Sascha Konietzko is founder, bassist, programmer, sometime-vocalist, producer and focal point for the German/American industrial group KMFDM (which stands for "Kleine Mitleid Fur Das Mehrheit," translated "No Pity For the Majority"), perfecters of the metal guitar and electronic beats approach to industrial music.
KMFDM has released classic albums Money, Angst, Naive/Hell To Go, Nihil, and Xtort, which feature some of industrial's best songs: "Virus," "Godlike," "Money," "Light," "A Drug Against War," "Sucks," and "Juke Joint Jezebel" - every one of which features razor-sharp guitars, a hummable tune, clever lyrics, and a danceable beat in the funky-to-brutal range.
Sascha Konietzko was born in 1961 and grew up in Hamburg, Germany. He chafed under a typically conservative father who didn't approve of his son's music ("What’s all this fucking hippie-type, hash-consuming, nincompoop doodling noise?"), friends, hair ("hippie-to-be little girl"), or contemptuous attitude.
Young Konietzko was torn between respect for his father's idiosyncratic pleasures (a professional hydrologist, Konietzko senior recorded tribal beats as a hobby while testing water along the Congo for the Belgian Royal Zoo), and rebellion against his father's autocratic ways.
Konietzko, a bassist, joined his first band when he was 11. His most pervasive early influences were glam-rockers like T. Rex, Alice Cooper, Sweet and Slade. In 1976, when punk rock was bubbling up in England and America, Konietzko was in the first punk band in Hamburg.
"It was definitely a very interesting time to make music. Punk rock really opened my eyes in terms of 'you can just do it': if there are enough people who think it's cool, then it's just cool. It doesn't need any education, just a fucking urge. That liberated me from all kinds of constraints that were put on me by my parents and society in general," he said.
"Needless to say, everyone hated us: we were spitting beer, throwing raw meat and dead mice into the audience."
In the late-'70s, another, even more radical musical form emerged: "industrial" music (with instrumentation including power tools, and metal objects beaten upon with implements of destruction) created by bands like Throbbing Gristle, SPK, and a little later, Berlin's Einsturzende Neubauten ("Collapsing New Buildings").
"Everything started to take shape, and I was really intrigued by the idea of a mix of industrial aggression with a more-musical expression that was maybe going against the industrial ideal. I still liked glam rock, and I liked the industrialists, too. I could pretend that I was a hard-liner and industrial noise was the coolest thing to listen to, but deep down, listening to metal vessels being smashed against each other continuously was not my idea of art. I've always felt there must be some sort of hybrid solution."