New interview for Erfolg Magazine (Germany)

“We have an authority problem”

Bill and Tom Kaulitz from Tokio Hotel

Your breakthrough was in 2005. For five years you’ve been totally into it and gave your all but after that, you went to LA, fully exhausted. Which period fulfilled you the most?

Bill: The current period. The older you get, the more you realize the madness. It felt like a trance when we were teenagers. For me, the current period feels better. When you are younger, you take things more easily. Today, things are more difficult. Working a whole day isn’t as easy as it used to be when we were younger. After a tour, we are already ready for holidays. As a young man, you also have less fears. However, when it comes to creativity, the band is much better than it was.

How was it when you moved to Los Angeles?

Bill: We didn’t do anything for a year. At 20 years old, we simply wanted to have a normal life. We hadn’t been existing as people outside the band all those years before.

When the success came, did music labels or others affect you?

Bill: We’ve always had an authority problem. We always had to fight to take part in the decision-making process. The label didn’t like us; we were always the complicated band. Nevertheless, due to our success, it was okay. The band existed before, it was our baby. We wanted to control everything. Anyway, we had to arrange ourselves with Major-Label, etc. It was really nice with the current album; we did everything on our own. Writing, producing…

Back then, when there was the extreme fan-hype, some fans exceeded the limits. Breaking into your house was the highlight. Did you lose respect in people?

Bill: At least we had the feeling that we did not belong anywhere. You are far away from humans. I didn’t like that. I love it to be around people.

Do you learn to deal with pressure in extreme situations? Does that shape character?

Bill: We always wanted to have responsibilities. We were only 15 when we moved out of home to have our own apartment; we set up a company, and sat around with lawyers and tax consultants all the time. But the older we got, the more we wanted to let go of the backpack.

Tom: It would have been better if we had not taken so many responsibilities back then. We always took too much, also during school time.

Bill: You want to cope with success the older you get. Going on stage is not easy-going anymore, not as it was at 14. I always have to take back the easiness. That’s what we did with the new album, back in the roots of when it was only about music. That’s why we’ve produced everything on our own — without any label or management. Thankfully, we were at a point in our career where having fun mattered. We want to make things we want to do, far away from the music industry.

Was there a point where you were aware of making history — especially for people? We do connect moments and phases/stages with songs.

Tom: You realize that when people tell you their stories. Today, you realize it even more than before. We totally missed that.

Bill: You are so overwhelmed. When a fan stands in front of you and starts crying, so much energy comes together. I was exhausted after hearing those stories.

How was it when you became millionaires? Does that change character or does it only makes it stronger?

Bill: Money does things to people. I like it how money can give you something like freedom. We did not want to be dependent on someone, even not when we were younger. Our pocket money was like a budget that we managed.

Tom: Now we do whatever we want with our money.

Bill: Money must be fun. I want to experience and live. We should probably be more careful. But, for example, we invest a lot in our career. Expensive videos, expensive productions and performances. Most of our money is spent on Tokio Hotel.

You never wanted to follow the rules. Is that kinda part of the success, breaking the rules?

Tom: You get the best ideas in emergency situations. For example, if you don’t like what producers make with your music, it’s probably better when you do it on your own. If you are unhappy with a situation, you get good solutions from it.

Bill: I can’t imagine a life without breaking the rules.

Bill, as a lead singer, did you have role models?

Bill: My stepfather showed me the movie Labyrinth with David Bowie. That man really inspired me. I even had the same hair. I also listened to Nena. But I never had that kind of role model whose poster was on my wall. But of course, several artists inspired me.

Is there someone you want to meet/get to know?

Bill: Unfortunately, they are all dead. Bowie, Prince… They were extraordinary. I’d like to meet Depeche Mode; they are really cool.

The new album “Dream Machine” is more electro. Did you change or did the fans want something new?

Tom: If you ask the fans, they would have been happy if we had done the same thing Avril Lavigne has been doing for like 40 years now; the same music. That would have also been the easy way. Finacially, it would have been interesting as well. But we have never made decisions according to money. We just changed as humans.

Bill: I could show you so many emails in which people write that we are committing career-suicid. But we don’t want to do it like Avril Lavigne or Pink, who are still doing the same music as they used to make in the beginning.

Tom: We don’t have a dividing line between business and life. We are our music. We don’t go “to work”. It’s all the same. Our music reflects.

You once mentioned that you want to open a nightclub. Why?

