Bill & Tom Kaulitz @ Deutschland Sucht Den Superstar 2013 – Info Update #33
Reports don’t stop neither for Christmas, so these are few of articles from some German press and magazines + a new PUNKT video and very important news about the show.
RTL announced the first air dates for “Deutschland sucht den Superstar” (German Version of Pop Idol!) in a new article. The following air dates are scheduled for the first seven episodes of the highlights of the auditions of “Deutschland sucht den Superstar”: Saturday, 5th January, 8.15 PM Wednesday, 9th January, 8.15 PM Saturday, 12th January, 8.15 PM Wednesday, 16th January, 8.15 PM Saturday, 19th January, 8.15 PM Wednesday, 23rd January, 8.15 PM Saturday, 26th January, 8.15 PM. The following recall will include seven episodes as well, they will be aired on Saturdays. After that the theme shows will be aired live once a week on Saturdays at 8.15 PM (German Time).
Süddeutsche Zeitung #298/2013 [Germany]
“It’s been hard work”
Whether you want them to or not: Tokio Hotel is back – and they’re here to stay. Identical twins Tom and Bill Kaulitz talk about their “realschulabschluss”, casting shows, drugs and ac/dc.
It’s been quiet around Tokio Hotel for a long time. It’s been more than seven years since their single “Monsoon” filled pre- and hard pubescing teenage girls with unprecedented ecstasy while forcing columnists to make marvelling analysis. Bill kaulitz, androgynous and crazy-haired and his ten minute older identical twin Tom became the posterboys of german children’s rooms at age 15 and sold millions of records. In recent years though, it’s been quiet around the Kaulitz twins, who moved to Los Angeles. Now, at age 23, the twins return as jurors in RTL’s “Deutschland sucht den Superstar” (DSDS) show. Shooting happens in Bad Driburg, located in the Westphalian Wastelands, inside an upper class hotel with a multi-storey car park. In front of the conference room’s windows, a few got long in the tooth fans stand around, at least 17 or 18 years old. Insider, the old teen star dilemma joins us at the table: the boys are too old to be cuddled, too young to command respect. You neither want to pull their leg nor put them on your lap.
SZ: It’s been a long time since we last heard from Tokio Hotel
Bill: I think the break felt even longer for the German public than it really was. After our last album we went on a big tour of South America and Japan, after that we just wanted to live a little.
SZ: What does “just living a little” entail for somebody who’s been living in a state of emergency since the age of 15?
Bill: We spent a lot of time with our family. And with our four dogs.
Tom: it was a big change for us. Being on tour with the band, we’ve got a huge team and I can call on them for everything I need at any given moment. Now I have to take care of things myself and that includes stuff I’ve never had to deal with by myself before. I’ve had some overwhelming situations, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
SZ: for example?
Tom: i don’t know, for example I went to apply for my California driver’s licence in Los Angeles. I thought to myself: huh, you’ve got to wait in some shitty line for such a long time? You just stand around for a whole day to give them your photo?
SZ: Los Angeles is now your permanent residence?
Bill: we spend a lot of time in the U.S., because we’ve been working a lot on our new record the past 2 years and also can get some privacy. But we also got a residence in Germany and some of our recording sessions also take place here. The two other boys still live in germany.
Besides Bill and Tom, Tokio Hotel consists of two other – publicly neglected – members who fit with them like leafs around flowers and whose names and instruments (bass player Georg and drummer Gustav) are mostly put in brackets when Tokio Hotel is covered in the press. While the twins were in the U.S. those two had to put down the rumours about the band’s demise.
SZ: after the long break, do you feel the pressure even more than before?
Bill: our second album probably was the worst. We started out with a no.#1 single, followed by a no.#1 album. When that was over, we were used to permanent success. Everything after had to be worse. The press was only waiting for us to fail at being no.#1 immediately again. And to start writing that now, everything’s over.
SZ: most of your early fans are now grown up and listen to different music. Isn’t that a problem?
Bill: there’s nothing we can do about that. But we don’t sit around in the studio thinking that there’s noone left to please. Is this supposed to be enjoyed by 15 year old girls or a 46 year old woman?
Tom: I watched an AC/DC show on TV yesterday. Look at the crowd there, it’s totally mixed up. There are the ones that already were fans when Bon Swas still singing and right next to them is someone who just discovered them by listening to the “Iron Man” soundtrack. That’s how I would like it to be.
SZ: but you’re not AC/DC. They worked for several decades to get to the top, you got there over night.
Tom: of course, but that happened to other bands that managed to stay successful too. Depeche Mode were called a boyband in the beginning, totally uncool for boys to listen to. Today almost nobody even remembers that.
