Tokio Hotel on Remaking Hit Song 'Monsoon' After 15 Years: It Was a “Declaration of Love”
Tom and Bill Kaulitz talk about their music and quarantine in this exclusive interview.
Tokio Hotel is back with a bang!
The German rock band — comprising twin brothers Tom and Bill Kaulitz, 31, plus members Gustav Schäfer and Georg Listing — released the remake of their hit song "Monsoon," marking its 15th anniversary earlier this month.
The band first "had a completely different plan" for dropping the new tune, but things changed due to the coronavirus pandemic, they tell PEOPLE. However, it's a "declaration of love."
"We were thinking about something special," Tom tells PEOPLE exclusively. "We were like, 'We should plan a very special concert and do an unplugged version or something like that.' We planned a little around that idea, and then COVID happened."
"We had to cancel everything," says the star. "A remix or remaster felt boring so we thought, two months before the anniversary, 'We have to do something special.' The idea was to take the song and [see] what would happen if we would record the song or write the song today. The only thing we kept was the lyrics and tempo. The rest we changed completely."
"It's really a declaration of love for us," Bill adds. "We want to celebrate this song and be nostalgic, but then twist it and make something new and exciting. We felt like the lyrics got a whole new life. That felt so great because we were so proud to look back on 15 years and we're moving forward."
"We wanted it to be modern and we're very into synth and '80s music," he adds. "We grew up with '80s music and our parents were listening to it. We love Daft Punk so that's always going to be an inspiration and a theme even for the new album."
The music video for the song even has a special appearance — from Heidi Klum's dress! (Tom and Heidi Klum, 47, married last year and co-parent the actress' four children together.) And Bill says he enjoyed wearing the gown for the video.
Florian Ebener/Getty Tokio Hotel
Originally, the plan was to use a camera trick to create the dress scenes.
"The idea came from the video director, Chris Morris," recalls Bill. "He just randomly was like, 'I want to try something super over the top that doesn't make sense.'"
"He said we need a lot of fabric because I'm [playing] the master of the universe and I'm twirling around with all these pictures," recounts the star. "He's like, 'We just need a dress and high shoes.'"
Bill continues: "Then I was like, 'I'm not gonna fit in any dress of Heidi's.' I went to Heidi's closet and was like, 'I need to borrow a dress.' And Heidi's like, 'Well, I have this thing and it has so much fabric.' And I was like, 'Perfect.' I tried it on. It had a lot of fabric and it was almost like a wedding dress so I was like, 'OK, that's perfect.'"
Over the years, Klum has become known for her elaborate Halloween parties. But this year's circumstances have really shaken things up. "Heidi planned something and we did something special and you're gonna see on Friday. There's a surprise coming up," Tom teases.
For the holiday season, the rock-pop star is looking forward to spending time with his wife and children.
"I'm a family man," says the musician. "I love family and I enjoy spending quality time. We really just enjoy ourselves."
"We've been quarantining as much as we could and we were staying home for months and months and months. We enjoyed ourselves. I love spending time with her," he adds. "Usually, I'm touring a lot and usually, we play up to 70 shows per year — that means we're separated for a long time. In terms of staying home and spending time together, and with the family, that was a nice change for us because usually I don't get to do it. She doesn't either because she's working all the time and I'm working a lot, so we really, really enjoyed the time together."
Dominique Charriau/WireImage Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz
"We're gonna spend Thanksgiving in Berlin because we're all here," Says Tom. "For Christmas, our plan is to come back [to the states]. We just love the holiday time. We're gonna cook a lot and try to make it fun. I'm hoping it's snowing."
And as far as newlywed life with Klum, Tom is living it up: "We're having a great time and I couldn’t be happier in life. Everything is great. The whole family is happy, even under these circumstances. But, we've had a great last couple of months together. It does get crazy because we have four kids and Bill is coming by every now and then. At the breakfast table, with a lot of people, it gets crazy sometimes — but in a good way."
Tokio Hotel first made waves in the early aughts when the bandmates were teenagers. Since then, they've developed an unwavering bond.
"Over the years, you grow together so much," says Tom. "We're like brothers. I wouldn't say it's the same relationship we have [as twins], but it's close. We're four brothers and we don't have secrets."
"Because you're older, you can appreciate and understand relationships a little better," adds Bill. "We are family first. The four of us, we're a family. Nothing is gonna come between us because we grew up together."
Up next? The band will continue to release new singles — with another slated to drop this year — and they're set to release a new album in 2021. Tokio Hotel is also looking forward to touring again once things are restored back to pre-COVID times.
Meanwhile, Bill is working on his upcoming autobiographical book, Career Suicide: My First 30 Years, which will make its debut soon.