Photo: Franz Schepers (courtesy of earMUSIC)

The Way Is the Goal: A Revealing Talk with KMFDM’s Sascha Konietzko

"I was not musically inclined to begin with," says Konietzko, "I came to music from a technical point of view. Like ‘How do you make sounds like this. How do you make dub reggae?’"
Hell Yeah

It’s almost impossible to believe that KMFDM is now a band of veterans. Their trailblazing style of industrial ultra-heavy beats, subversive lyrics and righteous rebellion has always seemed so very fresh and anticipatory of the next step in musical evolution that it feels as if they just took the scene by storm last year. Yet, believe it or not, KMFDM’s Hell Yeah marks the Industrial band’s 20th album, a true benchmark of any stalwart rock band.

I recently sat down with KMFDM’s founder and only constant member, Sascha Konietzko, to talk about the hard-hitting, instant classic new album and to reflect on the band’s more than three decades in the limelight. Considering Konietzko’s Mohawked stage presence, grinding heavy music, strong, often menacing voice and forceful, political and even angry lyrics, one might be forgiven to expect the singer and multi-instrumentalist to be coarse, brash, anti-social and even a bit pissed off.

Instead, Konietzko is open, self-effacing, warm and one of the easiest guys in the industry to talk to. He’s as proud of his accomplishments as he’s in awe of the fact that they have come to pass. He’s also dedicated to his wife, KMFDM collaborator Lucia Cifarelli, and has a decidedly disarming sense of humor concerning just about anything.

Ever disdaining of injustice Konietzko, famous, in part, for performing songs like “Superhero” and “Son of a Gun”, was almost late to our interview due to a bit of superheroism of his own. “Just seconds before I called you we were trying to rescue a little dog that was trapped in the cabin of a delivery van across the street. Parked there for like one and a half hours.” I asked if he was successful and he excitedly informed me “Yes, we were! Some Eastern European drivers came and rescued the dog!” He laughs about the triumph and adds “What a dog! Yeah!”

That humor and kindness may not be what one would expect from the growling voice who droned “The hard and strong will never surrender!” and “I’m a headless beast! I’m a total plague!” but digging deeper into the lyrical meanings of his songs, this facet of his personality fits perfectly. After all, this is the band who responded to their critics with a song called “Sucks”, hilariously deriding their own musical career.

Then again, considering some of the history that KMFDM has had, one had better laugh or go insane. After a casual question about whether the KMFDM touring lineup was the same as the official lineup forHell Yeah, I was surprised to find that there had been yet another band shakeup. Konietzko is the only constant member in part because so many KMFDM musicians have had major bands before, during, and after their tenure with Konietzko. Every member has their own reason for coming and going but the reasons for the latest lineup change were pretty much the last things I expected to hear.

Guitarist Steve White has taken a sabbatical from KMFDM’s touring in order to pursue a career as an Uber driver. Meanwhile, fellow guitarist Jules Hodgson gave Konietzko his regrets so that he could concentrate on his Seattle dog walking business. Konietzko laughs as he tells me that Hodgson claims to make more money walking dogs in a day than he makes playing guitar for KMFDM in a year.

Surprising? To say the least? A sign of the music-making times? According to those I have interviewed, the answer to that is, well, Hell Yeah!

That said, one should not feel too bad for KMFDM’s upcoming tour as they have hired two skilled replacement guitarists in the form of Chris Harms and π (as in the mathematical symbol “Pi”) from the band Lord of the Lost of Konietzko’s native Hamburg. Likewise, just as technology has altered the profitability of the music industry, much of the same technology has made long distance recording all the more manageable. Konietzko and Cifarelli recorded much of Hell Yeah in Hamburg in collaboration with Florida based drummer Andy Selway.

KMFDM, and Sascha Konietzko specifically, have not been a stranger to overcoming the odds. Over the years their oft-prophetic political lyrics have been misinterpreted and provided a lightning rod for the press to use against them, almost always out of context.

“The song ‘Terror’ [from 1995’s Nihil album] opened up with a line from, I think it was a bystander from Sri Lanka that was talking about the Tamil Rebels or something. And I just really liked the sound of the voice. I like the lilt of that language.“ He (quite respectfully) imitates the accent as he quotes the sample “Some people call them terrorists. These boys have simply been misguided.” before telling me that the content of the quote was less important than his admiration for the man’s voice. “He could have said, you know, ‘I really love Saag Paneer. Fill the Grand Canyon with Saag Paneer.’ or something. It was just, like, a rhythmic kind of instant that really worked out great.”

