KMFDM is a German industrial metal group formed on February 29, 1984 to perform as part of the opening of an exhibition of young European artists in the Grand Palais of Paris.
KMFDM is an acronym for the deliberately nonsensical and grammatically incorrect German phrase Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid (No Pity For The Majority).
Since its formation in 1984, musicians from different countries of the world, including Germany, Great Britain, Sweden and the USA, have worked with the band. The singer and front man Sascha Konietzko comes from Hamburg, Germany, which is why some album titles, music titles and lyrics are partly or entirely in German. The band’s trademarks are album titles made up of five characters as well as the interweaving of the band’s name in the lyrics.
The original founding members were Sascha Konietzko and Udo Sturm. Sturm however had no musical aspirations so Konietzko joined forces with Raymond Watts and drummer Klaus Schandelmaier, later known as En Esch.
After trying Aggrotech and recording three albums (What Do You Know, Deutschland ?, Don’t Blow Your Top, and UAIOE) with European labels, KMFDM began their relationship with Wax Trax! Records in Chicago, Illinois.
In 1989, KMFDM joined Ministry on their promotional tour for the album The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste. Together they toured the United States until the end of 1989. After concluding the tour, KMFDM prepared to work on what would be their fifth album, Naïve released in 1990. Günter Schulz joined the band for the album.
By 1991, KMFDM, in particular Konietzko, settled in Chicago, USA. In 1992, the band released their sixth album – Money, after which WaxTrax! Records became part of the TVT Records label, where KMFDM released their most famous albums: Angst in 1993, Nihil in 1995, and Xtort in 1996, the lattest becoming their best-selling album, with more than 200,000 copies sold.
With Konietzko settled in Seattle, the group released Symbols in 1997, featuring Tim Skold and Nivek Ogre of Skinny Puppy, and Goodbye in 1999, which would see the departure of the founding members Günter Schulz and En Esch due to “irreconcilable differences”, and a temporary dissolution of the band.
Konietzko, together with Tim Sköld and Lucía Cifarelli, created the group MDFMK and released their self-titled album in 2000. Meanwhile, En Esch and Günter Schulz formed the group Slick Idiot and released the album Dicknity in 2001.
KMFDM reappeared reformed in 2002 with the album Attak under the Metropolis Records label, with a line-up more oriented to playing as a group, unlike the previous era, in which each member contributed their different creations and collaborations to put together an album.
After Attak, Skold left the group to join as bassist and co-producer of Marilyn Manson. 2002 saw the remastering and re-release of the debut album Opium.
In 2003, the WWIII album was released, which contains songs with more political lyrics than previous albums, including criticism of George Bush, the wars in the Middle East and the US immigration policy. In 2005, KMFDM released Hau Ruck – an album implying a return to the analog equipment and included first forays singing in other languages.
Album Tohuvabohu was released in 2007. It’s a word derived from the Hebrew tohu va bohu which means “without form and emptiness” or “complete chaos and confusion“. This was followed by album Blitz released in 2009, WTF ?! released in 2011, Kunst released in 2013, Our Time Will Come released in 2014, Hell Yeah released in 2017, and Paradise released in 2019.
As a little trivia – Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, perpetrators of the Columbine High School Massacre, were fans of KMFDM. On his website, Harris posted the lyrics to “Son of a Gun“, “Stray Bullet” and “Waste“. In some of their videos they are seen wearing KMFDM t-shirts.
I took pictures of KMFDM on October 9, 2004 at Starlite Room in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The opening act for KMFDM was the electronic duo DJ? Acucrack: