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“Great art tend to be provocative”: Lucia Cifarelli, KMFDM

Four decades have passed since the founding of KMFDM, what has changed the most within the band?

The lineup has changed a bit over the years, but Kaptn’ [Sascha Konietzko] is always in charge. Despite time, the process of writing and recording songs continues to maintain a constant basis. Some songs are written as a band, some others between me and Sascha, or just by Sascha.

‘Let Go’ is their 23rd album. KMFDM is quite a prolific band and it seems that their creativity is still intact. How to maintain a project like this for so many years and maintain its quality line?

Well, every artist has a different approach when creating their art. For us, creating art is a daily practice. It's part of who we are. Sometimes we come up with songs we like, others not so much. With the passage of time, a critical ear towards our creations develops. We respect each other's opinions and refine as we go.

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What was the writing process for Let Go like? How did you feel about their current lineup?

The current lineup has been working together for some time, so we are confident and comfortable with each other's skills and points of view. The process of writing and recording ‘Let Go’ was no different to our usual approach. Sascha develops the tracks and then we alternate between them until he or I gravitate towards a particular song and take the lead.

We live in difficult times for freedom of expression, with people who feel offended by anything and they are a band that likes to write songs that are intended to provoke. Are you worried about censorship?

Great art tend to be provocative. If art doesn't make you feel something, you're not doing it right. Now that dictatorships around the world are using every tool at their disposal to stem the tide of free speech, I wonder what will happen in this regard. I'm also concerned about AI and the role it will play in the entire censorship scenario and how it could grant or deny us access depending on how it plays out. Be that as it may, we do not censor ourselves in anticipation of this.

KMFDM's songs have always had an undertone of social and political criticism, a theme that never ends. Is it the responsibility of musicians to use the platform they have to talk about these issues?

I have always believed that a great song has the potential to open the heart of the world. I also believe that if you have a platform, it is your responsibility to use it for the good of all. Considering we are artists/musicians, not politicians, we are here to entertain you. Learning is optional. If the ultra heavy beat opens your mind on the road, good for you!

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The world always seems to be in a constant war, do you think that one day humanity will be able to reach a state of peace with itself?

Hope is the last thing you lose. As a mother of a young, beautiful daughter, I want her to live in a world free of fear and oppression, but that sadly does not exist right now. It's literally a crazy, crazy world. However, we must remain optimistic so as not to fall into despair and continue to illuminate the path forward for independent thinkers. I have to believe that at some point rational minds and open hearts will prevail and there will be a time of peace.

Collaborations with other musicians are a constant within the band, with names like En Esch or Tim Sold, has it helped you to continue keeping the ideas fresh within KMFDM? Who would you like to work with in the future?

KMFDM has a reputation for bringing in outside artists from time to time. It's fun for us to showcase new talent and give back to them. However, I must confess that it is not something we have in mind and it usually happens spontaneously.

You have been one of the great pillars of the industrial movement for decades. Are you aware of the great impact it has generated on culture and music around the world?

We simply believe we have made our mark.

You gave so many bands the opportunity to open KMFDM that are now heavyweights in the industry like Rammstein. What do you think when you see those bands and say “they were our opening act”?

Yes, we've had plenty of bands that have been opening acts for KMFDM and then gone on to much, much bigger things. For example, Korn was another of them. I am very happy for them that they knew how to make the most of the opportunity.

How complicated is it to make a living from music in 2024?

Of course it's a big deal! Although streaming created many opportunities, it has taken most of the income away from artists, so we earn virtually nothing. This is where touring becomes increasingly important. Fortunately, there is still great value in the live performance industry, at least if you have an audience that wants to see you.

A few years ago, the industrial scene seemed much bigger and more productive than now, with many new bands or projects, what happened?

Industrial music as a genre is largely misunderstood and does not receive any support outside of the community. It is a genre that is treated as if it were something marginal. I think if an industrial artist or band were to break out with runaway success, the industry could take note and support these types of artists, and they would become popular again.

For some reason you have never been to Mexico, why? Do you plan to come with Let Go?

It's true. We have never toured Mexico. It is something we would love, but unfortunately it has not yet been possible from a logistical point of view. We would like to do so very much and hope to do so in the future.

You can listen to KMFDM's new album, 'Let Go' via Bandcamp or Spotify.

  • 03/06 Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
  • 03/07 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
  • 03/08 Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage
  • 03/09 New York, NY – Irving Plaza
  • 03/10 Philadelphia, PA – Brooklyn Bowl
  • 03/11 Harrisburg, PA – Harrisburg Midtown Arts CEnter
  • 03/12 Boston, MA – Royale
  • 03/14 Cleveland, OH – Agora Theater & Ballroom
  • 03/15 Chicago, IL – Metro Chicago
  • 03/16 Milwaukee, WI – The Rave/Eagles Club
  • 03/17 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
  • 03/18 Omaha, NE – Waiting Room
  • 03/20 Denver, CO – The Oriental Theater
  • 03/21 Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater
  • 03/22 Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
  • 03/23 San Diego, CA – The Observatory
  • 03/24 Los Angeles, CA – The Belasco Theater
  • 03/25 San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
  • 03/27 Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
  • 03/28 Seattle, WA – The Crocodile