Unfortunately the song “Terror”, along with a bit of bad timing, brought the band negatively into the spotlight upon the album’s release. “[D]ays after… the record came out the Oklahoma City bombing happened and those words on that KMFDM record were put on the friggin’ fine scale. Like, ‘What are they [doing] now? Endorsing the Oklahoma bombing?’” Of course the song was not an endorsement of terrorism of any kind and is, in fact, an ultra-heavy, though emotional, plea for peace in the face of the “radical anarchists, fascists and terrorists” who are “responsible for the violence”. Naturally, timing would preclude the band having endorsed the bombing, but the controversy stuck, in spite of the lyrical antipathy to terror.

This would not be the last time coincidence would paint a target on KMFDM. “A couple of years later the Adios [1999] album came out the day of the Columbine massacre and people were attacking us for inciting those killings basically saying ‘Ach! German band! Must be fascist! Hitler’s birthday released 20th of April, blah blah blah.’”

Again it would take quite a bit of context juggling to infer anything of the sort from KMFDM’s lyrics. “It was just, like, bad luck. And then I had the fuckin’ press camping out on my front lawn for a couple of days until there was a consensus that KMFDM isn’t really known enough to the American public to make this kind of story stick.” Thus, other bands were sought for blame. “So let’s blame Rammstein, who was our opening band not two years before then,” Konietzko recalls with disdain for the press’ condemnation of the fellow German band.

The blame game failed to let up for some time. “And then Marilyn Manson kind of stepped in and was like ‘I’ll take the full blame for it because my IQ is higher than anyone else’s.’” Konietzko laughs, sarcastically. “That was it. It’s a crazy world, man!”

Just as he dismisses the coincidental connections to real world events, KMFDM’s frontman dismisses any prophecy in their lyrics related to the current rise in right wing ideologies from Brexit to the 2016 American Presidential election. “There’s nothing really prophetic about things that we’ve said twenty or thirty years ago,” Konietzko asserts, “But the mechanics, the mechanisms are easily detectable if you look underneath the covers. So, yeah, some of the stuff that we said a while back seemed to be prophetic but they were not. They were just, like, in clear sight.”

On the same subject, Konietzko contrasts the comparative lack of samples on Hell Yeah to the sample-heavy WWIII (2003), though he does admit that he used Kellyanne Conway’s phrase “Alternative Facts” several times. He also implies that whether the world saw it coming or not, this is the direction things have been going. Describing Donald Trump as something of an “idiot in a porcelain shop”, he indicates that the current American president “seems to want to mean well and he’s just intellectually not capable to fill the shoes that he’s been given.” He adds “These things happen. They happen in all formats and all sorts of sizes and in all sorts of countries.”

It’s no surprise that Konietzko is as politically opinionated as he is well-informed. However, the friendly conversation does not remain locked on politics for long and his optimistic and grateful side takes over as we discuss the history of the band. For a veteran frontman of an internationally famous and incredibly influential rock band, Konietzko seems constantly grateful for and still surprised by his success in music.

“I’m just a regular little fuckin’ idiot from Hamburg, Germany and I never thought I would have a career in music. You know, I was in visual stuff. I was a photographer’s assistant and I somehow slid into this whole sort of thing.” he muses. “KMFDM… stands for a mis-phrased German sentence [Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid], which kind of roughly translates to ‘No Pity for the Majority’” Konietzko confirms. “[Until] the first record I released under the moniker KMFDM… I had no idea that at this point I would be sitting here talking to you and going ‘Yeah, this thing has been going on for 33 1/2 years, almost!’ I had no idea that we would be releasing our 20th studio album in a mere three weeks from now and I will say I’m thrilled! It’s been a great ride and the way is the goal.”

Of course, that first KMFDM album, 1984’s Opium did not immediately propel them into the international charts. That was still some time (and a hell of a lot of work) away. The big break came in the form of a postcard from Wax Trax! Records. “Before the days of email and international calling and stuff I got a postcard from Wax Trax! in the spring of 1989 asking if we were available to open up for a tour with Ministry.” Without being familiar with the fellow industrial rockers, Konietzko wrote back saying “Sure, sure we could do it.”

