Twenty One Pilots (album)

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Twenty One Pilots
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 29, 2009

January 12, 2010 (Apple Music)[1]

May 27, 2010 (MySpace)[2]
RecordedFebruary - November 2009
StudioBand home studio,

Tyler Joseph's home studio,

Chris Salih's home studio, Columbus, Ohio
  • Emo
  • alternative hip-hop
  • soft indie-rock
  • electro
  • indie-pop
  • chamber pop
  • сhristian music
ProducerChris Salih, Tyler Joseph
StreamSpotify iTunes
Twenty One Pilots chronology
Twenty One Pilots
Regional at Best
Singles from Twenty One Pilots
  1. "Johnny Boy"
    Released: May 4, 2009

Twenty One Pilots — is the debut studio album by Twenty One Pilots, released independently on December 29, 2009. The album sold 115,000 copies.[3] After the band signed a contract with Fueled by Ramen the album peaked at number 139 on the U.S. Billboard 200 on January 13, 2017.[4]


Prehistory (2008-2009)

Chris Salih and Tyler Joseph met in 2008 at a party through mutual friends. Chris liked the way Tyler plays and sings and suggested making music together. They played several times in Chris's homemade recording studio and then they decided to form a band. Tyler later invited Nick Thomas to join the band as a bassist. In the fall of 2008, the group begins to rehearse songs that Tyler wrote. Tyler Joseph mentioned at the May 1, 2010 concert that the first song he showed Chris Salih was «Air Catcher». Up until early spring 2009 Tyler wrote music and songs in his basement at home and then they played them together in Chris's home studio and occasionally performed their songs live. Also at that time Tyler wrote «Johnny Boy» to his father describing him and supporting him during the global crisis of 2008, which was told by Joseph's father himself in an interview.[5]

2009 - 2011

Throughout 2009 a full-length album is being recorded. On November 13, 2009 the band announced that they were working on a full-length album[6], on November 16 the band revealed the new songs on MySpace[7]. On December 29th, 2009 the album is officially released in honor of which the band's concert in the Basement is held. On January 12th, 2010 the record is released in iTunes and on the 15th the tour in support of the album starts. The band played concerts throughout 2010 and until May 2011, where only 7 songs from the 14 album were played, but by our time a large number of songs from the album were played.

2012 - Our time

After signing with the Fueled by Ramen label on April 28-30, 2012, the album was officially released digitally on all streaming platforms while physical media of the album was withdrawn from sale.[8] The album didn't hit the top of the US and world music charts, but the number of listens on streaming services is pretty high for a self-produced debut album and has as much attention as the band's recent releases. The record according to fans has stood the test of time and has been well received by critics.


In winter - spring 2009 the band recorded some demo songs in Chris' studio and unofficially released the Johnny Boy EP on May 4, 2009. The recording of the album took place throughout 2009. From June the band moved into a rented house with some friends, in the basement of which the band set up their recording studio. During the summer the band recorded in the studio and during the breaks they played in cafes and bars where they performed new recorded songs.

A strong influence on the sound of the album was Chris Salih, because he had more experience with equipment and production than anyone else in the band, because at that time Chris worked in a music center where he got quite a lot of equipment and experience. At that time Tyler Joseph did not have much experience in professional music recording, which can be seen in the band's second album Regional at Best, but musically Tyler was the main composer of the album, he would record music at home on his laptop and then with the band they would improve and develop them, electric drums that don't mimic acoustic sounds, synthesizers and pianos were designed by him.

Most of the lyrics were written by Tyler and occasionally corrected by the rest of the band. , bass and drums were not recorded live, Chris' drumming triggered into the software EZ Drummer to make the sound of the album as good as possible, because the band lacked the ability to record acoustic parts using microphones.[9][10]


The official release date was December 29, 2009 digitally and on CDs. The album was posted on the band's MySpace page. On January 12, 2010[11], the band released the album on iTunes (Apple Music). After signing a contract with label Fueled by Ramen, the album was released on all official music platforms and remained available digitally, while the album's Compact Disc production was canceled.

On the band's MySpace page after the release, the band commented on the album as follows:[12]

«twenty | one | pilots

these songs were a result of struggle. struggle is something that everyone experiences. why we all walk around pretending that we don't is a problem deeply rooted in our human makeup. you will find heavy and dark lyrics strategically disguised by catchy melodies and creative song structures. we would like you to think and write for yourself. writing down what you think is imperative. a human must create. that's why we were created.»