During their prime between 2005 and 2010 Tokio Hotel were as loved and adored by their fans as they were ridiculed and hated by the rest of the country. Bill Kaulitz got the no.#1 spot in pro7’s “100 most annoying Germans” show and FHM repeatedly listed him in their “unsexiest women” ranking. At the same time the singer had photo sessions with Karl Lagerfeld and the band got stalked by obsessive fans. Nobody could escape the band and every German had a knee-jerk reaction when their name was mentioned that could be anything, but never indifferent. In hindsight, this might have been their most lasting success: pop to polarise the public.
SZ: how do you feel about Tokio Totel being more recognised as a demarcation line of tastes than as a serious band?
Bill: you know, you really can’t control things like that. They did a survey about our last album. Some guys from TV ran around the city with earphones and played our songs to pedestrians. Some said “that’s pretty cool” at first, but when told they had listened to Tokio Hotel changed their opinion immediately and said they didn’t like it at all.
SZ: you have always been polarising since your first success, since your youth. Do you sometimes wish you had already been grown up before experiencing all of this?
Bill: on the one hand I think, if I could rewind my life, I would do it differently and maybe wait a few more years. On the other hand, no matter how shitty my day was, no matter that there’s another guy with a camera, no matter there’s some private stuff in the newspaper again: I’m thankful, that I’m able to do everything I do. It would have been terrifying to do something else. I was born for this.
I believe him. Both of them appear to be more open and carefree than you would expect considering their love/hate relationship with the public. They also appear less childish than their slang would suggest. Tom, with his dreadlocks still looks like a boy. With Bill of course, it’s different: rings, three-day beard on a porcelain face, a tower of white hair above his undercut and on his left hand a skeletal style tattoo. Come next year, he’ll be the eccentric but style conscious or even style-forming superstar from the future; or he’ll be the tattooed, pierced and unhealty freak from yesterday. How he will be seen will only be decided by the success of their fourth album, which is scheduled for release in 2013. But be assured, these are the only options, there will be no inbetween.
SZ: assuming your comeback fails, what’s plan b?
Tom: in any case I can’t imagine being told by anyone what to do and who for. Retiring for a few years, writing songs for other artists, working in the background; I could imagine that, but almost nothing else.
Bill: you’re right, I too wouldn’t survive just working anywhere. I always had a problem with superiors and authority, I always hated that.
SZ: are you still in contact with people from your past?
Bill: we still know some old friends, one of them even is our best friend.
Tom: we have talked about maybe showing up at a school reunion. I would probably go.
Bill: I don’t know. Those guys never really had big dreams. They were more about taking on their parents companies or becoming a vet or a farmer.
SZ: if you can’t even imagine leading a “normal” life, why did you finish your “realschulabschluss” 3 years ago?
Tom: sometimes I ask myself the very same thing.
Bill: we did it for our mother’s sake. We were in the 10th grade of “gymnasium” when we quit school for the band, so we really had already learned everything we needed for the “realschulabschluss”. We just did it to be done with it. You really can’t do anything with it anyway. You would need “abitur” for that.
SZ: for what exactly?
Bill: sometimes I play with the idea to take classes in fashion design. Just for fun.
SZ: being a celebrity on campus. Are you scared about the fact that normal college life would be impossible for you?
Bill: it’s true, I really don’t have the freedom to just go out and stroll around in the park. But artisticly speaking, I can do what i want. That’s the most important fact for me, the which I’m most thankful for. Even at 15 we had already started to fight for that and vigouresly. Today, I’m my own boss. Even the record label can’t tell us that much. But of course there are things in life that drag you down and everyone of us is possibly broken somehow. Me, I’m a little paranoid sometimes.
Tom: when we started out, we had no idea that everything we say can be used against us by the rainbow press in such a brutal way. We were really shocked after reading the first headlines when we were 15.
More than anybody else, German newspaper “bild-zeitung” accompanied the band’s career intensively. Even during the last 2 more quiet years, the Kaulitz brothers made the headline with some regularity, for example considering their “heavy party style”: “hard drugs: unknown! alcohol: always!”; considering their financial independence: “Tokio Hotel supposed to be jurors for “the Voice of Germany” for a salary of 1.2 million € – turned down the offer”; considering the twins’ father, who whined about “fame and money” that the tore the family apart. They don’t like talking about him.
SZ: did you get used to those headlines?
Bill: we’re quite comfortable now. They have covered everything already, drugs, anorexia, depression. By now i’m quite certain that most people will know by themselves, that it’s mostly bullshit.
Tom: I’m just sorry for my grandma. She sometimes still asks me whether one thing is true or not.
SZ: your new job as juror won’t reduce the press coverage though.
Bill: at some point you have to accept that. We don’t even comment most headlines anymore, because we don’t want deal with them. It wouldn’t change anything anyway.
SZ: but you couldn’t do without the headlines, could you?
