Music Interview: The long lasting taste of KMFDM

By Ivan Danielewicz

How happy are Canadians to see one of the industrial powerhouses that have been around since the mid-80s? Every show that they have played in Canada so far has been sold out, and to no surprise, they have been absolutely wild. After a long seven-year hiatus, KMFDM made a stop in Calgary to fans that have missed them.

“We couldn’t have asked for anything better,” smiles Jules Hodgson, speaking with the Gauntlet before heading onto stage. “We’re looking forward to playing. If the rest of the Canadian experience lives up to this, then well be back in a very short time.”

And it was an unforgettable night. It began with DJ? Acucrack, a duo known for their intense jungle beats and they set a hard techno tone for the evening. The energy level was set so high by DJ? Acucrack, all KMFDM had to do was simply step out and watch the crowd go crazy.

Drawing upon their entire library, KMFDM didn’t get boxed into to a specific era of their career. They played an excellent show, the mosh pit was intense and the energy of the room could only be described as berserk. Everything just seemed to click for the band. This despite KMFDM finding themselves two decades out of the industrial boom, the group still sells large number of records and consistently play sold out shows. They have become a b-side band able to keep popular over a career spanning two decades.

“It been nice that we’ve had such a loyal following,” explains Hodgson. “There’s always a bunch of new kids coming to our shows and listening to our music.”

KMFDM was originally created by Sascha K. and has been home for different musicians over the years. When the band split up in 1999, Sascha was left alone to pick up the pieces and restart the band. Recruiting fellow industrialist band PIG, bringing Steve White, Lucia Cifarelli, Andy Selway and Hodgson into the lineup, helped rebuild one of the industrial greats.

“I think Sascha, Gunther and En Esh all had different ideas on where the band was going,” recalls Hodgson, “Sascha and I had been working together since 2000 but I only joined up with him in 2002.”

Along with their unique name, (KMFDM stands for Kein Mehrheit Fuer Die Mitlied, which translated means “No Pity for the Majority”), they have been blessed with a unique image. Their CD covers have become legendary in the music industry.

“It just fits so well with the image of the band,” states Hodgson, “it’s instantly recognizable.”

But a band can’t build a career on cool album covers. Hodgson attributes the band’s success to their unique sound that has varied little over the years. “It sounds like an explosion in a music store,” laughs Hodgson. “Although I think we’ve been given the term ‘ultra heavy beat.’ I think the only thing that it’s had to be is something that you can move to.”

It doesn’t look like they’re disappearing anytime soon. A band like KMFDM will be around for a long time to come. They’re mark on the industry will be far reaching, but for now we can only ask what influence these greats? “I think that our two biggest influences are vodka and whiskey,” jokes Hodgson, “You’re Canadian whiskey isn’t bad, I’m sure you’ll see us again soon.”

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