Twenty One Pilots’ Trench - What You Need To Know
The oddball duo follow-up their megahit LP Blurryface this week with the release of new album Trench. Here is everything you need to know about it...
A little background…
For the first five years of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun’s career as Twenty One Pilots, they were more of a curiosity than anything else. Their first two albums came and went without much fuss, to the extent that you now can’t get a copy of their second LP Regional At Best.
But on third album Vessel, their first for major label Fueled By Ramen, things began to change. Mixing influences from hip-hop, electronica, pop-punk, musical theatre and reggae, the duo were, unsurprisingly, quite hard to pin down. However, on FBR, who then sent the band out on tour with Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy and Paramore, the duo found an audience with a generation of fans who’d grown up watching pop-punk bands embrace theatricality.
Vessel sold handsomely in the end, over 500,000. But almost exclusively in the US. In fact, at the start of touring for their fourth album Blurryface, they were still playing 200 capacity rooms in the UK. But that all changed with the release of hit single ‘Stressed Out’.
That single has sold almost 10 million copies and hit the Top 10 in 27 different countries. Its video has so far been viewed on YouTube over 1.5 billion types. That’s right. Billion.
‘Stressed Out’ sent the band into the stratosphere. They went from curiosity and small rooms into arenas and album sales of almost seven million. The album’s final tour saw the band play 123 shows across three continents, grossing almost $25 million in the process. The run included two dates at London’s Alexandra Palace, a venue 34 times the size of Boston Music Room, the duo’s first UK date on the Blurryface tour.
Touring took the band up until the summer of 2017, after which time they took a well-deserved break. They regrouped later that year to begin work on the follow-up, which now arrives in shops...
Who’s producing it?
Working alongside Joseph has been Paul Meany, lead singer and keyboardist for the indie band Mutemath. Mutemath acted as support for a large chunk of the band’s touring in support of Blurryface, so they must have struck up a good relationship.
Any special guests?
Nope, the only musicians on the album are Joseph and Dun.
What’s the story behind the album?
Right. Here we go. As it’s been explained thus far, the album follows a young man named Clancy as he tries to escape from an oppressive organisation named DEMA.
Not that Joseph, who’s not exactly known for being fulsome in his explanations, has given that much detail. This has been pieced together from various bits the band have snuck out into the internet, including Clancy’s journal entries and viral marketing around DEMA. There’s a lot to dive into, if you’re that way inclined.
What does it sound like?
Like every Twenty One Pilots record, there’s an awful lot going on. There’s a straight-up pop rock on ‘Jumpsuit’, the band’s more electronic side on ‘My Blood’ and hip-hop on ‘Levitate’.
What is for sure, the production is slicker, the sound is cleaner and the choruses arrive smartly in each and every song. This is not a band who’ve made it to arenas and are running away. They want more.
Does it deliver?
Like Blurryface, this LP is going to work on two levels. With tracks like ‘My Blood’ and ‘Levitate’, big radio-friendly hits, it’ll satisfy those just after a good pop record. For those interested in a deeper dive, there’s an awful lot to get into here, which will suit the band’s rabid fanbase just fine.