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(April, 2008)

A rule for journalists says that interviewing an 18-year-old is as reasonable as milking a stone. But it’s different with Bill Kaulitz. His first kiss or the addiction to fame: the teen star who is often incorrectally labeled as gay, talks more eloquent than most of the German showbiz veterans.

VANITY FAIR met Bill shortly before his surgery and had e-mail contact with him after the surgery.

VF: Mister Kaulitz, how do you feel after the surgery of your vocal cords?

Bill: Well, just how you feel after someone shoved a metal rail down your throat while you were under general anesthesia, to cut something off of your vocal cords. Everybody knows this feeling. I’m really glad I’m over and done with this. But I’m still scared about my voice and I feel bad for the canceled concerts.

VF: For how long will you have to rest?

Bill: I’m not allowed to speak for 12 days after the surgery. After that I have to do four weeks of rehabilitation. I can’t wait for this.

VF: Let’s talk about the beginnings. It’s said that creativity feeds from the memory of hurt and mortification. What was yours?

Bill: The thing that hurt me most was the divorce of my parents. I was seven years old and I didn’t understand it. It influenced me a lot. There’s a song about it on our first album. It’s called  “Gegen meinen Willen“.

VF: We know that your stepfather Gordon Trümper is a guitar teacher. What is your biological father doing?

Bill: He’s a truck driver and lives in Hanover.

VF: When you were 8 years old, your family moved from Magdeburg to Loitsche, where only 700 people live. How did you experience this move?

Bill: I felt terrible, because I’m not a country-type at all. You can imagine how Tom and I stood out. They looked at us like we were some aliens who are completely nuts. School was terrible too. I had to get up at half past five every morning, to catch the bus to Wolmirstedt, and wasn’t home before half past four. How I hated this! And always the same faces at school. It was the worst time of my life.

VF: How did the teachers react to the brothers Kaulitz?

Bill: Tom and I were always together until 7th grade. Then we were parted as punishment. It was a real slap in the face which really influenced us. Until then we did everything together. We’re identical twins and really close. Of course we fought the disciplinary transfer, but the teachers said that they wouldn’t be able to stand up to us because we were both bigmouths. I wasn’t somebody who raised his finger and then talked in a hushed voice. I always shouted. My mum was called to school every second day.

VF: It was your specialty to appeal class tests if those weren’t given back to you in due time. Where did you get this know-how from?

Bill: I always knew that I don’t need the school, because I’d be a singer. Because the teachers annoyed me to no end, I studied my rights. I knew what they were allowed to do and what not. I sometimes had a teacher that was completely awful. Some of them didn’t want to sayGood dayto me because my hair was styled up and my fingernails were painted black. They said that I couldn’t go to school like that. One of them didn’t want to teach me because I look like I look. He said things likeYour head isn’t only for nice hair.” I was an anti-pupil and did not put up with any of this.

VF: How were your marks?

Bill: Great. I always had a grade point average of 1,8. That’s what annoyed the teachers most.

VF: Were the teachers able to hurt you?

Bill: Not at all. I wasn’t a sick freak, chewing on my nails. I was very self-confident. I went to school like this because I knew everyone would look and the teachers would talk about it. I enjoyed this. I wanted to attract attention with my styling. The people were supposed to talk about me.

VF: A short time ago, you finished secondary school via correspondence school. How important is it to be able to differ omelette from Hamlet?

Bill: Well, one should be able to tell the difference. But the school system is too less individual. Why should I study maths when I know that I will never ever need it again in my life? I dropped music in 8th grade. Everyone was dumbfounded. But we only learned the CVs of some people by heart – zero inspiration. I always got bad grades for singing because we had to warble folk songs. It was horror!

VF: Does the old cliché, that music was the ticket to escape the melancholy of the province, apply to you?

Bill: Yes. I always thought: I just have to get away from this jerkwater town, where everyone knows everyone! The worst thing for me is everyday life. I hate everyday life. That’s why Tokio Hotel is the right thing for me. Every day is different: new cities, new people.

