Yahoo! On the Road Q&A: Twenty One Pilots

Twenty One Pilots in Seattle [photo: Flickr]Yahoo! On the Road tour's Seattle show on an epic bill with Gossip, Willy Moon, and Capital Cities. There, they gave 1000 percent to their excited Northwest fans, doing backflips, climbing up the balconies, leaping off speakers, rocking matching skeleton hoodies, doing a double drum solo, and even giving a fake encore. To say these guys have personality would be putting it pretty mildly.

Before Twenty One Pilots hit the stage running, Yahoo! Music caught up with Tyler and Josh in their Moore Theatre dressing room, and hopefully their wonderfully skewed personalities came shining through in the following transcript of their delightfully sarcastic interview. Someone really needs to give these guys their own "Monkees"-style sitcom. But until that gets greenlit, read on...

YAHOO! OTR: So tell me how you guys formed.

JOSH: What's cool is like we knew each other probably over a year before we started playing music together, and just hung out all the time. We wanted to play music together, and then things kind of fell into place for that to happen. It's good to be friends before you start to play in a band; that's my opinion.

YAHOO! OTR: I heard a rumor that you met on Craigslist. Was it the "Casual Encounters" section?

TYLER: It was actually a business encounter. We like to say we're not in a band, we're actually like businessmen that travel around…and show you our business.

JOSH: I forget how we came up with that. I think it's to impress girls. 'cause sometimes if you go up and say, "Yeah, I'm in a band," girls' parents are not impressed.

TYLER: Whenever you talk to the parents and you say, "I'm in a band," it's like, "Okay, yeah, what are you really going to do with your life?" So we decided to just tell girls' parents that we're businessmen. And they'd further ask questions about our business and we'd just quickly change the subject.

JOSH: Very quickly.

YAHOO! OTR: Things seemed to have moved very quickly for you guys…

JOSH: Actually you know what? It's basically been just two years.

TYLER: I have no idea what month it is. Was it? Dude, happy anniversary.

JOSH: Happy anniversary, man.

YAHOO! OTR: Aw. How are you guys going to celebrate your anniversary?

TYLER: Make out.

JOSH: We probably won't do that, just kidding.

YAHOO! OTR: Do you have any theories as to why things came together so quickly for Twenty One Pilots?

TYLER: There's a lot of bands out there that have a really long history of periods of time where they're in the van. I definitely want to hit on the fact that we did hit all those points, but we hit them in stride and we saw them come at us very quickly, so we've seen every step that we wanted to see, we made sure we didn't skip any of those steps.

YAHOO! OTR: Do you get flak for supposedly not "paying your dues" or something?

TYLER: No, no, there's just so many bands out there, there's so many bands we know, friends of ours, that are doing the sleeping-in-a-van-in-a-Wal-Mart-parking-lot thing. And we're fortunate enough to move forward. We're in the Sam's Club parking lot now.

JOSH: We're members.

TYLER: But as things start to move quickly for us, I think that it's a testament to our live show and how ready we are for any sort of opportunity that comes our way, because we've played every type of show that there is to play, and we're ready for that moment.

YAHOO! OTR: What's the weirdest type of gig you've played?

TYLER: Some older couple will hire us to play in their bedroom. Stuff like that.

YAHOO! OTR: Sounds fun.

TYLER: Also when we're playing locally, starting out, still no one really knows who to put us with. So we've done the whole hip-hop bill, we've done a bunch of heavy metal bills — which was a lot of fun, actually. In a way, I'm just now kind of realizing it as I step back, we've drawn from those different scenes as we came up. There's obviously an element of hip-hop in the music but we've taken and been inspired by the metal scene. I mean, you wouldn't hear it in our music, but you'll never see a harder-working band than a metal band, so it's just all those things we've held onto, and they've been inspiring to us.

JOSH: We'll play with anyone and we learned to adapt to whatever the environment, whether it's a different club or venue or, you know, different bands that we play with, and try to figure out what kind of people are coming out to see those bands and how we can come across to them as the band that we are, without really sacrificing anything about ourselves.

YAHOO! OTR: What would be your dream gig, in terms of opening for someone. [silence] Celine Dion?

JOSH: Probably.

TYLER: No, just her band.

JOSH: Yeah, it would be karaoke for everybody; everybody sings along with it, like Celine's words are on the screen, but playing along with her actual band.

TYLER: There are certain bands that I like, and it's hard for me, with Josh and I kind of being a new band; we almost have like an underdog mentality. It's hard for me not to want to destroy whoever plays after us. It's hard for us not to feel a tiny bit competitive.

JOSH: So why don't the others bands just be better?

TYLER: I'd just like to headline. That's probably my best answer.

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