Twenty One Pilots consist of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, and hail from Columbus, Ohio. They’ve been releasing music for quite a while now, in comparison with some of the other bands we feature here. They’ve been active since 2009, and have made a healthy contribution to a decent discography. Despite having so far escaped commercial success, there is something about the duo which is attractive and unusual to their fans.
Beginning 2013 with their first full-length release on the Fueled by Ramen label, Twenty One Pilots once again embarked on tours set to cover the world. Don’t be fooled, just because the band have yet to capture the mainstream media gaze, they’re going places. As the support act for the Fall Out Boy US tour later this year, you can expect people will begin talking of them shortly after.
Their music is unique. Whilst many critics have reduced them to a synthpop happy-music duo, this simple label distracts from who Twenty One Pilots actually are. It points towards a kind of MGMT sound, which is completely incorrect. At times, the music is a wonderful amalgamation of Watsky, Julian Casablancas, and a little bit Ting Tings. Again though, there are moments of just synth and drums which are so cinematic and picturesque you’re led away from any connotations a critic can reduce them to.
I find them quite a happy band. You can listen to them in the garden in the sun, with a cider, and it’s not going to bring the party down, quite the opposite with songs such as ‘Guns For Hands.’ I can imagine the entire tone of Twenty One Pilots is very much a live, raw experience. When they tour the UK in August, I’ll go. Not only because I’m sure it’s going to be a wonderful gig, but mostly because the entire ethos, the spirit of what Twenty One Pilots embody, exudes an energy that can only be fully delivered on a stage. From what other critics have said of their live performance, it would certainly appear to be something we agree on.
Something which cannot be ignored however, is the sheer character and compounded nature of the lyrics these songs feature. On their website, Twenty One Pilots write a little of this ethos, this spirit, far better than I ever could:
“We all stop thinking and we all stop talking and we all stop sharing and we all stop creating, because by doing any of these things we quickly find out just how unhappy we are. But that’s okay. That’s normal. Don’t let the fear of unhappiness cripple your pursuit of finding what it is you believe. Since joy is found in belief, we all have to push through unhappiness to find joy.”
It’s actually rather beautiful when you listen to their music, in particular their latest album, with this understanding. It’s not depressive, and it’s not sad, rather the contrary. Twenty One Pilots are on a mission to find joy, just as we all are, wandering through life’s comings and goings as they arrive, but ultimately it’s all joy we seek. It is with this understanding, that you can put your earphones in, walk with a spring in your step, and get on with your day smiling to Twenty One Pilots.