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Tokio Hotel Revisit “Monsoon” 15 Years Later

When Tokio Hotel debuted with Schrei in 2005, singer Bill Kaulitz and twin brother, guitarist Tom were 15, while bassist Georg Listing and drummer Gustav Schäfer barely hit the 18 mark. It seems like a lifetime ago since those early teen years, and a non-stop ride of touring and concocting their own blend of alt-rock turned more sonic-pop as the years moved on. When the German rockers had to cut their Latin American tour short earlier this year due to the pandemic, they started reflecting on the past 15 years, revisiting old videos, photos, tour schedules, and memories, and decided to commemorate their history by reimagining the song that started it all for them, “Monsoon.”

Marking a new era of Tokio Hotel, “Monsoon 2020,” and an updated German version, “Durch den Monsun 2020,” is just the beginning of a new chapter, and the flood of reflections, for the band. Currently writing his autobiography, Bill has been digging even deeper back into the band’s nearly 20-year career.

You start looking back and remembering things and revisiting parts of your life you thought you’d never visit again,” says Bill. “It’s also going back in time with the band and going through old photo albums and old hard drives. It feels like a different life sometimes, because when you’re 15 years old, you’re a different person, and it’s like you’re looking back on someone else’s life.”

What feels like a lifetime ago, also felt like yesterday as the brothers started listening back to their earliest version of “Monsoon.”

When I hear the very first version of ‘Monsoon,’ I recorded it when I was 12 or 13, and I just loved how innocent we were,” shares Bill. “We had no idea about song writing and never thought that it would become such a big hit. It was just another song we were working on in the studio, but looking back on that it’s a bit nostalgic and gets you sentimental. We were such babies.”

Typically, the Kaulitz brothers don’t get lost in nostalgia or look back when it comes to Tokio Hotel. It’s always about the next song and the next move, but there was something about “Monsoon” that made everything more intentional when marking the band’s 15-year milestone.

This time it was special, because we planned this,” says Tom. “We were like, ‘okay, it’s been 15 years. We have to look back, look at old photos, maybe put out a new documentary or do something with the old footage we have,’ and that’s what we did.”


Bill Kaulitz on style role models,
unnecessary gender boundaries and dealing with cyberbullying

It always has to be a bit extreme!” – Bill Kaulitz on how important it is to stand by yourself

No more excitement. Even if they are worn by boys or men. But back then, when the success story of Tokio Hotel, began and they mixed up the almost prudish German pop culture with their look and their music, there was no such thing except for a few exceptions. What that meant for Bill Kaulitz, what power he drew from it, and what power fashion still has for him today, read this and more in the exclusive Vogue interview.

Men are allowed to do that and women are allowed to – this thought was never there for me,” says musician Bill Kaulitz as we meet the lead singer of Tokio Hotel, shortly before the current “Melancholic Paradise” tour in Berlin. We’re here today to share Bill‘s old stage costumes and talk about fashion and style. The 29-year-old is always at the point, answers quickly and quickly and is to have fun for everyone. In the resulting video, he talks about his always expressive style of clothing, why strict gender separations are finally abolished and how important role models such as Nena or David Bowie were to him. He also explains that he almost never reads comments and shares his refreshing treatment of criticism: “They do not like that, then it must be right!

How has your interest in fashion developed?

I started sewing and making things myself when I was a little kid – at that time I did not have any money, but I never wanted to wear what the other kids wore. I always wanted to attract attention, I always needed that feeling of freedom and to be able to be visual. My mom always sewed and made things for me. It was so cute – now, looking back, I’m so glad I had a mom that was so cool. I always drew and sketched. Since I’m six, I’m also a huge David Bowie fan, so fashion has always been important to me.

Can you still remember the first piece your mother sewed?

One of the first pieces was a T-shirt with my arms cut off. She then sewed me the collar of a denim jacket on top. There I was, I believe, nine, I thought that was really good! I always had it on.

Where did your inspiration come from?

My inspirations back then were movies. “The Journey into the Labyrinth” with David Bowie is my absolute childhood film, which I could say! We had it on video at the time, and at some point the movie hung because I looked at it so often – there was this goblin king, his hair, the collars and jackets he was wearing, all the ruffles and ornaments and leggings and high ones Boots – that was great. And I was a huge Nena fan. This 80s fashion with the headbands, cut T-shirts with safety pins was mine. I watched a lot of films. “The Basketball Diaries”, “Kids”, or “We Children from the Zoo Station”.

How has what you want to express with your clothes changed since you were in public?

Fashion has always underscored what I felt. For example, when I look back at what I used to wear and what I liked, I would not put it on now. But at the time it was always authentic and always what I felt. Most of the time it came completely spontaneously. I have never considered the looks forever before. Back when I was so young, it was so important for me to wear the make-up and hair that way. It was always just a feeling that I expressed, and of course a rebellion against the norm. I have always liked to convince people of the opposite. For example, physical education teachers who said I had to do sports with the girls, they would not teach me – so I had to get a one on the testimony.

It always has to be a bit extreme. We also go on tour to countries where it is dangerous to dress like this. But I think it’s important to travel to exactly those countries because there are people who need exactly that, who care about what it’s like to see something like that, and who care about it. As a little boy, that’s exactly what I needed. I needed a Bowie, I needed a Nena, and I needed the people who came to us to perform, because there were just those dazzling characters.

