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Av Ica - 4 augusti 2008 18:05

Goethe Review: Tokio Hotel take over the world:

In February 2008 the city of New York was once again invaded by hordes of screaming girls and it could mean only one thing – another boy band was in town. This time however there was something different about the whole thing – all the slogans and declarations of love on the T-shirts and posters were not in English, but in German. “Bill, ess briiingt miiiisch oummm,” for example, (“Bill, it’s gonna kill me”) as the line from one of the band’s hits goes. This was also the refrain sung by most of the female fans at the Tokio Hotel gig at the Fillmore NY club – New York’s legendary concert venue that in the past has seen fans reeling in the aisles to such musical greats as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

After taking Europe by storm the band went stateside and – to everybody’s amazement – managed to conquer America, too. At first the media back home in Germany were in some cases more amused than impressed, they did try however to find an explanation for the phenomenon. How could it be that four young guys – in fact, barely-of-age guys – from the town of Magdeburg in eastern Germany had now become icons of global youth culture, or even sex symbols?

Without doubt their look most definitely played a crucial role. The lead singer, Bill, has spiky hair like a porcupine, eyes lined with kohl and he is dressed like a punk, which makes him look like one of those Japanese manga figures. The guitarist, Tom, Bill’s identical twin brother, goes more for shaggy Rasta dreadlocks and the baggy hip-hop look. Fan forums are equally as obsessed with the way the brothers look as they are with the music.

Of course, there is never success without money. Tokio Hotel’s label, Universal, is one of the biggest on the music scene and has spared neither effort nor expense to market the quartet to a young audience via websites, publicity campaigns and magazines. This however is not enough to explain their success, especially when you think that only one tenth of all performing artists manage to bring home a profit for their recording companies. Promoting a new act, as we see, can quite definitely involve quite a few risks, as one of the business’s top dogs found out to its dismay – SonyBMG had signed on Tokio Hotel, but terminated their contract just before their breakthrough in 2005. By word of mouth on new grapevines

Tokio Hotel is über amazing. Fan’s scribbling in New York. Another vital publicity factor these days is the effect of internet platforms like YouTube and MySpace that enable new trends to spread like wildfire. It is a form of the classic word-of-mouth advertising that uses different channels to not only overcome international barriers, but also linguistic ones. This is in fact what makes the success of Tokio Hotel so surprising – most of the lyrics they sing are in German.

Before Tokio Hotel there were of course other German success stories. Kraftwerk, for example, who, with their song Autobahn, pioneered the myth of fast-lane freedom for fast-lane individuals. Nina Hagen is still a well-known face in the USA, famous for her outrageous performances; the same with Nena who managed get to number two in the US charts in 1983 with her song 99 Red Balloons. Since the end of the 1990s Rammstein has been the most successful musical export in German. With their explosive stage show, brute-force arrangements and their sometimes controversial lyrics the group promotes the cliché of the remorseless, sinister Teuton. German graffiti in Rome

Rasta dreadlocks and hip-hop clothes. Tokio Hotel’s guitarist, Tom Kaulitz. Tokio Hotel have also pulled off another great feat – they have triggered a huge, new surge of interest in the German language. “German is sexy,” as two female fans at the concert in New York told the German magazine, Focus. “Young Americans and Canadians have started learning German so that they can understand the lyrics better,” says Wolfram Hermann of the Goethe-Institut in Boston. “There has been a huge response,” confirms his colleague in Rome, Elisa Costa. In Italy ten per cent more teenagers between the ages of 11 and 16 have enrolled in German courses. In France, according to information published in the German news magazine, Spiegel, it as many as 25 per cent. On the institute’s website in Italy there was a competition in which you could win 100 Tokio Hotel concert tickets – in two weeks 5,000 people took part in it. They had to answer the questions in German. On the Rome underground graffiti has now appeared exalting the names of the band members and proclaiming in German messages like “ich liebe dich” (I love you) or “du bist mein Engel” (You are my angel).

Another clear sign of the group’s potential is the fact that T-shirts, posters and biographies are available all over the place, whether you are in Palermo or Istanbul, New York or Paris. Tokio Hotel has furthermore paved the way for other young German bands to make it in a big way, for example, Cinema Bizarre or Nevada Tan. This is the reason why branches of the Goethe-Institut in Europe and in North America are planning further online campaigns and cooperation projects with both schools and the press to enhance the spread of the German language.

