posted on July 23, 2007 06:39
It's an understatement to say that France and Germany have 'history' - and that's even just thinking about football (for all of Zizou's heroics in 1998, Seville in 1982 still touches a raw nerve here in France).
All of which makes it surprising that the current idols for French teenage rock fans are Tokio Hotel, a four-piece band from Magdeburg in Germany. Even more amazing is that this is a group that sings in German.
Tokio Hotel trade in the same teen-angst nu-metal as Linkin Park, and we presume they're also singing much the same type of self-pitying lyrics. The group's image centres around singer Bill Kaulitz's distinctive hairstyle and heavy make-up. All around France, parents are asking the time-honoured rock question: C'est un mec ou une fille? (Is that a boy or a girl?).
Singing in German has so far not hindered the band's success in France. Their first two albums Schrei and Zimmer 483 have both gone top ten in the French charts, and the videos for their singles 'Durch Den Monsun' and 'Ubers Ende Der Welt' enjoy heavy rotation on French music television. They recently appeared before 600,000 people at the massive free Bastille day concert on the Champs de Mars (the park beside the Eiffel Tower) in Paris.
With a heavily-mascara'd eye on world domination, the band has just recorded their first album in English: 'Scream' is a compilation of tracks from their first two records, and it's due to be released in the UK in August. You may be hearing more about Tokio Hotel very soon.
In the meantime you can watch the video for 'Ubers Ende Der Welt' and learn how to say in German 'I hate you!', 'I won't do my homework!' and 'Daddy wouldn't buy me a pony':