Where home is
They started as a school band in Magdeburg and had their wordlwide breakthrough soon after that. With a little showcase at Radio SAW, Tokio Hotel presented their fourth studioalbum “Kings of Suburbia”. Elisa Sowieja from Volksstimme spoke with the twins Bill and Tom Kaulitz.
How does being home feel?
Bill: Wonderful! Sadly we never actually get to see anything of the city we're in at that momen – although we already know Magdeburg by now. But we're still happy to be here.
You played a concert here, in front of two dozen people. How did that feel?
Bill: It was kind of odd! But I do like being so close to the people you're performing for once in a while.
Tom: I'm always a little more excited than usual. It just feels more intimate, performing in front of such a small crowd.
You've already been in Germany since the past week. What did you do since then?
Tom: We've been promoting the new album from the morning until the evening. We start at 9 in the morning and that just goes on until 10 at night. Then we go to sleep and drive to the next city.
How much time do you have left for friends and family then?
Bill: Not much, sadly. Tom and I are looking into maybe extending our Germany-visit for a few days to visit family. Sometimes some of them are also present during media appointments. But afterwards we usually have to leave immediately, so we don't get to go out and eat with them.
Tom: Before we started promoting the album, we went to Hamburg to start planning our tour.
Are you planning on coming to Magdeburg then?
Bill: We don't actually know that yet. I think we're going to tour the whole of next year, by blocking the tourdates.
We will probably only start thinking about a specific tourplan in the next few weeks.
Tom: Maybe we'll just play a secret concert under a fake name at the “Factory”!
You've been living in Los Angeles since 2010. What does Magdeburg have to offer, that L.A. can't?
Tom: Plum and rhubarb cake.
Bill: Exactly. Our grandma always makes a nice plum-cake and freezes it until we visit her. We generally miss German baked goods – dark bread and bread rolls. They don't have that in the US!
Do you still see Magdeburg as your home?
Bill: Not really. You have to remember that we never really directly lived in Magdeburg, but in Loitsche. And we moved away from there when we were 15 years old. For us, home is where our family is. In the beginning they came with us to L.A. and Tom and I always have family with us, since we're brothers. But we do have some memories of Magdeburg. When you drive through the city now, it all seems so much smaller – which may be because I grew a little.
Tom: Of course we have memories of Magdeburg, we went to our first party's here.
Speaking of family: You're still living together – your brotherly bond seems to be very strong.
Bill: Not living together is out of the question for us. We would really like having a house that's connected by a tunnel in the future. But at the moment we're stil living together in a house.
Tom: The family bonds is strong with all of us though. Georg and Gustav actually stayed in Mageburg because of their family.
While the two of them were living in Magdeburg, the majority of the album was actually recorded in L.A. – how did you do that?
Tom: We produced in L.A. and came to Germany a few times. A lot of stuff also happened via internet, partially even whole songs. Some producers would simply be sitting in Germany and you'd have sessions with them. As a band we recorded a lot in Hamburg.
And no one noticed.
Bill: No, it's not like we announced that beforehand.
You probably wear disguises when you go out Germany.
Bill: When we go out privately, we always try to stay unnoticed.
Tom: On Instagram we'll always write “Hello Mexiko!” beforehand – and no one knows that we're here.
There is no German song on the album. Is that a final decision regarding your music?
Tom: No. With this album we just didn't feel like translating the lyrics. With the last one we did it quite often, sometimes even by about 90% from English to German. It was kind of expected of us and we felt like we had to. This album though we wanted to leave the way it was created. When we write a German song in the future we won't translate it into English anymore.
The new album has a very electronic sound. How big was your fear that your fans won't like the new sound?
Bill: When you're a fan of a band you would like them to never change, but we don't want to fulfill any expectations. I think you can only be successful when you can stand behind what you're doing 1000% and like it. It's normal that there are a few people who won't like that. But by now it changes from song to song. I think you'll make yourself crazy by thinking about this too much.
In the first two videos from your new album and on the Single-Cover of “Love Who Loves You Back” sex plays a pretty big role. Was it a conscious decision to be so procovative?
Bill: A lot of people say we created a kind of “sex-package”, but we actually didn't. We have to say: We always make decisions in the moment we do something. There were a few weeks in between the videoshoots. The public simply got that “package”, and we ourselves didn't really notice that it could come across as being so full of sex.
But you have to say that the video for “Love Who Loves You Back” is very “sexy”. It shows you in the middle of a kissing-orgy.
Bill: That was a very conscious decision. I already wanted to shoot a video like that for the last album, because I like the move “The Perfume” to much. The last scene there is an orgy, where the murderer puts the perfume on that he created. I wanted to do that with music. It just fit the song really well.
What inspires you?
Bill: Cheekiness. We were able to lead a normal life in L.A., after a long time of not being able to do that, and were able to let ourselves be inspired by new people in this new city. That was the time we also started writing songs again. Before that, we spent so much time in venues that – at some point – I didn't even know what we could write about anymore.
Tom: Also the time that we spent outside of L.A. was inspiring. We travelled a lot and attented a few festivals. Our own music taste just changed.
In Germany you were also scared – for example, when someone broke into your Villa in Hamburg. Is it oppressive, coming back to Germany then?
Bill: Germany just feels a lot more intimate. There are so many people in L.A., you can just disappear. When I got off the plane in Germany, last week, I had to buy some dog food. I was the only person in the shop and an employee immediately came to help me. When you need help in L.A. you have to look for someone to help you first, which could take you about an hour.
Tom: You can also talk in German, without anyone understanding you.
Bill: Exactly. There are a lot of freaks over there, you don't really get noticed much.
Then moving back is currently not an option for you.
Bill: Life in L.A. just feels very relaxing for us. I wouldn't want to give that away for anything. When we're on the road a lot in Germany, it works well. But when we're in one place for too long, a lot of people start coming there and everything gets harder. That's why living here didn't work that well.
But you like coming back as visitors.
Bill: That's nice, we like being in Germany. If we could have lived here, I wouldn't have left. I actually find it a little embarassing to say that I live in L.A., because everyone has this certain image of the city. We don't have anything to do with that. We moved there to disappear. We didn't attend party's or red carpet events and we didn't want to lead a glamour-life. We chose L.A. because we already knew people there.
Traduction : à venir