My senior year of high school I fell in a deep, passionate love—with music. My first love was the band Twenty One Pilots, an Ohio-based band started by lead singer/songwriter Tyler Joseph, later joined by Josh Dun.
The band’s authenticity and pride in where they came from makes them relatable and keeps their fans connected. No matter where the band goes they never forget their hometown of Columbus, Ohio, where they got their start.
“Wish we could turn back time, to the good ol’ days,
When our momma sang us to sleep but now we’re stressed out.”
In the lyrics of the hit song “Stressed Out,” Joseph addresses his longing for going back in time to when life was easier, a time we oh-so-often refer to as the “good ol’ days.” The music video for “Stressed Out” takes place on the street where Dun grew up and Joseph is seen singing the chorus in Dun’s old house.
The theme throughout the albums of Twenty One Pilots is their sense of place. Their home is not just in Columbus, but in the music that has molded these two creators to form their own identities. Twenty One Pilots have combined both their homes in music and homes in the literal sense to create authentic art.
Seeing Tyler Joseph sing the lyrics listed above in the home of Josh Dun forces reality into their art and opens up their homes lives to their thousands of fans.
“My name’s Blurry Face and I care what you think”
Blurryface (Fueled By Ramen, 2015), the latest album of Twenty One pilots, personifies the feeling of insecurity. Joseph quite literally makes his insecurities into the character Blurryface and becomes him in his music videos.
In the music video, Joseph paints his neck and hands black to signify his insecurities. His neck symbolizes his insecurities in his voice, and his hands symbolize insecurity in his creations.
This is powerful to me. As a writer I feel insecure about everything I create, which often leads to putting aside projects in fear that no one will like them and that no one will recognize them. Fear and creativity can coexist; they must learn to live together, they cannot be separate but must be equal.
Twenty One Pilots expresses these two emotions and humanizes them with the character Blurryface. The courage of Joseph to display his raw emotions as an artist inspires me to keep creating.
When I listen to Twenty One Pilots’ music I feel emotion, and to feel emotion is to be a human. I love Twenty One Pilots because they make me feel human.
Taeler Kallmerten, Staff Writer, Twenty One Pilots Fangirl