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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 Film festival 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 still snowing even though it’s almost May. And then they come into the venue and it’s like Peter Pan, like in a fairy-tale. 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.

Part 2: looking behind Tokio Hotel. Bill Kaulitz talks about the Tokio Hotel band members,
what he’s frightened about and about being self-confident


Cologne, Germany

Toms Dating-Routine, Bill’s wedding wish and more. 💥 Übrigens: The “Boy do not cry” video release will take place next week. 🎬 // Wanna know everything about the craziest adventure with Georg, and Bill‘s wish to marry? We‘ll reveal even more in our interview with Bill Kaulitz, Tom Kaulitz, Georg Listing and Gustav Schafer from Tokio Hotel on sunday on! 💥 FYI: The video premiere of “Boy don‘t cry” will air next week. 🎬

To the premiere of thier documentary “Behind the World”, editor Lara is talking with Tokio Hotel about Instagram dating, song production, wedding plans and more! 💥 Editor Lara talks with Tokio Hotel about their work life balance, Instagram dating and wedding plans! 💥 Find out more and read the whole interview

Band Photos

“What happens on tour stays on tour”

Before the Film Festival on the Cologne Hohenzollernring, a human trait is already forming at the dawn of the fifth October. Every hour, the amount of human beings grows around the red carpet. Another film presentation at the Film Festival Cologne is approaching. In the evening premiere is celebrated. Around quarter past seven, the documentary Behind the World is supposed to flicker over the cinema screen in Hall One. As a second chorus of the chart striker Monsoon is obvious, which director Oliver Schwabe has accompanied the internationally successful German band for many months. In whose daily stress and fan-ecstasy he is immersed. Which four musicians have gained their recognition with ease during the intensive filming of the private and professional. On the occasion of the Kinopremiere of Hintere Welt, styleranking editor Lara Bill and Tom Kaulitz, Gustav Schäfer and Georg Listing meet the interview and chat with the guys of Tokio Hotel about affairs, their work-life balance, crashes, wedding plans, the production process of their albums and their musical future.

styleranking: Let’s start with a question about the premiere of your documentation: What motivated you to produce behind the world?

Bill Kaulitz: We were at a point where we wanted to take the time to tell our story. There are always crazy rumors around us. It is discussed about Toms and my move to Los Angeles or the long break with the band. So far, there was no insight into how it came about and how we were working as a band. In most interviews, there is little time and no platform to explain such topics. The film is supposed to give answers what has happened in the years. Not as a justification, but as an insight, which is otherwise hard to get from the band. Then we got the concept of our director Oliver Schwabe. Although we liked it, we were a little bit skeptical at the beginning of letting someone get into our lives so easily. We filmed for over two years. The camera was always there, there were no taboos. This only came about because the final release was with us. When you leave cameras in your life, you never know what happens in the end with the material and you easily lose control.

styleranking: Since your comeback in 2014, you have emphasized that you want to create a balance between private life and career. How do you manage this, especially during such a film project?


Launch After-Party -Berlin


I met Tokio Hotel in Hamburg for the interview and talked to the boys about their video about “Boy Don’t Cry” and why Bill dressed up as a drag-queen in the clip. We also talk about his sexuality and prejudices, about the old and new fans, why there might soon be a re-release of “Through the monsoon” and why Bill would like to be Britney Spears.

Yes, it was fun and I really rarely had so much fun with an interview as with these guys.

And there it is. My funny interview with the guys from Tokio Hotel.
Have fun!


Behind the World ~ Film Festival Cologne

Red Carpet

Band Photos

Twin Photos

On Stage

Band Photos

To see photo sets, click an image

all creds to photographers


Behind the World ~ Film Festival Cologne


Band Photos Gustav's Photos Tom's Photos Bill's Photos Twin Photos

all creds to photographers


The new video of “Boy Do not Cry” by Tokio Hotel will premiere on October 10th. In it, singer Bill Kaulitz appears in Drag. With the team, the 28-year-old talks about the message of the song for the LGBT community and about the obsession of many people to learn about their sexual orientation.

Tags: 2017, Mannschaft
Filed Under: TH-News/Media


Tokio Hotel: “We really don’t want to put up with music industry bullshit

Earlier this year, consistent German quartet Tokio Hotel put out the fresh and divisive Dream Machine. Having billed it as their most ambitious and daring record to date, frontman Bill Kaulitz and his men trekked the world in pursuit of putting on the perfect live show, one which complemented the new music as pristine as possible. We called up Kaulitz to discuss the record, its live show and where on earth they’ll go next.

Hey Bill. How are you doing?

I’m good, thank you! How are you?

I’m good too, thanks! Your most recent studio album, Dream Machine, came out this year. Can you tell me more about how you approached it, particularly in comparison to previous records?

On this album we were far freer to do whatever we wanted. We didn’t to talk to any record labels or management companies, and we cut out everyone along the way, producers included. We wanted to go back to the basics and just rely on our instincts to create something that made us happy. Tom (Kaulitz) and I went into the studio to write the first demos, and then we spent a full year recording it. We did everything on our own, and nobody else was involved. It was the first time that we’d done it like this, and it ended up being the album we always wanted to write. Afterwards, we played it to people to see who wanted to be involved, and who our best partner could be. We did it the other way round, basically. We were super happy with Dream Machine, and I’m personally still very excited about it.

After you finished the album, you switched from Universal Music to Starwatch. How did that come about?

Tags: 2017, Bill
Filed Under: Bill-InterestingInterviews