Many fans have been eagerly waiting for this day: Tokio Hotel, the band founded in 2005 and made up of Kaulitz twins Bill and Tom, and Georg and Gustav, have released their newest album “Kings of Suburbia”! Following their appearance on “Wetten, dass… ?”, the boys joined us for an interview in our late-hour question and answer segment.
Tokio Hotel Interviewed
During the interview, Tokio Hotel told us why they booked it to Los Angeles at the end of 2010 and how they picked up new inspiration. Not only that, but they’re also planning a number of concerts for the coming year and hope to be able to provide us with a concert in Schwabenland [Swabia].
Here you can once again hear what Bill Kaulitz had to say in the interview [Audio Clip]
Female voice: This is your Late-Night Talk with Jens Meßmann.
Meßmann: What a nice, pleasant evening. Tokio Hotel, they’re back again with “Wetten, dass… ?” on Sunday and “Cirkus HalliGalli” on Monday, but today, they’re on the phone with me. Bill and Tom Kaulitz, tell me, you two spent a long time in the USA and went over there with the intention of breathing new life into the band. How did that go?
Bill: I think it was successful. I mean, we’re very happy with the album; naturally, otherwise we wouldn’t have put it out. Yea, we’re totally happy with the results and we’re happy with the responses to it. That was absolutely the best move for us, both creatively and privately.
Meßmann: You gave yourselves quite a lot of time for the new album. What took so long?
Bill: This time around we did an incredible amount of the work ourselves and I think everyone knows what it’s like when you’re always [rumbling sound] doing things for yourself. Naturally it takes time. Tom and I produced and mixed things ourselves this time, and yea, that put unbelievable stress on us. We did so so so many things just us, alone, and that’s what kept us. Over the past year, we really derusted, because in order to release the album, well, we had to push our limits once again; we were having such a good run in the studio, didn’t want to interrupt it, and that’s how the tracks came to be made. The album really changed over the past few years and we simply wanted to make the best possible album, put something out that’s great and that we didn’t have to make compromises for. In the end, that’s what we finally did.
Meßmann: Okay, now Bill, I’m going to quote you. You once said, “I couldn’t hear the name Tokio Hotel anymore. I’m so sick of it all.” Now you’re back again and the name seems to have stayed.
Bill: Yea, exactly. But I think we need to keep a healthy distance, so-to-say, from career-life and the band and the stage. At some point you can go back to enjoying it, but I think we just needed this little break time to take a step back from all of that and have some more time so that we could find new inspiration. And I think that’s exactly what we’ve done. Now we’ve got our new songs and everything feels good as new all over again, but at the same time different. I think we made the right choice.
Meßmann: Back then you really polarized audiences; some loved you guys and others, to be honest, hated you. Do you want to keep up this polarity?
Bill: Well, you don’t really plan something like that. We never set out to polarize our audiences, but sometimes that just happens.
Tom: That’s just how it is.
Bill: Exactly, somehow it just happens. We didn’t really [do it ourselves], but, well, many don’t believe that. So when I read what people are writing nowadays, it seems like they think we came up with this totally awesome plan and it failed, like there were serious strategies that went into it. All I can say is that it was never that way with us, actually, that’s just what was made-up in response. I mean, it’s not like we just sit around, making a masterplan to reconquer the world, or come up with what our image should be – we just do our thing. We always try to do what we find good at the time, which most often than not is determined by some totally spontaneous decision, not a long-time, planned-out thing. That’s why we didn’t sit in the studio this time around and say, “Okay, what should our goals be and who are we making music for?” We rather said, “Okay, let’s let ourselves do what we want for a change, figure out what we like and then hopefully success will follow close behind.” The most important thing has been that we feel comfortable with our work ourselves, that we find it good and then, well, I guess we’ll see if it polarises listeners and whether people find it good or shitty.
Meßmann: That we’ll definitely see. You guys now sing in English. Is that how things are going to be from now on? What led you to switch languages? What about German?
Bill: It’s looking that way, yea. I mean, we decided to do English this time around, because we didn’t want to sit around anymore. It was such a process with the last album since we always made two versions of everything and had to translate things over and over again. Somehow that made it seem less creative, so we said, “We just don’t want to do it anymore”, because again, you also have to make compromises and ask yourself whether one version’s now better than the other. We didn’t like that at all, which is why we decided to leave the songs as they were written, and this time we had written them in English. So we said we wouldn’t do any more translations. But it’s always possible that we’ll write songs in German again, and if so, they’ll just stay in German.
Meßmann: Any chance this has something to do with you guys spending so much time in the USA?
Bill: We definitely wrote so much in English for that reason. Working with Americans in the studio, speaking English the entire time and automatically texting in English, that definitely played its part.
Meßmann: Many thanks to Bill and Tom Kaulitz from Tokio Hotel. All the best to you.
Translation by Maria Athena