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(17.04.2019)

I am open to all encounters

Singer Bill Kaulitz, on the upcoming Tokio Hotel, tour, his intimate relationship with twin brother Tom, crazy fans and the question of why he does not let anything dictate either in love or on the subject of clothes.

Bill Kaulitz, has it easy. This glam factor. Even if he poses on the steps of a bare staircase for a photo. The singer and frontman of the band Tokio Hotel, wears back his blond-dyed hair. His black patent leather pants crunch a bit while running. The top buttons of his shirt are open, so you can see his colorful tattoo, a picture of the “Eye of Providence”, the mystical triangle symbol, surrounded by a halo of light. A brother tattoo. His twin brother Tom, has the same on his arm. With “Hi, I’m Billhe introduces himself during the interview in a lounge room of the Hessian radio station Hitradio FFH in Bad Vilbel. When the 29-year-old speaks, he emphasizes his statements with his hands and arms. At the same time a cameraman is filming for the Youtube channel “Tokio Hotel TV“.

In 2005, the band’s four boys from nearby Magdeburg turned teen stars over school holidays with their song “Durch den Monsun”. Five years later, Bill, and his twin brother Tom Kaulitz, fled to Los Angeles. Fans had broken into their house in Germany. A musical comeback will take until 2014, with their two band-mates Gustav Schäfer, (drums) and Georg Listing, (bass) Bill, and Tom, record two English-language albums. They want to get away from the teen sound that made the band famous.

A few days ago her single “When It Rains It Pours” was released. A mix of pop and blues. From the end of April, the band is on an international tour, from London to Moscow. In addition to old hits, a few unpublished songs are played. “I think it’s exciting to see the reaction of the fans,” says Bill Kaulitz. Tokio‘s new album “Melancholic Paradise” is due to be released later this year.

Mr Kaulitz, many think that you just stand on stage and just sing. But you also write the songs together with your twin brother Tom and are responsible for the costumes. Your brother seems to have more stress on the preparations. Why?

That’s true. Tom did not come to Frankfurt today because the preparations for the tour are insanely intense for him. Georg, Gustav and he now master almost all instruments. Tom sometimes plays ten different instruments during a song. He is also our musical director: he does all the production in our studio in L. A. We did not involve anyone else. On our new album we also have songs with synths – and so Tom just has to see how to put it all into action live. Then comes light and video production. We want to give people a show they have not seen before. With this tour, the stage will look different for each song.

Do you actually sing your first hit “Through the Monsoon”? Or can not you stand that anymore?

Sure, we’ve played this song a million times already. But I do not feel that as extreme as other musicians who say about their biggest hit, “I hate this song.” Of course I would not write it that way anymore. I recorded “Through the Monsoon” when I was a teenager. But the song is present at every show. We sing it because it’s always a special moment for our fans. And for us too. I would not want to miss that feeling either. This song has changed our whole life …

You were 15 years old when you became known about the summer holidays. How did you experience this moment?

That was totally cool. We started four years ago as a small band. We paid our first recordings with a box of beer and a stick of cigarettes. A guy from the village had recorded the first songs for us. I remember standing there wondering what our first music video should look like. We also imagined that we have appearances on television and have been writing autographs. And when it finally happened and people finally asked us for an autograph, it was just Wow.

And then the school started again …

We went to school for exactly one week. Many people still think that Tokio Hotel was a smart strategy of a record company. That was not like that at all. Universal has spent 5000 euros for our first video. That was nothing. They had just clapped it to the wall and looked, if it sticks. When the song suddenly went through the ceiling and we were # 1, everyone was totally overwhelmed. I remember there was a crisis meeting with our parents at home. And everyone said, “What are we going to do now? They can not go to school tomorrow? “And then in the end they said,” But they have to. “When Tom and I went to school on the first day, there were already photographers, reporters, and camera crews. But also a lot of fans. That was totally absurd. The director always had to lock us up in a room during the breaks.

Why that?

