EXCLUSIVE: twenty one pilots talk visiting Australia and touring with Paramore
In between eating burgers and visiting iconic Sydney landmarks like the Opera House, Josh Dun took the time to chat to us about all things twenty one pilots.
The band, whose name derives from a play by Arthur Miller called ‘All My Sons,’ is visiting our shores for the first time as one of the opening acts for Paramore’s Aus/NZ tour.
“It's crazy actually because growing up I had only seen Australia in movies or on TV so, much like the landing on the moon, I was not sure if it was a Hollywood stunt or a real place.
“Now that I'm here it's proven to me that it's a real place. I love it here, it’s beautiful and the weather is so nice,” he said.
While the duo, consisting of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, are known for getting a bit crazy on stage, getting up to mischief off stage is another story.
“I always get nervous going to other countries and potentially getting in trouble with the law. It scares me to have to be detained in another country and not be sure if I'm going to be able to see my mum. So I think we’ll just play it safe, nothing too crazy.”
The boys performed with Paramore a few times before starting the tour, and as Josh put it: “Oh man, I love Paramore.
“You never know what the people in the bands are going to be like when you listen to their album, or even watch interviews; you don’t know what they’re going to be like face to face, in person.
“I can truly say that [Paramore] have been so kind and accepting and nice and just the most down to earth people that you’ll ever meet. From the very beginning, as soon as we signed with the label, I remember Hayley tweeting about the band and saying how excited she was.
“To now have a friendship with them and be on the road with them, it’s really cool. It feels like a real family type friendship,” he shared.
Speaking about what Paramore are like in concert Josh told us: “They’re all incredible musicians and performers and their show is very inspiring.
“A lot of times you go to a rock concert and there’s an air or vibe in the room that sometimes promotes darkness, but watching their show there’s a very heavy presence of light. I remember watching the show and I felt at ease about life.
“To be a part of a tour like that, with people in a band like that is something that I want to be a part of, and I feel lucky to be a part of it. So I think our friendship will just continue to grow and we’ll stay friends and hopefully play more shows together in the future,” he continued.
The boys released their first record-label produced album, ‘Vessel,’ just over a year ago and gained a huge following in the U.S. as a result, with their song ‘Holding On To You’ racking up almost 7 million views on YouTube.
“It’s crazy to think about, it’s been a crazy year. When we went into the studio and we recorded it was kind of the beginning of the madness of travelling around and playing shows with the mindset of trying to win over a crowd and gaining fans.
“To this day we still approach shows with that mentality and what's been really cool is to see the effects of the hard work that we did. To be able to come back to a venue and play the big room, or it's sold out this time, is very rewarding.”
Being on the road so much we asked Josh if he could recall any funny stories from touring.
“I feel like there’s constantly things happening and being on the road you encounter so many different types of people and strange people. You learn a lot about the world.
“I remember playing a show in Austin, Texas in a tiny little bar more than a year ago. It was really just people coming in off the street to see who we were and there was maybe 20 people there. We were in the middle of a song and Tyler’s rapping a verse and there’s a guy in the crowd heckling, so Tyler just got off the stage and gets up in this guy’s face, rapping in his face, and the guy looks like he’s about it fight him.
“I was nervous for a second, I was right behind Tyler and our tour manager, who at the time kind of doubled as our driver and our security was right behind him ready to tackle him if he had to. But he heckled the whole show and it made it interesting, it was funny.”
Looking to the year ahead, Josh explained that the band is excited to continue touring and start work on a new album.
“We’re going to be very busy. In 2013 we weren't given very many breaks, and we like that challenge, just to be gone a lot and be busy and be playing.
"We love to do it, so we're going to continue to do it this year too and continue to keep creating more music and getting ready, when the time is right, to go into a studio and record something else. But I think that will probably be at the very end of this year or the beginning of next year.
“Within the past few months we’ve been able to get a bus to travel around in and in the back of the bus we have a little studio thing. We've been creating and working out ideas and laying out skeleton foundations of songs that we're really excited about. It's really cool and I look forward to this year, let's see what happens now.”
While there might not be many details about the upcoming album yet, Josh did reveal to us that they are entertaining the idea of collaborating.
“We’re in kind of the beginning stages of sort of writing songs and we actually talked about the concept of collaborations and who we would maybe want on the album. We don’t know who that would be, or if there would be anybody at all, but we’ll see!”
With only one more show in Perth tonight and a show on January 19 in Auckland, Josh said twenty one pilots are ready to head back Down Under as soon as possible, hopefully performing their own headline shows.
“It’s great to be in Australia, I haven’t even left yet and I’m ready to come back! So I hope that we’ll be able to come back as soon as we can."
Watch this space.