2009 marks the 25th anniversary for industrial/electronic rock band KMFDM, but founding member Sascha Konietzko feels that it’s “really just another year in an ongoing love affair.” In a phone interview from Germany, the ever prolific Konietzko discussed the new KMFDM album (“Blitz”), covering the Human League, his creative process, and more.
Having done music for so long, do you ever listen to and perhaps get inspired by your older work?
I don’t really. For me, honestly, when I’ve made a record I’m usually so done with it that I don’t want anything to do with it for a long time! [laughs] Then it happens, after a couple of years–I’ll hear something and think ‘what is that?’ Then ‘oh, shit, it’s a KMFDM song!’ It’s interesting, but I don’t really look back at what I’ve done before in order to get new ideas. It’s exciting enough to really come up with new stuff.
Are there any older albums that new fans catching up on KMFDM seem to particularly get into?
Well the one thing that really comes to mind is something I hear a lot. ‘I got turned on to you guys by so and so, that was 2 months ago, and by now I own 5 of your albums. There doesn’t seem to be much of a middle ground. I don’t think a lot of people think of KMFDM as mediocre. You can only really hate it or love it. There is no middle ground – if you don’t like it then you absolutely dislike it.
Looking back, is there anything that you think KMDFM tried musically that didn’t quite work?
Well, I would say this. When I spend a couple of hours on something and I don’t think it’s going in the right direction, it usually means for me to abort it. Just like anyone else, I want to see results and I want to be rewarded. If I fiddle around with some idea and it doesn’t work to get, say, this triplet to work with a 4 on the floor kind of thing no matter how I try, it just doesn’t work, then usually it’s the trash bin. On the other hand there are sometimes tricky things that take some time, but I have a feeling they will work. I’m not sure how, but it’s not a dead end. Often times it happens in such a away that an ingredient gets made or found or whatever for one specific track or an idea, and it becomes the new focus of it. So I’m willing to throw the rest of the stuff overboard to accommodate the new idea. That happens actually quite a bit.
You’re calling from Germany – are you based there now?
Yeah, I left Seattle about a year and a half ago. I just wanted to have European soil under my feet.