Bill: Because we like to party. I always felt attracted to nightlife. Also people’s abysses. I have always wanted to play a junkie in a movie. I like to watch live how people fall out of their roles. Everyday life sucks. I want to experiment. When we go out at night, we bring about twenty people together, who don’t know each other. That’s why we want to open a nightclub. Preferably in LA. There, they don’t have the nightlife we have here (in Berlin).

Translation by Hazel




Deezer Deutschland – #MondayMotivation

Bill: I heard a song this morning — I always have to look at my phone for that — the song was awesome. It was from Rationale. It’s a mood booster and I listened to it this morning.

Tom: I start Mondays with Bon Iver – ‘I can’t make you love me’. It puts one in a good mood immediately. That’s definitely my Monday song.

Bill: J’ai entendu une chanson ce matin — je dois toujours regarder mon téléphone pour cela — la chanson était géniale. C’était de Rationale. Elle remonte le moral et je l’ai écouté ce matin.

Tom: Je commence mes lundis avec ‘I can’t make you love me’ de Bon Iver. Ça met de bonne humeur tout de suite. C’est définitivement ma chanson du lundi.


Dream Machine Tour – Russia

04/19/2017: Novosibirsk


Bill really likes science fiction movies such as Passengers and Arrival. He’d like to shoot some one day.

The twins don’t have any personal early childhood memories because they were always together, shared every thing and talked about every thing.

Bill said he’ll maybe participate in a Russian movie.

If Bill had dinner with Angela Merkel, he would ask her ‘how does it feel to be so loved by Bill Kaulitz?’ And he would ask her how she can sleep with so much responsibilities and work.

Georg would ressurrect Michael Jackson, and Gustav Johnny Cash.

They were asked about russian singers. Georg named T.A.T.U. and Bill started singing ‘All about us’ and said he likes the song.

If they were teachers, Bill would teach German or art. Georg would be a physed teacher.

Group picture:

Meet & Greet:



04/21/2017: Ekaterinburg


They were asked about men they like. Bill said David Bowie, Tom said Vin Diesel for Gustav and they all started laughing.

Bill said bathroom selfies are sexy.

Bill and Tom had a bunk bed when they were little, and Bill often slept in a tent.

Bill and Tom were asked if there was confusion sometimes when they introduce their lover to their family. Bill and Tom looked at each other and laughed. Bill said it happened to Tom recently. Bill added that he never introduced his lover to his mother because of language barriers (his mother doesn’t speak English).

Bill and Tom don’t give each other birthday gifts.

Meet & Greet:


04/22/2017: Ufa


They said they don’t understand live streams on Instagram.

Bill’s new phone case was a gift from a fan in the KOS Vip in Ekaterinburg.

Bill only buys faux fur, and the tour costumes are synthetic.

Bill would be happy to meet a girl like his mother, because his mother is wonderful.

Bill and Tom do not know about their father’s blood line.

None of them know their blood type.

Gustav doesn’t mind if his daughter will decide to play in a band or not, as long as she studies well.

They won’t perform in Eurovision, because they are famous and they don’t think it’s fair. They also think that the Eurovision contest became too political.

They would never act violently on animals. Bill would never film a porn movie and Georg neither.

Meet & Greet:


04/23/2017: Kazan


Bill said he can’t stand cheap people who feel jealous every time and can’t share anything or give anything to other people.

If Bill liked someone who has a child, the baby would not prevent him from dating that person.

When the twins are angry, they go to a corner and smile for 60 seconds. Bill also said that Tom can’t calm him down because they share every thing.. So when one is angry, the other is too. It has to be other people who cool them off, e.g. their best friend.

A drawing of Pumba in the Deluxe edition of ‘Dream Machine’ was drawn by Bill and Tom’s mother. It was a Birthday card at first.

A girl offered Tom to shoot masterclass of sound producing on YouTuve, and he said he will think of it and ‘soon’ post on his Instagram.

One of Gustav’s best day of his life was his wedding.

Georg doesn’t have enough nerve to go sky diving, bungee jumping or fly in a hot air balloon. He finds it all dangerous.

When Tom wants to know someone better, he asks the person about his or her favourite music and whether or not he or she likes dogs.

Bill is allergic to apples, nuts and avocado.

As a kid, Georg would play lego, Bill would play with a toy washing machine and a cooker (he would play with his mother).

They’d fight on the ring with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.

Georg said that the best day in his life was when he met Bill, Tom and Gustav.

They were asked what they would change in their life at the moment. Bill said that he would sleep more.

