KMFDM : Family matters

KMFDM is one of the bands that made an impression during the latest installment of the Motocultor Festival (in France) – all the more so since Sascha Konietzko’s gang was the only industrial band on the bill. A breath of fresh air for some, an object of curiosity for others. From what we’ve heard, KMFDM seem to have left very few festival-goers indifferent. Speaking of the festival, the organizers can pride themselves on rising up to quite a few challenges despite a rather arduous and worrying take-off.

When we met him on Friday, August 17th, well into the afternoon and shortly after the shows finally started, the first thing Konietzko mentioned was precisely his first impression regarding the Breton festival: “You want to know the truth ? Last night, we had a problem : the guys of the festival wanted us to play two hours later, but as we have to go to Hamburg, we managed to play one hour later, thanks to the other bands. When we came here, our bus got stuck in the mud, there was no food, and we had to wait for hours to have our beers. That’s what I think of this festival, but I’m sure it’s going to get better in the future. I’m always optimistic !” And the man was right to be optimistic, since the organizers finally managed to put the festival back on track, despite a few youthful mistakes. Witnessing KMFDM’s performance and seeing Konietzko’s face at the end of the show was enough to understand how satisfied he really was.

The li’l KMFDM family at Hellfest 2010

Konietzko is comfortably seating on some sort of pouffe on the grass, near the VIP area, just relaxing and soaking up the lovely sun with his daughter on his lap. He’d told us on a previous occasion that this little lady who loves fluffy toys follows her parents everywhere on tour (her mother being none other than Lucia Cifarelli, the band’s singer and the frontman’s wife), and he mentions it once again: “Yes. I take her with me because if not, nobody would take care of her. She’s already been to 19 countries and has done thousands of kilometers. She knows how to walk in the tour-bus !” But if you think tour life is no life for a child, wrry not: Konietzko Junior manages to reconcile education and life on tour, which only takes up a small part of her time. Her gather explains: “Oh, she goes to kindergarten. We don’t tour as much as people think we do. My daughter lives her normal child’s life during 340 days : she spends the remaining 20 days on the road. She loves being on tour, you know.” When us mere mortals take our kids to the beach or to the mountain for their holidays, this child travels the world with her parents! After all, isn’t travel supposed to broaden the mind? But when we ask her dad if he could see her becoming a rock star, he’s adamant: “I hope not ! If your parents were actually rockstars, you wouldn’t like to be one, would you ? (laughs)”

From a more musical point of view, Sascha Konietzko tells us more about the surprising choice he’s made regarding the band’s organization on tour: “We now have two KMFDM bands: one for the USA and one for Europe, so that people don’t have to fly back and forth all the time.” A choice that was obviously motivated by financial reasons. Most bands nowadays are trying to optimize their tours and make them profitable, since they’re now – and will probably remain – their main source of income. New musicians have therefore joined the KMFDM family: “a drummer and two guitarists from Germany”, Konietzko explains. “We can now tour in Europe with european guys and in the USA with an american band.” Only recently, the American line-up was still touring in Europe. Konietzko confesses: “We’ve toured so much in Europe with the American KMFDM that we must take a break for a few years.”

According to the frontman, both sides of the family – the American side as well as the European – will take part in the band’s next album. For yes, the follow-up to WTF?!, released last year, is currently well on its way: “Yes, we’re currently recording a new record.”, explains Sascha. When we ask him what we should expect, he answers: “It’s hard to say, because it’s only half done but there are some pretty funny tracks on it. It will be released in February 2013 and we’ll tour in Europe during next spring.” “Some pretty funny tracks”, he says… We couldn’t be more eager and curious to hear that!

In the meantime, we’ll go and listen some more to the very military-sounding “Hau Ruck”, so we can remember what it was like when the Breton ground was shaking underneath our feet.

Interview conducted face to face on August 17th, 2012, at the Motocultor Festival (France)
Transcription and traduction: Jean Martinez – Traduction(s) Net and Saff’

Official KMFDM website: www.KMFDM.net.

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