Doing some renovations wiTHin my Site. If you find someTHing not working, or missing, or jus', not right, feel free to ask me about it

(31.07.2018)

Berlin & Hamburg

Band Photos

“Tokio Hotel shoot! Unbelievably exciting filming in Berlin & Hamburg for the new Docu! Unbelievable what stories the boys tell. More in the documentary soon. We are excited! Very sympathetic, charismatic, creative types!” ~ Clemens Bittner (Filmmaker)

Tom's Photos Twin Photos Bill's Photos

24/10/2017

(23.10.2010)

Twin Photos

Tom's Photos Twin Photos Bill's Photos

To see photo sets, click an image

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
.

(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?