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24/10/2017

(23.10.2010)

Twin Photos

Tom's Photos Twin Photos Bill's Photos

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Bill and Tom Kaulitz
were already rebelling with fashion against gender stereotypes as teenagers

Suddenly the questions came whether I am now a boy or a girl, with whom I sleep, and whether I am gay or not, I was, of course, overwhelmed because I was only 15 or 16.”

It is now twelve years since Tokio Hotel have released their hit Through the Monsoon. 2005, that was a year where R’n’B stars such as Mario, girl groups like the Pussycat Dolls, boy-bands like US5 or singers like Yvonne Catterfeld dominated the charts and the mainstream. A musical parade of heteronormativity. But then came Tokio Hotel. To the confusion of their parents, all the teenagers were suddenly hanging on posters, with painted boy on one side, and a visibly unconscious, masculine boy on the other. They were twins and only 15 years old.

Bill and Tom Kaulitz were already at the young age in the spotlight, where they had to justify themselves for everything: the Klamottenstil, Bill‘s love for women’s make-up and the sexuality. That they did not fit into the pop clichés and drawers of the mass did not harm their success. Nevertheless, they had to endure discussions and demonstrations by people who had been attacked by the ease and appearance of the Tokio Hotel Brothers. You may think of your music as you want, but the twins have always stood for what and who they wanted to be. Especially through fashion, they could claim this freedom as a teenager. We’ve talked to them about this time, and why Bill is in the new video dressed as a woman.

What is the significance of fashion in your life?

Bill: A great one. Fashion is a feeling of life and a freedom for me. It affects my whole life. My day starts differently when I wear something specific. With fashion you can stimulate and influence your mind. I have the most money in my wardrobe – actually a bad investment, but I just enjoy it.
Tom: It’s a bad investment.
Bill: Fashion is actually worth nothing.

If you feel good, it is a good investment.

Bill: Emotional is good, but purely financially, it is the dumbest thing you can do.
Tom: It’s a bit different for me. I think it’s important, but it’s all about a sense of life. You are always influenced by cities, places and its surroundings, and so the style changes. Nevertheless, it is not as important to me as for Bill. With me it is much faster and I am much simpler.

Bill, you’ve already made yourself up relatively early. When did you realize that as a boy it is OK to wear makeup?

Bill: I was confronted early on how shit people find that. Of course this started at school, but at that time I was never really aware of the importance. When we were successful, of course, this became much more important. Suddenly, questions came as to whether I am now a boy or a girl, with whom I sleep, and whether I am gay or not, and so on. I was, of course, overburdened because I was only 15 or 16. For me it was much less important, always. I did it with such ease and did not really know what I was doing with it.

What did you trigger?

(13.10.2017)

Bill Kaulitz:
This was our chance to tell our own story and make things clear.”

‘ich muss durch den monsun, hinter die welt’‚ these are the lines that made Bill Kaulitz and his band Tokio Hotel famous in 2005. At the same time producer Oliver Schwabe started to recognize Tokio Hotel and was fascinated by them: “what I really found interesting was that Bill combined all codes from subcultures, while he as person took place in mainstream media.”

Guided by this fascination Oliver Schwabe tried to get in contact with the band. But he failed due to the success and high demand for Tokio Hotel: “I was working on a movie at this time and I tried to reach out to you [Bill]. But I wasn’t able to get in contact.”

Today, 12 years later, Oliver Schwabe and Tokio Hotel made the documentary Hinter die Welt (engl. title: beyond the world), which premiered at the Film festival Cologne. In the context of the lecture Beuys will be Beuys Bill Kaulitz and Oliver Schwabe talked about how they build mutual trust, about the developing process and how they used the movie to portrait the band.

Stop talking. Just come over!

Oliver Schwabe filmed Tokio Hotel during the past two years on their world tours, in the studio and in their very own environment. When they started talking about working together, Bill invited Oliver: “we had skype-sessions and then Bill suddenly told me: “stop talking. Just come over. Then you’ll see what’s possible“. Then I flew directly to Mexico. I arrived at night and I went back to the airport, at 6am in the morning, to see the band arriving.‘
The teaser of Hinter die Welt shows what Oliver Schwabe experienced in this moment:

Bill Kaulitz: “It always felt like we’re in this together.”

