This was supposed to be a quiet month for Twenty One Pilots. After three years of touring at a psychotic pace, the two-man band finally had a solid four-week break that kicked off shortly before Christmas. The plan was for singer Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun to go home to their families in Columbus, Ohio, relax and prepare for this year’s 85-date world tour, headed for sold-out arenas all over America and culminating with a two-night stand at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
They never thought this would be the month that their single “Stressed Out,” which came out last April, would absolutely explode on pop radio. Just one month ago, the song was at Number 57 on the Billboard Hot 100, but today it sits at Number Four, lodged between Drake’s “Hotline Bling” and Selena Gomez’s “Same Old Love.” The video has been viewed over 50 million times on YouTube, and tickets for the upcoming tour are increasingly hard to get, even in the nosebleeds. “The one time we take a break is the moment it happens to explode,” says Joseph. “I have no idea why all this is happening right now. It’s a weird feeling.”
Late last month, we headed down to Columbus to spend the day with Dun and Joseph for an extensive profile about their rise to the top. But there was a ton we simply didn’t have room to fit into the piece. Here are 13 other things we learned about Twenty One Pilots while reporting the story.
They’re open to the idea of adding additional members
When Josh Dun joined the band about four years ago, original bassist Nick Thomas was still around, and they gigged around Central Ohio as a trio. But when Thomas left the band to attend college, the group decided to carry on as a two-piece. The lineup shift forced them to use extensive backing tapes in their live show to flesh out their sound, a practice they’ll continue all through the year. But when the tour wraps, they might change things around.
“We come from a sensory-overload culture, and so we wonder if one guy on drums and one guy dancing around is enough,” says Joseph. “Adding guys was something we always were curious about. We decided for this run specifically to stay a two-piece. In the future, we definitely could add members. When Josh and I play at the same time, I don’t want to be too dramatic, but something magical happens. You’re in sync with somebody. To add people to that would only make that feeling even more potent.”
That doesn’t mean these additional musicians would be legit members of the group. “I think it’ll always be Josh and I as the band,” says Joseph. “It would get a little disingenuous if we would be cycling guys in and out, but we really want to preserve the fact it’s just the two of us. I don’t know how it would exactly work.”