The fan crowd was just massive. Even from the surrounding schools, the girls came and skipped the school. Finally, the director called us for an interview. She said, “You can not go to school anymore. You have to be exempted. “And we just thought,” Yes! “(Laughs) Then we were initially released for a year. That was extended again and again. At some point we were 18 and did not have to go to school anymore. The middle maturity we have then made our mum in the tour bus by distance learning.

Did your parents actually accompany you on tour back then? Or were you more like Kevin alone at home?

We were more Kevin, alone at home. Tom and I had our own apartment at 15, because we wanted to get out of the village. We were still close with our parents, and they were still very involved. They had to sign our contracts. At the same time we were totally grown up. At the age of 15 we were not allowed to drive a car and drink alcohol, but already pay taxes. That was already a twisted world. We also sat at lawyer and tax meetings. We wanted that too. We wanted the responsibility.

Have you never gone from fame?

Not that one. But at some point the point came, because we were really burned out. We hardly knew in which city we appeared or what award we were winning. At some point it was just too bad for us. We were tired of it. We pulled the plug at the right moment. There we were 20 years old and said: “We’ll take a break now.” We had worked through five years previously.

And you always stress that you felt like you were in a golden cage …

Yes. Tom and I were totally isolated from the world. We could never go anywhere without a bodyguard. I could not even order something in the restaurant. There was always someone in between who needed to do this for me. You become an alien in this world and at some point you do not even know how it works. We skipped five years of our lives. It was not until the age of 20 that I did things in Los Angeles for the first time that others did much earlier: I had to find out at the airport how to find the way to the gate at all. I used to just run after my tour manager. I did not know what to do in a supermarket queue.

In the Art documentary “Behind the World” from the year 2017, you will tell how one day fans broke into your house, rummaging through underwear, digging out photos …

Tom and I had built such a nice prison outside of Hamburg. In front of our house was a three-meter high wall, the curtains were always closed, so that no one could look inside. That was the only place of refuge for us. Until the fans are through all rooms. We ourselves were not at home. The bad part was that the fans knew exactly which room they should go to first …

And then?

There were always 100 fans camping in front of the door in their cars. I said to the police, “That was obviously one of the people standing out here.” But the village police did not help us. “You have to live with that, when you have so much money and you’re on TV. And what are you so excited about? Nothing was stolen, “they said. They did not understand that the little we had left in privacy was taken away from us. After that, we never slept in the house again. We were only four weeks in a hotel and thought: “Where are we going now?” Europe was not an option. Because then 20 cars would have followed the moving van, and everyone would have known again where we live. We were shortly before in L. A. And then I chose a house online. We packed our things and are gone.

How is it with the fans today?

Of course, there are still insane energies in the room. There are still people who fall over when they see us. But most encounters with our fans are very nice.

Are there any fans who scare you?

Yes, we have a so-called blacklist. There are stalkers on it. They are not allowed to come to fan meetings or to our concerts. There is a woman who believes that we have been together for 18 years. It’s sad, but there’s nothing that can be done when people lose their imagination.

On the upcoming tour you will also be back in Russia. There, the political situation has changed quite a bit in recent years. Especially for people who dress as conspicuously and androgynously as you …

Our message “Love Who Loves You Back” is: Love has no gender and no limits. Such statements are already a problem in Russia. Pop shows are controlled. Madonna shows have already been banned. So far, we have flown under the radar. We had a longer tour in Russia and were also in the deepest interior. Since I already noticed that one or the other local security would like to intercept me. They did not like it so much that I am in high shoes and glitter costume on stage and singing these songs. But that’s why I see it as my task to travel there. Because there are many super sweet people who also tell me: “It is very important that you perform here today. Luckily, you sing these songs and dress like that. “They eventually get along with what’s happening in the rest of the world, but often just can not get away. I also love to provoke and always have. I have a thick coat.

Already as a child, you have dressed female and applied nail polish. That arrived in the village near Magdeburg certainly also moderately well. Teenagers threatened to beat you up. Have you never been afraid?

Of course I was afraid too. There were moments when I did not dare to go to the street. But I have always demanded this freedom to dress as I wanted. I just wanted to show people that these prejudices are just nonsense. There was also a physical education teacher who refused to teach me. He said I had to join the girls. But I never thought, “I’m going to change now.” I wanted to do the stress as well. My mom had to come to school every day. That was not easy.