Tom: that’s the outside view, isn’t it: now they need promo for their new album. But we don’t sell one more record just because somebody wrote that Bill was anorexic. Some French magazine even wrote that you had killed yourself.
Bill: you’re right, I remember that.
Tom: for two days straight people from France called, because they thought you had jumped out of a window.
They just wouldn’t talk to the rainbow press anymore, Bill told me during our talk. But still, while the DSDS shooting continues, several interviews, stories and photo sessions will be published by BILD, BUNTE and others. When I asked their management for a statement later, they replied: “Because the rainbow press will cover DSDS and Bill & Tom’s involvement with or without our cooperation, we supply some chosen magazines with statements from time to time. This way the brothers are trying to strike a balance and to add some solid grounding to the stories about them.” Plainly spoken: if we have to deal with bullshit, we at least want to control it. The things you do for grandma.
SZ: you were candidates for a casting show once.
Bill: just me, ten years ago. The difference between us and other candidates of casting shows is that we started making music when we were seven years old. It was all hard work. Now, I see a lot of people who just want to be on TV, regardless of their talent.
Tom: especially in the U.S. almost every difference between being famous because of what you can do and being famous for being stupid is gone.
SZ: do you think it’s different here?
Tom: fortunately we have always been able to make a living by making music. As long as we can do that, I can live with the rainbow press bullshit.
with Melanie Kroiss, interviewer of the article
TVdirekt #01/2013 [Germany]
Why did you decide to join the DSDS-Jury? Bill: We decided to join this show, because it’s the most successful casting show. In addition to that the winner is going to have the perfect start into the music business. A #1-single and a successful first album are almost guaranteed, plus the winner will also get 500,000 €. That’s a lot of money, which you can still work with as a musician after DSDS.
Would you have wanted such an entry into the music business for Tokio Hotel? Bill: Yes, our story is a Cinderella story which barely happens in the music business nowadays. We were discovered in a live-club in our hometown. Nowadays, the record labels don’t want to spend money on anything. There aren’t a lot of talent scouts left who look for bands and invest in them, as there were ten years ago. Tom: The music business changed so drastically, that this is the only way to have some kind of success. In the US some of the greatest artists have been sitting in the Jury of the casting shows for a long time, to give aspiring artists some type of input. Bill: Mariah Carey and Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears sit there in the Jurys to find new talents.
Do you like being a part of the DSDS-Jury? Bill: It’s a lot of fun. But when the people are standing in front of you with a hopeful look in their eyes…all of them have big dreams – there are also some older candidates who’ve been making music for a long time, and you’re basically deciding someones fate.
How do you get along with DSDS-“Headman” Dieter Bohlen? Bill: Good! We’re all of different ages and make different types of music. We also have some candidates who sing Schlager music, which Tom and I can’t say much about. They fall into Dieter’s field of competence. Everyone of us basically has their “area of responsibility”.
How do the candidates respond to you? Tom: I think Bill and I are pretty fair in our decisions. But there are certainly going to be candidates who are going to be upset about our decision in retrospect. Bill: Yes, we had one or two of those candidates… Tom: There was one girl, we had to tell her that it just wasn’t enough and she looked at us in such a way that you got the feeling that you have to spiritually cleanse yourself.
Are you going to watch the castings on TV? Bill: I don’t like watching myself on TV… Tom: I don’t like hearing myself talk and I don’t like seeing myself on TV. I had my first experience of this kind in primary school at a film studio for kids. I had to play “The gallant tailor”. Watching it with my family afterwards was horrible…
PUNKT 9 [12.27.2012]
TVdirekt.de – 12.25.2012
“Our story is a Cinderella story”
Bill and Tom Kaulitz are the new members of this years Jury at the casting show “Deutschland such den Superstar”, which will start airing on RTL on January 5th at 8.15 p.m. The twins got famous and known with their band “Tokio Hotel”, with which they’ve sold countless records and toured all over the world with. When meeting the “Superstars” Bill and Tom you’ll be pleasently surprised: both are polite, courteous, taller than you’d think but they still clearly differ from one another. But they agree on one point – the show is a lot of fun, and they want it to be fun for the viewers and their fans as well…
TVdirekt: Why did you decide to join the DSDS-Jury? Bill Kaulitz: We decided to join this show, because it’s the most successful casting show. In addition to that the winner is going to have the perfect start into the music business. A #1-single and a successful first album are almost guaranteed, plus the winner will also get 500,000 €. That’s a lot of money, which you can still work with as a musician after DSDS. Tom Kaulitz: It was also very well timed – if we didn’t do it now, we would have never done it. Bill Kaulitz: DSDS is the show we believe in most. A casting show with a great foundation for the winner.
