Tokio Hotel Are Ready and Set to Go to America

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Tokio Hotel Are Ready and Set to Go to America Empty Tokio Hotel Are Ready and Set to Go to America

Post  wan on Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:46 am

They've had four no.1 singles, two no.1 albums have sold nearly three million CDs and DVDs in Germany and have had major success in Europe, but you've probably never heard of them. So when you hear lead singer of Tokio Hotel Bill Kaulitz sing, "The final wall is breaking down./We are what it's all about./Nothing can stop us now", in "Ready, Set, Go", you had better get ready for Tokio Hotel...they're coming.

Tokio Hotel, comprised of Bill Kaulitz, his twin brother and lead guitarist Tom Kaulitz, bassist Georg Listing, and drummer Gustav Schäfer, have been making music together since 2001, but have yet to reach the shores of America, something they intend to change in 2008.

I had the chance to speak to the Kaulitz brothers about their upcoming journey to test the American music market with their unique hybrid of pop rock. To say that there are hurdles to overcome is an understatement, as this is a band that is attempting to crossover not only the Atlantic Ocean, but also the English language barrier.

"It's definitely difficult for me to sing in English because it's not my mother tongue. Doing the recording was pretty challenging...mainly because I wanted to make it sound like a native speaker had recorded the songs," said Bill when asked about the transition. Not only did he need to learn to sing in a different language, but all lyrics had to be translated. "Translating our lyrics was (and is) a very important step we chose to make because we want everyone to understand what our songs mean. Right now, the band's English is still far from perfect, but we are working on it and I think it's beginning to improve."

An even more difficult obstacle the band will have to overcome is the fickle American music market.

Right now, the industry is flooded with one-hit wonder after one-hit wonder and a distinct inability to break new artists into the mainstream. For a band like Tokio Hotel to come from across the pond and make a splash, they will need to build a fan base in the country before they can take off. Fortunately, they already have a huge presence on the Internet to help surmount what, at times, seems to be impossible. Their plan is to let their music speak for itself.

"Our first steps are to do a few shows, meet our fans and wait for feedback. We're just really happy when there are fans who want to see us perform," said Bill. "We believe it is essential to not waste our time with thoughts of potential failure but rather focus on how to be successful."

It's optimism like this that helps the band remain grounded at such a young age. When they started in 2001, the Kaulitz brothers were only 12 years old. Their age, coupled with all of the success that they've enjoyed over the past seven years would normally be a recipe for an ego, but the band has remained extremely humble and are thankful for their chance to prove themselves in the American market.

"One thing that definitely helps is that we've known each other for a very long time...over seven years now. I think we keep each other's feet on the ground by talking about everything and all the problems we encounter. Being in a band and getting support from the other members is great," said Bill. "So I am pretty happy about that and would not want to switch to being a solo artist because that's when you have to handle all the pressure on your own."

Of course, it doesn't hurt when all of your shows in a place you've never been within a hundred miles of sell out in a matter of hours. It also doesn't hurt when the band checks auction sites such as Ebay and see show tickets to their concert going for as much as $800.

"They all sold out within hours and that's amazing," said Tom. "What we want to accomplish with this first step is to introduce ourselves and the music we represent."

The band will not be forsaking their European fans, either. With plans to go back and forth between continents, they plan on making time for all of their fans.

"What we're trying to do is satisfy everyone by doing a little club tour in North America with our five concerts and after that, going back to start our Europe we can go back and forth all the time," said Tom.

This should please their rabid fans, who have been known to do anything to get close to the band, from mobbing the band at the hotels they stay at to a devoted fan-fiction community on the Internet. Not everyone is eager to reserve their spot with Tokio Hotel, though.

The final test that the band will have to face is to overcome the detractors. Critics have derided Tokio Hotel as a band garnering success on a gimmick—"emo punk with an anime look."

The members of the band take a refreshing approach to the cynics. "Critics are always there and will always be there. I don't see it as a bad thing because it helps us as a band to develop and that's a great thing. We don't try to change their attitudes," said Bill. "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion – either they like us or they don''s up to them."

Armed with a positive outlook and the catchiest pop-rock music to come from Europe in years, it seems that Tokio Hotel is destined for success. Whether they make it or not, Bill is excited to have the ability to try.

"We are trying not to look at it as a challenge. If it works out – great and if it doesn't, we'll know that at least we tried," said Bill. "In my opinion, thinking about the challenges every day doesn't help...just do it and that's it."

When you hear lead singer of Tokio Hotel Bill Kaulitz sing, "The final wall is breaking down./We are what it's all about./Nothing can stop us now", in "Ready, Set, Go", you had better get ready for Tokio Hotel to take America by storm. When you hear him follow that with, "I promise you right now./I'll never let you down.", you had better believe it.

by Anton Djamoos


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