KMFDM was an industrial band originally formed by Sascha Konietzko and Udo Sturm for a performance on February 29th, 1984, in Paris, France. Afterwards, Sascha went back to his native Germany for a project with Peter Missing called "Missing Foundations", where he met drummer En Esch. Sascha and En later left Missing Foundations and, along with Sascha's British friend Raymond "Pig" Watts, (re-)formed KMFDM. The band membership often changed, however, with guests coming on to work for individual albums and members doing other projects on the side. Sascha himself (and to a lesser extent, En Esch) was really the only constant member over the band's whole existence, although from the early 1990s onward guitarist Günter Schultz was one of the core members of the band, and Tim Skold stayed on after joining for the !@#$% album (see discography for an explanation of the name).

Their first real exposure in North America was in late 1989/early 1990 when they toured with Ministry on their "Mind Is..." tour. In 1991 they headlined a tour for the first time, after the release of Naive.

KMFDM first signed with Wax Trax!, a label based in Chicago, Illinois, USA, in 1990 just after finishing the master tapes for the album Naive (see discography below). Up until then, KMFDM had either released their work themselves or licensed individual releases to labels like Wax Trax! or Skysaw Records. They stayed with Wax Trax! until disbanding on January 22nd, 1999. The only reason Sascha gave for the breakup was that he felt that after 15 years it was time to move on. Previous to the release of their final album, Adios, KMFDM had already stated their intent to leave Wax Trax!; some fans wonder, however, if the end of the group may have somehow been a result of leaving Wax Trax!, perhaps a disagreement over the future direction of the band.

Over 15 years the band gained a significant underground following. Their music was diverse, with everything from 80s dancy-techno to guitar-grinding heavy industrial rock. Going mainstream was never really a danger, however; they rarely released videos for their songs, and even when they did, would not allow MTV to play them. They often evinced a hatred for MTV -- Sascha calls it "an insult to the world".

KMFDM stands for "Keine Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid", which is a badly constructed German sentence (apparently a play on words, but I don't speak German, so I don't get it) which can be loosely translated to "No Pity for the Majority", as mentioned in another writeup above. The band originally used the full sentence as its name, but Raymond Watts found it difficult to pronounce, and thus introduced the acronym.

Since the disbanding, Sascha and Tim Skold have formed MDFMK and signed with Universal. En Esch is pursuing a solo project, and Günter Schultz (one of my favourite guitarists, incidentally) doesn't seem to have anything specific going at the moment.

Discography up to 2002:
(For brevity's sake, each album has its own node with more information)

KMFDM also worked on many projects with other bands, and released different song mixes on movie soundtracks and the like, but there are far too many to list here.

A note on the name "KMFDM":

I do not speak German, or know much about Depeche Mode. However, I have gleaned this information from numerous sources, most of which are lost to my memory. One source was a teacher at my high school, though, and the others were almost as reputable. Please, please correct my spelling of German words if anything is wrong besides a lack of umlauts.

"KMFDM" might stand for one of two things. It could stand for "Kein Mitleid für die Mehrheit", which means "No compassion for the majority", or, more loosely translated, "No pity for the masses". The latter translation is a Depeche Mode-ism. "KMFDM" could also stand for "Keine Mehrheit fur das Mitleid", which would mean "No majority for the compassion" or "No masses for the pity", neither of which makes sense. This ambiguity fits in well with KMFDM's sense of nihilistic, sarcastic wit, as does the Depeche Mode reference; although KMFDM was definitely influenced by Depeche Mode, they claim to hate them, most notably in the song Sucks.

The most amusing false statement of what "KMFDM" stands for that I've ever seen was "KMFDM makes freaky damn music." That would be a good one to put on a t-shirt.

As I understand it, the reasoning behind Sascha Koneitko and Tim Skold naming their new band "MDFMK" was something like "'KMFDM'" wasn't supposed to really mean much in the first place, so what does it matter if we use it backwards?" "MDFMK" could also be a reference to the line "KMFDM forwards, the ultimate sound, and a message from Satan if you turn it around"

Guenter Schulz and En Esch were offered an opportunity to join the new KMFDM, but declined. They have formed a new musical project called Slick Idiot and have released an album called DICKnity through their own label, Itchy Records. As of this writeup, they do not yet have a major distributor, so you can probably only obtain this CD by ordering it from their website: I don't know first hand, but I have heard that the band will personally sign your copy if you order DICKnity.

A note on the possible meaning of the letters KMFDM:

KMFDM released a CD single of a track "Light" remixed by other musicians like Die Warzau, Trent Reznor from NIN, and others.

On the inside cover of the single was the statement "Kleine Macht für dich mehr", or "No more power for you".

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