Tokio Hotel’s Bill Kaulitz chats 80’s music inspirations and selling over 10 million records

For more than 15 years, Tokio Hotel have fascinated fans with their songs, videos and international concerts. They are more than a band, Tokio Hotel is a cosmos. Bill, Tom, Georg and Gustav have created their own world with their art, which goes far beyond the limits of their music. We chat to acclaimed synth-pop / rock band Tokio Hotel lead singer Bill Kaulitz.

1. Who is Tokio Hotel in Three Words only?  A colorful, rebellious, family 🙂 

2. What top 5 tracks would we find on your Spotify or iTunes playlist?  We are all very different when it comes to our private music taste so if we each pick a song it would be “Nothing else matters” from Metallica for Gustav, ILYSB from LANY for Georg, Touch from Hauk for Tom , and Little Bird from Annie Lennox for Me…and because I’m the singer I get to pick two Songs so the fifth one would be Baby One more Time from Britney Spears  

3. We love your track ‘When We Were Younger’ tell us a bit about that track? It’s a love letter to ourselves really! We wanted to celebrate more than 20 years of friendship. It’s a song about this ever changing world and how our love for the music and each other stays consistent and the same. We know that is so unique and we are forever grateful that we found that. It’s a bit nostalgic and melancholic and definitely one that’s very close to our heart.  

4. You’ve had over 10 million records sold in 68 countries how does that feel? Wild!! I feel like the older we get and the longer we are doing what we’re doing, the more surreal it all feels in a way. When you’re young you take things for granted. Now we have kids of our own, families, partners and your prospective changes. Sometimes life feels very long looking back on a career that started when we were only 15 years old and on the other hand I feel like we’re just getting started. It’s still is a rollercoaster ride.   

5.Who are your musical inspirations?  Life mostly! Almost everything we write about is autobiographical. So when I’m not on tour I try to live life to the fullest. Partys, festivals, travel, love .. that all needs to happen in order to write meaningful good music so it’s important to find a good balance where you also just enjoy life and take a step back from the career. That’s something we all had to learn. Also 80’s music is forever gonna be an inspiration for me. Eurythmics, Depeche Mode, Bowie,…  

6. What embarrassing songs might we find on your Spotify?  None! I don’t find anything embarrassing. I love 90’s pop and I’m proud of it so let’s all dance to Barbie Girl from Aqua!  

7. Your sound we feel is very synth-pop / rock, is there a genre of music that you would collectively stay away from? I love to get inspired by all sorts of different genres and artists so in general I’m super open. I always want to evolve and change I feel like I need that to stay alive and relevant. If you’re stuck you’re over! I’m not huge on hard HipHop I gotta admit.   

8.Who would be your dream 2023 collaboration? There is a bunch of young cool artists in Germany I’d like to work with like Nina Chuba! She’s  amazing. Maneskin would be cool too and of course there is all time favorite artists that would always be a dream collaboration like Steven Tyler or Cher  

9.What hidden talent(s) do you have?  I’m a pretty good mini golfer 🙂 ha! … and I’m not bad at bowling either. People always underestimate me with stuff like that.   

10. Describe your style to us?  Omg that is always the hardest question! It’s definitely pop music with a huge 80`s influence if you ask me. We’ll always have heavy guitars and a rock elements as well.   

11. Finally – what festivals have you got lined up for 2023?  We play some of the coolest festivals in Germany like Deichbrand, Rocko Del Schlacko and Highfield. There might be some other big surprises and can’t give away just yet. I am super excited for our festival summer. We haven’t played live ever since the pandemic so it’s about time we hit the big stages. 

Tokyo Hotel play live on April 30 for tickets:

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