Bill Kaulitz: “I was fed up with everything”
Singer Bill Kaulitz about retreating four years ago – and the comeback,
“I couldn’t stand hearing the name Tokio Hotel anymore. I was fed up with everything.”
That’s why Tokio-Hotel-Singer Bill Kaulitz (25) moved to L.A. four years ago, with his brother, the guitarist, Tom. Together with drummer Gustav Schäfer and bassist Georg Listing, the boys from Magdeburg made their band into a record-breaking teen-phenomenon – with millions of sold CDs and sold out tours – not just in Germany, but also in France and England.
And with it came all the drawbacks: “We couldn’t go out anymore, because fans were waiting everywhere for us”, Bill explains in his interview with KURIER. “And we worked for five years straight. There was never a moment where one of us put their laptop away, or went on a real vacation.”
Ready for change
The decision to to take a break and move to Los Angeles came spontaneously, after someone broke into the house of the Kaulitz twins. “Of course we wanted to escape the spotlight by moving”, Kaulitz explains. “But it was also important from a purely creative side. Back then we didn’t even know how we should write a new album. We had the feeling that we had already done and said all the things with our previous work. What can you even write about, when you don’t have a life apart from being in the band and can’t go out?” It was time for a change. “No one knew us in L.A. and for a year we were out and about there on our own. That’s why the passion for making music came back. We built a homestudio and started producing new tracks.”
The result is out now: With “Kings of Suburbia”, the fourth studio album, Tokio Hotel put their focus on computers and synthesizers instead of guitars.
Even if Bill says that those sounds have been influenced by the lively club scene in Los Angeles and the – over there – celebrated celebrities – the not very innovative, trivial electro-pop sound of “Kings Of Suburbia” doesn’t have much in common with the idols he lists when asked.
“Skrillex, Robyn and Swedish House Mafia – everything that L.A. partied to, two or three years ago, influenced us. Because DJs are the new rock-stars there and unleash a mass amount of euphoria when they perform in stadiums.”
That Tokio Hotel would break-up, says Bill, was never a topic in the four years where the band wasn’t in the spotlight. But what they did talk about was the distribution of roles: “Tom once told me that he would only produce in the future and play the guitar on tour, but that he didn’t want to give any interviews or go and do photoshoots anymore. I would have been okay with it, because I’m the one that has the least problems with those things within the band. As the singer, the poster child of the band, I always did most of the PR. But with time, and by gaining some distance Tom changed his mind anyway.”
Actually Tokio Hotel wanted to have their comeback a year ago, but then Bill and Tom got offered to be “DSDS” jurors. “We’ve been getting such offers from casting shows since we were in the first phase of our career”, Bill tells us. “Back then we just didn’t have the time to do it, since we couldn’t just take a month off in a row to tape the shows. Last year it just fit into our schedule: We had just moved the release date of the album, because we were doing so well with writing songs in the studio. Therefore we had time to do it, and from a financial aspect the offer was – at some point – so good, that you just couldn’t say no anymore.”
Bill doesn’t want to disclose how much Tokio Hotel were payed, but he does say that “DSDS” was and will be their only excursion into TV-Entertainment: “From now on the band, the album promotion and our next tour have priority over everything else.”
INFO: The “Kings of Suburbia”-Tour is currently being planned and will start in 2015.
Translation by Icey