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Online since: 10.02.2008
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Copyright 2008 - 2014 Forever Sacred
(Source: Der Spiegel Magazine Nº 39)
(Source: Der Spiegel Magazine Nº 39)
Pop: They were teen stars from a Magdeburg village. As megastars they fled to Los Angeles. And today?
Bill kisses. Subject, predicate. Simple sentence but it’s rather complicated. "I have never kissed someone in front of a camera before", says Bill "I’m totally shy".
First scene of the video shooting for a new song of Tokio Hotel's new album in Los Angeles: Bill Kaulitz sits in the middle of a couch, to his right brunet, to his left a blondie, behind him a redhead and around him young pretty and half naked people, everybody tightly entwined and everybody kissing.
Second scene: Bill walks through a corridor, shoves himself between two girls who are making out, he takes over one of them: around him young pretty half naked people, everybody tightly entwined and everybody kissing.
Third scene: similar.
Before the fourth scene Bill sits on a director’s chair and chats about how weird it was at the beginning and he talks about this shock: that he got one who used lots of tongue and kind of "tongue raped" him. But now he got used to it: "I lost my inhibitions".
Bill wears tight pants and suspenders his upper body is naked. He stands in front of an old hotel pool without water, the stone crumbles, the paint chips off, Olympic games once took place here in 1932. For the fourth scene the pretty half naked women now gathered on the bottom of the pool, they lay tightly entwined together. Bill is watching everything and says: a bit more skin would be great, you have to see some boobs as well.
"Love Who Loves You Back" is the name of the song and "Love Who Loves You Back" is the video which Tokio Hotel uses to show they’re still alive: next week their new album gets released "Kings of Suburbia".
They’re now with mid twenty something like veterans. The press release of their record label stylizes them as heroes who know that in this business you can’t just vanish for five months and especially not for five years. For Tokio Hotel there are other rules. They took over the world once before. Now they’ll try it again. With music that according to them is 100 percent Tokio Hotel and most of it even self produced.
Something that catches your eye immediately: Tokio Hotel doesn’t sound like Tokio Hotel. Tokio Hotel used to be German Poprock, now it’s mostly Pop and only in English, in between a ballad with Tom at the piano and Bill with an uncommon high voice. Apart from that mostly electronic, perfectly styled, danceable, international club culture.
Bill says, in a video shooting break of "Love Who Loves You Back", that this song is one who doesn’t take love too serious. "Sometimes you just have to take yourself what you need. It doesn’t always have to be the big love. Nobody likes to be alone: simply take yourself something, someone who also loves you back. I still believe in big love though!"
Tokio Hotel are Germany’s mega stars. Seven million sold CD’s worldwide, in 68 countries they got platinum-certified and 500 000 people came to their concert at the Eiffel tower. It’s not true that Tokio Hotel were only disliked in Germany but it kind of looked like they were as much disliked as they were loved. Four years ago Bill and his twin brother Tom moved to Los Angeles. "They ran away", that’s what Bill calls it, "we just fleed". Back then they lived in a mansion in Hamburg, a "lovely jail", 24 hours security, a solid fence, people in front of their door all the time. When they went out they usually set behind a barrier tape, "just like in a zoo", around them people who stared at them and took photos. They celebrated their 21st birthday and came back home: Someone dug through their underwear, photos were spread everywhere. "I felt abused", says Bill. "I even threw my cigarette on the floor. That’s how strange I felt in that house", says Tom. After the burglary they didn’t sleep in the mansion anymore. For four weeks they stayed in the Grand Hotel Heiligendamm before they took off to Los Angeles with a private jet.
They wanted a break, peace from all the media, the reporters who wrote sentences about Bill such as "Hallow cheeks, the gold jewelry rattling against his chicken breast. The tattooed little arms stick out of the leather jacket, the cap pulled down covering his face". And: "Tom at least grins happily with his baggy look – and also obviously has more muscles on his body".
Appearance and looks that’s what every Tokio Hotel dedicated article spoke about. "Aliens", "Outsiders", "androgynous characters, "Mangas". And of course over and over again: is Bill gay? Anorexic? Often the look makes a star to a superstar.
Lady Gaga and Madonna look plain on their childhood photos, with cute headbands and innocent looks. They became artistic figures later. Tokio Hotel didn’t need to become someone. They already looked like stars when they still lived in Loitsche, a little village with 700 residents close to Magdeburg.
With nine years Bill already started to dye his hair, applied black eye shadow while Tom wore dreadlocks. Everybody turned around and teachers used to rant: that’s not how students should come to school. When people kept silent, Bill once said in a documentation from a few years ago, then it was worse than when they spoke.
In primary school the brothers wrote their first song and performed at little festivals. They called themselves Black Question Mark. Then Gustav, the drummer, and Georg, the bassist, joined and they changed their band name to Devilish because a local newspaper praised the devilish guitar sound. Bill tried his luck at the casting show "Star Search", he didn’t succeed but a producer came to see the band when they performed at Gröninger Bad and two years later they signed their first contract at Universal. Bravo made them big, New York Times wrote about them. Their first single was "Durch den Monsun", first successful in Europe, then in North America where journalists compared them to Nena and the Beatles. They won awards and as they toasted, you can still see that on their Youtube Channel, they said "On me".
With 18, you can also see that in a video, Bill didn’t even know what it feels like to go into a supermarket. So he went to one with his team while they made an USA trip and he got filmed while he walks through the aisles and searches for toilet paper, buys sweets and freaks out when he has to scan the groceries by himself at the checkout. "Guys, this is revolutionary! No cashier who gets on your nerves? How phat is that!"