They would tell their 2005′ selves: ‘Never look back and be able to say ‘no’ sometimes’.

They said Natalie Franz discovered the magicstripes while working with Tokio Hotel. Bill said Natalie had always had the drive to do something such as magicstripes, as she’s really focus on her business. He supports her.

Meet & Greet:



04/25/2017: St. Petersburg


The twins have one rule: every Sunday, they watch movies. At least one.

Bill said it’s really important to not change for someone else, that one has to remain oneself in a relationship.

If they could time travel, Bill and Tom would go to the future to explore other planets.

Bill said that one of his best experience ever was when he jumped out of a place in Hamburg with a parachute. He said it was amazing.

Tom wrote ‘Something New’ like a movie score and kept it just like a soundtrack for a very long time. But many people kept telling them that it was great and that they should work on it, so they did. That’s how the song was born. Moreover, Bill wanted to create a song with a very high pitched vocal, so that’s what he did as well.

One question was about musical production, and Tom said that he’s still learning and that the most important things are bass line and drums. Vocals are the last thing to edit usually.

Bill said that they’ll soon add more tour dates and that they’ll go to a lot of places. It will last until january or february.

Bill’s ootd:

Gustav’s ootd:

Meet & Greet:


Other videos..

[1] | [2] | [3] | [4] | [5] | [6]

Four Seasons hotel:


04/26/2017: Moscow


The twins miss LA a lot, but they’ll be staying in Germany for a while after the tour to shoot two music video and for some promo.

Bill’s emotion on the cover of the album is surprise and astonishment he might feel if he saw aliens one day.

They were asked how they recover from a concert night. Bill said: make up and drink a lot of water.

Bill said he likes the book ‘Harry Potter and the philosopher stone’ because Harry learns everything for the first time, everything is new and unexplored and it’s magical. Georg said he likes Dobby, and Tom likes Severus Snape. Bill likes Voldemort.

Meet & Greet:


After party:

04/28/2017: Voronezh


Talking about working process of planning a new music video, Bill said that the first thing he does is finding a direction with similar views as his. Then he calls every ‘candidate’ via Skype and discusses details and concepts for the future video.

They’re planning on shooting ‘Boy don,t cry’ and ‘Easy’ in Germany.

Bill said he doesn’t read a lot, but sometimes he reads motivation books.

Bill tries to surround himself with people eager to try new things and to always do something. It motivates him better than books. They haven’t read russian books either, but they’ve heard stories when they were younger, such as Baba Yaga (though it’s more Slavic folklore).

Bill and Georg’s comfort zone is Christmas time, Tom’s is being with friends and Gustav’s is coming home from tour.

They’ll maybe do a cover one day, but not now.

‘In die Nacht’ was created in Spain. They wrote the music before the lyrics.

They prefer travelling by bus than planes, as it gives them more time to sleep.

In ‘Games of Thrones’, Bill would kill Jon Snow and marry Cersei. Tom would have sex with Melisandre.

Bill was asked about group sex, and he said that they didn’t do that with the ex, and never had that kind of sex.

The most sexual smell is your own, unique, natural. Bill wouldn’t deal with bad smelling people.

Sometimes Bill reads comments on his Instagram, and even Direct Messages, though one can’t see if he has read his or her or not due to his settings.

Meet & Greet:


04/29/2017: Krasnodar

High as fuck VIP package – flight Voronezh – Krasnodar:


A guy asked Bill why he stopped talking so much on stage. He used to talk often about his parents and their divorce. Tom said that it was a good question. Bill explained that he was only 15-16 and he was very nervous about every show and that those speeches helped him calming down. And now he understands that people go to their shows to listen to their music and not his speeches. And when he goes to shows himself, he hates these speeches, because he goes for music, not for listening to people talking. But he said he’ll try to find a middle way.

A girl asked them what was the funniest accident of ther childhood. Tom said he doesn’t see any ‘fun’ in accidents. But the twins remembered something; when they were kids, they went sledging and Bill pushed Tom, so they fell down, and a girl, who was right after them, cut Tom’s brow. They started arguing whose fault it was. Tom said it was Bill’s, and Bill accused the girl.

They think Marylin Manson a cool and unique artist.

Sometimes, Bill would like to have long hair again when he’s on stage.

A girl asked Bill why he doesn’t like Trump. She offered him two options: a) because he is in sympathy with other celebrities on hating Trump, or b) because he thinks Trump is a bad politician. Bill chose the second option and said he always has his own opinion on every ussie. He just doesn’t like Trump’s politics.

