Who: Suzie Kennedy, artist and Marilyn Monroe lookalike Where: Berlin…
Who: Claudia and Thomas Anders
Where: Koblenz, Germany
Meet me for Tea with Thomas and Claudia Anders: Thomas, former singer of the pop duo Modern Talking, and with 125 million sold phonograms and 420 gold and platinum sound records one of the most successful German musicians ever. Claudia has been married to Thomas for 17 years and has been a businesswoman for four years with a lifestyle-shop for dog and keeper. I meet the relaxed couple first in the Klostergut Besselich near Koblenz, home and company seat of the pop star, from where one can look over the Rhine valley until the beautiful viewpoint ‘Deutsches Eck’. For a shoot with the gorgeous cups of KPM, Claudia and Thomas Anders are ready for another meeting at the Berlin Hotel Adlon. A MyStylery interview with a sympathetic, humorous couple.
MyStylery: Thomas, you are a native “Rheinländer”, born in Koblenz, where you still live today. You have been in L.A. for several years and also for several years in Berlin. Did you never think of living together in a different place again? Why Koblenz?
Thomas Anders: Why not? As an artist you do not necessarily live in cities like Berlin, Hamburg or Munich. I think you should live where you feel good.
MyStylery: Wouldn’t the metropolis be more pleasant for you, with regards to more anonymity and inconsistent recognition?
Thomas: No, on the contrary. When I am in Hamburg or Berlin, people call me on the street and ask for an autograph. The Koblenzer know me, but leave me alone, whether in the supermarket, in the cleaners or at the gas station. With one exception: A few years ago, I met a group of young people at our vegetable dealer. They asked for a photo and said that they were on a class trip in Koblenz. First day here and already met a celebrity, one of the guys said. Whereupon I countered, many more you will not meet here. (laughs)
Claudia Anders: We can also live as a normal family here and that is important to us. Although I sometimes miss the big city air. I love Berlin for example, but I am also looking forward to going back home. Koblenz is our retreat.
“Koblenz is our homebase.”
MyStylery: Thomas, you are very popular internationally. Especially abroad your audience awaits the old Modern Talking songs. Is this a burden for you?
Thomas: No, not at all. Modern Talking’s career was unique. I am still today performing in front of approximately 250,000 people around the world, so the word “old” does not fit here at all. (laughing). This is my life. I am in the fortunate position to be able to sing the songs that are still demanded today and were world hits. This is a gift. I fortunately have never had this Roy Black-fate to make hits like “Ganz in Weiß”, though being a rock’n’roller by heart.
MyStylery: Especially in America, you appeal to all age groups, also many young people.
Thomas: Right. 10,000 people were at the concert in Los Angeles. It’s a good-mood music that does not go out of style.
Claudia: A concert without “You’re my heart, you’re my soul” does not work at all. The audience loves the 80s. With the Teens the decade has almost cult status.
Thomas: In Germany one often remembers first and foremost the controversies between Dieter Bohlen and me, while abroad, one thinks about the music when it comes to Modern Talking.
Songs that are still world hits
MyStylery: Many artists want to be noticed by their new songs and not to be reduced to the old successes. You have just released your first German-language album in April. How did the fans react?
Thomas: So good that another is planned. “Pures Leben” (“Pure Life”) has been sold nearly 100.000 times.
MyStylery: And what kind of music is playing at your home?
Claudia: I like jazz from Diana Krall or Lounge Music. In the car I always have a Modern Talking-CD. With us, music is playing all day, so in the evening I just yearn for quietness.
Thomas: I am a very sensitive person. For me, music is just as cozy as candles. They burn all day. I like it a lot.
MyStylery: Your son is now 15, how does he like your music?
Thomas: Either Alexander does not dare to say that he finds the music stupid or he is actually not embarrassed (laughs). He listens to music of his age group, DJ Khaled or Kanye West, for example.
Claudia: His classmates ask for autographs from Thomas. And when we visit Alexander at the boarding school, his schoolmates often tell us that they have seen Thomas on TV.
MyStylery: Claudia, you have been running a lifestyle brand for dogs and keepers for four years and are producing your own line for high quality dog food and dog beds. Why dog products and not a fashion boutique?