For Tokio Hotel it was really clear early on that they wanted to do the documentary: “we knew that working with Oliver would be a team work. It always felt like we’re in this together. We wanted to do the movie because there are some misunderstandings. People kept talking about things. This was our chance to tell our own story and make things clear.”
Oliver Schwabe was aware that it’s not always easy to let a stranger into your own world, since he already dived into a lot of different world for other documentaries he produced. That’s why he offered Tokio Hotel to let them do the final inspection of the movie, with this agreement Oliver was able to build trust, while the team of Schwabe was critical about it: “my colleagues told me ‘are you nuts?’ when they heard about my agreement with the band.”

But the agreement of the final inspection gave Bill Kaulitz the feeling that he could let himself completely sink into the movie: “this was the final moment to say: ok, let’s do this. If it turns out crap, then that’s how it is. But if it won’t turn out crap, we will have a really good movie. And I believe we do have a really good movie.

Another challenge Schwabe had to deal with was diving into the Tokio Hotel world while he accompanied the band at their feel it all tour in Russia in 2015. Not only to walk into their world, but to deeply dive into it and become a part of the world itself. Schwabe revealed that he not only met Tokio Hotel, when he started to film, he met a whole family instead. A family which was built over years to have the strength to master the past and very difficult situations. This is how he dealt with it: “when you meet them, you just burst into a family. It then takes a while, until you’re allowed to say something there. But I just waited. I waited until my time came.”

“This is like Peter Pan, like in a fairytale. You can see it in their eyes!”

After Schwabe became a part of the Tokio Hotel world, he continued to accompany the band to their Dream Machine tour in Cologne, Paris and Russia. In Russia Schwabe was especially inspired by the contrast between the country and the band: “that’s why I wanted to go to Russia again. It made a lot of sense to me to film there. For example in Novosibirsk where everything seems to be grey and where it’s still snowing even though it’s almost May. And then they come into the venue and it’s like Peter Pan, like in a fairy-tale. You can see it in their [fans] eyes! It’s a promise of a different world and this makes so much sense to me.”

Schwabe portraits not only the contrast of the different environments around the band, which are taking place in Magdeburg and Los Angeles. He also manages to show the opposition of the environment of the fans and how this suddenly changes when they see and meet Tokio Hotel. He produced a documentary in which he highlights not only the world beyond Tokio Hotel, but also different aspects, backgrounds and environments, by using impressive pictures of the different worlds. But the movie doesn’t only look at the band itself. He also takes a look at the band members. Gustav and Georg, which usually like to be in the background, talked about how they felt when Bill and Tom left Germany and what they thought about the mandatory break. Besides this Gustav and Georg visited Tokio-Hotel-wise historical places in their hometown Magdeburg, like the Gröninger Bad or their first rehearsal space. This way Schwabe succeeded to show one more world: the history of Tokio Hotel, which completes itself through memories and narrations of Gustav and Georg.

Part 2: looking behind Tokio Hotel. Bill Kaulitz talks about the Tokio Hotel band members,
what he’s frightened about and about being self-confident
.

(02.10.2017)

Tokio Hotel: “We really don’t want to put up with music industry bullshit

Earlier this year, consistent German quartet Tokio Hotel put out the fresh and divisive Dream Machine. Having billed it as their most ambitious and daring record to date, frontman Bill Kaulitz and his men trekked the world in pursuit of putting on the perfect live show, one which complemented the new music as pristine as possible. We called up Kaulitz to discuss the record, its live show and where on earth they’ll go next.

Hey Bill. How are you doing?

I’m good, thank you! How are you?

I’m good too, thanks! Your most recent studio album, Dream Machine, came out this year. Can you tell me more about how you approached it, particularly in comparison to previous records?

On this album we were far freer to do whatever we wanted. We didn’t to talk to any record labels or management companies, and we cut out everyone along the way, producers included. We wanted to go back to the basics and just rely on our instincts to create something that made us happy. Tom (Kaulitz) and I went into the studio to write the first demos, and then we spent a full year recording it. We did everything on our own, and nobody else was involved. It was the first time that we’d done it like this, and it ended up being the album we always wanted to write. Afterwards, we played it to people to see who wanted to be involved, and who our best partner could be. We did it the other way round, basically. We were super happy with Dream Machine, and I’m personally still very excited about it.

