Twenty One Pilots Interview
How's the tour going?
Awesome! it's one of our first headlining tours that we've done. Tyler and I started out in our home state , with some other bands from our home state to try to get people to come. These bands are like "I wanna be the headliner! Last is the best!" But we thought about it and we thought that's not true, if nobody knows who you are, everyone is going to be gone by the time you play. We intentionally played in the middle of the day when there was the most people there. About a year ago when we branched out of our home state, and we played some other shows, we were the last band to go up, and we were both terrified, like "who's gonna come see us?" And ever since then we've been surprised with how many people are coming. These shows have been really cool and we've been able to add a little more production. Tyler and I have put a lot of work into making it more theatrical. That's been really fun.
I've been inspired by a lot of musicians in Ohio, I've hung out with a lot of good musicians. There are good bands in Ohio. I'm from Columbus, you probably get this a lot in Utah, and with Ohio people say "Oh Ohio, all you've got is corn fields". But Columbus is a very small big city, a very creative community with a lot of art, music, and writing. It feels like everyone I come across in Columbus is very artistic in some way. I'm going to stand by Columbus and the music and the art that comes from there. I'm proud to be from there and I still live there. I played with House of Heros for about a year. I describe it as Foo Fighters meets Queen. People should check it out, I think they'd like it a lot.
How did Twenty-One Pilots get together?
A lot of times when people ask me that I make up something totally ridiculous, because it's going to be a better story than the way that we actually met. Tyler and I were both playing music with other guys, doing our own separate thing. We had a mutual friend, I was playing with House of Heroes, and he was playing as Twenty-One Pilots with a couple different guys, and I watched Tyler and these other guys playing, and I was blown away. I loved everything about it, except for one thing... that I wasn't on stage playing drums! After the show I met up with Tyler, and he knew who I was and we talked for a couple minutes. We got together a few days later and hung out all day and talked all night about the crazy visions and ideas we had musically. From that night we wanted to play music together.
The name Twenty-One Pilots is derived from the Arthur Miller play. Which if you don't know, there's a man in the story who is manufacturing airplane parts for the war. He comes to finds out that some of these airplane parts are faulty and he has to decide whether he sends out the parts, and keeps his job but risks peoples lives. Or do I recall the parts and basically ruin my career and name. He ends up sending out the parts, and as a result 21 people die. We look at that and we try to apply it; As human beings we have choices, even small things, and we'd look at these and say "is this sending out the part?"
What's the next single?
Singles and radio, it's a weird thing to me, because everyone has a different idea of what a hit song is. But no one really knows until it happens. I would love Car Radio to be the next single. When I listen to that song, it doesn't really make sense, there's no real chorus, and its kind of just a spoken word type verse. It's a different kind of song, and it transforms into something else at the end. When we play it live. it's like you feel like you're a part of something bigger than yourself, to me it's powerful.