Crafting the Industrial Masterpiece

Finding the tour postponed due to illness, (“Al [Jourgensen, frontman of Ministry] had mononucleosis, the kissing disease.” Konietzko tells me with a laugh), KMFDM took the opportunity to familiarize themselves with Ministry’s work. What they did not yet realize was that Ministry had changed significantly from their earliest releases. Ministry’s debut album With Sympathy (1983) was a decidedly New Wave and Synthpop affair, as were their early singles, a far cry from the industrial roar (much more akin to KMFDM) that is heard on the band’s later releases.

Konietzko relates his research at the time back to me “I went to a record store and I bought a Ministry record and the first Ministry album had ‘Every Day Is Halloween’ on it. I was like, ‘That’s a really lame synth pop band and I suspect they might be a Christian band.’ because of the name Ministry.” We share a laugh at this (quite understandable) misconception. In response to the band’s assumptions about their touring mates, “we rehearsed a set that was very toned down, you know, kind of like as poppy and soft as KMFDM could get” Konietzko says. KMFDM then spent 15,000 deutschmarks to fly to Chicago with their watered-down set list and had their first experience with Ministry at rehearsals. “There were like two drummers, four guitarists and Al” Konietzko laughs. “And they were just playing.” In response to the heaviness of their now-kindred tour mates Konietzko said to KMFDM “Well, let’s toss that soft tape and just play our regular set.”

The subsequent tour was the first of what turns out to be many times that Sascha Konietzko recognized that he had finally reached the success he had worked toward. “Every night we were in front of at least a thousand and some nights five thousand people and I was like ‘We fuckin’ made it!’ Then we returned to Chicago after that and the guys, Dannie [Flesher] from Wax Trax!, they sat us down and they were like ‘Okay, we want to sign you!’ and I was like ‘Yeah! We fuckin’ made it!’”

It was only after the tour, which stretched from December 1989 through March 1990, that Konietzko felt comfortable enough to quit his day job. “Why return to Germany even, to have a miserable day job at a publishing company?” he quips. “I sold my record collection and bought a one-way plane ticket back to the states and that was that and I thought, “I MADE IT!” And I’ve thought “I made it” like every fuckin’ month or so.” He laughs again in happiness. “I was hanging out with people that I used to buy records of,” he recalls with laughter “And ultimately we’d buy each other beers.” Upon sharing drinks with Richard Jonckheere of Front 242 and Revolting Cocks, Konietzko again realized he had made it as he said, “Hey Richard 23, Cheers, mate!”

For all of this reminiscing and pride in the band’s history, Konietzko never comes off as egotistical or boastful. “I think in the end, really, it was just pure luck. I happened to be in the right place at the right time at the right moment in the right place,” he tells me, humbly. “And a couple of years later [Wax Trax! successor] TVT Records managed to sell 200,000 records for preorders and I was like, ‘Fuck! I made it! I made it!’” The gratitude seems never to end for the singer. “Today I’m saying ‘Fuck! I made it!’ I’m still sitting here. It’s a nice summer night on my balcony, I’m drinking a martini and I made it so far, you know? And when I get back here on Halloween this year from finishing all these touring dates that we have lined up, I’m gonna say again… ‘I made it!’” Konietzko laughs.

Much of this joy is related to the fact that Konietzko never took a music career for granted. “I mean, the funny thing is, I come from no musical background. I mean, I had a grade D or so in Music when I was in school. I was not musically inclined to begin with. I came to music from a technical point of view. Like ‘How do you make sounds like this. How do you make dub reggae?’ That was my incentive. So I learned about the technical stuff and then I had to compose drum loops or whatever to say ‘Okay, now I understand how this piece of machinery works.’”

It was this musical work ethic that formed the basis for both KMFDM and Konietzko’s approach to performing. “Knowing your technical disadvantages makes you think, ‘I’ve got to get better. I’ve got to get more diverse. I’ve got to learn about things I don’t know about.’ That’s the red thread that kind of follows me until today. Every day I learn something new and if I don’t, I try to learn something new. I put everything in it to just go like ‘Okay I’ve had this instrument four years. Let’s figure out how it really works.’”

Such technical experimentation is not the only inspiration for KMFDM’s songs. Sometimes Konietzko is inspired by samples he obtains, often years after having recorded them. Further, the songwriter has an almost encyclopedic memory of where each sampled sound came from. Almost at random I ask him about a sample from the 1993 song “A Drug Against War” in which a militaristic voice flatly says “Bomb the living bejeebers out of those forces”. Konietzko doesn’t hesitate for a second in his response. “Well, I can remember exactly where that came from,” he tells me. “It was the winter of [1990]. It was the campaign that George Herbert Bush [sic] launched to free Kuwait from Saddam Hussein’s attempt at invading Kuwait.”