VF: Thanks to paparazzi and so-called reader reporter, you’re now on a watch 24/7. Is this impertinence or completion?

Bill: When I was a little boy, I always imagined how everything I do is being recorded by cameras and how this is going out to the world. I wanted boundless attention. Now I achieved it. How can I be annoyed by this?

VF: Will someone ever be as important to you as Tom is?

Bill: No. It tops everything. I couldn’t imagine a life without Tom. One can’t describe how close we are to each other. It’s something extrasensory. We often have the same thoughts and dream the same things. We actually don’t have to talk to each other anymore.

VF: Many identical twins sense their symbiosis as a torture and provide murderous sceneries.

Bill: We argue of course. And if we have an argument, it’s bad. We attack each other and punch each other. One year ago we attacked each other with chairs in a hotel room. But we don’t bear a grudge. We slam the doors, one of us disappears and ten minutes later we talk to each other again.

VF: Who’s closer to you: the natural Bill or the painted one?

Bill: Definitely the painted one. the natural Bill is like a masquerade to me. I would also walk around like this if I wouldn’t be famous. It totally belongs to me.

VF: Who sees you in your original state?

Bill: My family. And that’s it.

VF: Famous kids are the most corruptive species of artists, because they destroy themselves the older they get. Will you perform a fall from time to time, to keep your image interesting?

Bill: It’s definitely good to show that you’re not perfect. But I don’t stress about this. To plan something like that so that your fans don’t run away, is bad. What I hated from the beginning, were older bands or some people of record labels who wanted to explain to me how this works. There’s no such thing as advice! In our first meethings with the record label, they wanted to give us a stylist who was supposed to work on our appearance. I still don’t have a stylist who tells me what to wear. It would constrict me. We also decide about every concert and every contract by ourselves, because I think it’s really bad not to be self-determined.

VF: Who is allowed to say no to you?

Bill: Job-related: no one. Neither the management nor the record label. The only ones I’m still listening to are my best friends and my family. My mum can tell me:Bill, that’s sick!and I’d think about it.

VF: Do your parents still try to parent you?

Bill: I have to say, our mum never really did this. Doing homework was optional. She left us free space but always watched over us. There’s a huge confidence between us. We are like friends. There’s really nothing I wouldn’t tell my mum. And I never had a secret she didn’t know about. When I came home drunk for the first time, she said what she thought about it, but I didn’t need to be afraid of her.

VF: Does your mum ask you to leave your hair at least on chistmas alone?

Bill: No. She really doesn’t care. I colored my hair for the first time when I was 9 years old. They were alternating between green, blue, white and black. I got my eyebrow piercing when I was 13. She was really laid-back.

VF: About 200 female teenager collapse from ecstasy during your concerts, they hold up posters with slogans like “F*** me through the monsoon”. How does it feel to know that millions of girls project their sprouting sexual fantasies onto you?

Bill: I don’t think about it much, to be honest. Sometimes we look at each other and have to laugh because we just can’t imagine that someone has one of our posters on their walls. But I always thought it would be cool to hang at someones wall. In the past, I often sat in my room, thinking about what my idol Nena is doing, where she is and what she’s thinking. I can’t quite believe that other people now sit in their rooms and think about me. To me, I’m so normal, we are so unspecial to each other. We are oblivious to ourselves.

VF: How often do you think about yourself in third person?

Bill: Sometimes. But accidentally. When I’m unmotivated to do something, I think: Bill should do it nonetheless, because it’s good for the band.

VF: Your aplomb appearance in public appears to be eldrich for some people. Is there a difference between the character Bill and the real Bill?

Bill: You keep some things to yourself. But apart from that, there are no great differences perforce. The last three years were a run without break. There wasn’t a cut when you arrived somewhere and had some private time. Even on tour we had cameras all around us, 24 hours a day. How can you experience something that not everyone knows about only a few hours later? But that’s what I always wanted. Thus I have to cope with it.

VF: Those we envy rarely feel enviable. What’s the most annoying about being Bill?

