Woman: The entire world is talking about Tokio Hotel and their “comeback”, but the boys themselves see it differently. According to them they never were away, they just took their time for coming back. Four years are between back then and today. The former long-haired-teenies are now wearing beards and a lot of metal in their face. Their new video is about boundless love, in other words tongue kisses and other oral encounters. Not really clean anymore – when teen stars are growing up.
Voice-over: Germany’s pop-refugees are back. Friday evening. Rehearsal for Tokio Hotel’s first live performance after four years. They chose “Wetten, dass” in Erfurt. Millions of people are going to watch it. Also stars get their nerves.
Bill: I’m always nervous. Well, always. If we’re on tour and we have like 35 shows, I’m still nervous until the last show. Well, I think it’s just a part of it, but before a show I’m not approachable, I’m super concentrated and totally nervous. I’m glad that I don’t have to throw up though, because I know some colleagues who always have to throw up before a show.
Voice -over: In the past it got loud when Tokio Hotel were on tour. Worldwide pubertary teenagers feel into euphoria. In 2005 “Durch den Monsun” catapultated the band to the very top. Puppy charm, misfit-profile, rebel-attitude. A freak-counterdraft to well-behaved boybands with side-parting.
Bill: We look back and we’re incredibly thankful and proud, and are happy about all the opportunities we had. No one of us would have ever considered that we’d have that much success, even in foreign countries. It was really surprising for everyone and yeah, I look back to it and I’m so thankful. In my opinion there aren’t a lot of negative things.
Voice-over: For days fans had been camping in front of venues to get the best places back then.
Question: Hello, how did you like it?
Question: Why are you crying now?
Fan: Because Bill looked me in the eyes.
Question: He looked into your eyes?
Fan: *nods* And Georg smiled at me.
Question: For how long?
Fan 2: Very long.
Another fan talks about the concert.
Voice-over: Bill, Tom,Georg and Gustav more or less belong to Germany’s superstars. 7 Million sold sound carriers, 68 times platinum. When they were teens, they became stars. But they had never been typical teen stars. According to music journalist Tobias Rapp, that’s the recipe for their success.
Tobias Rapp: Tokio Hotel is a total exception. A band which is not only successful, but also has the thing which stars, real stars, gotta have. To look crazy, to transport a certain image, which is a fictional image. The reason why Tokio Hotel are, in my opinion, incredibly interesting stars is because they’re breaking out of that middle class world, out of the suburbia-hell. They embody the wish to be unpredictable, to be different.
Voice-over: Their comeback is strategically planned. First the release of the new songs, after that the press conference with journalists and selected fans, who are clearly more quiet than in the last years.
Bill: For us it doesn’t feel like a comeback to be honest. Because we never were.. Well, of course we didn’t make an album for a long time, but we didn’t break up or something. We only took some time with the album.
Voice-over: New look, new sound. But topic #1 is Bill’s performance in the new video. Tokio Hotel has grown up. Also in the matter of love.
Bill: I think it’s beautiful that love actually has no religion and no gender. You can and you should love who you want to love, without it being made a fuss about. And because of that.. there are also some funny moments in the video and because of that we just put the message across. I think you also shouldn’t take it too seriously.
Voice-over: Not only Tokio Hotel, also their fans are no teenagers anymore by now. To not lose their fans, the band has to change their profile as well.
Tobias Rapp: Most fans are embarassed to once have loved the favorites of their youth. Most people are embarassed by that. All stars, if that’s Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, or even Tokio Hotel, have to somehow find a way how to deal with that. And that’s really difficult. And the simplest way to deal with it is sexuality.
Voice-over: After the press it’s the fans’ turn. Signing session was yesterday. Today only a selfie counts. They [the fans] dreamed about that in the past years of Tokio Hotel’s abstinence.
Fan: We somehow felt alone, because well, we grew up with them and suddenly they were gone. We really kinda missed them.
Fan 2: I’m 24 now and I’ve been a fan since I was 15. I saw them on TV and fell in love immediately.
Fan 3: I moved from Hungary to Berlin and we actually only learned German because of them.