At the time of this particular sample, Germany had recently gone from having three channels to having “all kinds of cable television stuff” from RT to CNN. Konietzko even recalls the other events of the night, describing driving from Hamburg to Bremen to catch a Revolting Cocks show and returning to Hamburg to turn on CNN. “[Iraq] had just fired some SCUD rockets into Jerusalem maybe a night or two nights before. Forces were just about to deploy on the ground and some panzer-grenadier-commander was like ‘Bomb the living bejeebers out of those forces!’ It was live on CNN and it was just recorded right that night off of the television along with all other kinds of samples.” While other samples made it onto an album by Konietzko’s side project Excessive Force, that quote formed the backbone of the final moments of “A Drug Against War”.

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While it’s both amazing and welcome to hear so much detail recalled over such a small item, this is simply part of the meticulous nature with which Konietzko approaches his craft. Everything is important. “The handheld field recorder is a very important tool for me,” he tells me as he describes recording seemingly random moments from anti-war demonstrations on the streets of Chicago to construction sites around the docks of Hamburg to unexpected sounds that come from antiquated cables in the home studio. All of these divergent sounds and blubs are fair game for the artist.

This gives us our window into the creative process of KMFDM. Often these “found pieces” form the basis of any given new KMFDM track. Often a new song emerges when Konietzko is firing up a new piece of gear or fiddling with an older instrument on a boring rainy morning. “Out of that something emerges, something a bit more elaborate and many of those things kind of get lost in the process because there isn’t really a spark. But when there’s a spark then let’s say that there’s some sort of rhythmic sound that evolves, like a bass line or a drum track.” This is what Konietzko refers to as the “skeleton” of the song that he can bring into a studio. Sometimes these skeletons come even more accidentally. “Maybe you’re thinking and you get a thought or you stab someone in the hand while they’re cutting your birthday cake and they stumble their words and they say ‘Well, this drug against war is a bunch of shit!’ when they meant to say ‘This war against drugs’ and that kind of sticks,” Konietzko says, excitedly.

Over the three plus decades of KMFDM, these skeletons have grown into songs with various collaborators. In the past, these have included such musicians as En Esch (Pigface), Tim Skold (Shotgun Messiah), Raymond Watts (Pig), Günter Schulz (Excessive Force) and Mark Durante (Revolting Cocks). Currently, and since 2000, Konietzko’s main collaborator has been former Drill lead singer Lucia Cifarelli, who is also Konietzko’s wife. “Once I have a skeleton I pass it on. The first person that I would play something for is Lucia because she happens to be living with me in the same household.”

When the song-to-be appeals to Cifaelli, they develop it together. “If she says ‘Well that doesn’t sound interesting to me at all’, then maybe I send it to someone else and see if maybe they have an idea.” Then again, Konietzko is often determined to use these skeletons one way or the other. “If it sticks with nobody then I put it on my solo album,” he laughs.

That said, very little is thrown away with KMFDM. Konietzko tells me that one of the few samples on Hell Yeah has been lying around since the ’80s and only recently found its way into a song. Konietzko keeps all of these skeletons and even full songs in a collection he calls “bits and bops”. “Eventually some of the stuff will stick but maybe it wasn’t ready at the time. Sometimes I make tracks out of really odd kind of rhythms that the drummer says ‘Cough, cough, nobody can even think like what you were thinkin’ when you did that!’ But then a couple of years later when he heard it again he was like ‘Oh yeah, yeah, I got that, that’s a seven-eighths, an eleven-eighths, coupled with a thirteen-eighths and oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah! That’s COOOOOOOOOL-uh!’” Konietzko laughs.

Even the singer himself admits this is not exactly the most conventional method of songwriting. “We’ve never been a band that just sits in a rehearsal room and [says] ‘Hey, let’s make a song that’s pretty fast and has lots of breaks’ or something. That’s not how we work. We work very intuitively.”

It’s this inspiration and intuition that has formed this unique band that is instantly recognizable but never sounds quite the same on any two albums. “Inspiration is everywhere. You just have to be open to it. And when you’re naturally open to it you kind of collect inspirations,” Konietzko tells me. “I mean, there are so many ways that a song can happen and has happened in the past. I cannot say that it works one way or another. It works like magic.”

