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Tokio Hotel return as the Kings of Suburbia

Today marks the official US release of Kings of Suburbia, the new album from my favorite men of Magdeburg, Tokio Hotel. Five years since their last release, Kings of Suburbia brings Tokio Hotel to the forefront with a new look, a current sound, and a fresh take on what makes Tokio Hotel tick.

Lead-up to the album began with the release of 3 videos for the songs “Run, Run, Run”, “Girl Got a Gun”, and “Love Who Loves You Back”. Each shows a very different take on the album and I think that was a wise move on their part. Tokio Hotel have really stretched their range on this album and the first 3 releases were proof of just how varied this album was going to be. Ok…I’ll admit it.”Girl Got a Gun” really threw me for a loop as a long time fan and it was with a hint of trepidation that I hit the “Buy Album” button on iTunes last week with the early release. My fears, however, were put to rest from the first beat. (And yes…even “Girl Got a Gun” has grown on me and dare I say…I may even like it! I think it‘s Gustav‘s drums, but don‘t tell anyone I said so.)

“Feel It All” is the first track on the album and lays down the dance floor anthem feel for the rest of the album. This is a song to throw your arms up in the air and let go to. The electronics continue with “Stormy Weather” and I have to say, two songs in and I was already in love with this album. No, this is not the pop/rock sound that old Tokio Hotel fans are used to, or even the beginnings of the more electronic sounds we heard in their last release, Humanoid. The influence of the LA night club scene and EDM is apparent and guess what? I’m ok with that! The dance floor drama continues throughout the album with songs like “Covered in Gold” and “We Found Us”, both of which find me turning up the volume and laying down the moves.

What would a Tokio Hotel album be without a sultry ballad or two? Kings of Suburbia delivers two such songs in “Run, Run, Run” and “Invaded”. Lyrics of longing is what Bill is known for and neither of these songs disappoint. I love the fact that both songs really show that even stripped down, the guys are stretching their creative muscles and exploring new territory while still giving us that yearning we have loved them for since “Rette Mich”. Both songs are, in a word, perfection, and tear at the heart in all the right places.

Songs like “Never Let You Down” and the title track, “Kings of Suburbia” bring back some of that old Tokio Hotel sound while still remaining true to the sound of the new album. It just goes to show that change and growth doesn’t have to mean complete reinvention, but rather an incorporation of what was and what is to come.

“Love Who Loves You Back” is the clear hit single from the album and is a song I could certainly hear playing all over the airwaves right now. While the ballads clearly tickle at the heartstrings, this song, combined with a too sexy for words video, hits a little further below the belt. *nudge, nudge, wink, wink* The production on this song is impeccable and widely appealing with influences from disco, to 80’s pop/synth, to the current alternative sounds. This is my new earworm. I’m not complaining.

Fifteen songs in on the Deluxe edition; I’m hooked and hitting replay. To the people who thought Tokio Hotel were some teeny-bopper band who would disappear after their first fifteen minutes, those days are gone and these guys have done nothing if not prove that they are here to stay without relying on the past. I dare you to try the new album and see for yourselves. To fans who want the old sound back, I wouldn’t hold my breath, but give this one a chance! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. I, for one, am proud of how far “my boys” have come and can’t wait to see how far they will go.

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It happened! After 9 years of being a fan of Tokio Hotel I was able to meet with the band.

Photos, autographs, meeting face to face and … interview. How did this come about? Tokio Hotel after a few years break (their last album was released in the fall of 2009) return to the game. On the occasion of the release of the new album Kings of Suburbia on October 2nd a press conference in Berlin in the cinema Babylon was organized. With the help of Universal Music Germany and the Polish branch of the label I was able to get accreditation for this event. In parallel for a period of about 2 weeks before this event sustainable arrangements for the interview. When I received the first information about the possibility of obtaining this interview for editorial, in which I work, started for me both exciting and stressful period.

Final confirmation was received almost 2 days before the Conference. For this reason, I just had a day on the registration of equipment (camera, microphone), which contrary to appearances, it was not so easy due to the complexities of enterprise, which here not even worth translating. Everything happened instantly and was settled at the last minute-to such an extent that the hardware I received (and I support it) after hours. 16, about an hour and a half before moving to Berlin.

Why do I mention all this? I mean just to save everything as it took place. And I want to remember how much hardship and stress all of this cost me, if only because, to remember always, that it is just worth it. Doubt, weariness, or ordinary fatigue can make us hunt down at any time, but do not give up, because you might find that the purpose of the US is only a small step. ;)

I arrived to Berlin after midnight, several hours before the start of the Conference, which was scheduled to start at noon. I reached the cinema Babylon after 11. Before entering has already collected several journalists and operators of the largest German media and a small group of fans. Event was not made public, but the fans (not only local, but also those who went “in the dark” even from other countries) have to facilitate, in the form of a poster with the name of the band on the front of the cinema. I suspect, too, that some of them became aware of the location of the event through the grapevine from different people that had earlier access to this information. It has allowed them to come to the right place. Fans waiting in front of the entrance is certainly not counted on such good fortune that has befallen them. Organizers decided to admit to all who have gathered in front of the entrance. To recap just the fact that in the official competition, in which the prize was the entrance to the Conference to win were … 3 persons (+ accompanying persons, including 6 people), and finally in the courtroom were taken by dozens of fans (it is difficult to specify an exact number).

