Interview for radio-vhr.de:
All begins with one thought and suddenly you are dancing in your own wonderland full of fruits and candies! Friendship, respect, a nearly unshakable self-confidence in yourself, in the vision of your being, the curiosity about life, an insatiable thirst for development, to create something together, to achieve and to experience…
If you look at Tokio Hotel, it is all these qualities that form the basis and the impetus of an incomparable career. The career of a German band, which simply does not fit into any drawer. No matter how hard the one or the other tried, Bill and Tom Kaulitz, Georg Listing and Gustav Schäfer always remained the architects of their own world. After more than a decade in the international music business, 70 platinum, 160 gold awards, more than 110 international and national awards, and more than 7 million sold sound carriers, Tokio Hotel will release their new art project and fifth studio album “Dream Machine” on March 3, the proof that they are always able to reinvent themselves.
“Dream Machine” opens the door to the new sound world of Tokio Hotel. A world with high mountains, deep valleys, wild rivers, dense forests and endless expanses. A world that pulsates, glows in neon colours and club lights – light, playful, spherical and enthralling. Built on a sound-foundation, a symbiosis of alternative indie pop, analogous Retro-synths, modern beats and strong baselines, without rules. “This is the album that we always wanted to make – only us four, without someone to butt in. We already started with it with the last record. There we have tried out and fueled self-confidence. With “Dream Machine” we knew right from the beginning that we were doing it alone. We did not need any producer in between or any songwriters. We did not feel like we needed this back-up. We felt capable to have full control, the creativity, the songs and what we wanted to make and say – in sound, in production and also with our lyrics – to really realize. That is why it is not only our dream album, because no one is butting in anymore, but also because, as a band, we were finally able to realize ourselves honestly musically“, explains Bill.
Bill and Tom Kaulitz were often working self-sufficiently, especially in the creative process, the whole band went to the Red Bull Studios in Berlin in January 2016 to lay the foundation for “Dream Machine”. Bill: “That was our time. We locked ourselves in the studio, made music, wrote, chattered and were just together. And that was all of a sudden like quite, quite earlier in the rehearsal room – with 13. That ran so well, five songs from the album came out, and that showed us that our intuition and basic feeling is correct.“
A total of ten songs are collected on “Dream Machine”. Tokio Hotel did not want album fillers, no compromises, but only the strongest tracks. This is how they create their own reality, in which they only make music that they really want. Bill: “We make it a non-stop party, a big colourful club in wonderland, filled with everything you need – studio, live shows, touring. We dive into our own world, like a bubble. And there is something for everyone, everyone is picking their favourite fruits and sweets. We will not do anything else to our selves.“
Musically, producer, songwriter and guitarist Tom Kaulitz draws this world through wide soundscapes, sub-bass shaped, free from typical strong structures, without losing the live character. Tom: “Of course we have a lot of programmed sounds not only with real analog synths, but with real instruments. There is no song on the album where we have not recorded live instruments, such as guitar, drums, a played live bass, piano, saxophone. And, of course, vocals and choirs. We have worked very much with harmonies, experimented with vocals chops and we did not delimited us in our sound. The album sounds extremely free.“
In terms of content, it goes with a hint of nostalgia on the journey into the heart of the band.
1. SOMETHING NEW
‘Something New’ opens with the fear of living backwards, of having achieved and experienced everything, to repeat oneself. But also with the will to create something new, to experience something new, together, which then connects again – when one changes the perspective.
- according to BILD: “First, nothing happens. Sounds, or a deep sound. After a minute, Bill sings: “pick me up, pick me up” and “I’m looking for something new”. There are a few electronic sounds (epochal sound world). For over five minutes. It is the longest track on the album. In the Music video, there is a 30 seconds of crash beforehand. And a nipple.”
2. BOY DON’T CRY
‘Boy don’t cry’ describes a change in perspective from the previous song: one may learn that there is more out there than what we see. Even if it is only a voice, a thought that guides us.
- according to BILD: “80s synth sounds (but they sound nice). No one will dance to this song. It says: “She took me dance” (if I understood correctly)”.
‘Easy’ brings back the lightness of childhood.
- according to BILD, the song starts melancholic and the chorus is emotional. They like this song more than the two before. It says: “I can not wait to see you” and “I give you all a boy could give”.
4. WHAT IF
‘What if’ a fast-retro electro song, dominated by a progressive rhythm and directed by a bass line which combines perfectly with a cheerful melody. It explores the topic of ‘lost chances’.
Tom: “When Bill and I wrote this record, it was really important for us to show what we feel; we wanted it to be real and honest with what we really are. It was like in the old days, when we recorded our first demos like 15 years ago, and it was only us and some friends making and creating music in the studio. And that’s how we wanted this album to be. ”
Bill: “I met someone at a party and I immediately feel in love; there was a connection, something special. I only wanted us to run away and take the chance to be with someone unknown and escape, take a risk, and see how far we could go. It was like a movie playing in my head and I wanted to shout my truth to the winds, but I said nothing instead. I wasn’t brave enough. I couldn’t stop thinking; What if that was my chance to be happy!? And what if that was the person I was meant to be with, the person with whom I would have been happy for the rest of my life and I just missed the opportunity Universe sent to me? Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy and we miss the biggest opportunities that life brings us because we are not brave enough. The song is our tribute to those lost chances and possibilities.”
This ‘What if’ section alone was translated by TH Worldwide FC*
- -according to BILD, people will dance to this song and the chorus remains in the ear.
‘Elysa’ comes heavier, almost gloomy, full of repentance of having yourself revealed to someone.
- according to BILD, ‘Elysa’ is a tender ballad, but we don’t hear Bill enough. They say Tokio Hotel in 2017 is more about the sound than the song.
6. DREAM MACHINE
‘Deam Machine’ sketched the very own Tokio Hotel world, into which the guys are now fully immersed. Musically, it is the song that blends most of the slylistics and instruments that completely outline of the album’s sound world. A sound world of freedom, desires, wills, adventures and opportunities in which one can completely lose oneself, from which one does not want to reappear, because suddenly everything is possible.
- according to BILD, it is a dreamy melody, full of synthie-sounds. It says: “Let’s get high!” They describe the whole album as lounge music at this point.
7. COTTON CANDY SKY
‘Cotton Candy Sky’ invites you to the “sweet spot” after a successful party night – when you are watching the sunrise and are completely satisfied with itself and its world.
- BILD used ‘confused beats’ to describe the song in a few words; it’s the weakest song according to them. They say they did not realize it was a new song starting as it sounded like the previous one.
‘Better’ describes the moment when you realize that you are better off staying alone instead of living with the wrong person.
- according to BILD, ‘Better’ can be described as calm lines, turning into an almost explosive chorus. They add that a good chorus does not necessarily consist of an immeasurable repetition of the title name.
9. AS YOUNG AS WE ARE
‘As young as we are’ shows the torness between young and old.
- according to BILD, the song is full of programmed sounds. Some examples of lyrics: “I’ve seen it all”, “So let us die. So young as we are”, “Love is all we got”. It describes the burden of holding the entire world on one’s shoulders.
10. STOP, BABE
‘Stop, Babe’ shows the flip side of ‘Better’, if you are not ready yet and are in danger of hurting others.
- BILD says it is about love. The music is slow.
- In conclusion, BILD say “the album is not bad, it has its moments and some good songs, but it takes time for the bulky melodies and overloaded sounds to penetrate the listener.”
Translation: Girl From Outer Space