Bill Kaulitz: „I give a lot of answers in my songs. But it’s still driving people crazy.“

Bill Kaulitz: „This was our chance to tell our own story and make things clear.“

‚ich muss durch den monsun, hinter die welt‚ these are the lines that made Bill Kaulitz and his band Tokio Hotel famous in 2005. At the same time producer Oliver Schwabe started to recognize Tokio Hotel and was fascinated by them: ‚what I really found interesting was that Bill combined all codes from subcultures, while he as person took place in mainstream media.‘
Guided by this fascination Oliver Schwabe tried to get in contact with the band. But he failed due to the success and high demand for Tokio Hotel: ‚I was working on a movie at this time and I tried to reach out to you [Bill]. But I wasn’t able to get in contact.‘
Today, 12 years later, Oliver Schwabe and Tokio Hotel made the documentary Hinter die Welt (engl. title: beyond the world), which premiered at the Filmfestival Cologne. In the context of the lecture Beuys will be Beuys Bill Kaulitz and Oliver Schwabe talked about how they build mutual trust, about the developing process and how they used the movie to portrait the band.

“Stop talking. Just come over!”

Oliver Schwabe filmed Tokio Hotel during the past two years on their world tours, in the studio and in their very own environment. When they started talking about working together, Bill invited Oliver: ‚we had skype-sessions and then Bill suddenly told me: ‘stop talking. Just come over. Then you’ll see what’s possible’. Then I flew directly to Mexico. I arrived at night and I went back to the airport, at 6am in the morning, to see the band arriving.‘
The teaser of Hinter die Welt shows what Oliver Schwabe experienced in this moment:

Bill Kaulitz: “It always felt like we’re in this together.”

For Tokio Hotel it was really clear early on that they wanted to do the documentary: ‚we knew that working with Oliver would be a team work. It always felt like we’re in this together. We wanted to do the movie because there are some misunderstandings. People kept talking about things. This was our chance to tell our own story and make things clear.‘
Oliver Schwabe was aware that it’s not always easy to let a stranger into your own world, since he already dived into a lot of different world for other documentaries he produced. That’s why he offered Tokio Hotel to let them do the final inspection of the movie, with this agreement Oliver was able to build trust, while the team of Schwabe was critical about it: ‚my colleagues told me ‘are you nuts?’ when they heard about my agreement with the band.‘
But the agreement of the final inspection gave Bill Kaulitz the feeling that he could let himself completely sink into the movie: ‚this was the final moment to say: ok, let’s do this. If it turns out crap, then that’s how it is. But if it won’t turn out crap, we will have a really good movie. And I believe we do have a really good movie.‘
Another challenge Schwabe had to deal with was diving into the Tokio Hotel world while he accompanied the band at their feel it all tour in Russia in 2015. Not only to walk into their world, but to deeply dive into it and become a part of the world itself. Schwabe revealed that he not only met Tokio Hotel, when he started to film, he met a whole family instead. A family which was built over years to have the strength to master the past and very difficult situations. This is how he dealt with it: ‚when you meet them, you just burst into a family. It then takes a while, until you’re allowed to say something there. But I just waited. I waited until my time came.‘

“This is like Peter Pan, like in a fairytale. You can see it in their eyes!”

After Schwabe became a part of the Tokio Hotel world, he continued to accompany the band to their Dream Machine tour in Cologne, Paris and Russia. In Russia Schwabe was especially inspired by the contrast between the country and the band: ‚that’s why I wanted to go to Russia again. It made a lot of sense to me to film there. For example in Novosibirsk where everything seems to be grey and where it’s stilll snowing even though it’s almost May. And then they come into the venue and it’s like Peter Pan, like in a fairytale. You can see it in their [fans] eyes! It’s a promise of a different world and this makes so much sense to me.‘

Schwabe portraits not only the contrast of the different environments around the band, which are taking place in Magdeburg and Los Angeles. He also manages to show the opposition of the environment of the fans and how this suddenly changes when they see and meet Tokio Hotel. He produced a documentary in which he highlights not only the world beyond Tokio Hotel, but also different aspects, backgrounds and environments, by using impressive pictures of the different worlds. But the movie doesn’t only look at the band itself. He also takes a look at the band members. Gustav and Georg, which usually like to be in the background, talked about how they felt when Bill and Tom left Germany and what they thought about the mandatory break. Besides this Gustav and Georg visited Tokio-Hotel-wise historical places in their hometown Magdeburg, like the Gröninger Bad or their first rehearsal space. This way Schwabe succeeded to show one more world: the history of Tokio Hotel, which completes itself through memories and narrations of Gustav and Georg.

Bill Kaulitz: „I give a lot of answers in my songs. But it’s still driving people crazy.“

With the documentary Hinter die Welt producer Oliver Schwabe succeeds to show what’s beyond the world of Tokio Hotel. The movie premiered at the film festival Cologne last week. In the lecture Beuys will be Beuys Bill Kaulitz talks about development, his fears and self-confidence.

The twin brothers Bill and Tom Kaulitz founded Tokio Hotel 17 years ago. Since 12 years they’re in the public eye. Bill Kaulitz reveals that nothing has changed within the band since then: “we were looking for a bass player and drummer, which would play the songs, Tom and I create.”
Nowadays the band still has the same working process, as the documentary reveals: Tom does the production works and creates new songs with Bill. Bill takes over all visual parts of the band, like light design, stage costumes and concepts for music videos, while Georg is responsible for live events, the booking and finances of the band.

