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KMFDM AOK: Industrial band still grinding after eleven years

By Dan Rozenson

Eleven years ago, KMFDM erupted from a German performance art group. After multiple releases and side projects under its belt, the band is still going strong. Their latest album is titled Nihil and is considered to be some of their intense work.

I got a chance to chat with founding members Raymond Watts (who also fronts the band PIG) about the state of KMFDM before their RPM show last week. He looked tired, which is understandable: the tour consists of 33 consecutive dates with only two days off (singer/drummer Sasha had collapsed the night before but recovered in time for the Toronto show). The band takes touring very seriously: “This tour has been quite tiring and relentless every night, this is very hard work.”

Watts rejoined KMFDM when the core lineup of En Esch, Sasha Konietzko and Gunter Schultz (the artist formerly known as Svet Am) decided to add more players to the roster for Nihil. Along with Watts, KMFDM hired new backing vocalist, Dorona Alberti. Watts described Nihil as “a record that follows many different avenues,” in terms of musical styles. “Gunter and Sasha got together in Seattle and knocked out the arrangements, then I came up with the lyrics and melody. We then recorded with the session players and shackled Dorona to a microphone to sing backing vocals.” 

The KMFDM is still on the Wax Trax! Label with which it has been with since the ‘80s (TVT bought it out when the record company went bankrupt). But unlike most of Wax Trax’s other major artists, KMFDM has stayed with it. Watts then grew surly when I made the mistake of asking about the state of ‘industrial’ music today, “Ahhm… I really don’t know, I think that’s kind of a silly question” and that’s when I knew that Raymond wanted to go.

So if you want to enter the sexy and violent world of KMFDM, let Nihil be your key.

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