Five Reasons You Should Be Listening To twenty one pilots

2015 was a massive year for twenty one pilots. Their sophomore major label release Blurryface gained them a huge amount of exposure, and even debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200.  The Ohio-born duo have soared straight to alternative rock royalty, selling out shows worldwide, and continuing to grow their furiously dedicated ‘Skeleton Clique.’ There are countless reasons as to why so many are enchanted by twenty one pilots, but we’ve managed to whittle it down to five reasons why you should be listening to their music:

1. They’re single-handedly redefining a genre.

There’s no hiding that alternative rock is an overpopulated genre. Like the ever-present pop punk community, alternative rock is full of similar bands producing similar sounding tracks. And to a degree, this is great: these musicians know who they are, where they excel, and what their fans want to hear. But over the past few years, twenty one pilots have emerged with a sound that’s broadened the genre. It’s near impossible to define their music. Many have tried—resulting in the phrases ‘schizophrenic pop’ and ‘aggressive poetry’—but the only real accurate description of twenty one pilots is that they’re a vibrant, bold genre rollercoaster. Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun have created something that’s never existed before in alternative rock: a sometimes rap driven, sometimes not ukulele fiesta. Check out one of their earlier tracks ‘Taxi Cab’ below.

2. Their lyrics.

Tyler Joseph is very adamant about one thing: twenty one pilots is a band that cares about its message. Whether this is in their lyrics, shows, or in interviews, it’s clear the duo put a great deal of thought into what they express to their fans. Like most artists, twenty one pilots write about what they know best: their own experiences. For the most part, Joseph’s lyrics centre around the band’s own struggles with mental illness, how it’s affected them, and the steps they’ve taken to fight it. Although we don’t know the guys—so we can’t assume the extent of this—there’s one thing very clear about their message: no one is alone. Just by writing these songs, twenty one pilots provide comfort to people struggling with similar conditions. And when you consider how incredibly isolating mental illness can be, you can’t really overstate the importance of this.

‘Holding On To You’—the band’s first real breakthrough single—is a prime example: “Tie a noose around your mind / Loose enough to breathe fine and tie it / To a tree. Tell it,  You belong to me. / This ain’t a noose, this is a leash. / And I have news for you: you must obey me.”  twenty one pilots is a pair of incredibly talented, thoughtful people. Yes, they know what you’re going through, but the most important thing this band is doing is breaking the taboo of talking about mental illness.

3. The character of Blurryface.

The character of Blurryface is a construct twenty one pilots fans find incredibly relatable. In a similar way to their lyrics, this character has a significant focus on mental illness. It seems Blurryface is the self-conscious embodiment of a person’s stress, anxiety, and depression. But more than this, Blurryface is an example of just how intricate a twenty one pilots album is. The character is woven throughout the album’s framework; Blurryface can be found in lyrics, music videos, this cycle’s live shows, and even the album’s production. twenty one pilots fans might think to look out for red eyes and black face paint, but the band’s message is clear: insecurities exist in all of us, but they don’t define who we are. 

4. The live shows.

There’s a reason this band sell out so many shows. If you’ve ever been to a tøp show, you’ll know as well as we do that they’re absolute mayhem. twenty one pilots put on one of the most high energy, crowd inclusive shows you’ll ever see. There’s no real way to describe it, but you can check out their performance of ‘Trees’ below.

5. The shenanigans.

Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun are notorious for being friendship goals. If you follow them on Twitter, there’s a chance you’ll already know these very important facts:

  • Josh Dun has been kicked out of the band more times than we can count. Tyler’s usually joking, but we’re all nervously awaiting the day Josh eats the last taco then fails to show up for the next day of tour.
  • Tyler Joseph runs a dubiously successful photo editing business. We say ‘dubiously’ because it’s mostly just layering filters on candids, check out this beauty:

  • And last but not least, we can’t forgot about #TOPDebate. This day-long Twitter campaign had permanent consequences:

Are you a twenty one pilots fan? Let us know @CelebMix.


Written by Faith Ridler

Faith Ridler is a UK based student, music journalist, and twenty one pilots aficionado. Follow her on Twitter @FaithLRidler!