Is it true? Really? Arena-filling, existentialist-pop princes TWENTY ONE PILOTS are pushing 10 years old? It depends on who you talk to: If you start with Tyler Joseph’s ambitious self-released debut album No Phun Intended (from 2007), then we’re late. If you consider TOP’s self-titled debut as the first spark (2009), then we’re on time.
Perhaps you’re starting with when the indefatigable Josh Dun started manning the kit in 2011. AP readers will remember that in 2014, Dun would refer to the as-yet-to-be-recorded-and-titled Blurryface LP as “album No. 2,” wisecracking that “Psychologically, it makes us feel like we’re a little newer in the game.” So if you’re going by Dun’s version of history, then we’re waaay early.
Ahh, we don’t care what position you take. But we do know that you, the fans, have made your love and appreciation for TOP loud and clear to us. Joseph and Dun are still populating our devices, stereos and playlists both with pensive thoughts and pure pop perfection. The proof is out there: The response to the band’s fifth album Trench (and their last AP cover, AP 362) has been nothing short of rapturous. That’s why we’re dedicating AP 367 in tribute to Columbus, Ohio’s most powerful dreamers, and thereby to you, the ones who helped that dream become reality. Because Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun readily embody the very concept of “the fan favorite.”
How are we doing that, you might ask? We went through all of the eras of the band, looking for some of the best stories surrounding their mythology. We obsess over the connections between the universe of Blurryface and the dark world of Trench, as well as delivering lots of photographs of the band in various eras over the years. Fan art? Yeah, we got the best of that.
IN THIS MONTH’S ISSUE:
We chatted up Reel Bear Media founder MARK ESCHLEMAN, conceptualist, confidant and ace creative for the band. The director of such classic vids as “Stressed Out,” the excellent live-in-the-studio session with Mute Math, and one of the primary forces in the direction of the band’s live show, talks about his history with Joseph and Dun. By the end of his piece, you’ll wish all of your friends were as loyal to you like he is to his.
In ALBUM ANATOMY, we talk with vocalist/keyboardist PAUL MEANY about the making of TOPxMM, the summit meeting between twenty one pilots and his band, the electronic-rock fulcrum MUTEMATH.
This month’s 10 ESSENTIAL does a deep dive into select, little-heard and wondrously weird TOP tracks and collaborations.
And as an added bonus, we commissioned some artists and graphic designers to reimagine a series of four alternative posters commemorating crucial dates in the band’s history, from record releases to important shows. You’ll want to tear them out of the book and lie to your friends that you were there. (It’s cool, we ain’t sayin’ nuthin’…)
twenty one pilots are on tour through most of 2019, and we’re positively stoked, as we’re sure you will be upon receiving this issue. Get our TOP tribute issue here…