„Georg couldn’t play bass at all.“

The fact that Bill and Tom choose Gustav Schäfer and Georg Listing as drummer and bass player is due to the fact that there weren’t much other possibilities in Magdeburg: “there were only these two guys.”
On top of that it wasn’t an obstacle for the twins that Georg was just learning to play the bass: “Georg couldn’t play bass at all. We all were really bad with our instruments. Bust Georg was just starting to learn playing the bass for six month. He couldn’t play at all.”

In the opposite to Georg, there was Gustav Schäfer who had to show his drum skills: “Gustav had to do something like a casting for us. We were in our rehearsal space and Gustav played a Phil Collins song, if I remember correctly. This is how he came into the band. This is how everything started.”
Bill Kaulitz: “Gustav loves to play drums. But sometimes he wishes that there would be a wall in front of him, so nobody would be able to see him.”

Today Bill remembers clearly that there was no other option for him than doing music: “Doing music was always a serious thing for Tom and me. Georg had a lot of other hobbies back then. He was playing handball. But Tom and I always knew: music is our life. Sure for Gustav and Georg it was amazing, when we released our music in 2005. They just accepted it as how it was. But for Tom and me this was always our number one plan… a total drive since we were kids. We never wanted to do something else.”

Kaulitz only sees one difference to when he looks back at the beginning of Tokio Hotel: “I just remember when we had our first performances when we were 13 years old. I was like: ok, give me a microphone! give me a stage! I want to go out there and perform.”
What Kaulitz doesn’t remember is how he formed his self-confidence at this time: “No idea where I got that from. I guess it came from the dynamic I have with Tom. We were always together. I knew I’m never alone.”

„There’s not one idiot who gives a fuck about you. That’s the best thing.”

Nowadays Kaulitz has a different perspective on his life. As he sees himself with a huge backpack, which is filled with fears and bad experiences which he made through the past. At the same time he works on getting back a little bit lightheartedness every day: “Bringing back the lightheartedness, which we had when we started as band, is a challenge which I try to master every day. We always rather want to go back. We want to get away from this music industry shit. At some point it gets to complicated and then you kind of lose your creativity. You’re not good anymore in the essence of what you really want to do – music.”

But Kaulitz manages to leave everything behind, as soon as he gets home after a tour: “Flying back home… going out and then there’s not one idiot who gives a fuck about you. That’s the best thing.”
At the same time Bill Kaulitz reveals that it was not always like that. When he moved to Los Angeles in 2010 he had to learn living life. Kaulitz remembers that his friends still make jokes about this time: “My friends are still teasing me with this. I remember the first time when I went out to party, I brought along a security guard and I always had a driver with me. In Los Angeles I continued to live the same life I was living in Germany. I just took it with me when we moved overseas, because I didn’t know another life.”

„people think it’s sexy nowadays. they’re like: she wants to have sex with girls and she wants boys and she also wants the people in between.“

Kaulitz already had to deal with press and media, asking him about his sexuality, when he was 15 years old: “In Germany it’s still a question. People are still wondering: “who is joining his bed tonight? Who does he have sex with? Who does he bring home? Who does he fall in love with?”. But these were always questions I never gave a clear answer to. I feel like I give a lot of answers in my songs though. But it’s still a thing which drives people crazy. Nowadays a coming out isn’t really exciting anymore, cause everybody does it. But people still keep asking me these questions. It still drives them crazy not to know who’s sleeping in my bed tonight and I love that.”

Some laughters appeared when host Steve Blade quoted Bill Kaulitz’s twin brother Tom from the documentary: “I get everything from Bill, which other people are searching for in a relationship. So basically I just need somebody for the sexual part. And that’s something you can easily find.” Steve Blade asked Bill if this is a healthy attitude: “I don’t know. I guess others have to judge if it’s healthy. We sometimes wonder the same. We’re like one person and sometimes we don’t get how we are and how others see us. When we’re lonely, we’re together feeling alone. It never happens that one of us is pushing the other one up. When we’re feeling depressed, we’re feeling sad together. Everything always happens together. That makes it of course hard for a partner. Especially for Tom it’s more difficult. When I’m in love, it can happen that I’m just gone from today to tomorrow. I tend to do my own things then.”

„Tom has to tell in which distance they need to place the barriers in front of the stage. And then you ask yourself: isn’t there somebody else to decide this?“

What producer Oliver Schwabe impressed the most about the band was their energy and effort which they put in all their work: “they’re control freaks, which I found really interesting. It happens that somebody calls Tom out of the wardrobe, because Tom has to tell in which distance they need to place the barriers in front of the stage. And then you ask yourself: isn’t there somebody else to decide this? No! It’s always Tom! And he does this every day during the tour for month. This is something which impressed me a lot.”

http://flackernflimmern.com/bill-kaulitz-talking-about-his-new-movie-hinter-die-welt-2/

11.10.2017-Billkaulitz ,Shiro &Devon (LA)

Billkaulitz’s interview for: @mannschaft_mag

http://www.mannschaft.com/2017/09/oktober-2017-deutsche-ausgabe/

Tokio Hotel on twitter , FB, instagram : Oct,2017

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Bill kaulitz on instagram : Oct,2017

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