After you finished the album, you switched from Universal Music to Starwatch. How did that come about?

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Filed Under: Bill-InterestingInterviews

(16.06.2006)

We chatted with Tokio Hotel about drugs, sex and German music

I want to be honest: I’m not a big fan of artist interviews. This is ultimately due to the fact that you never actually experience anything new. Usually the pure boredom prevails, the artists try not to be at all entertaining and wind up their answers automatically. “The recordings were very special, the songs are really coming from the bottom of my heart and the album is the best we have ever done!” Everything is clear, thank you, bye.

Of course, it is up to us to get the right condiments to us and to spit exciting information, but many artists are resistant for a long time. In the end you have an interview, which at most 50 years old.

When the request for an interview with Tokio Hotel came, my otherwise imperturbable pessimism disappeared quite quickly. Tokio Hotel, this is the band you really do not really know what it is doing; who, over a decade ago, brought with middle-aged Rock song fans to wine and French to learn German and who were always easily ridiculed.

“Haha, Tokio Hotel, nee, the shit I’ve never heard! Do not understand why they were so successful! And what are they doing right now?” An interview with the band, which did not bother any longer with Germany and moved to L.A., could be interesting! So what happened at Tokio Hotel? How have they changed? How has their music changed?

The last one I can answer directly: For about half a year their album “Dream Machine” has been out – and it has nothing in common with the teen skirt from earlier days. Today, Tokio Hotel make synth pop, which clearly hits the 80s. Now that this decade is being celebrated again, not such bad idea – and I must say: That does not even sound so bad! I would not have thought that I would ever say it ironically. So, as I walked across this bridge, I am ready for the interview with Bill, Tom, Georg, Gustav – and two huge dogs that are in the room.

I come directly to speak of the current album “Dream Machine”, which I really liked! With this album you are away from the major label, they have completely produced themselves, made all the decisions. Was that a kind of liberation blow?

Bill: Yeah, I’d say. We did not have to work with anyone for the first time. Before that, there were still producers with whom we had to write and produce, and now it was the first time that we really had nothing left to do. We did not want to sign a contract in advance, but rather concentrate on the music first, then only to find a record company, which is then also really cool. We wanted to make music that we find very good and with which we are consistently happy, and then only to bring people on board who feel the same for it …

Tom: … and not just from the start with a strategy come from “guys, you have to do this, this and that!”, But only hear what we want to do and then tell us whether they find it cool or not ,

Bill: “Starwatch” found it then the hottest, so we decided for that. You can already feel the experience and self-confidence that you have accumulated over the years. You now know what you want.

Bill: We went back a bit to where we started, long before “Through the monsoon.” We have already written the music ourselves and have performed with it. If, of course, some other people also join in, so the hobby becomes a profession, then one loses between the fast and sometimes the essence of the whole. We do what we do, yes, because we like to write music and stand on the stage. Tom produces and likes to write, so we have put ourselves in a studio and just looked at how it goes on its own. It went well, we were all happy with it and so we did not bring any other writers or producers.

The album is called “Dream Machine” – in it you are talking about dipping into a dream world, which is-removing from reality. Is not reality enough for you?

(28.09.2017)

Emoji interview with Bill Kaulitz
Hand up

The Tokio Hotel singer about school, makeup and Los Angeles.
And all this without words

At 16, Bill Kaulitz became a superstar as a singer of Tokio Hotel. He toured around the world, twisted boys and girls heads, his apartment was besieged by stalkers.
Today, he lives in L.A., is modeling, and has released the new album “Dream Machine” with Tokio Hotel in spring.

On an intermediate stop in Berlin we catch him on the phone with WhatsApp. He does not have much time, but he does not have to type much anyway: he can only answer our questions with Emojis.

CLICK to READ CLICK to READ CLICK to READ

daily.spiegel.de

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.

www.lofficiel-hommes.de



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(05.05.2017)

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.

(09.03.2017)

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.

www.ok-magazin.de

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Filed Under: Bill-InterestingInterviews