Bloody-Disgusting is excited to bring you an exclusive interview with KMFDM frontman Sascha Konietzko! Head on below to hear about the new album Kunst, Sascha on Depeche Mode, the tribute song to Pussy Riot, and much more!
Kunst, their 18th studio album, will be released on Feb. 26th via Metropolis Records. Pre-order bundles are available here.
Bloody-Disgusting: Starting with something simple, tell me about what Künst means to you and what it adds to the history of KMFDM.
Sascha Konietzko: KUNST is the logical continuation of the KMFDM concept, I stopped counting the number of studio albums a while back, but yeah, it’s the new shit!
Newest = greatest. It takes a few years for me to gain perspective of how every piece of the puzzle ends up finding it’s place, it’s a hindsight kinda thing.
KUNST, like every other album is a snapshot of the timeframe in which it was made, things that influenced the making of it and us as an entity of sorts.
BD: In the “KMFDM – Kunst” teaser, there is a line, “Kill mother fucking Depeche Mode!” Was there something that made you finally use that line in a song?
SK: I was mainly wondering why I hadn’t written that song years ago, so it finally had to be done. It can be seen in the context of other self-deprecating KMFDM tracks, like SUCKS, INANE, BITCHES, etc… It’s pure fun and no, I don’t wish them boys any ill.
BD: Your albums’ artwork have, for the most part, been done by Aidan Hughes. What leads you to continue working with him and how do you feel that his artwork represents KMFDM?
SK: He’s become a member of the team, the creator of the visual brand that is KMFDM. If you got a good thing going, why fuck with it, right ?
This time around, we both knew what was going to happen as soon as we both had watched that FEMEN clip of them felling that cross in Kiev in protest against the incarceration of some members of Pussy Riot. It was the picture that fits like the fist on the eye, so to speak. (FEMEN is a female activist group from Ukraine, btw…)
BD: There is a song on Künst entitled “Pussy Riot”, which is said to be in support of the band from Russia. Do you believe that art and music should be allowed to be a voice of discontent that shouldn’t fear repercussion or should there be limits on how these protests are held?
SK: As the example of Pussy Riot has shown, they surely thought that their performance was worth doing, even in the face of the direst consequences.
We as so-called ‘western societies’ have largely forgotten our rich heritage(s) of protest-songs, of music that says how it is, some of the artists that came to be famous from singing anti-war songs in the 60’s and 70’s still exist, but have mostly succumbed to be as exciting as fabric softener these days, I won’t name any names here.
BD: You have consistently released a KMFDM album every one to two years with the three-year split between “Adios” and “Attak” being the longest gap. Does it ever get tiring or exhausting? What continuously drives you?
SK: The gap you mention was when we did MDFMK instead of KMFDM for a couple years. If it were getting tiring or if I was uninspired I would stop doing it as there’s no point in that.
It’s way too much work for way too little money.
BD: The industrial scene is often associated with “goths” and “cyberpunks”, which are then associated with horror. Do you think industrial music and horror have a connection?
SK: I think that all ‘sub-culture’ is a cesspool of all kinds of genres and fetishes. I mean, there are normal people and there’s us. We are the (in no particular order and not necessarily all at once) tattooed, pierced, cool hairdo-sporting, black-clothed, happily sloganeering, potheads, colorful, individual, creative, horror-film loving, alternative-living, free-spirited, macrobiotic, industrial-listening elite. Or not.
Or maybe we’re just fucking normal people?
BD: KMFDM songs have been used in movie and video game soundtracks, such as Mortal Kombat, Hellraiser III, Brütal Legend, and more. Are there any movies or games that you would like to see KMFDM music in?
SK: The more the merrier I say!
BD: KMFDM began well before the Internet was the massive tool that it is now. How do you feel the Internet and social media have influenced your approach to music, be it creatively or from a business end?
SK: I am totally old-school, could do without the internet entirely, but now it’s there and if you don’t use it then you disappear, quite literally. What have we become?
I mean it was cool to have one of the first band-merch online shops, it was cool to use servers in order to collaborate with people all over the world and it sure was cool to have 100,000 ++ “friends” on Myspace… but it’s not cool anymore. I want to quote some lyrics from KMFDM’s DOGMA (1996), which nowadays resound truer than they ever have:
All we want is a headrush
All we want is to get out of our skin for a while
We have nothing to lose because we don’t have anything
Anything we want anyway
We used to hate people
Now we just make fun of them
It’s more effective that way
We don’t live
We just scratch on day to day
With nothing but matchbooks and
Sarcasm in our pockets
And all we are waiting for
Is for something worth waiting for
Let’s admit America gets the celebrities we deserve
Let’s stop saying “Don’t quote me
Because if no one quotes you
You probably haven’t said a thing worth saying
BD: With the Internet changing things so dramatically for the music industry, where do you see the future of music going?
SK: Towards an indiscernible pap of same and ever-same, preset-based, hollow-sounding, copycat shit, to be honest. Everybody cannot be an artist, some people have what it takes and others should better spare the rest of the world from their inane drivel they think is art. Oh wait… art?
Sascha Konietzko photo credit: Jacques Sehy