Twenty One Pilots
Twenty One Pilots (stylized as twenty one pilots or twenty øne piløts) is an American musical duo from Columbus, Ohio. The band was formed in 2009 by lead vocalist Tyler Joseph along with Nick Thomas and Chris Salih, both of whom left in 2011. Since their departure, the line-up has consisted of J
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Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Alternative hip hop electropop indie pop pop rock rap rock alternative rock
Fueled by Ramen WEA International Atlantic
The band independently released two albums, Twenty One Pilots (2009) and Regional at Best (2011), before being signed by record label Fueled by Ramen in 2012. Their label debut, Vessel, was released in 2013. The duo achieved breakthrough success with their fourth album, Blurryface (2015), which produced the successful singles "Stressed Out" and "Ride" and became the first album in history on which every track received at least a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America. The release of the single "Heathens", recorded for the soundtrack of the film Suicide Squad, made the group the first alternative artist to have two concurrent top ten singles in the United States. The duo's fifth studio album, Trench, was released on October 5, 2018.
2009–2011: Formation and self-titled album
Main article: Twenty One Pilots (album)
Tyler Joseph first met future bandmate Nicholas "Nick" Thomas at a young age while playing youth basketball in Columbus, Ohio. Thomas later transferred to Joseph's middle school, and the two would remain friends through high school.
Joseph began playing music after finding an old keyboard in his closet, a Christmas gift from his mother, and started mimicking radio melodies. In 2007, Joseph recorded a solo album titled No Phun Intended in his parent's basement. Thomas contributed guitar to several songs on the album, and collaborated on the track "Trees", which would later become a signature Twenty One Pilots song.
While attending Ohio State University, Joseph met Texas-born future bandmate Christopher "Chris" Salih at a party. Noting the songwriter's talent and creative energy, Salih consulted Joseph about starting a band. Impressed by the recording studio Salih had built in his house, Joseph agreed to play music together and began sharing his ideas for new music. Just before their first performance, Joseph invited Thomas to join the unnamed band as a bassist. In 2009, the group moved into a house of their own, where their first album was conceptualized and recorded in the basement.
The band initially played for a wide variety of audiences at clubs and venues around the Columbus area. Playing at metal, hardcore, and electronic venues influenced Joseph to incorporate these disparate styles with his songwriting. To catch the attention of unfamiliar or disinterested attendees and promoters, the band began to experiment with costumes and on-stage acrobatics.
Now going by "Twenty One Pilots", the group released their debut, self-titled album, Twenty One Pilots, on December 29, 2009, and began touring the rest of Ohio. Their initial marketing was grassroots; Joseph's mother would stand outside of Ohio State University giving away tickets to his shows. During this time, the band participated in "Battle of the Band" contests at The Alrosa Villa and The Basement, important Columbus music venues. In 2010, the band posted two tracks to their SoundCloud account, a cover of "Jar of Hearts" by Christina Perri and a remixed interpretation of "Con te partirò (Time to Say Goodbye)" by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman. The latter track would become the first song local drummer Josh Dun heard from the group.
Joseph, Dun, and Salih participated in musical efforts of a Columbus, Ohio church called Five14. They contributed to four of fourteen tracks for their album Clear, with Travis Whittaker and the gospel band "New Albany Music." In 2011, Joseph appeared in a 3-part video called "The (moderately inspiring tale of the) Longboard Rodeo Tango", and sang "O come, O come, Emmanuel" in another video,