Tyler Joseph and Nick Thomas Are Twenty One Pilots
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
This many hits from a band this new tells you it’s about much more than the strange costumes and weird videos — it’s about great music.
Tyler Joseph and Nick Thomas, college pals, decided to start a band in 2009. Joseph was on keytar — a keyboard worn like a guitar — as well as piano, synth, ukulele and vocals. Thomas played bass (replaced in 2011 by Josh Dun).
Kind of fun. Kind of quirky. Kind of like They Might Be Giants meets Coldplay. It’s a description that might irk their fans but we’re calling it like we see it.
Self-releasing their music, usually a soul-crushing endeavor, ended up playing out totally differently for them. Mostly because they didn’t even bother selling it. They gave it out free, basically as marketing for their shows. Shows that eventually ended up selling out. Then the labels showed up, followed in short order by a collaboration with Grammy-nominated producer Greg Wells, who’s also worked with Adele and Katy Perry. That record, Vessel, hit #58 on the Billboard 200, and the single “Holding On To You” came in at #11 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. Now the band is touring arenas all over America.
Nice. And with their infectious, quirky ditties, a clear-cut winner for our WOW (Winner of the Week).