Page name: PCM's Interview [Exported view] [RSS]
Version: 1
2008-05-10 20:18:44
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Kristyn: Please tell our readers a little history behind the band. How did you get started in music? How did you meet each other?

Tom: Bill and I were involved in music since we were kids. My step-dad, who plays in a rock band himself and owns a music school, gave me a guitar and I started to try and play. (Laughs) I was pretty sure that the hottest women go for the guitar player - so it was meant to be my instrument!

Bill: I always wanted to sing and started when I was 6. I wrote my first songs when I was about 9.

Gustav: Whenever I heard music I started drumming with my fingers, I did that all the time. When I was 6 I started to take lessons and got my first drum set.

Georg: I was about 12. Some of my friends wanted to start a band and they were looking for a bass player. I thought that was pretty cool and that's why I started to play the bass.

Tom: Bill and I started playing live shows in clubs from early on too. It was just the two of us - I played the guitar and Bill sang and played the keyboard. One night we played in a club called Gröninger Bad where Georg and Gustav, who knew each other from music school, watched from the audience.

Georg (laughing): It was obvious that these two guys needed some help, so we talked to them after their gig.

Tom (laughing): Yeah, they actually begged us to join the band - that's how we got together.

Kristyn: I read that "Scream" is your first album recorded in English language. Was it hard to record a cross over album? What difficulties did you face?

Bill: Our lyrics are really important to us and we want everybody to understand them. When a lot of people from different countries started to pick up our music, we thought we should do an English version of chosen songs from our two German albums. We didn't expect people to start translating our lyrics, so we did it for them. (Laughs) Actually it was only work for me since I was the only one who went into the studio to record them while the others had time off.

Everybody: Ooooooohhhh!

Bill: Yes! I'm a real perfectionist. I wanted them to sound perfect, like a native speaker. I didn't want to sound like someone trying to sing in English. So it took me some time but in the end I was really happy with the finished product.

Tom: We all were!

Kristyn: Who are some of your main influences musically?

Tom: We all listen to very different music. I listen mostly to German Hip Hop. Bill likes a lot of stuff like Nena, Placebo, Green Day and Coldplay. Georg likes Oasis and Fall Out Boy and Gustav is more into hard stuff like Metallica. We always wanted to find our own style, an original sound to represent Tokio Hotel; we never wanted to sound like another band. And since our taste in music differs so much you could say that the Tokio Hotel sound is our common ground when it comes to music.

Kristyn: Where do you see the future of music heading and where do you see Tokio Hotel in that picture?

Tom: That's a hard question to answer and I can only speak for our band. We just want to play shows, be on stage and play as long as we can, hopefully forever. This has always been our dream and we are very determined to keep it alive.

Kristyn: Is there any significance behind your name? How did you decide to choose the name Tokio Hotel?

Tom: After we signed our record deal we thought it was time for a new beginning - we were called Devilish before that. All of us really like big and modern cities. We all think Tokyo is one of the coolest places on earth - and we hope to get there someday soon, hopefully to perform!

Bill: Yes, and we were also looking for a symbol that would represent our lives from that point on. And because we were living in hotels a lot of the time, the name really seemed to fit.

Kristyn: Please tell our readers a bit about your writing process. What comes first the hook, the melody, lyrics, etc�?

Tom: There's no guideline or method we use. It just depends on who comes up with a new idea first. We work with four producers, Bill writes the lyrics and we do the music. It's all a big team effort. Sometimes Bill comes up with lyrics first and then we add the music. Other times our producers have an idea and we work on that together. It changes from song to song.

Kristyn: What has been your favorite place to play live?

Georg: That's a hard one. We played in so many great venues over the last two years, it's hard to pick one.

Tom: At the moment we're getting ready to start our third European Tour, which begins this March. Being able to tour Europe was already amazing, doing it for the third time is just incredible. I'm sure there are many amazing venues and places to come.

Kristyn: Do you have any crazy tour stories? How about crazy fan experiences?

Bill: We like to call our fans very, very energetic. You should come to one of our shows. They are really incredible and loud - we love it. They live this life with us. And they come up with really cool stuff. They travel with us. Where ever we are, they are already there. They send us incredible long letters and buy us gifts. One even named a star after us, so in outer space there's a star called Tokio Hotel.

Gustav: And remember that Tokio Hotel Mini Cooper? One girl designed her Mini Cooper in a perfect Tokio Hotel style. But we don't think it's crazy, we love it and it's really cool.

Tom: Well, I could tell you stories about that, but we would need another interview and a lot of time - it could take days.

Kristyn: How do you feel about MySpace as a way to connect with fans?

Tom: The Internet is really important and has been great for us. It's actually where people from other countries discover us and become fans. That's how we connected with fans all over the world. Then we go to their countries, play shows there and meet them for the first time in person.

Bill: And we want our fans to know we don't have any private accounts at MySpace. You will only find us in official chats. So if anyone pretends to be one of us, they're a fake!

Kristyn: How do you feel about music downloading?

Bill: That's a very emotional and tough topic. I mean if downloads are legal and people pay for them, it's great. But illegally downloading music is stealing. If people stop paying for music, musicians won't be able to create music. I mean, imagine there wasn't any more music? No music! That's terrible. We always, even before our career started, bought our music. We never had any illegal copies or stuff like that. We always wanted to have the originals, the real thing.

Kristyn: How is the chemistry within the band? What gets your creative juices flowing?

Tom: We've known each other for nearly seven years. We are friends and we can read each other's moods pretty well. We love to discuss things and we talk all the time. But we also know when one of us needs their own space.

Bill: For the creative part it can be anything. Something we just talked about, experienced, heard about or just saw - whatever hits us gets us started.

Kristyn: What would you say is the main message behind your music? What is one goal you wish to accomplish with music?

Bill: There is not really a main message - every song has its own message. And we want our fans to identify with it, to find themselves in our music. I write about our lives and things we experience or things that happen to our friends and fans. They write us a lot and tell us about their lives, that inspires us as well. For us one of the most important things in life is to be free and to do what we want.not getting caught up in rules. We're trying to live our dreams and not to give up, expressing ourselves no matter what people may say. You'll find that in our songs as well.

Kristyn: What do you guys enjoy doing in your spare time, if any?

All: Sleeping!

Tom: Except Gustav. He is the only one in the band who gets up really early in the morning. The rest of us like to sleep as long as possible.

Bill: When I have a day off I sleep in 'till the afternoon and then I like to eat and watch DVDs �

Georg (laughs): � and go back to sleep.

Gustav: I like to ride my bike, meet friends and stuff like that.

Bill: Yeah, meeting friends and families is what we all love to do when we have spare time.

Tom: To be honest, I spend all of my time in my bed, but unlike the others I share my bed most of the time with a nice girl!

Kristyn: Can you tell our readers one thing about Tokio Hotel that they may not already know?

Tom (laughs): Well did you know, that Georgs second name is Hagen and that his nick name is Hobbit?!!

Kristyn: Please feel free to add any message or comment you would like to share with our readers.

Bill: We want to thank all our fans for showing such great interest in our music and for supporting us. That's really amazing and we can't wait to play live and see you all.

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