How important was your relationship with your twin brother Tom?

Very important. We were both extreme in our own way. We could never have done this alone. I never ran alone in the school hall. That was important as a sign for the others not to tap us one by one. We could take care of each other in a different way and have a greater strength together.

They both always emphasize that you feel like a person. So if one is sad, the other is sad too. How is it when you argue?

If we argue, then right. It usually has to do with the band, because then we have different visions. We can then swing up quite a bit. Georg immediately puts down the bass, and immediately everyone has disappeared from the room. Earlier, when we were younger, Tom and I also started on chairs. We do not do that anymore. (Laughs)

What is the biggest difference between Tom and you?

Tom is more withdrawn. He hates being the center of attention. For him, photo shootings are horror. He would rather shoot himself. (laughs) That’s when he whines me full weeks ago. He would like to sit in the studio all day and screw up the music and send me out alone …

Do not like him on stage?

Yes, he already likes that. But he’s just not the crazy show person. He is very happy that I am standing there in front. Georg and Gustav anyway. Gustav once had to step forward in Mexico to sing Happy Birthday for us with the fans. He was shaking all over. He always builds his drums so high that you hardly see them behind them. (laughs) That’s why we’re a band for so long. Each of us has his own role.

On the stage you are the Rampensau. Private too?

I am very shy in very private situations. If I find someone great, I’m like a little kid. I can not look, I can not say anything. Tom has to help me. He is my wingman. Quite often he also says: “Swap the numbers.” Tom can smell at 1000 meters, if I like someone.

Your brother once said that he is so close to you that he really does not need anyone else, except for sex. Then he met Heidi Klum, now the two are engaged. How is that for you?

I have always been the permanent single in the band. It sometimes annoys that you can go anywhere alone. Everyone knows, “Oh, there’s only Bill. He does not need ‘plus one’. “Of course I want a relationship. But now that Tom is so happy, there’s nothing better for me. If you have friends and family around you who are so happy, you’re eating away with them as well. I never feel out there.

For years you have both kept your relationships private. Your brother was even married before, but hardly anyone noticed. And now his relationship with Heidi Klum is suddenly very public. What has changed?

The difference is that both are in public. That’s just something else. And the two want to share their happiness too. But we keep our families completely out of the public. For our parents, it was important from the beginning to have their privacy. And we wanted our families to be our retreat. If you make someone public, you can never undo it. And everyone has to make that decision for themselves. I could never do that to anyone else.

In 2019, you will still be asked whether you are dating women or men. Should not that matter?

They say that just right. I think that there should be no coming out. I wish that we would soon reach the point where you can fall in love, no matter who, and that this need not be discussed any more. I always say, “I do not know what will happen tomorrow, whom I will meet tomorrow.” I’m just open for all encounters. We should all be.

Bill's Photos Bill's Photos Bill's Photos

Bill Kaulitz and Tokio Hotel

Bill Kaulitz, was born in September 1989 in Leipzig ten minutes after his identical twin brother Tom. Their parents divorce when they are seven years old. The mother is a painter and moves with the brothers to Loitsche, not far from Magdeburg.

Even as children write their first songs. Their stepfather plays in a rock band and procures the duo’s first smaller gigs. Bill, and Tom Kaulitz, appear under the name Black Question Mark. In 2001, they met Gustav Schäfer, and Georg Listing. They become a band.

The video of their debut single “Through the Monsoon” will air on television in August 2005. Tokio Hotel is not only in Germany, but in large parts of Europe and also in South America to the teen swarm. You win numerous music prizes.

In 2010, Bill, and Tom Kaulitz, move to Los Angeles. After a four-year break, Tokio Hotel, returns musically. They are currently working on their sixth studio album Melancholic Paradise. Their European tour will start on April 28 in London. In Germany, they perform in Cologne (April 30), Munich (May 19), Berlin (May 25) and Frankfurt (May 26). All dates on: tokiohotel.com

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