The aim here is to achieve what Hesse, Goethe and Grass, etc, did not quite manage to do. The fans at the Fillmore NY concert all sang in unison “Wir häm unns toadgeliiebt” (We’ve loved ourselves to death) from the Tokio Hotel song, Loved To Death. It might not sound quite as elegant as Goethe’s Wayfarer’s Night Song, “In allen Wipfeln spürest du kaum einen Hauch” (In all the treetops you feel hardly a breath of air) – maybe that is the reason why the quality press and state institutions were initially so reluctant to jump on the Tokio Hotel bandwagon. Can a band with such bizarre hairstyles and lyrics oozing with the Weltschmerz of youth represent a country that is respected as the world’s top exporting nation?

Gute Besserung (Get well soon!). Tokio Hotel fans in Moscow. Foto/Copyright: Maria PawlowaThe answer lies with the fans. Not just in Germany, but everywhere the fans camp out for days in all kinds of weather in the hope of getting the best concert tickets – be it in Geneva, Tel Aviv or Moscow. It is hard to put into a nutshell why there is so much enthusiasm for Tokio Hotel. One thing is for sure – they have certainly managed to introduce the world to a new image of Germany – one that is young, surprising and sexy.

Tu magazine has put Tokio Hotel on their front cover - they're a Mexican magazine!


Av Ica - 2 augusti 2008 14:02

Bill and Tom are in the Fall 2008 issue fo Fashion Rocks, an insert in Teen Vogue. There isn’t very much written, but there are some very nice photos. Look below the break for the scans and written article thanks to Tokio Hotel US.

 The Sound
America meet Tokio Hotel. The gender-bending emo-pop rockers are headed up by eighteen-year-old German twins Bill and Tom Kaulitz, whose looks are identical but whose styles couldn’t be more different. “We hate people telling us to wear this and that,” says guitarist Tom, who favors dreads, baggy jeans, and a carefully skewed baseball cap. “Sometimes at a photo shoot they try to style this hair,” singer Bill says, pointing to his hedgehog-like coiffure, “but no one knows how.” His secret? “Hair spray. A lot.” Between the hair and emotive vocals–not to mention the piercings, tattoos, and rock-chic clothes–it’s easy to see how Bill has become the object of many a teenage crush. And despite their varied senses of style, the Kaulitzes say their twin telepathy provides a shared vision of their goals for the future. “Be successful in America!” Tom says. Adds Bill, with a grin: “And play in Tokyo.”

 Wonder Twins
Having already sold more than 5 million albums worldwide, Tokio Hotel is poised to conquer Americawith their grunge-inflected emo rock (and a whole lot of extra-hold product).

Av Ica - 2 augusti 2008 12:48

Tokio Hotel made it this time into the Fall 2008 issue of Fashion Rocks (supplement to Teen Vogue Fall 2008). The twins have each a picture in the article Hearts of Darkness!!! Thanks so much to the backyardigan for this info and the scans!!!

This is the magazine.
Kaulitz twins, teen vogue

America meet Tokio Hotel. The gender-bending emo-pop rockers are headed up by eighteen-year-old German twins Bill and Tom Kaulitz, whose looks are identical but whose styles couldn't be more different. "We hate people telling us to wear this and that," says guitarist Tom, who favors dreads, baggy jeans, and a carefully skewed baseball cap. "Sometimes at a photo shoot they try to style this hair," singer Bill says, pointing to his hedgehog-like coiffure, "but no one knows how." His secret? "Hair spray. A lot." Between the hair and emotive vocals-not to mention the piercings, tattoos, and rock-chic clothes-it's easy to see how Bill has become the object of many a teenage crush. And despite their varied senses of style, the Kaulitzes say their twin telepathy provides a shared vision of their goals for the future. "Be successful in America!" Tom says. Adds Bill, with a grin: "And play in Tokyo."


Wonder Twins
Having already sold more than 5 million albums worldwide, Tokio Hotel is poised to conquer America with their grunge-inflected emo rock (and a whole lot of extra-hold product).

Av Ica - 2 augusti 2008 12:19

David, one of the producers of the band has given an interview to Yam about his definitions of success, how he feels about the band's success, what makes a star and MORE!

Der Starmacher

Talent, hart work or luck - what does it take to become really successful? Tokio-Hotel-Producer David Jost has the answer!

He is producer, songwriter and manager of Tokio Hotel. David Jost discovered the band from Magdeburg, built them up and led them to international success. The creative Hamburger is a workaholic always on a tight schedule. Nevertheless the 35-year-old found time for an exclusive yam!-interview and revealed what it takes to be successful as a star over the long run and why will can be more important than talent ...

What does it take to become a star?
DAVID: Potential! Most of all a person has to have emotional potential and also enormous will power. If an artist has to offer a lot of both it is very likely that he will succeed.

