Twenty One Pilots

  • Pop rock/Alternative/Rap band from Columbus Ohio, formed in 2009. The original group was comprised of Tyler Joseph (lead vocals, keyboards, ukulele, songwriting), Nick Thomas (guitars, bass guitars) and Chris Salih (drums). In 2011, Thomas and Salih left. Josh Dun took over the drums, and Joseph added the guitars to his other duties. Today, the band is a duo of Joseph and Dun.
  • Joseph and Thomas were high school friends. Joseph found an old keyboard in his closet, and started playing songs he heard on the radio. At 19, he recorded an album of songs he had written, and Thomas played guitar on several of the songs. In college, Joseph met Salih at a party, and Salih suggested that they form a band. They agreed to try, and Thomas was brought to form a trio. In 2009, they moved into a house, where they developed an album and recorded it in the basement. They performed around the Columbus area at metal, hardcore and electronic venues, wearing costumes and performing acrobatic stunts to keep the attention of fans and promoters. After considering Bicycle Thief and Chill Coat, Joseph chose the name Twenty One Pilots after reading All My Sons by playwright Arthur Miller – the play is about a man who commits suicide after causing the death of 21 pilots in World War II.
  • In late 2009, they self released their debut album, the self titled Twenty One Pilots. They began touring throughout Ohio, promoting themselves. Their album managed to hit the Billboard 200 chart, selling over 100,000 copies. In 2010, they posted 2 songs to their SoundCloud account, which caught the attention of Dun. By 2011, Thomas and Salih decided to leave – Salih invited Dun to replace him.
  • A second self released album, Regional At Best, was released in July 2011. By the end of the year, record labels began to notice that they were selling out concerts, and they were signed in April 2012 to a contract. That summer, they released an EP titled Three Songs, and their debut studio album with a major label, Vessel, was released in early 2013. It peaked at #21 on the album chart and ultimately was certified platinum. It included their first songs to chart – Holding On To You and House of Gold both reached #10 on the Alternative Songs chart. A third song, Car Radio, has been certified 2x platinum as a single.
  • Their breakout as an international success came with their next album. Blurryface was released in 2015. It topped the album chart, and was certified 3x platinum. They topped the Alternative Songs chart, and reached #2 and #5 respectively on the Billboard Hot 100, with Stressed Out and Ride. In 2016, they released the song Heathens, which was part of the soundtrack to the film Suicide Squad. Heathens made it to #2 on the Hot 100. With Ride and Heathens, Twenty One Pilots became only the third rock group to have 2 songs simultaneously in the top 5 of the Hot 100 at the same time. The other rock artists? The Beatles and Elvis Presley.
  • Later in 2016, they performed on Saturday Night Live and they won 2 awards at the American Music Awards, as well as 2 awards at the Billboard Music Awards. In early 2017, they won a Grammy award for Stressed Out. They accepted the award in their underwear, fulfilling a promise that they made to themselves when they were just a local Columbus band.
  • In March 2018, the song Hometown from Blurryface received a Gold certification from RIAA. With that, Blurryface became the first album ever in which every song on the album had been certified at least Gold by RIAA.
  • Twenty One Pilots began releasing singles from their most recent album in July 2018. The album, titled Trench, was released in October 2018. It is a concept album, exploring mental health, suicide and doubt. Critics have acclaimed it, and 2 singles – Jumpsuit and My Blood, reached #1 and #3 respectively on the Alternative Songs chart.
  • I really like this band. Listen to Blurryface and Heathens – you’ll hear that Joseph is a talented songwriter, and that the music is so much more brilliant than 98% of what is out today. Here is the video for Heathens (over 1 billion views on YouTube).

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