Someone asked ‘what if extraterrestrial beings are pure monsters like creatures in movies’. Bill said society makes us being afraid of them on purpose. He believes that if one day they come to Earth, we should be welcoming and hospitable to them. People should also invite them to live here ‘because our planet is beautiful”.

If Bill and Tom were not twins and met for the first time as adults, they believe that they would definitely become best friends, as they are so much alike and would feel like being soulmates. Georg joked that they would date, then.

Bill said that he once heard a tap on his hotel door during the tour. He thought that it was his meal order, but when he opened the door, it was a fan. She said ‘May I talk to you? For five minutes, not more!’. He was surprised and kind of confused and replied: ‘No. You shouldn’t come here and interfere into my personal space’. She began crying and he asked her to go and after she fell down on the floor and continued crying. Bill said it was a real hysteria.

Someone asked them to choose between not feeling the taste of food and orgasm. They chose not to feel orgasm because it doesn’t last long.

They said they miss kindergarten. Bill especially misses the innocence and pureness.

Bill said they got so many sexual questions and feels like all Russians do is have sex.

Bill said that the best feeling is experiencing things for the first time. He’d like to experience certain things again.

Georg said he once passed out during a flight from Amsterdam, on his way to the bathroom.

They couldn’t travel by tour bus because of bad road conditions in Russia.

Group picture:

Meet & Greet:


Interview for Rolling Stone India

Tokio Hotel_Studio_2_048_FINAL_Lado_Alexi

Tokio Hotel: Back with a Bang

The German band return with a new electro-pop identity on their hard-won magnum opus, ‘Dream Machine’

It’s easy to forget that Tokio Hotel are somewhat of a veteran band. The German pop-rock quartet’s looks belie their experience of 16 years and 10 million records sold worldwide. Currently on tour to support their fifth studio album Dream Machine, the band’s schedule is tight but they are thrilled to be back on the road.

“The tour has been great so far. It was the 22nd show today—and no major fuck-ups,” says frontman Bill Kaulitz with a smile over Skype from Warsaw, Poland. The band are in the European leg of the tour and will head to Russia the next day. “We had so much fun. I think we’ve never been happier onstage.” Bill’s twin brother and the band’s lead guitarist Tom sits beside him while bassist Georg Listing is a silent but cheerful presence nearby. Drummer Gustav Schäfer stays out of the frame save for a quick ‘Thank you!’ when we congratulate him on the birth of his daughter.

Tokio Hotel’s shows on this tour are more intimate and artistic, designed to match the band’s new retro-synth sound on Dream Machine and help them connect more with the audience. However, as the conversation progresses, it becomes clear that the excitement around the record and touring was hard won; “With Humanoid and the last period of that time, we just weren’t engaged with what we did,” Kaulitz recalls about the exhausting tour for 2009’s Humanoid album. “It was more like a job, something we had to do and we weren’t passionate about it as much.” This led to the band’s infamous five-year hiatus. Usually considered career-suicide for most, the break helped the band build the bones of their current identity. While their big comeback with 2014’s Kings of Suburbia opened the gates to change, Tokio Hotel embraced it fully only on Dream Machine. Released in March, the album brims with mature lyricism, retro-synth and echoing falsettos, all wrapped up in glimmering, crisp production. All in all, it’s a more immersive experience than anything the band has done before.

In this exclusive interview, Tokio Hotel discuss their evolution, taking control of their own music and the journey to their magnum opus.


Is this tour more relaxed than ‘Feel It All,’ the tour for 2014’s Kings of Suburbia?

Bill: I think onstage we created a set where we could enjoy ourselves and enjoy the music a little more so it feels less stressed. I feel like the show before was a little more… let’s say powerful, while this one is dreamy.

Tom: But, musically it’s a little more challenging. The show in itself got more advanced: we have more instruments onstage, we have more keyboards, more laptops… So it got more technical. But the set has a lot of long breaks, long intros and we just play music.

How do you begin translating Dream Machine’s complex instrumentation and experience to a live show?

Bill: We were thinking of extending songs, going with the flow and making it longer than it is on the record. The album sounds cinematic so we wanted to support that with heavy light shows and big images, just get lost in the music and in the synth. Some parts we cut out—it’s always a journey to create the final set list for the tour. We start off just putting down our favorite songs, the songs we definitely want to play live, and we kind of section it off and have different sections to keep it exciting. The worst thing that could happen is when you get bored. So we found a nice mixture of new songs and old songs. I feel like it’s a good blend for all Tokio Hotel fans that discovered us as a band.