Does one also succeed having only one of those two?
DAVID: Yes, if this one is highly developed. If one has only talent but not will power he needs to be lucky and find the right people to push him to success. It also works the other way round. Someone with moderate talent but enournous will power and intelligence can be successful as well.

Any examples for that?
DAVID: Madonna! She is not really an extraordinary singer, but she is intelligent. For over 20 years now, she has been one of the top artists worldwide. This is not luck, nobody can be lucky for such a long period. She does not leave anything to chance. Although she performs on stage, she is one of the big players in the music business, one of those people who pull the strings.

What else does it take to become successful and to stay it?
DAVID: One attribute which is also closely connected to willl power is the readiness to make sacrifices to reach one's goals. For big and long-term success you almost always have to make sacrifices. This does not only apply for the music business. One has to be very lucky and talented to be successful without sacrifieces.

How do you spot a talent?
DAVID: There is no overall rule to this. Most of the time you can feel talent. I generally trust my gut instinct.

And what did your gut feeling tell you, when you saw Tokio Hotel for the first time?
DAVID: I totally went nuts (laughs). It hit me unexpected. At that time I was willing to do anything but work exclusively with one single band. But all my other plans were forgotten when I heard and saw the boys for the first time. Bill was 13 and showed me and my partners the Band-demos, which they had recorded in their tiny studio in Magdeburg. After the boys left I could not stop screaming „Yes" and „strike" (grins)

Did you already know, that TH would be internationally successful?
DAVID: No, of course not. I was 100 percent sure, that they would be mega-successful in Germany. I bet the whole music business everything on that. But it would have been very arrogant to assume that there was such an international hype.

What is Tokio Hotel's recipe for success?
DAVID: The whole music business is full of artists who only succeed because somebody constantly tells them what to do and how to avoid mistakes. One of the reasons why TH are so successful is that they are exactly the contrary.

In how far?
DAVID: To tell Bill what to do against his will - which would be impossible by the way - would make him lose large parts of himself. Bill has to be totally convinced of what he does - to be able to be as good as he can be. Already at very young age he knew exactly what he wants, and even more what he does not want. People can feel this. Bill comprises very large emotional extremes. You rarely find a frontman like this in germany. The star potential of the band is huge. Even if I had no brain, it would have been impossible to blow it (laughs)

Songwriter or Manager - which is more fun?
DAVID: Writing songs is of course more fun. But managing is also a creative and diverse job. I am very lucky that I am able to work for a band I believe in and who blows my mind every day anew. I could not do the job without this.

Are you and Tokio Hotel already working on the third album?
DAVID: We already begun with the songwriting. Bill is very creative at the moment and constantly comes up with new song ideas.

What is the best song that you ever wrote?
DAVID: I have not written that one yet. My best song is still to come (laughs)!

Av Ica - 31 juli 2008 19:46

The Magazine, a Canadian kids magazine, has published an interview with Tokio Hotel. They talk about their early career, life on tour and what they do in their spare time! 

“Let’s Take Hotel”
Tokio Hotel Talks

Since releasing their first English album, ‘Scream’, German band Tokio Hotel has been taking North America by storm. We caught up with the guys recent; to talk music, touring and more!

How did you guys get started as a group?
We played in a lot of nightclubs and at weddings and we met Georg and Gustav in the audience. I think there were five people and two of them were Georg and Gustav… They came and asked if they could play in our band. We went to the rehearsal room and tried, and it was the beginning of Devilish. That was our fifth band name.

Is there a meaning behind your current band name?
We are all city people, so we came up with “Tokio”. We’ve never been there… It’s like a dream to play a concert in Tokyo. Then we said okay we need a symbol… and it was always a dream to travel the world and sleep in hotels, so we said let’s take “Hotel”.

‘Scream’ is your first album recorded in English. Was it hard to record a crossover album?
For me, it was really a challenge because… we just speak some words and we learned English in school, and I always sung in German. We said, okay we really want [it] so everyone can understand our lyrics. And the studio takes some time because I’m such a perfectionist and I really wanted it to sound natural, not like a German who tried to sing in English.

What do you like and dislike about touring?
Being on a promotional tour… it’s a lot of interviews and TV shows. That’s also okay, but playing live is just… yeah, more fun. The negative side of being on tour is you have not that much time for girls!

What has been your favourite stop since touring?
Hard to say… but I think I really love the big cities, so I really love Paris and Moscow. No, I think there are so many nice places in Europe. But, I also love New York, and I love Toronto. It’s a nice city.

