nekoliko reci o ...
FIGHT SYSTEM - FIGHT BACK / FIGHT SYSTEM - RIP THE SYSTEM
Now, almost 20 years after KMFDM showed up on the electro - industrial scene, still we can feel the same positive energy and excitement regarding this timeless institution. Building the history and ideology of this breath taking music genre for years, decades along the other giants like Die Krupps, Skinny Puppy, FLA, Front 242, Ministry, .. KMFDM still kicks ass and still using its own direction and route with no compromise to anyone even to itself develope whole philosophy of no philosophy. D.I.Y., solidarity, health and peace in your mind is only that counts in these days. Nothing much changed during al these years. Sascha Konietzko preparing the last things and weapons for the next upcoming battle what starts on the 17th of October found an hour to chat, open his heart and speak loud about everything. We finally found each other. We felt like we knew one another for years since the same heart beats in everyone of us from the other side. This is the ultimate chance to feel how it was and how it is to be a man with will strong as steel and a heart big as Russia. Sascha Konietzko / KMFDM /
Welcome to Electromeda and thank you for giving us your time since we know you are more than busy these days?
You are welcome.
We couldn't wait for the new KMFDM album. " Attak " was great and the respond to it was excellent both from critics and from fans. How it goes with " World War III " at these first 9 or 10 days after it was released. Did you hear any reactions yet?
There is a lot of first reactions. I saw alot reviews coming up at Amazon.com by regular people ( fans ). The record seems to be quite popular. There are always good or bad responses so I guess it's sort of balance right now. It seems to me that this record is getting a good reception right now. But, you know, to me it's not it that important. Once I delivered the album to the label that's it. I am done with it, you know. Like the children left the home. Good luck! ( laugh! )
What about preparations for tour? There will be 36 gigs and it starts in Seattle on 17th of October 2003.
Yes it starts in two weeks and it's gonna be 36 gigs in 40 days. It's gonna be a marathon. One big time. Are you gonna come to any show?
Chicago certainly !!! ( laugh ! ) I missed last tour since still I was in Europe but now I am going to make it.
As we can see you start this tour and close this tour in Seattle. Is there any special reason for it or ...
The reason for it is that 5 of 6 in the band come and live in Seattle. We all do rehearsals here and actually everything is going well. The band has been rehearsing last two weeks. I started yesterday and ... Raymond ( PIG ) is showing up today. He is coming from London and all things will be starting kicking over this weekend.
Let me back on the gigs. Of 36 gigs you have, only 5 or 6 are 18/21+. All other gigs are actually ALL AGES...
We try to play all ages gigs whenever it's possible because it's so sad to see people waiting outside and not being able to get in just because they are not 18 or 21. KMFDM is an all ages band. Our audience is from very very young to very very old. I know people that come up to KMFDM shows here in Seattle that are over 80 years old. Seriously
Well in my opinion KMFDM is not only a common band. It's more... I can boldly say an institution.
Yeah, It's the program. It's definitely an institution.
What else we found amazing regarding this album was that some things changed. Usually when I would ever think about and consider anyone as a KMFDM it would be you. KMFDM was Sascha Konietzko and Sascha Konietzko was KMFDM ( and thank god still is ). Not only that's only me who thinks that way but also many many other fans. With this record we see that KMFDM seems like an unit, stronger and that ever before. Again it's the band.
It's once more transformed as a band again. Due to the fact that we started working with Andy, Joolz and Steve. The whole band from PIG on the last tour ( Sturm und Drang 2002 Tour ). And we all became such a good friends. Joolz and Andy decided right after the tour to move to Seattle for a time. It's just really everything popped on the place at that point. The things were making sense. We needed a bit of new direction and we got it. They really, sort of, kicked the band in the ass. The did a good job. ( laugh! ) They are excellent people to hang out with. We have alot of fun. We go to the rehearsal room and after we are done we would go and have fun.
