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L’Officiel Hommes
No 02-Sommer 2 017

Young hero – and legend.
No German before him looks back at such a career at the age of 27.
Bill Kaulitz, a pop nomad, roaming between Berlin and Los Angeles.
A conversation about his life and the search for meaning

Patience is the first word that comes to mind when I see Bill Kaulitz sitting in the studio. It is just being painted. Lace knees stuck out of the jeans with holes out. He is rolled up, you see naked fetters. At his feet is a brown and white piebald bulldog: “This is Pumba. He did not want to get up today.” Bill‘s voice is warm and open.

“Have you had him long?” I ask and sit down in front of the hair equipment. I know that Pumba is in the hit list of the sweetest celebrity pets. On Instagram there is a whole gallery with pictures of the two cuddling. And he also got his own video for his first birthday.

Three years. I got it at eight weeks. He is so sweet & kind, so full of love. Sometimes he sits there and looks deeply into my eyes, which is like a ‘Hug’. ”

Bill is talking about tattoos with the make-up artist. That they fade after a few years, especially the black. She also has one thing on hand. A chain with cross dangling above it. He shows her his hands and his forearm: Freedom stands there. With flourishes. A reference to his mother. When she was pregnant with the twins, the wall was still standing. Bill closes his eyes, leans back. The make-up artist dabs his face with a paste from Bobbi Brown. “Do you need anything more?” She asks.
Bill looks up, “No, everything else fits.” He gets up, bends closer to the mirror, is now tugging at his hair. Every single strand is wise.

Read the full title story in the latest issue of L’Officiel Hommes Germany.

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Tokio Hotel: Back with a Bang
The German band return with a new electro-pop identity on their hard-won magnum opus, ‘Dream Machine’

It’s easy to forget that Tokio Hotel are somewhat of a veteran band. The German pop-rock quartet’s looks belie their experience of 16 years and 10 million records sold worldwide. Currently on tour to support their fifth studio album Dream Machine, the band’s schedule is tight but they are thrilled to be back on the road.

The tour has been great so far. It was the 22nd show today—and no major f*ck-ups,” says frontman Bill Kaulitz with a smile over Skype from Warsaw, Poland. The band are in the European leg of the tour and will head to Russia the next day. “We had so much fun. I think we’ve never been happier onstage.” Bill’s twin brother and the band’s lead guitarist Tom sits beside him while bassist Georg Listing is a silent but cheerful presence nearby. Drummer Gustav Schäfer stays out of the frame save for a quick ‘Thank you!’ when we congratulate him on the birth of his daughter.

Tokio Hotel’s shows on this tour are more intimate and artistic, designed to match the band’s new retro-synth sound on Dream Machine and help them connect more with the audience. However, as the conversation progresses, it becomes clear that the excitement around the record and touring was hard won; “With Humanoid and the last period of that time, we just weren’t engaged with what we did,” Kaulitz recalls about the exhausting tour for 2009’s Humanoid album. “It was more like a job, something we had to do and we weren’t passionate about it as much.” This led to the band’s infamous five-year hiatus. Usually considered career-suicide for most, the break helped the band build the bones of their current identity. While their big comeback with 2014’s Kings of Suburbia opened the gates to change, Tokio Hotel embraced it fully only on Dream Machine. Released in March, the album brims with mature lyricism, retro-synth and echoing falsettos, all wrapped up in glimmering, crisp production. All in all, it’s a more immersive experience than anything the band has done before.

Bill Kaulitz: “If you like a band once, you just want them to stay the same. But as an artist, as a musician, that’s impossible.”

In this exclusive interview, Tokio Hotel discuss their evolution, taking control of their own music and the journey to their magnum opus.


Bill Kaulitz: “The move to L.A. has saved us
The front man of Tokio Hotel talks about the dark sides of fame”

Bill Kaulitz, 27, and his guys from Tokio Hotel have brought out their new album “Dream Machine”, and the accompanying tour is already in the starting gates. Meanwhile, Bill, Tom, Gustav and George are grown up and can deal with the success, but that was once different. In the Talk-show interview by Markus Lanz, Frontman Bill talks about the beginnings of the band and that he was partly very afraid.

Bill Kaulitz talks about the beginnings of Tokio Hotel

Bill Kaulitz and his band Tokio Hotel were almost famous overnight and suddenly filled large concert halls. At that time the twins Bill and Tom were only 15 years old – today – 12 years later Bill at “Markus Lanz” talks about the first time of their fame.

We moved out at 15. I rented a loft from my first advance.”

Bill Kaulitz: “We have built a small prison

After a while, they had to leave their first place after fans had rendezvoused around and had followed them.

We built a small prison outside of Hamburg. So with two-meter fence and so. We had a nice house with a garden, but we could not get out. ”

In front of the guarded gateway to the house stood “always 50 to 100 people” as Bill explained. The real moment of the realization that they actually no longer have a private life came however much later. “With 19/20 we have only realized, crass, we can actually do nothing“, said Bill in the interview. The situation worsened as the fans broke into the house.

“We just saved ourselves. This was no longer possible. They then somehow broke into the house. And we thought before we move again … ”

Escape to Los Angeles

Bill and Tom then rented a house away from Germany in Los Angeles and took flight. To date, the twins have not regretted this decision:

I would always do that again. That saved us.”

And with their new album, the guys from Tokio Hotel will soon visit their German fans again.

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Tokio Hotel: One-time teen idols in Batschkapp

Frankfurt – What hysteria in girls’ hearts: When Tokio Hotel’s “Through the monsoon”, hit the charts in 2005. Millions of wins and criticism pattered on them. On Friday their fifth studio album “Dream Machine” will be released. By Enrico Sauda

On 16 March, the boys come to Frankfurt’s Batschkapp. We were talking. Bill and Tom Kaulitz about their new uncompromisingness.

They know a lot of cities from their tours. What do you like about Frankfurt?

Bill: The airport. The has a great smoking area.

Tom: When I am in Germany, Frankfurt is always the first city I reach. Of course I do not see anything. But we have friends in Frankfurt who always come to our concerts.

Festhalle, Gibson, now Batschkapp – how is that from big halls to smaller?