Fan 4: Yes, only because of Tokio Hotel. So that’s a big moment for us. We’ve waited for it for almost 10 years.
Voice-over: No other band strained the vocal chords of fans that much as Tokio Hotel in the past. The envy of other colleagues was kept within a limit though, because almost no other fans were acting so extreme. The musicians from the East of Germany were loved unconditionally, but also hated. Some fans especially followed the Kaulitz twins 24/7. And if they don’t get the stars personally, the fans just took pretty souvenirs.
Fan is talking about the waste bin she got from the bus stop in Loitsche, where the twins lived.
Tom: The squealing has never been a problem. It was those really freaked out people, who weren’t even fans, they had a love-hate relationship to us and were completely out of control. They didn’t only stress us, but also our families and friends. In addition to that there was the pressure of the media. And that’s also a point why you can’t lead a normal life. when there are always photographers and every newspaper writes about every step you make. It was not about music anymore, and somehow we wanted to get out of that as well.
Voice-over: “Run run run”, exactly that’s what Bill and Tom did at the end of 2010. With the age of 21 they abscond to LA and into the city’s anonymity. They had enough of growing up with the public’s eyes staring at them. Georg and Gustav stay home, but they like to come to LA for party.
Shrinking from superstars to ordinary people, living without assistants and with new freedom.
Bill: We first did completely normal things. I first had to get used to opening the door and going out without someone standing there and waiting for me. You could just “swim along” with all those people there without having a VIP-bonus. We didn’t even try that and we didn’t tell anyone what we’re doing, we had simply gone underground.
Voice-over: “Going underground” lasted four years. Now their new album wants to be promoted. Photoshoot yesterday for the woman’s magazine “Jolie”.
Tom: And? Are you all fit?
Guy: Yeah, Here we are again, good to see you back.
Tom: Yeah, we’re also happy about it.
Bill: Pumba… that’s Pumba. He’s really friendly and he doesn’t bite anyone.
Guy: Is Daft Punk okay or do you have another music request?
Tom: We actually only listen Tokio Hotel music privately. *laughs*
Voice-over: Often the look makes a star become a megastar. Alien, manga, androgynous being – there were a lot of description for the band’s frontman. He always occupied center stage – and he missed that though.
Bill: I missed being on stage – to perform, to be on stage, you just miss that. But of course it was also nice to be away from that for a while, so that you can even miss it again. Sometimes it was like that I didn’t even know in which city we are or what we have to perform, it didn’t matter that much to you anymore.
Voice-over: In the meantime the fans are already waiting outside. It’s as if the band was never gone. Also today a real fan has to be very patient.
Fan: We are from Munich, we came here in the night and slept in the car in front of the venue, and we met some people who were driving around and were looking where the band could be, and they called us that they’re here.
Fan 2: We’ve been fans for nine years, we have no photo or autograph so far. We have to get one.
Voice-over: Later they’re dream will come true. And then – one hour before the live performance there’s this feeling again, which the band just knows too well. That mix of anticipation and anxiety.
Bill: When you see people who are so happy that we’re here, when you can read the emotions in the faces, there are so many people who start to cry or actually don’t want to cry, it touches me every time. And some waited for nine years and see us for the first time and that’s totally cute, and on the other hand it can be too much for you.
Markus Lanz (Wetten dass): Here are Tokio Hotel!
Voice-over: After the performance the boys only celebrate briefly. Because the machine “Tokio Hotel” is working again.
Bill: Now we’ll fly…
Tom: We’ll make a break now again, we’ll fly back to LA and have a 4-year-break.
Bill (completes Tom’s sentence): …and have a 4-year-break.
Bill: Nah, tomorrow it goes on again, we have a full press day, uhm, a live performance, a small mini concert tomorrow, in Magdeburg, our hometown.
Tom: After that we’ll drive to Circus Halligalli.
Bill: Afterwards we’ll go to Berlin, then we’ll have another TV show with a different song, then we’ll fly to France, there we’ll also be on two TV shows. Then Italy, where we’ll also have a TV show. Well… It goes on like that now.
Voice-over: Taking a break is only allowed for dog Pumba.
Translation by Tokio Hotel Info