Have you had any embarrassing moments while performing?
Georg always has embarrassing moments! No, I think yeah, there are some moments… I pushed my mike into my mouth… Gustav fell down from his chair. We were on the catwalk; it was in Russia, and we just jumped on the catwalk, and the whole catwalk jumped with us. It was like moving all around… It was like surfing.

What do you do in your spare time?
Most of the time, we sleep! I think we are the tiredest band in the world. On the tour bus, we have a lot of DVDs; I think two hundred DVDs and movies. Most of the time, not really interesting things. Just the opposite of our Tokio Hotel life.

Av Ica - 31 juli 2008 19:45 has posted an article about Tokio Hotel and the MTV VMAs. They say that Tokio Hotel still have a chance to win a VMA, but you all have to vote!

In September, one of the hottest music events of all time takes place again. The MTV Video Awards will occur. Top acts like the Jonas Bothers perform on stage it will and it will bring some prizes. If everything runs well, Tokio Hotel can also swipe the international prize.

Now, MTV has listed all possibilities in the “Best Pop Video” categoriy. The pre-voting decides who will make the nomination list in the end. Up to now, the trend goes against Bill, Tom, Gustav, and Georg.

Under the most viewed videos, Monsoon is not in the top 20 on the nomination list. Here, up to now, Jordin Sparks, Mariah Carey, and Chris Brown dominate. At the beginning of August it will be certain which acts made it into the nominations list.

Here, you can vote for Tokio Hotel (unfortunately, only by logging in).

In the categories “Best Female Artists” and “Best Male Artist”, the nominations stand ready: Mariah Carey (Touch My Body), Katy Perry (I Kissed A Girl), Rihanna (Take A Bow), Jordin Sparks (No Air) und Britney Spears (Piece Of Me) are there.

Alongside the boys, Chris Brown (With You), Flo Rida (Low), Lil Wayne (Lollipop), T.I (No Matter What) und Usher (Love Is In The Club) are on the list.

Av Ica - 31 juli 2008 19:43

In a recent interview with Vi Unge, a Danish youth magazine, Tokio Hotel reveals they will be coming back to Denmark sometime soon! After canceling their concert earlier this year and not being able to reschedule it this summer, they are hoping to go there as soon as possible.

-We will come to Denmark!

In the spring you had to cancel a lot of concerts, because Bill had to be operated for a cyst on the vocal chords. Now you are back on the track. How does it feel to be back?
Bill: It is SO great to be back on stage again. I was really terrified under the whole process. Its obvious, that you get worried and thinks “What if my voice will be ruined?”, or “What if I dont sound like before”. Luckily I had a quick recover. First time I was on the stage after my surgery, it was really awesome, and I really enjoy the concerts we are playing at the moment.

What did Bills illness meant for the band?
Georg: It was a situation, where the power was out of our hands. The only thing we could do, was wish him well, and then just wait.
Tom: It took some time, before we actually realised we had to cancel the rest of our tour. In the beginning, when Bill went to Germany to get checked, the rest of us kept travelling from town to town, because all along we hoped he would come back.
Bill: I actually think the whole experience have brought us closer together.

Were you afraid it was over for Tokio Hotel?
Tom: Of course we thought about it. Especially in the beginning, were we didnt know what was wrong. But after some time, we started to think about the future, and that Bill would come back at some point. The worst we could imagine, was that I had to take over for Bill. Haha

You are currently breaking through in USA. Why is that so important for you?

Tom: To go to USA and try our luck there, is really amazing - especially for a German band. It’s really rare that happen. So of course we will take the chance when it comes, and see if we can make it over there. But its really not like we have a masterplan, on which countries we want to do make it in. It’s usually our fans, that discovers us online, and when we see there’s a lot that likes us, we go there. That’s how it works for us.

What is the craziest thing you have experienced in USA sofar?

Bill: There’s so many things, it’s hard to choose. But recently, we experienced something pretty wild in L.A We were sitting in the backstage-room after our concert, when all of the sudden, we hear a strange sound. Then we discovered it was a girl, trying to crawl through the window, on the second floor! Unfortunately, she got stuck, and then she even lost her camera. Pretty crazy.

Some of your Danish fans, feel a little disappointed over the cancelled concerts in Denmark, and that you havnt rescheduled. What would you like to say to them?
Bill: We really want to say - particularly me - that we are really, really sorry we had to cancel. We really couldnt do anything else in that situation. Unfortunately, we havn’t been able to find new dates, but we promise we havn’t forgotten about them, and that we will try to come and play as soon as possible.



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