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KMFDM bring sound of 'WWIII'

Published: July 2, 2004 (Issue # 982)

  • KMFDM ready in combat mode for their upcoming gig at club PORT.
    Photo: For The St. Petersburg Times

KMFDM, the intense U.S.-based industrial band, who describes its style as "ultraheavy beat," brings its most recent album, "WWIII," to St. Petersburg and promises a really special event, when it performs at club PORT on Friday.

The band was formed in Paris by Sascha Konietzko and German painter and multi-media-performer, Udo Sturm, in February 1984.

"At first, it was more of an art project, a sort of a soundtrack to art exhibitions and things like that," said Konietzko about the beginnings of the band, which released its first album, "What Do You Know, Deutschland," in 1986.

"We started, at a pretty early point, combining machine beats, electronic sounds and heavy metal guitar, with politically charged lyrics - not stuff about misery and love, but all about anger and political protest, dissatisfaction with political systems, because we figured out communism doesn't work, capitalism doesn't work, democracy doesn't work, so the driving question behind the early KMFDM stuff was: what actually works?

According to Konietzko, KMFDM has never seen itself as a German band. "We never felt like a German band, we've always been a very international mixture of people: our singer was from Indonesia, our drummer was half-Japanese. It was more than a local German band, it was an international force."

Konietzko, who was born in Hamburg in 1961, attributes his Slavic-sounding name to possibly Ukrainian roots. "I think, originally my family came from the Ukraine," he says.

From his early years, Konietzko was surrounded by music and musical instruments due to his parents' musical interests.

"My father is a marine biologist. In the 1950s he worked in Africa as a marine biologist for the Royal Belgian Zoological Society. While in Africa, with a tape machine, he recorded native music, and he exhibited those recordings at ethnic festivals in Germany and all over Europe in the early 1960s. He was interested in all kinds of archaic native musical instruments, African drums.

"My entire life I was always exposed to exotic instruments around the house. I started building my first guitar when I was eight years old, and I made the pickup out of an old headphone system, so that was how I got interested in music. Not so much in playing an instrument, because till today I can't pick up a guitar and play a song, I can't just join a band and jam. I am not a musician per se."

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Wednesday, Jan. 28

Feel like becoming a publishing mogul? Stop by the Freedom anti-cafe at 7 Ulitsa Kazanskaya today at 8 p.m. where Simferopol, Crimea-based founder and chief editor of the Holst online magazine will talk about creating an internet magaine, including what stories to cover, how find an audience and build a team, where to find inspiration and how to stand out from the crowd. Admission is the normal price of the anti-café — 2 rubles per minute, which includes tea and snacks.

Learn everything you always wanted to know about wine, and perhaps a bit more, at the Le Nez du Vin seminar for wine lovers. Held at the WineJet Sommelier School, 100 Bolshoy Prospekt Petrograd Side, at 7:30 p.m., the event will cover wine production, the basics of wine tasting, the concept of terroir and the various countries where wine is produced. Tickets are 750 rubles and include a wine tasting. Register by calling +7 921 744 6264.

Thursday, Jan. 29

Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at

Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.

Friday, Jan. 30

The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.

Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website

A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at

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