Frankfurt – What an hysteria it has been, when Tokio Hotel hit the charts in 2005 with ‘Durch den Monsun’, and conquered girls’ hearts, won millions of prizes and were constantly under the spotlights of all critics. Their fifth studio album ‘Dream Machine’ will be released this Friday and they will be at the Frankfurter Batschkapp on March 16th. We talked with Bill and Tom Kaulitz about their new uncompromisingness.
You know a lot of cities thanks to touring. What do you like about Frankfurt?
Bill: The airport. It has a great smoking area.
Tom: Whenever I’m in Germany, Frankfurt is the first city I’m in. Of course I do not see anything of it. But we have friends in Frankfurt who always come to our concerts.
Festhalle, Gibson, and now Batschkapp – how is it to move from big stages to smaller ones?
Tom: That’s something quite different. A very different kind of show. We have been doing electronic music for a while now and the new album is also tied to it. We want to turn the place into a club, with an atmosphere for party. This worked very well on the last tour. Especially in venues of this size.
For how long have you been on the road with the previous album?
Bill: Until november. It was one of the best tours we’ve ever played. We wanted to go on as fast as possible and have already sold tickets for the new tour before we put out new material.
The best tour that you’ve ever played, so? What was especially good?
Bill: Everything. Above all, us as a band. The longer you play together, the better you feel. This development does not end even after 15 years. We’ve tried a lot of new stuff and feel like we’ve come up with the kind of music we make and with our live shows.
Tom: We’ve never enjoyed a tour this much before and we perceived it consciously. As a musician, you become more conscious about what you are doing, in the course of time. We’ve never felt this comfortable as a band before.
On stage and all those things?
Tom: Exactly. That has all changed. For ourselves. Back then, it was a crazy trip with ‘Durch den Monsun’, 12 years ago. But the development has something to do with growing older. We as a band, don’t have the feeling that we have to prove something or to be under pressure; we try to completely relax.
Bill: The new album ‘Dream Machine’ signals that we only do what we really want to do. Without any compromises. We don’t play along with this music and business policy anymore. It’s all about enjoying the thing we do now. Everything else comes far behind. That’s also something that you got to learn as a band over the years.
Do these changes have anything to do with you moving in California?
Tom: It certainly plays a role. We have a whole different life there. At the time, when we moved away from Germany, we had been pushed to our limits. Back then, we could only live in our house, we had no existence outside of the band. We asked ourselves whether we really could and wheter we still wanted to keep on like this, at all. 6 years ago we moved to Los Angeles and started a new life. We met people that we like in a musical manner.
Is there someone who has particularly impressed you?
Bill: It’s not so artist-related, but we mean that in general. It’s especially the freedom that we have here. That wasn’t possible in Germany and Europe because we came to a point where we couldn’t write and compose. We couldn’t lead a normal life. And here we can do whatever we like. This makes it possible at all times, to write songs, and we are now open to encounters with others.
You probably don’t even stand out there.
Bill and Tom: Exactly.
Tom: That’s the good thing about LA. You can hide very well.
Bill: In general, LA is different from many other cities. A melting pot of many religions and cultures. No one gets surprised about the other. Nothing attracts attention. No one looks at you as you leave the house.
You play many concerts in Russia. Why?
Tom: We played 20 concerts in 2015 there. And it was so good that we knew we have to come back again. And that’s just the beginning, because it’s a super great market for us and the fans out there are incredibly loyal. It’s the same in South America. Those are the countries that don’t have concerts every day.
Dream Machine is the first album after your separation from the label Universal. You said that you put your soul into the album. Does that mean that the Tokio Hotel soul was missing in the previous albums?
Tom: This album has our soul for the first time,because we had no compromises – no creative ones. We’ve been together with Universal for such a long time and we were obliged to work with certain people. This time we were able to decide everything on our own. We were quite free. It felt incredibly good.
Translation by: Tokio Hotel Alien