ABOUT TWENTY ONE PILOTS
Lead singer Tyler Joseph formed Twenty One Pilots with middle school friend and collaborator Nick Thomas, who had worked with him on his 2007 solo album No Phun Intended. Amid several other tracks on the album, Thomas contributed guitar to the song "Trees", which would later become a signature Twenty One Pilots song. Whilst at university, Joseph met Chris Salih at a party. The two decided to begin making and recording music together and Joseph invited Thomas to join. The three moved into a house together in 2009 and they wrote and recorded their first album in the basement.
2009-2011: Self-titled album
Having written material together, the band began to play local shows around Columbus, Ohio. Influenced by the local scene, they started to incorporate metal, hardcore, and electronic sounds into their music and costumes and on-stage acrobatics into their shows.
Having decided on the name Twenty One Pilots, the band released its self-titled debut album on December 29, 2009.
The band recorded a cover of "Jar of Hearts" by Christina Perri and a remixed version of "Con te partirò (Time to Say Goodbye)" by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman, which they uploaded to SoundCloud in 2010.
2011-2012: Line-up changes and Regional at Best
In May and June 2011, Salih and Thomas both left the band to focus on work and school, respectively. Former touring drummer for House of Heroes Josh Dunn, who was a friend and colleague of Thomas, replaced him in the band. As they were amicable departures, Salih and Thomas both remained involved with the band's production for some time after leaving the band. Thomas also began to manage the band’s merchandise and remains a part of the merchandise distribution crew when the band is on tour.
With Joseph and Dun as the only members of the new line-up, the band released its second album, Regional at Best, on July 8, 2011.
In November 2011, the band played a sold-out concert at Columbus' Newport Music Hall, having spent months consistently touring the local area and developing a fanbase. The show caught the attention of several record labels.
The duo promoted the album with the Regional at Best Tour, with support from CHALLENGER! and documented the tour, and uploaded the video to their YouTube channel.
2012-2014: Major label signing and Vessel
The duo signed to Fuelled By Ramen (a subsidiary of Atlantic Records) in April 2012 and followed in July with their debut release on the label – an EP titled Three Songs. August saw the band embark on a short tour with Neon Trees and Walk the Moon.
On November 12, 2012, they released the official music video for "Holding on to You".
In January 2013, Twenty One Pilots released their major-label debut album, Vessel. The album contained five tracks from Regional at Best – "Guns for Hands", "Holding on to You", "Ode to Sleep", "Car Radio", and "Trees" – that were re-recorded for the album. Vessel peaked at number 21 on the Billboard 200 and has been certified double platinum by the RIAA. By 2016, every one of the album’s 12 tracks had been certified gold or higher, making them the first group or artist to achieve this feat with two separate albums.
The duo joined Panic! At the Disco as a support act for Fall Out Boy’s Save Rock and Roll Arena Tour. In August 2013, the duo made their late-night TV debut on Conan, performing "House of Gold".
Summer 2014 saw the band playing at several music concerts, including Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Boston Calling, and Firefly. From September through November, the band performed on their Quiet is Violent World Tour.
On March 16, 2015, the band announced the upcoming release of a new album, Blurryface, and the following day released the lead single from the album, "Fairly Local". "Tear in My Heart" and "Stressed Out" followed in April, with the latter becoming the group's highest-selling single, peaking at number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and number one on both Alternative Songs and Hot Rock Songs charts. The song also amassed over one billion views on YouTube.
Blurryface was released two days before it had been scheduled for release, on May 17, 2015, and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. In 2018, Blurryface became the first album in the digital era to have every track receive at least a gold certification from the RIAA.
"Ride", the album’s fifth single, was released on April 11, 2016, and reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100.
Over the course of almost a year, from May 2015 to February 2016, the band embarked on the Blurryface Tour, traveling the world. On May 31, 2016, the band played its first date of a second tour to promote Blurryface, the Emotional Roadshow World Tour, which started in Cincinnati and covered the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australia. On May 22, 2016, Blurryface won the award for "Top Rock Album" at the Billboard Music Awards, with the band winning "Top Rock Artist".
Twenty One Pilots contributed a cover of "Cancer" by My Chemical Romance to the tribute album Rock Sound Presents: The Black Parade in September 2016. The following month, they featured as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live and also performed at the American Music Awards of 2016, where they also accepted awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Duo and Favorite Alternative Rock Artist. November saw the release of Blurryface Live – a limited-edition live vinyl album documenting two performances at Fox Oakland Theatre, on the duo's 2015 Blurryface Tour. TOPxMM, a five-song collaborative EP with Mutemath composed of remixes and re-imaginings of four tracks from Blurryface and the song "Heathens" was released on December 19.
Twenty One Pilots won a Grammy Award for "Stressed Out" in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category at the 2017 ceremony in February. That June, the duo embarked on a 5-date hometown tour where they performed at smaller venues that they had played when they were just beginning, including The Basement, Newport Music Hall, and Express Live!. They then followed with arena shows at Nationwide Arena and Value City Arena.
In March 2018, Blurryface became the first full-length album to have every track achieve at least gold certification (which was later followed by Regional at Best).
After a year-long hiatus, broken only by cryptic messaging to fans and on social media and a change of logo and branding, Twenty One Pilots released two new songs, "Jumpsuit" and "Nico and the Niners" in July 2018. The following month, they released the songs "Levitate" and "My Blood" in the run-up to their fifth studio album, Trench, which was released on October 5, 2018. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Rock Albums and Alternative Albums charts and all 14 tracks from the album charted in the top 25 of the Hot Rock Songs chart, with five tracks reaching the top 10. Trench also reached number two on the Billboard 200.
On September 12, 2018, the duo played a one-off show titled A Complete Diversion, at O2 Brixton Academy in London to promote Trench and their upcoming The Bandito Tour, which began in the US and continued in Oceana and Europe, with additional 2019 tour dates in Canada, Mexico, and the US.
The band released their fifth single from Trench, "Chlorine", in January 2016. They then released a re-imagined version of "Chlorine", titled "Chlorine (19.4326° N, 99.1332° W)" in June as the first release from the Løcatiøn Sessiøns. The following month, they released "The Hype" as the sixth single from Trench.
2021: Scaled and Icy
On April 9, 2020, the band released the single, "Level of Concern", hitting number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot Rock & Alternative Songs and Rock Airplay charts.
That December, they released a Christmas single, "Christmas Saves the Year".
The lead single from their upcoming sixth studio album, "Shy Away", was released in April 2021, as was the album’s second single, "Choker". A third single "Saturday", was released on May 18, 2021, three days before the album itself. The album, Scaled and Icy, reached number three on the Billboard 200 and number one on the Top Alternative Albums and Top Rock Albums charts.
On June 16, 2021, Twenty One Pilots announced the Takeover Tour, running from September 2021 to June 2022, followed by the Icy Tour, which begins in August 2022.