This is something special…
Music is special period. No ifs, ands, its or buts….special. Still every once in a while a band comes along and connects with you on a different level. Right now I’m riding a high like no other thanks to a band called Twenty One Pilots….and I hope I never come down.
My current obsession with Twenty One Pilots (or the 21 PLTS’ as I never call them) almost didn’t happen though. A close friend Matthan sent me their name and asked me to check them out. So (like always) I gave them the quick Spotify top song run through. And it didn’t settle that well with me. The electro-hipster flair™ that usually attracts me to music was tragically lacking. So I quickly called up my favorite M83 Pandora station and thought that was the end of it.
But it didn’t end there. Thankfully Matthan was not willing to give up that easily. For the next few months my ears were assaulted with the strange beats of 21 PLTS against my will. In the car, in his room, on his facebook page. Naturally I fought back full force by mocking his songs in my fake falsetto and made up lyrics. Unfortunately I lost.
Twenty One P’s strange song structures and deep lyrical rap break downs changed me into a believer. These guys where just like nothing else I had encountered before. I don’t know of many bands that can rock me to my core with lyrics like:
I’m so afraid
Of what you have to say
Cause I am quiet now
And silence gives you space
I’ll never be, be what you see inside
You say I’m not alone, but I am petrified
You say that you are close, is close the closest star?
You just feel twice as far, you just feel twice as far
So naturally after digesting deep philosophical symphonious writings such as that….I began to wonder. These guys clearly were not flying their spiritual lives solo (if you know what I mean). So with a little research I found out that they grew up in small town Ohio. I would say in general Ohio is a locale with a large Christian to square mile ratio….so I kept my hopes up. When I saw them in concert I became almost completely convinced. The way they interacted with the crowd and laughed off the profanities of rowdy fans. Then I got my hands on their new album Vessels. And right there in their liner notes my eyes were graced with the phrase, “and we would like to thank Jesus for being our Lord and Savior.” Well I guess its an added bonus that I will get to hang out with these guys for eternity.
Twenty One Pilots recent rise to fame has been very abnormal. First of all they originally only toured Ohio until attracting so much attention 13 different record labels got into a bidding war. They settled on Fueled By Ramen and nothing has been able to slow their accent to fame. Yet the whole time my boys have been so humble. Never blaming their success on their own abilities but instead on the power of the local dreamers (their fans).
But it isn’t just me that is taking this uplifting message to heart. It seems the world is listening. Twenty One Pilots has a very special gift of connecting with people on a personal level. Admitting that we are all fallen and the Christian walk is not the yellow brick road we often wish it to be. It is hard and full of stumbling blocks. All of which is almost never heard in music (even in the Christian music scene). So when Tyler Joseph sings out at the top of his lungs on MTV right after Macklemore performs Thrift Shop.
I must’ve forgot, you can’t trust me,
I’m open a moment and close when you show it before you know it I’m lost at sea,
And now that I write and think about it, and the story unfolds,
You should take my life, you should take my soul.
You can know people are receiving this message loud and clear all around the world. Authenticity and honesty works. People like that.
We as Christians often complain about the state of secular culture, yet do nothing to change it. Culture is only going to get better if we try to transform it. Twenty One Pilots gets what that looks like.
So Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun keep up the good work. May your music never grow sour and your lyrics always hit deeper then the rest. And to all of you guys reading this….go out and support them. You can start by streaming their album HERE. It may take some repetition, but I bet it will grow on you.