Kirby was originally a DJ in Madison, Wisconsin as a teenager, experimenting under the moniker "Flowers for Ravers" before founding Stromkern. Disenchanted with the music he was receiving as a DJ, he decided to start his own industrial act. His early compositions included the German-language "Konzentrationslagen" and "Aussicht vom Rande der Nacht" as well as a cover of Nick Cave's "The Mercy Seat", all of which found favor on compilations. He was soon signed to German label Kodex/Sushia Light, and the resulting CD "Flicker Like a Candle" announced Stromkern to the club music scene. Stromkern now records for Dependent Records in Europe and WTII Records in North America.
After two successful albums and several singles as essentially a solo artist, Kirby recruited musician/producer and friend Kelly Shaffer to join the lineup for "Armageddon." Additional live members Matt Berger, Rob Wentz and later Tyler Newman (of Battery Cage and Informatik) joined the band for the recording of "Light it Up."