Within hours of the columbine massacre in 1999, i saw my own face on television, including on America's Most Wanted, who immediately had picked up on the story, sensationalists they are. what unfolded over the ensuing 48 hours can only be called a veritable shit-storm. Everyone, including Dan Rather's office tried to get in touch with me, in order to put a face to the name KMFDM, in order to find even the slightest flaw, weird accent or otherwise, in order to produce a scapegoat, someone that could be personally held responsible in the sense: here is the person (from germany, in an obscure band, with strange lyrics nobody seems to understand but nevertheless...), that somehow managed to subvert our poor little children and turn them into nazi-loving killing-machines. It was a witchhunt.
I did the only thing that seemed sensible, i issued a statement thru my publicists and kept a low profile. The statement made mention of the fact that some members of KMFDM at the time were indeed german citizens but that KMFDM in no way condoned violence nor ever intended to spawn such. When in the days following, nobody could really put their fingers on anything tangible in regards to KMFDM, the full-frenzied media machine turned to a more publicly know person, Marilyn Manson and tried to pass the blame on him, even though, the columbine killers weren't even fans of his music.
It was a horrible experience to say the least. One of my biggest concerns immediately following this incident was that there would be copycats repeating such things in the future, as there often are when people commit heinous crimes and acts of violence.
I was, unfortunately, right
NRK: what message do you have to those people who link your lyrics and aesthetics to atrocities?
the only message in our songs and lyrics is to: think for yourself. be responsible for your own actions.
KMFDM is not preachy, it is a very artistical and existantialist form of expression.
If anyone chooses to believe that music and games can turn people into mass-murderers, rather than lack of love, care and attention combined with readily available arsenals of firearms and ammo, i can do nothing about it.
Fact remains that the so-called 'sub-culture' will be continually blamed and held responsible for this. In every generation past, parents and their children live thru phases where mutual understanding, participation in cross-generational problem-solving and tolerance for each others pastimes and reading / listening preferences become increasingly difficult. Since it would be unthinkable for a parent or even a politician to look at themselves and admit that things have gone terribly wrong, the dubious and underground-influences are always to take the blame. The problem to me seems that younger people want to be heard, they want someone to listen to them, someone to understand their frustrations with growing up, living in a world where personal estrangement and violence seem to have become normal.
As a person, as a member of a well beloved band there is simultaneously a lot and yet very little i can do. But i do what i can, i take a lot of time to spend it with "my" fans, i do not behave 'rockstar-like' i communicate that i am a down-to earth person and people often open their hearts and tell me things, ask me questions and want my opinion. I am a very positive person and i am not shy to let that be known. My only advice for someone who is so fed up with the world he/she lives in is to : don't shoot up your school - start a band !!