TVdirekt: Would you have wanted such an entry into the music business for Tokio Hotel? Tom Kaulitz: We had an incredible amount of luck! Bill Kaulitz: Yes, our story is a Cinderella story which barely happens in the music business nowadays. We were discovered in a live-club in our hometown. When I look back it seems impossible to me, how it all worked out, that someone actually discovered us in our hometown. Tom Kaulitz: We were newcomers, got our first record deal with a really small budget for a music video and marketing. We were just incredibly lucky that it worked out so well without such a platform like DSDS. Bill Kaulitz: Nowadays, the record labels don’t want to spend money on anything. There aren’t a lot of talent scouts left who look for bands and invest in them, as there were ten years ago. As a young musician, especially when you’re from the countryside, you have no opportunity to show that you’ve got talent. How do you want to make it to a big city from a little village with only your talent? Back then we also didn’t know how we should do it and if we should send a Demo to a record label. The show gives the winner a good start into the business and when they’re in, it’s their responsibilty to make something out of themselves. Tom Kaulitz: I think this is exactly what the people are becoming more aware of! Through that, casting shows little by little get a whole other kind of reputation, than they had in the past. Back then the people said, casting – is this really neccessary? Meanwhile casting shows are more accepted and respected. The music business changed so drastically, that this is the only way to have some kind of success. We were one of the last bands in Germany, that were able to do it “the natural way”. Today it’s different…in the US some of the greatest artists have been sitting in the Jury of the casting shows for a long time, to give aspiring artists some type of input. Bill Kaulitz: Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj are on American Idol. Furthermore rock legend Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears also make up Jurys and look at people, because it’s a great way to find new talents. Tom Kaulitz: We want to give the people tips for a career behind the scenes and help and support them with their start into the music business. TVdirekt: How did the castings go? Did you discover any new talents? Bill Kaulitz: We have a lot of hope. We started casting in Berlin for nine days and saw hundreds of people. That was really strenuous, I have to admit – but it was also fun. 71 of those talents made it to the recall. Later we learned that normally about 120 people make it to the recall, so we were really strict. Tom Kaulitz: But we were a nice kind of strict! Bill Kaulitz: We sent some great candidates into the next round and chose 36 people in the Recall who will go on the rest of the journey with us. We’re happy and have some good singers and personalities in there. Tom Kaulitz: At the recall there were some people, where you expected a lot from them based on the impression they left at their casting, but then they suddenly completely screwed up. This is really the first test, where you can find out who will be able to handle the pressure and who just isn’t cut out for it. We had a great location, the coaches where already doing their work and the candidates had 24 hours to rehearse and learn the song. Some people disappointed and some people surprised us.
TVdirekt: How do the candidates react to you? Bill Kaulitz: We don’t know what happens behind the camera, but there are certainly people who leave the room and vent about what we told them. We had one or two candidates of this sort. Tom Kaulitz: There was one girl, we had to tell her that it just wasn’t enough and she looked at us in such a way that you got the feeling that you have to spiritually cleanse yourself. Bill Kaulitz: There was one guy that stepped into the room, and just really blew me away. There was a moment where I just thought “wow”! I really didn’t expect that. After he sang he started getting really unfair and made a huge scene. He said that he thinks it’s a shitty move from our us that we’re parading him around and making a fool out of him. I stopped him in his tirade and explained that this was not in our interest. Everyone gets their fair chance and we want to have great singers. Some just aren’t good enough during the casting, but they know this beforehand! Tom Kaulitz: We’ll see what they said backstage when the show airs.
TVdirekt: How hard is being a “Superstar” (winer of the show)? Bill Kaulitz: A lot of people aren’t aware of what it means to lead this kind of life. During our decision making process it’s not just about good voices and awesome singers. It’s also about who can handle everything that comes with it. For this, the show is a good start, because the candidates get a kind of “crash course”. They’re on TV and around cameras 24/7. They have to give interviews from the start and with the live shows also comes a lot of pressure from the media. If you make it, you’ll also be able to handle everything that comes afterwards. During the casting it’s important to watch who will be able to handle such a life. We had to tell some candidates that they’re too young and fragile to survive in this business – that they’re never gonna lead such a life, that it would be the wrong thing for them.
TVdirekt: Is this your strength in the jury? To estimate the people regarding that? Tom Kaulitz: I wouldn’t say that it’s our only strength…(laughs) But the experience we have is, of course, a huge advantage. We had to handle a lot of pressure from the media at the beginning of our career, so we can comprehend what kind of phases those people are going through.
TVdirekt: You are now mainly living in Los Angeles. Do you just meet celebrities on the street and go and grab a coffee with them? Tom Kaulitz: Of course we meet other artists in L.A., but its not the rule that you meet celebrities on the street – I think that’s more of a myth. But I think you’re asking that the wrong people…(laughs)
-9 DAYS TO DSDS