The Conference started with a view of the film, which consisted of clips from the recording studio, making of three new music videos and statements of members of the band (or maybe just Bill and Tom) on the new album. Then the loudspeakers have been released 3 songs from Kings of Suburbia. The most I remember traveling In Found Us and just this piece makes me the most with this throughout the day. When they finished the third track on the scene Bill, Tom, Gustav and Georg entered. Posing standing up for photos, I stood at the height of the second or third row of seats, and so very close. The boys finally sat down and started the proper part of the Conference, a series of questions from the gathered journalists. Bill answered most questions. George spoke two times, and Gustav literally spoke one word (‘nein ‘). Well, some things, however, remain unchanged. ;)

The boys behaved very freely, Bill answered very comprehensively, laughed and smiled. Tom in the same way. It was clear that completely came out of practice after a long break from giving interviews. Very nicely on them looked, they were full of energy and good humor – it doesn’t seem to me that this was a forced enthusiasm. Since the impression as if actually really enjoyed that return with new material that can fully subscribe.

After the end of a series of questions and answers, there has been time for the fans. Lined up in a queue for TH in turn would come up to the table, behind which sat the band. Everyone has received autographs and able to take a picture ( 90% of were so-called selfies) with the guys. Those who have been following the actions of the Tokio Hotel knows that this is something totally unprecedented. What’s more, the interference with the protection was virtually imperceptible. There was a time for a custom behavior (some of the female fans sat with the band at their table, one next to them with a small dog, which the boys took on hands, etc.). I for obvious reasons (I appeared there as a journalist, not a fan) only I watched this autograph session and selfies. I found that it would be very unprofessional on my part if I did, knowing that in a few minutes I will stand with them face to face with them at the time of the interview. A moment passed me by the idea that I might be the only chance to photo and autographs, but I decided to keep a cool head.

Before the last fan got to the table, behind which sat the band in the past hour. In addition, I have been informed that our interview, however, will not be the first and the first shall enter into other editors. The whole thing is therefore significantly extended. Besides, it turned out that the interview cannot be shown on cinema, precisely because of this delay. At our disposal was to be rather small and not-so-nice room for backstage relation. Universal Music Japan workers were very polite and helpful, keep us up to date on what and how much time it will take yet. In the end, it’s the moment when we were shown on the outside, where the entrance was on the side of a building behind the scenes. It was there in quite a dingy room had to be interviewed. When we went there we were told that we could all set as we like. In a hurry with my telephone operator we started to connect equipment and verify that everything works. Our rush turned out to be unnecessary, because … the band took a break to eat. Personally, I picked up this negatively, because from the time of their entry into the building it has been already four hours and, after all, are only human. The boys ate behind closed doors in a room next to the room where we were waiting for an interview. Almost all the time I could hear their voices.

At that time I could look around the room. It turned out that he was doing for their wardrobe. The team left your things: clothes, watches, sunglasses, food for the dog (Pumby), cups of coffee, etc. How did it feel to see all these things? More or less, such as if go to the other side of the mirror. Awesome. In the end, the band entered the room. I felt very nice when the boys turn themselves greeted with me giving hand and saying “hi/hello”. It certainly gave me encouragement:) Apart from the fact that it was already Tokio Hotel – this was probably my first interview with the star in another language other than Polish and outside Polish. Giving Bill a microphone, I said that you want to share it and … we started. The interview ran pretty smoothly except for a few situations:

situation # 1 Pumba begins to drink from the Bowl when I ask a question.
situation # 2 Georg fall glasses and momentarily disappears from the frame to lift them.
situation # 3 Pumba begins to lick me on the shoe to the delight of boys. This Bill has seen it, but despite the humor of this situation has kept the seriousness and continued his speech. I hope that editors somehow deal with this advise and interview will come out good in the broadcast.

After the last question I asked the band about saying to the camera something to Polish fans. Well, I just couldn’t refuse to hear live the famous “Hey! We are TOKIO HOTEL!“. We finished the recording, and I asked the guys about a group picture. Then it’s time for autographs and at the end of a series of selfies.

Bill already coming out of the room, but I could still ask about whether he’d do with me this photo. With a large difference in growth (additionally increased by the height of Bill) it was a real challenge, so the pics came out unfortunately quite out of focus. I could ask that he held my Smartphone. ;) I’m sure you’ll notice that I do not have selfie with Gustav. Well, he went unnoticed, probably when I was shooting a photo with one of the guys. I’m not angry because that’s Gustav. ;) The boys turn to bid farewell and went out of the room and we had to just pack up and leave.

To see THe Full Album, click an image ; )

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“We are pleased about the visit today by @tokiohotel in #FRA
and good luck with the new album!” ~ Frankfurt Airport

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Bill Kaulitz unpacking “Kings Of Suburbia“ Super Deluxe

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The former teen idols have a new look and a new sound for their long-awaited fifth album. “Kings of Suburbia” has unleashed a huge debate among the “Aliens,” as their global fan following is known. Will the Magdeburg band’s comeback be a successful one?

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