Magic, indeed. That said, the inspired use of samples did, at least in one case, get the band into a bit of trouble. The song was “Liebeslied” from 1990’s Naïve and it contained a sample from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana that came to Konietzko innocently enough, but soon led to legal trouble and the recall of the album itself.

Inspiration Is Everywhere

A friend handed Konietzko a cassette tape of German composer Carl Orff and instead of merely appreciating the musicianship, Konietzko became enamored by the power of the music itself. “I was just, like waiting for BOOM! Like just fuckin’ big hits! The orchestral kind of depth.” Searching through the tape, the inspired Konietzko discovered a part of “O Fortuna” that he fell in love with and built the song “Liebeslied” around.

“Back in the day, we had no concerns about sampling. We weren’t even aware of the fact that sampling is stealing.” Konietzko explains. “It was just, like, you know, whatever you hear, whatever sounds great, whatever you think you can do something with, just capture it and fucking use it!” Unfortunately, this was during a time of litigation when samples were being scrutinized for content. Thus, “then this fucking tight-assed German, or whatever, publishing company was like” Konietzko imitates in a high, mocking voice “’We’re gonna shut down this record and we’re gonna sue your record company for a million fuckin’ Deutschmarks.’ And, of course, they [Wax Trax! and TVT Records] got cold feet and were like ‘Okay, well, we’ve got to take this out of circulation.’” Which is exactly what happened.

Still, even this source of annoyance is something Konietzko is able to spin into a positive. “In the end, greater things came from it. I mean, we started to remix maybe seven songs off the initial album [Naïve (1990)].” This was, of course, the modified re-release Naïve/Hell to Go (1994) which contained many remixes including “Leibeslied (Infringement Mix)”, without the offending sample. “That particular song really suffered from not having that sample in it anymore because it was less bombastic. But some other stuff got a refresh round that really benefited the songs. You know, it became a cult item in the moment it was created.” However, Konietzko is quick to add “I’m not saying that I’m aiming or striving to create cult items, but that was just the way it was.”

Konietzko goes on to say he prefers the remixed version of “Virus”, appearing on Naïve/ Hell to Go as “Virus (Pestilence Mix)”. “I just [re-]learned all the lyrics in the last couple of days, so that’s the one we’re definitely going to be performing” on the upcoming tour.

This is, of course, big news for longtime fans of KMFDM, considering the fact that for quite a while performance of the older songs was a hard sell for the band. “This time around we’re preparing for playing, actually, some really rare gems of the back catalog and we’re totally straying away from the common shit that we played in the past six, ten years or so on tour,” he says, “It’s tremendous! It’s really interesting and I’m super stoked to begin to try this out. So we’ll play things like ‘Virus’ and ‘Boombayah’ and ‘That’s All’ and God knows what we’re trying here.”

That prior resistance to the old songs goes back to the band’s temporary breakup in 1999. After reforming for 2002’s Attak, the new version of the band seemed to leave the past in the past. “KMFDM disbanded for a while,” Konietzko tells me. He struggles to put the reasons into words, but ultimately the answer boils down to money. “When I called people in that old lineup up and said ‘Well, time to rehearse for a tour, time to get together for making a new album’ the first question from everyone was ‘How much? How much is in it for me?’” Ultimately this resulted in something of an ultimatum from Konietzko. “’Okay, what do you want? Do you want to be part of the thing or do you want to be the holder of a fixed budget?’” he would ask. This struggle led to the firing of KMFDM after their appropriately entitled 1999 album, Adios.

This resulted in more experimentation on the part of Konietzko, a reunion with Tim Skold, and a new collaborator in Lucia Cifarelli. The resulting band and album were called MDFMK (a clever reversal of the original name). The band’s second album is apparently still being held by Universal. In the meantime, KMFDM reformed with many prior members, including Raymond Watts and Tim Skold. Naturally, Cifarelli remained with the band and became a major contributor, but she was not the only new member.