Bill: The main problem of people like me is to trust. It’s hard for me to believe someone and let myself go. During the past years I didn’t make any new friends and I didn’t fall in love. When I meet someone, I’m really careful and skeptic and ask myself: What’s behind this? One unfortunately often meets people who turn out to be weird or tell something to the press. If I wouldn’t be this famous, I would have probably fallen in love with someone I know a long time ago.

VF: Who betrayed your trust the worst?

Bill: I never let myself go so far that someone would have been able to do that. I wear a shield. To go out and get to know someone without telling someone beforehand is the biggest thing you have to forgo. Still, my current life is what I always wanted.

VF: Is the problem of trust the reason why stars often hook up with stars?

Bill: Yes. Angelina Jolie doesn’t have to worry that Brad Pitt only uses her for becoming famous. A celebrity prefers someone who has the same life and is into this lifestyle as well. My girlfriends never understood why I went to our rehearsal room right after school and why I preferred to perform in clubs at the weekend, instead of sitting in front of the TV with them. Of course it’s so much more difficult today. Who wants to live this life with you? And of course the person would also have to understand that you can’t just get out of this life.

VF: When were you last in love?

Bill: Three and a half years ago. I haven’t found the one big love. I don’t think everbody finds it. And if so, only once. In my situation, I would need much luck to find it.

VF: With 18 years, don’t you prefer to make out endlessly anyway?

Bill: I don’t know. Precisely because of this life I would prefer to find the one big love instead of making out. I want to share my little time with someone I know about: This is the one!

VF: Did you already say “I love you” to a girl?

Bill: Yes. But I didn’t mean it. I should have said  “I like you.” The older I get, the more serious I take those differences. Tom probably always saysI love youto a girl to get her into bed.

VF: Do you compete for the same girls?

Bill: We like the same type. And our girlfriends were always friends with each other. It was godawful, cause they did always gang up on us. Our first kiss happened with the same girl. Tom was first. The day after that, she started kissing me. Then we were both over and done with it. Oh god, we thought it was shit – as awful as the first kiss is.

VF: How old were you back then?

Bill: Eleven. She was three years older and experienced.

VF: When had Tom his first sex?

Bill: He was 14, if I remember correctly.

VF: It’s said that Tom goes through women like there’s no tomorrow.

Bill: I let him do whatever he wants. That he has the nerve to get someone else every night. I wouldn’t fancy this. But we were always different when it came to that.

VF: Your colleague Robbie Williams once told us that there are two kinds of groupies in Germany. One kind wants to take a photo during the sex to have a proof to show their friends. The other kind would ask “Robbie, are you sure your feelings for me are real?” during the sex.

Bill: Tom also tells me this. Since we’re on the road so much, I didn’t take anyone to my bed. It disgusts me, to have someone I don’t even know in my bed every night. I didn’t reach this point yet. I wouldn’t have the confidence to take a girl up to my room for one night. The only private thing you have while on tour, is your hotel room. And to let someone sleep there for one night – no, I’d be really skeptic.

VF: Did you already have sex?

Bill: I want this to be my secret.

VF: Does it surprise you that some people think you’re gay?

Bill: Not at all. Most of them have this cliché way of thinking: make-up plus styled hair equals gay. I wanted to set this statement, that this is not the case. Everyone can do what he wants. One thing doesn’t necessarily have to do with the other.

VF: What would you do if you were a girl for one day?

Bill: I’d definitely not hook up with my brother.

VF: But?

Bill: Oh my god, what would I do? Probably the same as I do now, cause I don’t tell it apart.

VF: What would you like to forbid girls?

Bill: Not being jealous, because jealousy is very important. When I’m in love I immediately claim everything and don’t let go anymore. It would drive me crazy if my girlfriend would tell me: “Bill, I don’t care about all those screaming girls. I totally trust you.”

VF: Were you ever deceived?

Bill: No. I also never deceived someone. Faithfulness is the most important thing for me.

VF: How did you annoy your girlfriends?

Bill: I speak really loud. The whole day. And always with hands and feet. And I never let people talk. Everyone’s annoyed by that.

VF: Which is harder: loving someone else or loving oneself?

