Twenty One Pilots' Secret To Success & Large Loyal Fanbase

Posted by Billyjam, October 19, 2015 02:10pm | Post a Comment

Sunday, at the early hour of 7:45am on the morning after the first of two sold-out shows for the band Twenty One Pilots at Oakland's Fox Theater, there was already a long line of diehard fans camped outside the Uptown district concert hall.  That line, which snaked down along the sidewalk on Telegraph Ave. and round the corner onto 19th Street down toward San Pablo Ave, was made up primarily of the young devoted fan base that the wildly popular Ohio pop/indie-rock duo have steadily built up since forming only six years ago. Some were there to also catch local SF band Finish Ticket who, along with Echosmith, are on Twenty One Pilots' current Blurryface tour  - one which is sold out solid every night through the beginning of December.

Signed to the Warner-distributed Fueled By Ramen label, Twenty One Pilots is comprised of Tyler Joseph (vocals / piano) and his old friend Josh Dun (percussion) who joined him two years into the band timeline replacing original members Chris Salih and Nick Thomas. The group formed in 2009 in Columbus, Ohio where soon after they had established a large, dedicated hometown fanbase drawn to their diverse pop-rooted rock style sound. They usually get filed under "indie rock," but in actuality their sound transcends that label and encompasses other elements such as electro, reggae, and rap. For example their current popular single "Stressed Out" (not to be confused with the similarly titled song by A Tribe Called Quest) is an infectious pop track with rap verses interspersed throughout. It's a pop song with rapping rather than a hip-hop track with pop music instrumentation.

The video below for "Stressed Out," which name checks the Blurryface album that is culled from, has racked up almost 23 million views since it was uploaded just ahead of the album's May 2015 release. Over this past weekend for Cassette Store Day (Saturday, October 17th) they issued a limited cassette tape version of Blurryface which, not surprisingly, sold out quickly at Amoeba. While the regular CD version of Blurryface is available,  the other versions of it are currently unavailable due to high demand for the band. But I suggest bookmarking such releases as the LP/vinyl version of Blurryface for when it gets back in stock at Amoeba in the future.

Twenty One Pilots "Stressed Out" (2015)

So how did this young musical duo, who the average music fan is only this year catching up on, build such a large and dedicated fan-base on an international level? Several factors combined answer that question including talent, hard-work, a distinct message, and full utilization of social media - most notably Instagram - while their effective branding includes their own unique hand symbol (two fingers on one hand with one finger on the other hand). But first off, and most importantly, the music of Twenty One Pilots is strong, well structured pop with memorable hooks and lyrics peppered with positive messages. Their take on pop has been dubbed such terms as schizo-pop. Further the duo have worked hard at honing their craft, putting in endless hours on the tour circuit, resulting in a flawless performance style that fans clearly appreciate as proven by the overwhelmingly positive comments posted online. But more than anything else it is Twenty One Pilots' aforementioned positive and uplifting message (one that strongly encourages individuality, creativity, enduring the bad days and following one's dreams) that fans connect with mostly.

Their catchphrase “power to the local dreamer” and others like "stay strong" resonates with their fans as does the message found on albums such as 2013's Vessel with such songs as (always a favorite in concert) "Car Radio," (there is also a live version of it found on the 2014 Quiet Is Violent EP) that carries the Zen message of living in the present without worrying about what's to come or dwelling upon what has happened in the past.

"Think. Create. But most importantly, stay alive" is one of the group's mantras outlined on the Twenty One Pilots fansite and is something that fans take to heart. The direct online connection between Tyler and Josh and their predominantly young fans is one of the keys to the duo's widespread success and large following wherever they go.  Twenty One Pilots fans are directly connected with the duo on all platforms of social media, making Tyler and Josh seen more like down-to-earth relatable friends than some out of touch celebrities. For more on the band visit the Twenty One Pilots Amoeba page, visit their official website for their current tour dates up into April 2016, and of course follow Twenty One Pilots on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Twenty One Pilots "Car Radio" (2013)

Relevant Tags

Schizo-pop (1), Twenty One Pilots At Fox Theater Oakland (1), Vessel (2), Twenty One Pilots (4), Blurryface (1), Twenty One Pilots (4), 21 Pilots (1)