Twenty One Pilots, comprised of band members Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, is a band that's recently rocketed into the spotlight. Their last album, Blurryface, shook the music world with its unapologetically anti-neurotypical lyrics. Lead singer and songwriter, Tyler Joseph, has always been open with his fans about his own struggles with mental health. From TOP's first album to the most current single, they continue to help fans overcome their own mental shortcomings by reminding them that they aren't alone. Twenty One Pilots is so important, not only to my life but to the lives of many others. It's earth shattering to see them live. Their shows are a liberating experience because there you realize that this duo is real. They exist. Their struggles are real. Their stories are the same as yours, and they use their fame to bring awareness to the decaying mental landscape of many young people. They use their voice to help bring peace to those struggling to find control in their lives. Here are a few examples of how they've done that for me.
If it wasn't for this music, I don't know how I would've fought this"
"Lane Boy" - Blurryface
This was the lyric that sold me on Blurryface. It hit me in the face like a sack of potatoes. TOP may not have been solely responsible for getting me through some tough times, but ever since I started college, they've given me so much strength to keep plugging away and keep my head up. Music is such an important part of my soul. It's forged friendships, given me strength, and helped me survive. Tyler hit the nail on the head with this lyric.
"We used to play pretend, give each other different names,
We would build a rocket ship and then we'd fly it far away,
Used to dream of outer space but now they're laughing at our face,
Saying, "Wake up, you need to make money." "
-Stressed Out; Blurryface
"And I'll fall down
And I'll break down
And I'll fake you out ."
-Fake You Out; Vessel
Both the lyrics above in bold and the gif hit so close to home. "Fake You Out" was the song that described me to a "t." I'm very good at hiding my anxiety and depression, so when I'm honest about it, it shocks people. I spent so many years feeling alone and afraid, despite that my friends and family were always around. It wasn't until recently that I've started to see how I'm not as alone as I have felt. There's still a chance, though, that I will still fall, break, and fake myself out.
"I'll tell the moon, take this weapon forged in darkness,
Some see a pen, I see a harpoon.
I'll stay awake,
'Cause the dark's not taking prisoners tonight. "
-Ode To Sleep; Vessel
"Won't you stay alive
I'll take you on a ride
I will make you believe you are lovely ."
-Lovely; Regional at Best
If you haven't figured it out by now, I cry for almost every TOP song. (I get really emotional. They just mean so much). Anyway, "Lovely" was one of those songs where I realized how much TOP cares about their fans. They care about us and love us so much. They recognize how hard life is for some of us, but are still here to inspire and encourage. Even from a psych student's perspective, these guys are going to save a lot of young lives with their music, just from talking about mental health issues and being so honest about it.
"We've turned our hands to guns, trade in our thumbs for ammunition,
I must forewarn you, of my disorder, or my condition,
'Cause when the sun sets, it upsets what's left of my invested interest,
Interested in putting my fingers to my head,
The solution is, I see a whole room of these mutant kids,
Fused at the wrist, I simply tell them they should shoot at this,
Simply suggest my chest and this confused music,
It's obviously best for them to turn their guns to a fist. "
-Guns For Hands; Vessel
"While you're doing fine, there's some people and I
Who have a really tough time getting through this life
So excuse us while we sing to the sky. "
In short, thank you, Tyler and Josh, for everything you've given me. Twenty One Pilots means the world to me, and I will be forever greatful to you and your music.