Earlier some guys from Raymond's band ( PIG ) have been involved with KMFDM live.
Yeah, correct. They have been in the band ( PIG ) in 97 PIG was opening for KMFDM on that tour.
That was SYMBOLS Tour?
Yeah, that was SYMBOLS tour. But we didn't work until 2000. Me and Lucia went to London and we met with Raymond over there since we worked on the project SCHWEIN and that's how I started to work with Joolz actually. He worked on ATTAK a little bit and then on the last tour we needed a band because Guenter and En Esch left KMFDM a couple years ago. We needed real live band and those guy made it happen.
How much all of them are involved in writing of music? During listening of WWIII I could, and I believe many will, hear huge PIG impact on KMFDM sound and was it difficult to get all that together since Ray is over sea.
The way it happened was that music was written equally by Joolz, Andy and myself. And lyrics were written by Raymond, Lucia and myself. We came from the tour last summer. We had a title for the new album which was WORLD WAR III but we didn't have songs written yet. We didn't have label and we just began recording and naturally with a drummer, I was like - " OK let's start recording drums ". So we did that and we started building tracks. Then Lucia and Raymond kinda get involved writing the lyrics. We started sending material to Raymond in London right around the Christmas. He was working on his WATTS project since PIG is not PIG anymore. It's called WATTS now. Anyways, he was working on his stuff and he was kinda slow delivering KMFDM stuff. So in May this year we had Raymond come to Seattle for a while and we finished recordings of vocals. After that we got a raw version of the album. We started mixing of the album. We went to Chicago for a month and we finished the album there.
Is Bill Rieflin involved in this tour. Is he now full time or part time member of KMFDM?
Bill was really involved on ATTAK and also we was playing bass on the STURM & DRANG Tour. He then got a job with REM and now he is a drummer on REM tour.
It's amazing. Bill Rielfin in an amazing person since he was involved with all huge names/bands from north American industrial scene. Only fact that he played bass for KMFDM on the last tour was very funny knowing him regularly being a drummer. What happened that time? Tim Skold didn't go on tour and Bill played bass instead ?
Bill is a real musician. He is not only a drummer. He is everything and he understands the music from all different points of view then for example I do. Yeah, he can be a drummer for REM, someone else and he can still be associated with REVOLTING COCKS and MINISTRY. A musical chameleon.
So he will not be involved in this tour?
No, he is on tour with REM and that tour ends somewhere in November and then there is no point joining him for only week or two for KMFDM tour.
Is Chris Connelly going to be guest on this tour as he did on last tour in Chicago?
I have not spoken to Chris yet. But it's definitely possible. We may be playing " Rules " or something like that so, yeah, he might be there.
Do you have any plan or is there any chance you are going to do EXCESSIVE FORCE side project or something like that. I think you owe us that very much.
Well right now all the energy is focusing on KMFDM and we want go back to Europe. We signed with Sanctuary Records because we wanted a label that is strong both in the US and in Europe and the plan for next year is to seriously and intensively tour in Europe and to get back on the ground there. Who knows. If the Americans re-elect G. Bush for the president here in 2004 then I certainly do not want to stay here for sure.
What is your general opinion about Europe now regarding US domination in the world and in general.
I am definitely an European and I didn't become an American in the last 14 years I have been living over here. I am not totally up to date. My visits to Europe were pretty sporadically in the past few years. The only time when I did go there was when I was going to visit my family around Christmas time. But I am so angry about what has been doing with this country in the last few years and about all that passivity and sort of not complaining that people display while is in Europe there is at least the old sense of liberal, radical, free thinking kind of stuff. The more chaotic but it's also more energetic way of thinking.
It's pretty scary now how the world is misbalanced since 1990 when The Soviet Union stopped to exist and how Europe is, actually, politically divided. But I really hope that Europe will wake up.
I think it will, I think it will... And if anything ... May be KMFDM is the right thing at the right time to come to Europe again and to help it happen.
