the iron-curtain and the daily realization that if a war between the two super-powers Russia and the USA would start, we’d be the first in the lines of fire. The war in Vietnam and the images on daily TV. The student revolution was closely associated with the Vietnam anti-war movement and the political awakening of the German students who grew up in post-war Germany not exactly knowing what role their fathers and mothers, the judges, policemen, and state servants played during the Nazi regime. The formation of the German RAF “terrorist organization” and the heinous trial at Stammheim prison. Which ultimately ended in the death of the inmates, followed by the question of whether or not they were murdered by “the system”. Hippies, free love, drugs, flower power, and ultimately, punk rock came as the big release.

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KMFDM Live 2020 Photo by Kidd Gloves Photography

CTC: Do you remember the first poem or first lyrics you wrote while still in school? If so, what was the subject matter focused on?

SK: Suicide.

CTC: Which specific musician from your past would you say still influences you to this very day?

SK: Too many to really list here, so just a few. T.Rex, Frank Zappa, Johnny Cash, Miriam Makeba, Dr. Alimantado, The Stranglers, Iggy Pop, Blondie, etc.

CTC: KMFDM will be celebrating its 40th anniversary next year. As you’ve been creating music with KMFDM since 1984. What motivates you to keep string towards success after nearly 4 decades?

SK: I am not striving toward success, never actually did. KMFDM was a big fluke that just happened. There’s more coincidence, random chance and sheer luck as well as “being at the right time at the right place” involved than anyone could ever strive for. I had a thing going as I worked as a photographer in the early 80’s. And all of a sudden I was making noise performances, then began recording stuff, then self-released an album, got signed a year later by an obscure British record label, who first introduced me to the artist known as “BRUTE”. Who to this day designs KMFDM artwork, then licensed the release to Chicago-based WAX TRAX records. At the time (WAX TRAX) was the hippest label in the U.S. for this kind of stuff.

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Vintage Ministry Show Flyer

SK: Then KMFDM got invited to open for Ministry on one of the most legendary rock ‘n’ roll tours the world has ever seen! Consequently, I moved the band from Germany to Chicago, and we began headlining our own tours. And gained notoriety really quick and really massively. But I always stayed true to my DIY roots and never did things for money, quite the opposite. I refused to do many things that would have made me rich because I didn’t like how they struck me.

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Vintage Wax Trax Records KMFDM Promo

CTC: Did the making of ‘Opium’ (1984) inspire you to become a better musician?

SK: It didn’t. I am not a musician. Call me a ringleader, a dompteur, or a mastermind, but I do not know how to be a musician.

CTC: When first forming KMFDM. Which main goal did you set out to conquer right away?

SK: Like I mentioned before, I did not set out to do anything. I just did things because they felt right or were simply fun to do and got caught up in it subsequently.

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Vintage Wax Trax KMFDM ‘Xtort’ Press Kit

CTC: What precisely occurred at the very first official live KMFDM performance? Was it a success?

SK: It was a sunny day in Hannover, Germany. We drove up to a sort of social club for young people, and there was one guy waiting “in line,” or so I thought. When I asked him if he was here for our concert, he told me he was trying to find the Braille library.
He was blind. I didn’t get to see another soul for the rest of that day. The next day we played in Aachen, a little to the south of Germany, and all of our five friends that lived there came to the concert. It was a hard start. *Smiles*

CTC: Which three KMFDM records would you recommend to someone discovering your music?

SK: ‘HYËNA’. ‘XTORT’ and ‘OPIUM’.

CTC: KMFDM’s influential record ‘Angst’ is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year! The ‘Angst’ song “A Drug Against War” is still highly relevant in this fucked up world of ours, especially with the current ongoing Ukraine crisis. In your own opinion. Do you think mankind will ever succeed in bringing forth world peace?

SK: No. It has spiraled out of control, and as long as mankind continues to overpopulate, there will be no peace. The pressure is too immense; the fight for water, resources, food, and arable land cannot be stopped. Add politicians’ greed and hubris, and you know the end is near. That doesn’t mean that I am a gloomy person *Winks*

CTC: How precisely does the music of KMFDM keep contributing towards fighting against racism?

SK: KMFDM’s message is a simple one. “Black man, white man, yellow man, Rip The System”. Think for yourselves, don’t believe the shit you’re being fed, and do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Don’t buy into every hype. Live and die responsibly.

CTC: Many North American fans of KMFDM discovered your music through “Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie,” the 1995 “Mortal Kombat” film, the 1995 film “Bad Boys,” “Beavis and Butthead,” and even Beverly Hill 90210. Which upcoming film/video game franchise would you love to score on your own as a music producer completely?

SK: I have never scored anything, and I don’t know if I would like it; I’d try it.

CTC: I’m sure you’re tired of answering this question. But will the unreleased MDFMK material with Tim Sköld and your wife, Lucia Cifarelli, ever see the light of day?

SK: I doubt it.

CTC: If you were approached by a major film studio to be involved as a creative consultant in helping create a KMFDM biopic. Would you allow a KMFDM biopic film to be produced?

SK: Nah, that’d be too cheesy. *Smiles*

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Lucia Cifarelli KMFDM Live Photo By Helcat Productions

CTC: Your most recent record ‘Hyena’ is an instant KMFDM classic from front to back! How did the creation process behind ‘Hyena’ challenge you differently than past KMFDM material/albums?

SK: It was recorded during the pandemic and thus allowed us to sit down at some point, take a real good look at what we had created up until that point and then surgically interfere and make it “the bomb”.
There was so much time without touring, seeing people, just sitting in your own head and doing whatever felt best.

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Live Sascha KMFDM Photo By Helcat Productions

CTC: What are you looking forward to the most performing at the very first Sick New World Music Festival event?

SK: Honestly, I have never played a huge festival like this, so I am curious how this will feel. I am looking forward to the experience.

CTC: Nu-Metal Godfathers Korn is one of the main headliners of SNW Fest. Do you have any past touring memories you’d like to share when Korn opened for KMFDM during the 1995 “In Your Face” tour?

SK: Yes, that was great! It just so happened that Korn exploded right around the onset of that tour in 1995. My agent called every day telling me that we had been upgraded to bigger and even bigger concert venues. Of course, I was thinking it had to do with the extraordinary sales numbers of KMFDM’s freshly released ‘NIHIL’ album. But it turned out to just be due to Korn gaining massive momentum. At some point, we were playing venues with 4,000 capacities, and after the opening act had finished, we played in a half-empty venue. *Smiles*

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Vintage KMFDM “In Your Face” Tour Flyer

CTC: What do you hope to accomplish (something you still haven’t but intend to do) as a musician in the next five years?

SK: Just live a bit longer and continue to do what I love most.

CTC: Any final thoughts before ending this Noise From The Pit interview?

Best regards, and thank you for this opportunity.

-Sascha KMFDM

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2023 KMFDM Spring Tour Dates

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