Post by www.tokiohotelrocks.com
A Humanoid Existence
Tokio Hotel open up about their new album. And David Hasselhoff.
The quartet of Bill and Tom Kaulitz, Georg Listing, and Gustav Schafer may only be, at the average, 20 years of age, but they have been playing music all over Germany for the better part of a decade and found worldwide stardom with the release of their first English album Scream. Now armed with their fifth studio album Humanoid, Tokio Hotel have their sights set for nothing less than total pop domination.
Indeed, the choice of album title is telling for a set of young men who’ve spent a great deal of their youth playing on stage to a shifting sea of faces and chased all over town by rabid fans – a group of young men that cannot walk into a shopping mall, or stand on the sidewalk without being recognised. Reading into the lyrics and titles of songs like ‘Human Connect To Human’, ‘Humanoid’, and ‘World Behind My Wall’ reveals a want, a need almost, to connect with other people – something, due to his high profile, Bill Kaulitz can only do to a limited degree. He stresses, “Humanoid was always a feeling Tom and I had … in our childhood we felt a bit humanoid – like an alien from the fourth planet or something, and we still feel that way sometimes.”
What is a humanoid, really? Something that looks and seems human, but in truth is human-like, a condition that is applied mostly to robots, but what about a human who wants to feel human but can’t? It’s a question masked behind teen angst in Kaulitz’s lyrics: “How can I connect to you?” It’s truly a valid question for him to ask. Of the whole band, only Georg is in a relationship, while the rest are unattached. As Tom says, “Once you choose this life, you leave everything behind.” To them, there is nothing but Tokio Hotel. No second plan, no side project, no turning back.
But at the same time, Tokio Hotel have crafted what may be the archetype for what teen pop will look like for many years to come – a hint of sexuality, a third of soul-searching, a pinch of relationship drama, and packaged with arena-sized choruses with a slight Auto-Tune gloss. It’s also more ambitious than the moody Scream, with a U2-like hugeness in songs like ‘World Behind My Walls’. “We wanted to have a bigger sound, like a soundtrack to our lives,” says Bill of the new record.
There is a distinct human-ness about Tokio Hotel however, evident as they laugh about their country’s biggest export (Rammstein) and as they poke fun at guitarist Georg over his alleged idol worship of former Baywatch star David Hasselhoff while he palms his face in despair over what must be an oft-repeated inside joke. And it’s this humanity they bring to the stage later that night, thoroughly enjoying the adulation of their screaming crowd. As Bill promises they will return someday, it’s clear they’re in this for the long hail. As Tom says, “For us to do everything we plan to do, it would take another 30 to 40 years.” What they have in mind for this humanoid existence however, is the question on the top of everyone’s tongues.
Tokio Hotel TM Connects Showcase
Through the monsoon is right for these fans.
1 May 2010 @ Central Park Avenue, 1 Utama, Petaling Jaya
Tokio Hotel. A name that’s hated, jeered at, loved, and adored all at the same time. While many detractors dismiss frontman Bill Kaulitz’s effeminate looks and voice and Tokio Hotel’s tween-friendly approach to songwriting, for the fans who stood 500-strong in the pen (and several hundred more standing outside), Tokio Hotel played a show that was tight, powerful, and involving.
The most hardcore of these fans had started lining up at 9.30am in hopes of getting the best view of the band, a time of day when the sun had just risen high and was beating down for all it’s worth. To make things worse, as evening drew nigh, sporadic rains began to fall at 1 Utama Shopping Mall, where the showcase would be held. Yet, they persevered and the gates opened to the sounds of Pop Shuvit, who got the people hyped with their brand of rap-rock. Yet something wasn’t quite right as guitarist JD started tuning his guitar mid-song… with the guitar still blaring over the speakers! Finishing off with hit single ‘Marabahaya’, Pop Shuvit made way for Bunkface, who were fresh off releasing their new album, Phobia Phoney.
Then at last, a heartbeat raced over the monitors as the crowd went wild for the emergence of Bill and Tom Kaulitz, Gustav Schafer, and Georg Listing. As perfectly honed drums pounded, the guitars and bass picked up, and Bill appeared on-stage, faux hawk standing proudly in the humid Malaysian night. Pounding through an assortment of songs old and new, including singles ‘World Behind My Walls’, ‘Automatic’, ‘Ready Set Go’, ‘Human Connect To Human’, and ‘Pain of Love’, Tokio Hotel were impeccable in their delivery, with everything crisp and clear. But the highlight of the night belonged to Bill, who brought his arsenal of arena-sized gestures and feminine tenor to great effect. In fact, several girls were overheard to proclaim swooning fits if Bill looked at them.
Closing the night with an emotionally charged performance of ‘Monsoon’, Tokio Hotel definitely lived up to expectations – it’s music that every tween can identify with; lyrics that give their adolescent fists something to pump to; and as they promised a swift return, the hope in the fans eyes said it all. Come rain, come shine, they’ll be there again, waiting.