I think is time ! ( laugh! )
I am positive.
The last time you did European tour was in 97 with Rammstein and before that was at the beginning of 90's with My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult.
Yeah, the last tour was in 1997 with Rammstein but the previous one was actually in 1995 with Atari Teenage Riot while the tour with TKK was before that. we had only 3 European tours in the last 10 or 11 years.
Tell me a little bit about the beginning of everything in general regarding EBM/Industrial music. In Germany DAF, Die Krupps, all berliners.. In Belgium Front 242, Klinik, A Split Second .. In UK Nitzer Ebb, Click Click, Cabaret Voltaire, ... How was to be a part of that scene during those days?
Definitely it was really exciting. We started recording in 1984 when we did all the stuff that came out with OPIUM album ( originally only a tape release ). Then we did WHAT DO YOU KNOW , DEUTSCHLAND? and we made a record of it. That got licensed by the label from England and sublicensed from the Chicago's WAX TRAX. We made a couple of albums and we had really hard time to get anyway. We toured, we opened for Einsturzende Neubauten, Borghesia, Cassandra Complex, Young Gods and many other bands that I cannot even remember who was there with us. But nothing really happened. It was really difficult and hard. I was working two jobs and making music. All of a sudden We got call from WAX TRAX and they said that we must come to the USA because MINISTRY wanted us to be the opening act for their American tour ( The Mind Tour 1990 ). I said - " OK .. Sure .. ". We were not really excited. We were like - " Let's do it " because we thought it couldn't be any worse than we were doing home in Europe. We came to Chicago in December of 1989 and ... Uaaaaaaaauu man, there was like ... Suddenly we realized that we have sold out over 20 000 on WAX TRAX Records. I thought it couldn't be true. We did the tour for two months and a half and everything went just really really well and I was like - " Fuck it man I'm gonna stay here ". People knew our songs and we found out that KMFDM was actually really popular but it's not because of KMFDM itself but because of whole that kult that WAX TRAX built and industrial movement here in America. Everything on that label was fresh, new, exciting and good. People would buy anything that would have been released by WAX TRAX. WAX TRAX was the central point of everything and the label for whole movement as PIAS ( Play it Again Sam ) was in Europe at the same time.
But I must say that everything was really great what came from WAX TRAX and that I never find anything that was even with average quality of music or idea.
Exactly. WAX TRAX had specific taste and whatever they would sign for the label was good and was making sense. It was like in old days when labels were known for quality.
Like at the end of 70's and the beginning of 80's with post punk/new wave. Whatever would get out would be so good and amazing. If you didn't know the band when you would buy a record you would look for the label and year and there wouldn't be way that you make a mistake buying it.
Very true! 4AD, Beggars Banquet, ...
It's really interesting that you couldn't get better respond in Europe. It's true that European sound those days was almost 100% pro Belgium which means pure electronic sound with no guitars while you were doing something called " crossover ". At the same time Young Gods were doing the same exact thing as you were but they got so huge and popular. Why was it that way? I do not understand.
Because they have been really revolutionary and the stuff they did blew everyone's head off. They were so technologically advanced and we were doing naive stuff comparing to them and that's the main reason they had much more respond and success than we did. We only get serious about making music when we got to the USA. All stuff before that was a total fun. MONEY was the first serious album KMFDM did even it was recorded in Hamburg.
Yeah, it was huge difference in sound and style. I can say it was revolutionary for whole scene. After that came ANGST album and whole bunch of bands changed, even some huge names, such as Die Krupps, Front Line Assembly, ...
I remember that. Money was totally done and affected by American style.
But now when we hear KMFDM it sounds a million years ahead with quality in sound, production and musically of course. Tell me how the development of technology affects on your work. For instance, I was shocked when I saw that KRAFTWERK did the new album totally using software not machines. What do you think about it in general?
