Q&A: Sascha Konietzko of KMFDM

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KMFDM stands for Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid, which at one point was loosely translated by the band as “no pity for the majority.” To this day they’ve remained true to this vision and with their latest release, Hell Yeah, are spreading their movement of non-conformity louder than ever. According to the singer Sascha Konietzko, the message for this new album has always been the same since the inception of the band back in 1984. “Think for yourself. Don’t fall for the bullshit. Question your surroundings. Do not submit to authority, question it. Use your head.”

The band is currently on tour and is slated to make a stop in San Francisco next week at The Regency Ballroom. In between gigs, Sascha was generous to answer a few questions for us. We talked about some interesting road stories, what inspired them to make this new release, and what the weirdest item on their tour bus is right now.

Your music is known for being politically loaded. How has the current political climate made an impact on the new record and its lyrics?
It is important to understand that we do not live in the US, therefore your reality and your perception of your “current political climate” are very, very different from ours. Although some of KMFDM lyrics are indeed politically charged and fit to describe probably more than one “current political climate” at any given time, we aim for a much broader horizon than the folly that is happening for you guys over there. A lot of the material was actually written long before the presidential election last year and targets a wide range of injustice and idiocy going on in the world today.

How is HELL YEAH different from your others?
How can it not be? We’re making new music, writing new lyrics to it, recording it with new guests and an ever-revolving cast of collaborators. Plus, it gets really good reviews from almost everyone ;-).

KMFDM is coming to The Regency Ballroom on Oct. 12, 2017
KMFDM is coming to The Regency Ballroom on Oct. 12, 2017

What’s the message you want your fans to take away from this newest release?
The message that KMFDM transports since the inception in 1984 is always the same: think for yourself. Don’t fall for the bullshit. Question your surroundings. Do not submit to authority, question it. Use your head. Wake up. Look around you. Make decisions based on what you recognize as necessary and right. Be a useful member of society. Do good things. Treat others like you’d want to be treated.

In 25 years what are the craziest things that have happened to you on the road?  
Too many crazy things have happened on the road. Too many to tell, really. During the last US tour in 2015 our bus exploded. We had to drive some rental cars ourselves and at some point approaching Denver, CO, there were tornados on both sides of the highway. Us in the middle. Made it to the show in time though.
Then there’s the story of somebody getting flambéed in his bunk with a bottle of Jack. Also, the mystery-puker. The soap-eating lighting guy. The silver-coated hernia. Oh god…

You’re playing San Francisco in September. What do you think of San Francisco crowds?
I don’t think of the people that attend KMFDM shows as “crowds.” I personally know a lot of the people that stand in front of the stage. SF is a very good town for us to play.

What’s your favorite thing to do while in the city?
Depends. When I have more than a day I like to go to the Golden Gate and up the coast. When I’m there for a limited time I usually meet some friends and have some good food.

What band are you really into at the moment?
None, sadly.

How’d you go about selecting the songs for this album?
Threw away all the ones that didn’t turn out well ;-).

What the weirdest item on your tour bus right now?
The driver.

What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to learn about you? 
I won’t tell.

KMFDM is playing The Regency Ballroom w/ ohGr and Lord Of The Lost on Sunday, Oct. 22 – Doors 7 p.m. / Show 8 p.m. – All Ages 

An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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