No one could blame German industrial staples KMFDM for retreating after being partially blamed for the decline of western civilization after their music was discovered to be a favorite of the Columbine killers. But retreating isn't KMFDM leader Sascha Konietzko's style. After one album under the moniker MDFMK, KMFDM, return March 19th with the aptly named Attak.
At times a sledgehammer of a disc, featuring blistering metal/industrial combos that strike as unmercifully as any of KMFDM's earlier work, Attak also has its surprises, including the power ballad "Save Me," a collaboration between Konietzko and longtime musical compatriot Tim Skold.
While the song is a departure for KMFDM, Konietzko says it was a natural progression for the pair. "It just came about very organically when we were in the studio," he says. "Tim had this idea and he started singing." Singers Dorona Alberti, Lucia Cifarelli and Raymond "Pig" Watts also guest on Attak.
Konietzko readily admits he made the album for the fans. "The reason I decided to do another KMFDM album was because how much demand there was for a new record," Konietzko says. "I was really surprised by all the emails and postings on the Web sites asking for another KMDFM record."
There's a certain irony in KMFDM returning due to public demand, given the bad publicity the band received in the wake of Columbine. Sitting outdoors at a Seattle restaurant/lounge in August of 2001, while still in the midst of recording Attak, Konietzko pointed to a guy in a business suit and said, "I bet you that guy there has heard of KMFDM. He may not know our music, but he's heard of the band after Columbine."
Konietzko prefers to leave that subject in the past, except to say that the aftermath of how Columbine was managed is "a lesson in how not to handle a crisis. We were getting calls from Dan Rather and I said, 'Just leave it alone and it will blow over in a day.'"
His prediction of a day wasn't quite accurate, but the attack on KMFDM's reputation has passed and Konietzko has embraced making KMDFM music again. In fact, at the risk of damaging his reputation as a badass, he admits he even had some fun during the making of Attak.
"When it came time to do the self-tagging song, to put in that first reference to KMFDM, I had a lot of fun," he says. The song "Back in the U.S.S.A." didn't make the final eleven tracks on Attak but can be found on the CD single "Boots," a cover of the old Nancy Sinatra staple. Dark, but with a sense of humor, the song reflects the KMFDM approach, as does the album. "I wanted to make a KMFDM album," Konietzko says. "You can't please everybody, but I hope KMFDM fans will like it."
The track listing for Attak:
Urban Monkey Warfare
Sturm & Drang