Longevity in an ever-changing music market, particularly in the hard and extreme music genre is a tricky thing, particularly with routinely shifting trends and styles. KMFDM, one of the pioneers of industrial metal, celebrates twenty years in 2004. Their longevity comes from their pulse-pounding protest jams, unyielding provocations of toe-tapping metal with a message for the masses: Twenty years is not enough! Pitriff had the privilege of speaking with KMFDM leader, Sascha Konietzko in a thought-provoking interview about the state of the band and the state of the world it operates in.
PITRIFF - So what’s happening, man?
SK - Oh, I’m just stuck in Seattle traffic! The fucking idiot drivers here cause all these traffic jams that are completely unnecessary!
PITRIFF - (laughs) That sucks ass, man. Okay, I want to start off by talking about something I saw on the website, “Two Decades of Conceptual Continuity.” Looking back after twenty years, back then, did you think KMFDM would have such staying power?
SK - No, I never thought it would last another day or so past the first one. (laughs)
PITRIFF - (laughs)
SK - It was always, you know, purely for fun. It’s quite interesting that it went for so long, so far.
PITRIFF - So KMFDM, loosely translated, since the acronym is really supposed to be in German, is ‘No Pity for the Majority.’
SK - ‘No Pity for the Majority,’ yeah.
PITRIFF - So where did Kill Motherfucking Depeche Mode come from? Was that from you guys, the fans, or what?
SK - It was just basically a snappy little response instead of winding out the whole story when we first came to the States. Yeah, people always asked, ‘What does KMFDM stand for?’ and we were sort of, yeah, it’s a German acronym for No Pity…you know, it got to be old.
PITRIFF - Right.
SK - So we figured we’ll just say something like that, everybody gets it, gets a good laugh out of it, and that’ll be that.
PITRIFF - (laughs) Right. Well, back to the literal translation for a second, No Pity for the Majority would kind of sum up the essence of KMFDM’s music and lyrics. You know, music for the underground, for real people, songs like “Power,” “Drug Against War,” “Pity for the Pious.” Would it be accurate to say KMFDM is about attacking maybe the bourgeoisie, expressing a voice for the people?
SK - It could be seen as that. I mean, it’s not necessarily a kind of quest that we’re on, it’s just basically…your own self decrepitness or, you know, something fun. I mean, we could do songs about chicks and tits and stuff, but it doesn’t really reflect our personalities. We’re more like the sort of, you know, anarchist types.