‘I do think that our culture, when it comes to suicide and depression, has made leaps and bounds’
Twenty One Pilots have opened up about mental health issues in their music whilst also praising a “new generation of artists” who are openly using their music as a platform to explore ideas around mental health.
In a revealing new interview with NME, the band opened up about the conversation around mental health in music, saying a new generation of artists are helping to diffuse the stigma.
Frontman Tyler Joseph said: “I do think that our culture, when it comes to suicide and depression, has made leaps and bounds…I’m so proud that music has spearheaded the ability to talk about this so openly, and talking about it is so important.
“So in a sense I really feel like there’s a big side of it that’s been covered with ‘let’s talk about it, like, you’re not insane there’s nothing wrong with just you look how many other people go through this’.”
He also talked about the dangerous fetishisation of the ’27 Club’ and how the band attempted to cover it in the Post Malone-like ‘Neon Gravestones’. In the song, the band sing: “My opinion/Our culture can treat a loss/Like it’s a win” and “I could give up and boost up my reputation/I could go out with a bang/They would know my name.”
Speaking about the song, Joseph said: “I was afraid of that song…so that song is very black and white. I slaved over every pronoun. Because I knew that it was a sensitive topic, the last thing I needed was for someone to misunderstand what I was trying to say.
“I was afraid to not hide behind metaphor. I do understand there are risks in being misunderstood or misrepresented. There’s an absolute chance to offend people or come off as dishonouring but I really wanted to focus on the people who are here to hear it. I wanted to point out something I would wanna hear when I’m going through these thoughts.”
Joseph also discussed how the band tackled more mental health issues on ‘Trench’. He said: “It’s about using the art of storytelling to better understand a much less fantastical issue which is navigating your own psyche and giving it a destination and places you should and shouldn’t go and characters you should avoid. And that can be found inside each person’s struggle.
“It’s interesting that ‘Blurryface’ – where I created a character that represents everything I didn’t like about myself and everything I’m trying to overcome coincidentally happened to be the record that really broke through for us.”
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He continued: “That we’re forced to revisit it every night is a valuable lesson in your own personal insecurities: you work through it, you try to overcome it, but it’s never something you can just fully cast aside and separate yourself from.”
Twenty One Pilots recently announced the support act for their upcoming UK and European tour – you can see their scheduled lives dates for the UK and Ireland below.
1 – 3Arena – Dublin, Ireland
2 – SSE Arena Belfast – Belfast, UK
4 – The SSE Hydro Arena – Glasgow, UK
5 – Manchester Arena – Manchester, UK
7 – The SSE Arena, Wembley – London, UK
8 – The SSE Arena, Wembley – London, UK
9 – The SSE Arena, Wembley – London, UK