FEA­TURES

TYLER JOSEPH TAKES US IN­SIDE HIS HEAD(ACHE) ON ONE OF TØP’S MOST BELOVED AN­THEMS or a man whose deeply per­sonal lyrics have sent twenty one pi­lots from Ohio base­ments to the world’s big­gest stages, Tyler Joseph likes to play his cards close to his chest.

Kerrang! (UK) - - Contents - WORDS: EMILY CARTER PHOTO: MEGHAN RAL­STON

ON THE COVER:

So, you reckon you know ev­ery­thing about your favourite songs, huh? We beg to dif­fer! Get ready to learn a ton of new facts about tracks from twenty one pi­lots, Panic! At The Disco, Foo Fight­ers and loads more

Fschol­ar­ship in favour of writ­ing mu­sic, it wasn’t long be­fore Tyler found the courage in mu­sic to ad­dress his demons. And af­ter build­ing a mod­est fan­base and ex­pand­ing it out­side of the band’s home­town of Colum­bus, Ohio, he sensed the re­la­tion­ship twenty one pi­lots had with their fans was a two-way street.

“We came to know each other through this mu­sic,” Tyler told K!. “And I re­alised they were ask­ing those ques­tions, too. They weren’t afraid to ask, and when they asked and didn’t have the an­swer, they didn’t know how to cope with­out hav­ing the an­swer! I re­alised cre­at­ing art, writ­ing a song, paint­ing… it helps get over not hav­ing the an­swer. It gives you a sense of pur­pose.”

This pur­pose meant Tyler found the con­fi­dence to pen lyrics such as ‘Am I the only one I know / Wag­ing my wars be­hind my face and above my throat?’ on Mi­graine, one of the stand­out tracks on 2013’s break­through al­bum, Ves­sel – a record Tyler re­mains cu­ri­ously guarded on in in­ter­views.

“No, I didn’t re­ally have a mi­graine when I wrote the song,” Tyler dryly re­vealed on the bonus edi­tion of the al­bum. “I’ve had a mi­graine be­fore – ac­tu­ally, I’ve only had one, and it was aw­ful. The headache in the song rep­re­sents an is­sue. If you think about what a headache is, the hurt­ing isn’t the is­sue – the hurt­ing in your head is your body telling you that there’s some­thing else wrong that needs to be fixed. Your body’s not get­ting what it needs, so it ul­ti­mately sets of an alarm say­ing, ‘There’s some­thing wrong.’ Your

“YOUR BODY GETS YOUR AT­TEN­TION THROUGH PAIN” TYLER JOSEPH

body gets your at­ten­tion through pain. If you take that ex­am­ple of how your body works and think about how your psy­che works, that’s ul­ti­mately what I was try­ing to ex­press: there’s some­thing wrong.” And though it’s Tyler’s voice that sings lyrics such

‘Sun­days are my sui­cide days’ and ‘I am not as fine as I seem’ in the track, this in­tense pain and self-doubt is some­thing that drum­mer Josh Dun feels equally.

Like Tyler, though, the sticks­man found con­so­la­tion in the Skeletøn Clique. “I turn to the peo­ple who have made us a huge part of their life and I re­alise how thank­ful I am for those peo­ple. Hon­estly, it’s a won­der for peo­ple who in­vest in us and spend time with us and this mu­sic – whether it’s at a show or alone in their room in the dark.”

With any luck, the power of twenty one pi­lots’ fan­base will con­tinue to em­power Tyler and Josh in bat­tling their pain – both real and metaphor­i­cal – and en­cour­age both band mem­bers to ad­dress top­ics im­por­tant to them, re­gard­less of out­side in­flu­ences.

“A lot of adults write off the whole de­pres­sion and sui­cide thing, like, ‘Don’t let your head get the best of you, it’s im­ma­ture,’” Tyler ad­mit­ted. “But no mat­ter what peo­ple’s in­ten­tions are be­hind ex­press­ing that they strug­gle with that, it’s a very real thing and should be taken se­ri­ously.”

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