What role does your clothing play in your masculinity and femininity, or how do you see yourself as a person in this world?


Bill's Photos

Interview with Bill Kaulitz
My twin brother marries and I’m happy for him

Köln – Almost overnight, Bill Kaulitz, (29), his twin brother Tom, Georg Listing, and Gustav Schäfer, as Tokio Hotel, have become pop stars and teen idols with “Durch den Monsun”. Not a few thought that this would be a short-lived phenomenon, but the band also got off to a great international start and is today one of the most successful German bands of the past 15 years with more than ten million records sold. On April 30, Tokio Hotel, will play in the E-Werk. Dominic Röltgen spoke with the singer known for his unusual outfits about this time, the aging and the upcoming wedding of his brother with Heidi Klum.

I say that if we had met 15 years ago in Cologne for an interview, it would not have happened so calmly, and I would have had a harder time getting through to you.

That always depends. We try to do something more incognito-like. I never actually announce where I’m going. When I do that, people are still there. I always try to fly a bit under the radar. That works sometimes, but sometimes not so well (laughs).

When you think back to this turbulent beginning, do you have a crazy memory about Cologne?

We used to be here quite often. Here were always the whole TV shows, Stefan Raab, for example, was produced here. It was mostly crazy at the airport. The craziest memory has nothing to do with fans, but with a pilot. Because we came because of the fans, because it was so full and we did not get through, too late to the plane. And then he flipped out right, made an announcement and said: “This fucking boy band! Because of them we can not leave here in time! “(Laughs)

If I may be honest. If somebody had told me in 2005 that I was interviewing you today, I would have definitely doubted that Tokio Hotel would be around. What do you think, how did you manage to still be there despite the immense expectations?

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I think girly shirts are so old-fashioned” – Bill Kaulitz
on good style and his fashion label Magedburg LA

Girls, please take a moment to relax: We met Bill Kaulitz, from Tokio Hotel, for an interview. But no, we did not try to get him (like many other magazines) information about a possible pregnancy from Heidi Klum. We had more important things to discuss. Namely, that Bill, has launched his own fashion label Magdeburg Los Angeles.

How that looks exactly is generally important in terms of style and much more, we have discussed with him.

Hey Bill, nice that it worked with the interview and Congrats to the fashion label Magdeburg – Los Angeles. How did you suddenly make fashion as a singer?

Bill Kaulitz: “I’ve always found fashion exciting, I never bought things off the rack, and when, I tailor them and pimped them myself, making them special and extraordinary, and then I designed the merchandise from Tokio Hotel But then I liked them so much that they wanted to have ‘normal’ fashion from me too, so I just started to create my own little collection, starting with 12 parts, but now it’s getting more, we want it launch regularly.

Can you describe the collection?

The first parts that we launched on the market were still in a color family – mostly black – the new parts are all a bit more colorful and daring, lots of neon and glitter, and most importantly, it’s all unisex Fashion pieces are available in sizes from XS to XL, so that everyone can wear everything, which is extremely important to me. When I grew up, I always bought parts in the women’s department in larger sizes and then sewed them in. I found that there are so many great women who dress in men’s parts and style cool, especially hoodies and shirts, the transition is very fluid, I think girly shirts are so old-fashioned.

What does your target group look like?

In the past, Tokio Hotel fans, the logo could be clearly seen there, but we are now more and more away from the newer stuff and play more in the background, so if you do not know that part of the Magdeburg Los Angeles collection is, you have no idea that it has anything to do with Tokio Hotel. Old-aged I would say that we in the early 20 to mid-30-year-old address, but I really hate to age Heidi, for example, loves to wear our clothes, so he just has to style them correctly.”

Speaking of proper style. Do you have a favorite style that you can give to our users?

Girls like when they wear an oversized hoody with hotpants, so you do not necessarily see the pants and cool, coarse boots on top of them.” This is a great outfit for a balmy summer night, as well as more casual shirts and put me in a miniskirt, that’s great.”

What is your favorite piece from the collection?

Well, the fanny pack with the slogan ‘Mommy is broke’, it’s very disco, I’m always hanging on the crossbody bag, which I like very much.”

The label is called Magdeburg – Los Angeles. Sure, you’re from Magdeburg, but now live in LA. Which city inspires you more?

Difficult question, so the next collection, for example, is being shot with Buffalos, they all used to be in Magdeburg, and I had them too, the middle ones, the very high ones, all of them, I play a bit with the 90s chubby, with whom I grew up and the Chickeren from LA, where I live now, but I got the name, when I saw a woman at the airport, who had a bag, Magdeburg was written on it, I thought it was so cool and so social The fact that they dare to run around with Magdeburg merchandise, which has inspired me insanely.”

Where is the collection priced?

It’s always important to me that all the pieces remain affordable, young people should be able to afford the street-styles, but it’s not that easy, after all, we really work with good qualities and great fabrics.”

Great Bill, thanks for the nice interview and good luck with the label. We are curious what else is coming.

Here’s what they look like, the new parts of Bill’s label Magdeburg – Los Angeles

You can buy the cool Magdeburg LA Pieces HERE, from the beginning of May, but also in selected department stores, such as the KaDeWe in Berlin, the Oberpollinger in Munich or the Alsterhaus in Hamburg.