Bill: Oneself. It’s really hard to stand by everything you are. There are incredibly many moments in which I’m insecure and would love to dig a hole to crawl in, pull a blanket over myself and stay there for a year. Sometimes I’m glad we’re in this rush and have one concert after the other, this way you don’t have time to think much. You just don’t have time for loneliness.

VF: Can you still live without a celeb-sitter?

Bill: I can’t just go to the bakery. So of course someone else does this. But I’m still suitable for daily use, because my problem is that I’m incredibly perfectionist. I can’t let other people do things. It’s abnormal – and gets worse. Everything has to be fixed into detail, cause I need to know exactly what’s coming up. Or else I go crazy. Tom’s also this stressed out. Although we pay so many people to relieve us of some things. But we created all this, so it’s hard for us when other people lay hand on Tokio Hotel.

VF: Do you also control your finances yourself?

Bill: Yes. I already did this when I was 13. I have access to all accounts and control this just like I control my career.

VF: Do you know how many millions you’ve got?  A woman with clipboard from the record label shouts from the background: “No talk about money!”

VF: When will you buy your parents a villa?

Bill: As soon as I can afford it. I definitely want to live together with my parents. We’re so close, I wouldn’t think of it being a strain. There are no limits where I’d say: “Oh my god, now please go out.”

VF: Let’s assume that you’ll be kidnapped. What would be a reasonable amount for a ransom?

Bill: As much as all my friends could get together. Of course they should get their money back in the end.

VF: What do you think about the fall of Britney Spears?

Bill: I can understand how something like that can happen, because I live the same life. Other people probably think: “She has money, she achieved everything, why doesn’t she just relax?I couldn’t imagine myself being a solo artist and to be alone on the road all the time. I don’t trust myself to carry this huge pressure alone.

VF: Madonna said in 1991: “I will only be happy when I’m as famous as god.” Are you congenial?

Bill: Of course it’s a funny statement. But I can totally understand it, cause there’s no stop. You don’t just say: “Well, now I’m famous in Germany and that’s enough.” You aspire to be everywhere as succesful as possible. Even if I’d be immensely wealthy and would own my own island, I’d still go on. It’s right: Fame is a drug. The detox would be a blow, I would hardly be able to handle.

VF: If drugs weren’t illegal: which would you like to try?

Bill: Something relaxing that leads to me not needing to control everything anymore.

VF: Are you a star in your dreams?

Bill: I once had a nightmare: I lie in bed, in a room made of glass and all around me are photographers, who take tons of pictures of me. I say to our team: “Shit, shit, can’t you just get them out of here?But one guy says: “No, I can’t do that. You’ve got an appointment and you overslept.” But I never missed an appointment. I always have three alarm clocks, so that I don’t oversleep. And I’m never unpunctual.

VF: Why did no one ever see you dance?

Bill: I never dance. I just sit in the corner – unless I’m really drunk. I do it then. I think, dancing is a girls-thing. Even though is might sound chavvy: Only girls have to dance everywhere.

VF: Do you somethimes think about your own funeral?

Bill: I have to say: Yes. My friends, who are the same age as me, also think about it. You imagine who would be there and who would really cry for you.

VF: Which music should be played at your burial?

Bill: “Magic Dance” of David Bowie from the movie “Labyrinth”. It’s a really funny song and “Labyrinth” is a movie from my childhood and I still love it to pieces.

VF: What will you wear in your coffin?

Bill: I wear everything black and a leather jacket. My last will would definitley be that my hair is styled. I’ll hopefully have enough hair left. If not, someone should definitely put a wig on my head.

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Filed Under: Bill Kaulitz

2 Responses to “Bill with Vanity Fair”

  1. pattyizamuzicfreak says:

    BK: I wear everything black and a leather jacket. My last will would definitley be that my hair is styled. I’ll hopefully have enough hair left. If not, someone should definitely put a wig on my head.
    this makes me laugh every time i read it:))

  2. panictomyheart says:

    wow. he was really honest in the interview, or at least it seems that way. amazing.

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