Naked Eye gets the goods on the German glamo group: the origin of their name, their inspirations, and what the wunderkinds really think of fellow Musiker David Hasselhoff
Why the name Tokio Hotel?
Bill Kaulitz: It was just because we researched a name which is very close to us, so we are all city people, we love big cities, and we came from a really small, ugly town in Germany and it is really horrible and we always hated our village, and we wanted to stay in big cities. That was always our big dream. And Tokio sounds good, it is just a nice sound. And then we said, okay, Tokio. Everything we heard about it was, “Yeah, it is a huge city, it is just crazy there,” and we really wanted to go there...
Bill: No, no.
Do you hope to get to Tokyo one day?
Bill: Yeah! Yeah, hopefully this year, but let's see. Tom Kaulitz: Maybe to play a concert. Georg Listing: Tokyo Dome sounds good! There are some fan pages and stuff from Japan, and let's see if we have the time this year or next year to go there.
Your song “Don't Jump” – is there, a personal message in it?
Bill: Yeah, I think we talked about this, about suicide, because it is a song from our second German record, and the second German record was inspired by our fans and a lot of stories we hear. We get so many letters and stories from our fans that, yeah- Tom: And we know some things from personal experiences, and it is a big topic, and you know we recognize it with the fan letters- Bill: And you know everyone has a situation in their life where they are sure, you know, “Oh, I am so sad, I am so...” I don't know, everyone has a worst part in their life and [we] said okay, let's write a song about it and that it is never a way... to jump.
So you each had to tell me one of your musical influences, German or not...
Bill: For me the first touch with music, the first touch would be Nena. When I was six years old I saw her on television. Now I listen to Coldplay and Keen and Green Day. Tom: And you know, I never had, you know, role models and stuff, but Aerosmith was always a big band when I was a child. A real child. I know I am eighteen now, but a real child. Yeah, Aerosmith. Georg: For me, I also did not have a role model., I did not want to sound like this and this person. But I love Oasis. And with oasis I really started to listen to music. Gustav Schäfer: I grew up with Eric Clapton and the old rock stars but now I listen to Metallica, to the harder stuff.
These acts put the toot in teutonic – but what do Tokio Hotel think of Germany's other famous exports?
Now I would just like to get your honest opinion on some of your fellow German rockers. First, Kraftwerk...
Bill: Kraftwerk? Oh... Kraftwerk. I am not really into this music. [Murmurs of agreement from the group.] I don't know so much about it.
Bill: I think she is really cool. I met her once, I don't know, sometime in Germany, and she is really nice. Tom: And she is really crazy. You know, she speak the same bad English we do.
Nena. Bill: Nena! Nena was really my first concert and I still love Nena. [She] is a really great artist and I really love her.
Bill: Scorpions! “Wind of Change.” [They whistle a few bars.] We met the Scorpions, I think, half a year ago. Tom: I think that [they are[ great. They had a lot of success over here, playing big arenas and big venues and I think it is great. It is not really, you know, my favourite music. I like, you know, I like what they are doing in terms of having success. It's good.
Bill: Rammstein! I think they are very successful and always have great stages, great live performances. And I think I is a really great career and I think, respect for that.
And, of course, the most important, David Hasselhoff.
Bill: [Laughing] It is a role model of Georg! Tom: Knight Rider is more successful than the music from David Hasselhoff and Baywatch. Bill: Everyone told us, “David Hasselhoff is so successful in Germany,” and we say, “What? I never heard about it!” Tom: We just know Knight Rider and Baywatch. But I don't know anyone who likes his music, I just know Georg. Georg is not a fan of the music, but a fan of the dance moves. And I just know Baywatch, but not because of David Hasselhoff, because of Pamela Anderson!