I mean, I learned how to work in a studio when everything was due to multi tracks, analogue sequencing and when sampling technology began to become affordable for us. I bought my first sampler in 1985 and it was so expensive. Delicate, it was very delicate. Now everything is sort of digital and pro tools. We do not use any software synth at all. The only thing that we ever used was one kind of soft synth because my real synth is broken. I like hardware. I like to have machines. I like to have buttons and knobs. I am not really big on the working with the things on screen. Alot of the quality of KMFDM comes from the recording techniques. We actually still know how to record something. Now most kids know how to make a techno record but they have no clue and they do not know how to use the microphone.For us capturing real sound is still very central point in making of what we are doing. And it just happened that Joolz is an excellent recording engineer. I mean, it's hardly that anyone can record drums better than he does. And that was a very lucky coincidence that came from that meeting we had.
That's really great. But what's your favorite synthesizer so far?
My favorite synth is probably Nord Lead 2. That is the one I used the most on this record and interestingly enough, there is no midi programming, almost no midi programming on WORLD WAR III. Everything was played live and then taken and put into a place. Now I cannot say that analogue Nord lead is my very favorite. It's a very useful machine. You can do stuff really really quick that sounds very very rewarding and satisfying. It's pretty fat sound. I have bunch of like old analogue synthesizers sitting around. Sometimes it's not convenient to wait for like a half an hour for oscillator to warm up and that kind of stuff.
I must ask you that funny question about your decision to do KMFDM again even you said many times during MDFMK that it was over and then MDFMK became KMFDM.
Well it was a ... I should probably give you a run back through a history and a sort of internal dynamics. In 1991 we started recording MONEY. MONEY was not supposed to be called MONEY. It was supposed to be called SPLIT because En Esch and I decided to break up during the tour with Thrill Kill Kult in 1990. So we decided that our next recording budget would split half and a half. I would get one half and he would get one half and we would both make 5 songs. Back on those days it was all still on vinyl. So he made 5 songs, I made 5 songs and we threw the coin and decided who gets the A and who gets the B side of the record. WAX TRAX rejected B side which was the En Esch's side. They said it didn't sound like KMFDM at all and that they didn't like it.They didn't want to put it out because it didn't meet the criteria of the label. So they gave us more money. That's why we called it MONEY. That record was all about the money. And I finished up the album without En Esch and certainly that was kinda really bad blood between us because he felt sort of rejected. Then I made a real effort to put the band back together and we recorded ANGST and NIHIL which re-involved Raymond Watts ( PIG ) who had left KMFDM back in 1988. In the meantime Raymond and I did KMFDM vs. PIG - Sin, Sex & Salvation, only with Guenter on the guitar. The return of Raymond was something En Esch didn't like. He felt kinda up staged by Raymond.We toured whole 1995 when we did two huge tours, IN YOUR FACE and BEAT BY BEAT. And with all those so-ego kinda strong people together for a year, it caused alot of problems and the band did fall apart again. After that I did XTORT totaly by myself. Without Raymond and En Esch who actually did only a guitar solo played over the telephone and a bit of phone conversation " hmmmm ja, OK .... OK ... OK ... OK,OK .... OK " what has been used as a sample at the very beginning of the album. After XTORT the album I was again like - " Let's one more time ", because it didn't work with En Esch. He had become a heavy alcoholic and drug user at the early 90's. It was very difficult to work with him. So I wanted to see, one more time, what was going on there. I got everyone to work on SYMBOLS album and it was disaster. That was full of problems. We had alot of arguments, fighting and the record suffered from it. It didn't turn out in the way I wanted it to be. It showed on the record. There were good tracks. There is Megalomaniac which was written and done by myself, even without Guenter. Torture, I did only with Ogre ( SKINNY PUPPY ). Waste, I did with Bill Rieflin. Spit Sperm with Raymond and I. But all the other stuff ... like Stray Bullet, Mercy ... a fucking crap ! ... Down & Out, man! .. what the fuck ! ...
