Tokio Hotel Family: Vanity Fair Interview!?
In bed with Tokio Hotel
The German band who drives little girls crazy (but for how long?) is coming to Italy on tour. Guess where we interviewed them?
Hands up anyone who remembers a Tokio Hotel song. If you attend middle school you’ll probably be appalled right now since you know by heart every single word. If you are older than 15, you’ll be perplexed. At most someone could sing “na-na-na-na monsoon”. If you belong to the first group you’re impatiently waiting for one of the next four Italian gigs. If you belong to the second one, prepare yourself to see well-known scenes in the newscast: little girls screaming for four guys in their twenties (one with make-up and a strange haircut, one with braids who looks like a rapper, one with short hair and one with long hair). They are Tokio Hotel, the German band who’ve sold the most records during the last few years (three millions of albums sold all over the world, 700.000 just with the most recent one, Humanoid, released last October). Even if insiders say that the band’s popularity is dwindling (the four dates are not sold out like two years ago), even if the American Rolling Stone has reviewed their new album saying that it is “melodically anemic and strangely low-key”, even if Google Trends (a feature which provides insights into broad search patterns on web) testifies that the search of the word “Tokio Hotel” is decreasing and even if on Facebook the group called “this aubergine has more fans than Tokio Hotel” has accomplished its mission – the four boys from Magdeburg are still conquering thousands of infatuated teenagers who are ready for anything.
The boys fit their roles perfectly. When we meet them in a luxurious hotel suite, Bill Kaulitz – the singer – enters, greets, comes to an halt, widens his legs and he starts posing in front of the photographer with a continuous change of facial expressions (enigmatic stare – a little less enigmatic stare – cryptic stare – a little less cryptic stare) – even Ben Stiller in Zoolander can’t do better! Too bad the photographer is still maneuvering with flashes and computers. The manager tells Bill that the photoshoot is yet to start. Bill says “Ok” and heads toward the make-up artist (Nathalie) who retouches his foundation.
In the meantime – knowing that Nathalie plays a key role for the band thanks to her skills with hairspray, blush and pencils – we ask her how long she has been working with Tokio Hotel. She moves away laughing and ending the conversation with a “No comment”, “It’s a secret”, “It’s a mystery”. As if it were the fourth secret of Fatima… I’m told it’s normal. An urban legend tells that she had a relationship with Bill – someone denies it and says this is just a covering for his alleged homosexuality which would let his young female fans down, whereas others say it’s true but he doesn’t admit it for the same reason, namely not to disappoint his fans. After all, in every single interview it’s told that he is looking for a girl to fall in love with, Tom falls for a different girl every night, Gustav is single and Georg is the only one who’s had a girlfriend, for a year.
After the photoshoot – which they undergo with seriousness and compliance, with a German-Japanese attitude which fits their name – they lie down on a double bed in the room next door. They invite me to sit with them and to make the interview on the mattress every fan would kill for.
Bill, you’re the girls’ idol, but the songwriter of your lyrics as well. The second single, World Behind My Wall, says: “Wanna wake up in a dream”. How is your world behind the façade?
Bill: A very lucky world. I’ve got a family, my four dogs, my brother Tom, the band and my job. But at the same time it’s difficult to find the same happiness in the world outside – I realize mine is quite an ecceptional case.
Your album is called Humanoid, on its cover there’s a Bill-robot and in many songs you underline this theme: you’re not robots, but people with a heart.
Bill: Many people just looked at the cover and thought that we wanted to play “robots”. Honestly, we thought to name the album like this because we feel like “humanoids”, i.e. “human-like”. We feel strange, different. In Alien I sing “There’s an alien in me”, but – to be honest – I’m singing about the search of love, about the union with your other half. In every song we talk about emotions and childhood memories, we’re sentimental and totally human.
Talking about aliens, you have said you believe in Martians.
Bill: I believe in many things, even if I don’t follow a specific religion. I’m sure that there’s life beyond death or on other planets. And I strongly believe in fate. Me and my brother doing this job was written in fate, we’ve loved music since we were kids.
Apart from yours, what music do you like? Where does your inspiration come from?
Tom: I like Stereophonics.
Gustav: I listen to Metallica. But on the right calf I have tattooed a sentence by Johnny Cash, whom
Tom: I like Stereophonics.
Gustav: I listen to Metallica. But on the right calf I have tattooed a sentence by Johnny Cash, whom I really like.
Tom: You know, honestly, we’ve got little time to listen to music. We’re always on the road playing our music and at the end of the day our ears can’t take any more.
Do you ever have any breaks?
Bill: Never. Actually, even reading a book or a magazine its impossible.
Talking about readings, Bill, you left middle school. Aren’t you interested in learning something more?
Bill: I’ve not taken a diploma because at that time I was already writing our first album and I don’t know if I’ll ever take the diploma. Now I’m Tokio Hotel frontman, that’s what I’m doing and I have a lot of fun.
Tom: I don’t feel like getting one right now, I’m not interested. But I assure you we can write, read and count.
Gustav: I’ve taken my diploma in professional studies through an online-school. Maybe one day I’ll continue my studies… But at the moment we’re
focused on the band, you know. It’s like our dream has finally come true and we want to carry it out. For our fans, too.
Gustav, last year you were attacked in a club, whereas Tom allegedly punched a girl who asked him for an autograph. What’s happening to you?
Gustav: It seems incredible, but even I get recognized like a Tokio Hotel member. That’s why that night a guy in a club wanted to express how little he liked the band – let’s put it like that – and he smashed a beer mug on my head.
Tom: As in my case, lot of lies have been written. I’ve never hit a woman. Actually, I’ve had an argument with somebody on my way back home. However, they weren’t fans asking for an autograph, but girls I knew and they didn’t exactly have good intentions. You know, it was a private matter. This is also the proof we can’t go out without bodyguards, even when we’re not working.
Well, to avoid being assaulted, now you should…
Bill: Set your heart at rest: we’re not going to give up.
Asked By: 丰 αυτøṃατïṡсh - 3/18/2010