What’s your take on fans who don’t like your shift from rock to a more electro-pop sound?

Bill: I think it’s understandable because it’s so tough to let go of things and I know that’s because if you like a band once, you just want them to stay the same. But as an artist, as a musician, that’s impossible. At least for us, what is most important is that we are happy with our music and we are authentic with what we do. If we would stick to the same sound we were doing when we were 12 or 13 years old, that wouldn’t be our sound—that would be a money making machine, you know? And we are not about that. For us it’s about fun, it’s about enjoying ourselves and it’s about the music we love to make. So we’d rather lose people on the way but make the stuff we really love.

I noticed you guys were much happier when you released Kings of Suburbia [2014] and Dream Machine in comparison to when you released Humanoid [2009].

Tom: Yeah you noticed that because with Kings of Suburbia we started to write a lot more and do a lot more. I remember when we started to work on Kings of Suburbia with our producers and we heard the first demos, the outcome wasn’t what we thought was good. It didn’t feel right and so then out of frustration, we decided to build our own studio and really go into production even more than we did before. So that was like a turning point in our life and our career.

Bill: I think it was something that had to happen at one point and we were just like, ‘Okay enough. Now we take charge of everything.’ Artistically, I think we got too comfortable in our career; we got uninterested. With Humanoid and the last period of that time, we just weren’t engaged with what we did. It was more like a job, something we had to do and we weren’t passionate about it as much. It really took that change in our lives to be engaged again and be excited about the band and say, ‘Wait a second, this is our band. We love to make music, so let’s make music again.’ We took the time to go in the studio and make music that means something to us and not only go with A-list songwriters and producers and do something that’s hollow. We had to take that control in order to keep going and be excited about the band again.

When did you start working on Dream Machine? Did you have a clear idea of where you wanted to go when you began?

Tom: No we had no idea. We decided go back to the roots. We started off in January 2016 in Berlin and it was just the four of us going to the studio and no one else. We said, ‘Let’s do music like we used to do, just the four of us.’ We were in the studio for one or two months, just listening to music, writing new music. One of the first songs we wrote for this album was “Boy Don’t Cry.” In that time we wrote five to six songs that I took home to L.A., after that and I produced it. We finished writing the album in L.A. and then we came back [to Germany] and finished the record this year in January, right before we put it out.

That’s cutting it close!

Tom: Yeah! And when we announced the tour, we weren’t even sure if we were going to put out the record before because we didn’t know if we could finish it. It was really stressful, if I have to be honest.

Bill: It was a marathon. I think from December… Putting out [the first single] “Something New” in December and shooting that video, until today, it’s been a marathon. We’ve been working non-stop. But it worked out. We are totally happy with the outcome.

Now that the record is out and you’re performing it live, how has the reaction been from fans?

Tom: It’s been great. We’ve gotten great reviews on the album—I think the best reviews we’ve ever gotten for an album.

Bill: I feel like now people are more comfortable with us and they understand what the band is [about] now. Because with Kings of Suburbia, it was kind of a shock [to fans]. I feel like, with this record, we established the sound and what we are and how our live shows are.

Tom: The fans know what to expect and this is kind of our goal too. I just want to create something, a certain sound a certain signature to the band, you know what I mean? People know, ‘Okay, I know when I buy this next record from them, without even listening to it, I know what I can expect.’ I feel like we kind of started that with Kings of Suburbia and now did it with Dream Machine. We finally found that signature and that sound and we can move forward with it.

How does it feel being back on tour together? You both are based in L.A. while Georg and Gustav are in Germany—Gustav also just became a dad. Does it get harder to leave your private life each time?

Bill: I feel like now we understand this life and we accept it so much better than we were younger. For example, right now, you live in that bubble and you don’t see or hear anything else. We are in this Tokio Hotel bubble; we don’t know what time it is, we don’t know what day it is, it’s all about the show, the fans and it’s just about the music. Anything could happen and we wouldn’t hear about it. We enjoy that bubble, but only because we know we’re going to get out of this and we all have our private lives that we are looking forward to going back to. But the entire year is just going to be a tour year and we’re looking forward to just playing the record. And we’re going to shoot two more music videos and put two more singles out… So yeah, we’re going to work this record for a while. For us it’s really about all these different facets we have in our lives right now and we enjoy each one fully.

Watch Tokio Hotel’s video for “What If,” the second single from ‘Dream Machine’:

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Source: RollingStoneIndia