Claudia (laughs): I love fashion, but a boutique would have never been an option for me. I am interested in a beautiful home where the animal is a family member. Important is a healthy nutrition to me, also for our four-legged friends. And since I have hardly found any appealing articles and dog food for our dog, I just put it on the market myself. My customers want healthy but appetizing dog food and the right dog basket to the domestic sofa as part of the living concept. I am not a bling-bling type and do not need strass-studded dog neck straps. Quality and sustainability are demanded. A discarded dog basket should not contribute to garbage dumps increasing after only one year. For all of this I have made a big dream of mine come true with Home & Dogs.
MyStylery: You’ve been dog owners for many years. Who walks your dog “Summer”?
Thomas: Claudia or Alexander. I only do it if there is no other way. (laughs)
Claudia: Therefore Thomas is our chef.
MyStylery: Is this more like show cooking for guests or like everyday basic care?
Thomas (laughs): No, I always cook. At the vegetable dealer of my trust, I get inspired by the seasonal offer. And I love the Asian cuisine or freshly grilled hamburgers. When cooking I relax completely and leave the whole everyday routine behind me.
Claudia: Thomas makes great spaghetti Bolognese with chili and red wine. I am responsible for the decorative part and do the table. Food is celebrated with us and is not simply devoured in passing. When everyone is there, we try to sit with the family at the table once a day.
“Thomas is our chef.”
MyStylery: And after the meal, is there tea?
Thomas: For me. I am the tea drinker with us. The coffee machine I might use once in the quarter of a year. My morning ritual: The day starts with a tea, I am not a breakfast person. By the way, my favorite is a Ronnefeldt tea and a double-walled tea glass. I’m pretty pragmatic when it comes to that.
Claudia: I’m more of a coffee person. In the evening, however, I also very much like a Rooibos tea. After that I can sleep well.
MyStylery: Thomas, do you also drink black tea?
Thomas: Not at all. Black tea goes on the pipes. I like to drink white tea, which cannot be steeped too long because of the bitterness. And tea bags basically do not come into my cup. Only loose varieties such as “Fiery Cherry” or “Mango Orange”. In this way I can trick myself, when I suddenly feel like gummy bears in the afternoon.
Power couple with lots of humor
MyStylery: You’re not just a dinosaur in the music industry, you guys have been together for over 21 years and married for 17 years. That sounds like pure harmony.
Claudia (laughs): When Thomas comes home, we have to get used to being together again every time. We are not the orchestra that Thomas conducts. When Thomas is on the road, I take a lot of responsibility at home and in our companies and decide a lot of things. That’s why I never give the chief key out of my hands. Sometimes it bangs. But that also has something purifying and is better than if you had nothing more to say.
Thomas: Every argument is a loss of quality of life, so I try to avoid it. So I sometimes also give in. Women and men speak different languages. How do I know what is being expected or hoped for at the moment? I am a musician and not a clairvoyant.
Claudia (laughs): Exactly. Men need clear announcements.
Thomas: I definitely feel more comfortable then. (grins)
MyStylery: Thomas, from 365 days in a year, you are on the road for 200 days, is there still time and leisure for hobbies?
Thomas: Tournees are admittedly already exhausting and sometimes limit my enthusiasm. Moscow, St. Petersburg, Hanoi, Buenos Aires or Istanbul are not just around the corner. But only sitting at home and cooking would be too little for me. Hobbies are needed by someone who needs a balance to everyday stress. When I work, I do not feel that as a burden. On the contrary, I cannot get enough of it. My job is my hobby.
Claudia: I regularly go to yoga and read a lot. And although Thomas travels a lot, we love traveling together as a family, too.
Thomas (laughs): Our son, by the way, has recently proved his repartee quite funnily. We were with Alexander in Los Angeles and drove through the chic villa district Bel Air. Claudia commented on the luxury houses and said, what are they doing to afford a huge dream villa for 40 million dollars? Then our son says: Mama, they sell cat food! BvH
At home with Claudia and Thomas Anders
Tip: Cooking with Thomas Anders
“Modern Cooking” is published by TreTorri Verlag since October 10th. For those who love quick recipes and want to know what family Anders is up to
Claudia Anders’ lifestyle-shop Home and Dogs
The interview series “Meet me 4 Tea” is sponsored by KPM – Königliche Porzellan Manufaktur Berlin.