As teens they became stars but were never typical teenage stars. They were no puppets like Britney Spears who had to shave her head to show: Hello, I’m self-determined! They had their own sound. Their image and their lyrics always rebellious – "wir brechen aus". Clear profile (Outsiders), a clear fanbase (even kids like pop), clear messages (be yourself, live every second, live your dreams) – huge success.
Now the question is how did they develop far away from Germany? Did they grow up? Two days after their video shoot they give an interview, the first time in a group of four after a long time. The meeting place: SoHo House an exclusive club at the Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood. Bill and Tom are members in all SoHo-houses worldwide, the costs for one year: 1400 dollars. For over 27 year olds: 2800 dollar.
"I like these membership-clubs a lot because you are simply unmolested", says Tom.
"I like that you can’t take photos here. You can drive into the underground garage, can go upstairs without going on the street. You can hide perfectly", says Bill.
That everything starts again now with Tokio Hotel is really cool, says Gustav. It feels like they did all of that, says Georg. They drink ice tea.
The look, you can’t just get around that: striking as always. Georg (black pants, white shirt), Gustav (jeans shorts), Tom (baggy jeans, white sweatshirts with a few holes in it), Bill (completely in beige: plateau-Buffalos, flared pants, transparent skin-tight shirt, suspenders).
Especially Bill and Tom just talk how the words come to their mind and in between Tom makes his typical Tom-jokes, mostly quite pubertal, the others laugh. "I could imagine doing something different but still something creative, like a pornstar, where you can also draw but with different kind of brush".
As they fled to Los Angeles he couldn’t hear the name Tokio Hotel anymore says Bill. "We lost the passion, we were exhausted, we didn’t have anything left to tell. I knew that if we don’t make another step then the next album would be an huge fail".
Would it have been the end for the band?
"I think it would’ve been bad. An album that is just okay wasn’t something I was striving for. I preferred a break and then to come back with something great. Most people advised against doing a break, they called it Career Suicide. But we didn’t care".
They just wanted to live: they furnished an house, bought pans, filled their fridge on their own, drove to the beach and took walks with their dogs, went to get a coffee from Starbucks, went to the movies. In Germany it was rather complicated to go to the movies says Bill: "I called the assistant who then called the security and then everybody planned everything. When we wanted to watch a movie then we had to rent the whole thing. The little things suddenly turned into something huge".
They rented the whole Heide Park Soltau for their 20th birthday and drove with their cars from one rollercoaster to another. Now for their 25th birthday at the start of September they went to Palm Springs with some of their friends for 1 ½ days. Bill found the hotel through the internet and booked it on his name.
But this "new life" is somehow also weird: as Bill needed a Social Security Number there was an huge line at the office. "Do I have to wait with all of them as well? Can’t my assistant do that?"
He had to connect himself says Tom. He now has friends with whom he can go out at night to drink something. That didn’t exist in the past. Interpersonally, says Tom, he is a bit weird. Bill and him can’t really pull off a small talk because they just never really learned how it works since they were shielded from everything out there. If they meet new people they usually just stand there and say nothing. "And what are you guys doing?" – "Music". They usually have extract every further information from them, says Bill "everyone thinks we’re weird".
In this "new life" they somehow also found new music. It isn’t the music of a German band who once moved to Los Angeles anymore. It’s the music of musicians who live in Los Angeles. The inspiration was "the nightlife, the life itself, going out, being free, what is important to someone and what is not and has a meaning", says Bill. "We do what we want".
They partied a lot, maybe a lot because finally they had the chance to do it. "Nobody recognized me", says Bill. "I had the opportunity to go into a club and get wasted, going out totally drunk without the fear of getting photographed". Their studio sessions were almost like parties: a house in the Hollywood Hills, that’s where they partied and produced music often totally exhausted and tired and sometimes drunk until the sun rose.
As free as he feels in Los Angeles, says Bill, he has never felt in his entire life. "That’s the maximum. We couldn’t be more free at the moment except if I moved to India". Tom: "Yes we will do that one day". Bill: "Only with a backpack". Tom: "I would sell everything I own before I leave". Bill: "That would be an huge adventure". Tom: "That would be something completely different than what I have experienced so far. I also wouldn’t want to carry too much money with me because I know myself, I would just book an hotel and miss out the whole experience".
There is no specific plan yet though. At the beginning of October they’ll go back to Germany for a performance at "Wetten, dass...?". The question is what they still want there.
Have a great day! <3
- my personal #lifeguard #pumbithelifeguard #beachday
- belated birthday present - aqua fly boarding and pumbi is watching me #myownpersonallifeguard #flyboarding #fun #sun #beachday
- #mybuddy #sundaywalk #lionking
• 23.09.14 – Premiere of "Girl Got A Gun" Official Music Video - tokiohotel.com
Have a nice day! <3
- Meet Sissy, Kissy and Missy #GGAG! Full video premieres Tuesday, Sept. 23!
> Download the full track on iTunes: po.st/ituneskings
- Good times with @jojowright. Check out jojowright.com for an exclusive interview #kingsofsuburbia #tokiohotel #kiisfm
- Meet Sissy, Kissy and Missy #GGAG! Full video premieres Tuesday, Sept. 23! youtu.be/27LlFnPZh3I
- Good times with @jojowright. Check out jojowright.com for an exclusive interview #kingsofsuburbia #kiisfm
Bye guys! <3
- #KingsofSuburbia Super Deluxe Edition is completely sold out and will stay limited for now. Secure your copy of the Deluxe Edition (CD + DVD)
- off to new adventures #earlymorning #nosleep #selfie
See ya guys! <3