“Once the whole ship got rolling again in 2002 with the tour, then the subsequent WWIII recordings I had inherited Pig’s rhythm section,” Konietzko tells me. This reunited Raymond Watts with Andy Selway and Jules Hodgson. Steve White joined the band (sans Watts) before 2005’s Hau Ruck. “[Pig] were a serious rock ‘n’ roll outfit and they were like ‘Let’s make everything fuckin’ metaly and ding-ding-ding!’” Konietzko recalls. “At some point I was like, “Hey, what about if we look back, if we hark back on the earlier material?’ And they were like ‘Ah, it’s so disjointed, it’s so German, it’s not really understandable!’ I was like ‘Fine, you know, then we don’t play ‘Virus’, then we don’t play the more odd type of tracks.’”

This latest lineup change, which Konietzko has maintained is “temporary” (and who knows, maybe it is), has freed the band up to revive much of the old material, to the glee of Sascha and fans alike.

As with many things, Konietzko grants much of the credit for MDFMK and, indeed, the now 15-year-old KMFDM reunion to one person: his wife, Lucia. “Without her we could not have launched MDFMK because it would have just been the remnants of KMFDM at that point in time. But she blew life into MDFMK,” he tells me. “She was so valuable an asset from the experience of MDFMK that I was like actively in KMFDM now and I was trying to get the whole lineup back together. Most of the people who were in the old KMFDM were happily rejoining. Some didn’t, you know? Then this kind of schism happened that some people are really upset about, you know?”

This schism is what he blames for much of the derision that others have laid upon Cifarelli. “I don’t get that. I mean, bands change, you know? It’s like GOD! I mean, if you don’t like it, then don’t buy it, by all means, you know? Fuck it!” he says. Even in this indignant moment, Konietzko remains affable and friendly, but he wants to make clear that his collaboration with Cifarelli long predates his romantic relationship with her.

“The fact that Lucia and I are married is somewhat overplayed in the press, generally speaking, because I feel that she’s being put on the spot,” he elaborates. “Lucia is a very creative person and the fact that she is my wife has really nothing to do with the fact or the deed, so to speak, that we work together because it doesn’t matter. I mean, she could be anyone’s wife,” he laughs. “We would still work together great. She’s got the thing! You know what I mean? She makes KMFDM KMFDM as much as I do because she provides for the same dynamic that KMFDM has always had.” Konietzko compares this working relationship to those he has had in the past. “I mean in the early days the quintessential duo that was behind the music was maybe me and Raymond [Watts] and at some point, maybe me and En Esch, at some point maybe me and Günter Schulz. And now we just happen to be the ones who do it.” he describes of his working collaboration with his wife.

“People try to pinpoint it as [if] she’s my sidekick but that’s totally not the fact. I think it really does unjustice to her role in the band. I’ve even heard people say she’s the Yoko Ono of KMFDM but that’s totally not her fault because she came in at a time when KMFDM was unsalvageable,” Konietzko says. He credits his collaborator and later wife (since 2005, years after they began working together) for literally salvaging MDFMK and then KMFDM itself. “We’ve been working together longer than the previous incarnations of KMFDM have ever existed. So, what the hell?” he adds. The math adds up. Even the longest lasting collaborators pale in comparison to the tenure of Cifarelli in KMFDM.

From the beginning of KMFDM there has always been Konietzko, the one constant in the band. With Cifarelli as his collaborator, the band is even stronger. Be it cliché or not, the surprisingly humble rock star does give credit to one other place, his legions of fans. “There wouldn’t be us without you.” he says. “The funny thing is, KMFDM has never been received any other than as ‘Super Great’ or ‘Super Bad”. There’s hardly anyone that’s said ‘KMFDM is OK.’ I think that’s something for us as a group as a collective over the years to be proud of because to stir mediocre emotions is mediocre. You’re either great or you’re not,” Konietzko laughs.” That’s my advice to everyone who asks me for my advice too, you know? Never be mediocre. Be either hated or loved.”

Even after 33 1/2 years and 20 albums, Konietzko remains grateful to those who do love KMFDM and tell him so. “That’s the best thing that anyone can hear from anyone,” he says. “I’ve always been trying hard to make my shit great. When I hear from anyone that it affected their lives, it brings me near to tears.”

That is the real core to this hard rocking, screaming, growling and ultra-heavy Industrial rockstar from Hamburg. Sascha Konietzko is that tough guy with the political lyrics, hard-hitting samples, roaring guitars, German accent and Mohawk. He’s also incredibly grateful to be doing what he is doing and after three decades he has no intention of stopping now, as long as the music is still great.

Lucky for us, the music still is great. That is Sascha Konietzko. That is KMFDM. Hell Yeah!