But Tim Skold happened ...
Oh yeah, Anarchy was good. Anarchy was god and Tim Skold was basically the big hope. He was the guy that was enthusiastic and excited about KMFDM and he was working. Everyone else was pretty lazy. Tim was really cool. After SYMBOLS we did another big tour and we had to do the another record what would be the last one for WAX TRAX by the contract we had. I asked everyone what we were going to do. To work together or not. En Esch and Guenter said like - " FUCK YOU " and Tim and I did ADIOS album.
So why then all drama that was going on online among the fans and En Esch who was bitching through the posts and chats on ( now dead ) www.kmfdmdogma.com when you announced that you were going to do new KMFDM. Why he and Guenter didn't complain about it after, for instance, SYMBOLS album? It a little bit more makes no point.
Yeah, it was dumb, little stupid. But most people didn't know that En Esch and Guenter were really, sort of hard and problematic throughout all these years.Working with Guenter was basically you had to have money in order to get him to work. He would never do anything without money and for me KMFDM is not about money. For me KMFDM is an idealism and fun. They just wanted money all the time and I didn't have money to give them. KMFDM was really successfull in 1995 with NIHIL and Juke Joint Jezebel single.There was actualy a lot money coming to us. But with XTORT which was a deliberate decision to make an anti NIHIL album, something that was totally drastic departure from the happy melodic kind of stuff like Juke Joint Jezebel . That really put KMFDM back in the hole. Anyways, the return of KMFDM was I told En Esch and Guenter that everybody wanted us to do KMFDM again and asked them if they wanted to sit down and come up with the new concept and way how to be KMFDM all together. Again they said - " Fuck You " and I said - " Fine " and I did new KMFDM.
Tell me a little bit more details about Tim Skold now. Is he definitely done with KMFDM since he is with M.MANSON now or ...
Nobody is definitely done with KMFDM. If Tim one day comes and says - " Hey, let's work on something " and may be it just happens it's time when we are doing new KMFDM album, then he is back. He was working on the making of ATTAK but he has already known that he was going to work with MANSON. He told me he wont have much time to promote the album and time to go on your with us after ATTAK ( Sturm & Drang Tour ). And it was fine with me. KMFDM can always adapt to certain circumstances. That is never the problem. Right now Tim is busy and I am sure he makes good money with MANSON.
What was the reason you left METROPOLIS RECORDS?
We had a really really nice deal with Metropolis Records and we had very nice advances and we had three album deal. After the first record they said they had the problem with distribution. They had to build new distribution system and they didn't have money to pay us for the next album option. We said that that was fine and we started recordings for the album anyways since it was not the huge problem. But we caught the deal in the meantime. We played a couple of tracks to a couple of labels. We talked to a lot of people. There was obviously at that time that KMFDM wouldn't end up at the major label again because the experience with the UNIVERSAL was less than fun. So we decided to look around for the big independent label. Sanctuary came to us and we looked at that and they have just signed KING CRIMSON and MINISTRY. We thought that at least they had a sort of taste having those bands there.Not like a storage unit for the crapy old bands. ( laugh! ). The thing with Sanctuary is, very little money, like not much on the department of advances, but a very good distribution that the label has world wide. And for us it is much more important than to make money. We want to continue KMFDM.
So can you live of KMFDM or music in general. I guess you do alot of production and studio work for the others.
Yeah, we do stuff aside. Right now I work on the music for SPIDERMAN 2 video game. I always have to do something. No worries.
At the end. Who is going to win Bundes Liga ( the german football league ) this season.
To be frank, I am completely out of touch with Bundes Liga. I am big St. Pauli fan but I am sure they are not going to make it. ( laugh ! )
The only I can say is HUGE thank you. We send greets to the others and wish you all the best on the tour.
You are welcome. It was my pleasure. Thanx!
Zlaya ( www.electromeda.net )