Twenty One Pilots


Songs from the album were released on the band's MySpace page where anyone could download and listen to them. At the early performances of the band in 2009 they gave away CDs with the mini album Johnny Boy, and after that CDs with the full-length album selling them for 10$.

The album also featured as the second disc on a limited promotional 2-CD version of second album Regional at Best.



The Twenty One Pilots album had many bootlegs and unofficial releases on vinyl created behind the band's back by some people. Several vinyl bootleg versions are contained in Discogs.[13]


There was also a fan bootleg cassette of the album released in 2021.[14]


1."Implicit Demand For Proof"4:52
2."Fall Away"3:02
3."The Pantaloon"3:34
4."Addict With A Pen"4:47
5."Friend, Please"4:13
6."March To The Sea"5:32
7."Johnny Boy"4:39
8."Oh, Ms. Believer"3:37
9."Air Catcher"4:13
11."A Car, A Torch, A Death"4:34
12."Taxi Cab"4:46
13."Before You Start Your Day"3:53
14."Isle Of Flightless Birds"5:46
Total length:62:08

Unreleased songs

Post on the Facebook page.

«Time to Say Goodbye» this song should have made it onto the album, but because of the samples from Italian singer Andrea Bocelli's song "Con te partirò" sung in duet with Sarah Brightman. But still the song was released 31 December 2009 and in early 2010 on the band's official website and MySpace for free download.

«Trees» According to Nick Thomas in an interview, the song was written before the band was formed, but the band members thought it fit the band's repertoire and wanted to release it on the first album, but for some reason the song didn't make it onto the record and on December 31, 2009 it was released on the band's MySpace for free download.[15][16]


Main article of the section: Local Shows,Twenty One Pilots Tour

Long before the self-titled album was released the band played songs from the album spreading their music by giving away CDs of the songs in the form of the Johnny Boy EP in 2009, but it couldn't be called a tour in support of the album because it was released at the end of December 2009. The actual first show in support of the album was on December 29, 2009 on the day of the album release, where the band sold and gave away CDs of the album. But the tour in support of the album began on January 15, 2010 and lasted until May 2011 when the band played one last show with Chris Salih and the following shows were aimed at drumming up interest in the second album. The band did not officially announce a tour in support of the album, but just played shows where they distributed their music and merchandise by selling CDs with the album and merch.

It is unknown exactly which songs were played by the band in 2009, only one video and the words of one fan can confirm the performance of the songs «Friend, Please» and «Trapdoor» were performed at least twice. Only half of the songs from the album were played during the tour, sharing the live repertoire with demos of songs written for the debut album and written by Tyler in 2010.

The tour traveled through two states (Ohio, Tennessee and Pennsylvania), with the band playing most of their shows in their home state and hometown of Columbus. The band performed in a variety of venues from cafes and bars to small and large halls, playing their own concerts as well as participating in various local festivals and music charity events.

Tours Years
Local Shows 2008 - 2009
Twenty One Pilots Tour 2010 - 2012


Chart (2017) Peak position Weeks
US Billboard 200[17] 139 15


Despite ranking as the lowest of the band's albums in a list for Kerrang!, Emily Carter considered that "the quality of the songwriting here is already superb", praising Joseph's lyrics, and concluded that "these aren't chart-topping bangers, sure, but the impact of these songs cannot be understated"[18]. Maria Sherman of Fuse praised Joseph's "speak-singing" and the "beautiful piano arrangements" on the album, though criticized his enunciation while rapping.[19] Alternative Press described "Addict with a Pen" as "slow, spare, and nakedly honest" and "the best representation of what initially drew fans to the band".[20]


Album's back cover Official CD disk Press kit sample that was sent around to venues in 2010 White Promotional CD


See also


Twenty One Pilots
Members Tyler JosephJosh Dun
Former Members Chris SalihNick Thomas
Albums Twenty One PilotsRegional at BestVesselBlurryfaceTrenchScaled and IcyClancy
EPs Johnny Boy (EP)Live At UG Studios • Three SongsSpotify SessionsHolding on to You (EP)Quiet Is Viølent

The LC LPDouble-SidedTOPxMMTrench 10" TripletLocation Sessions

Live releases Blurryface LiveScaled and Icy (Livestream Version)
Singles Holding on to YouGuns For HandsLovelyHouse Of GoldFake You OutCar Radio

Fairly LocalTear In My HeartStressed OutLane BoyRideHeathensHeavydirtysoul CancerJumpsuitNico And The NinersLevitateMy BloodChlorineThe Hype Level Of ConcernChristmas Saves The YearShy AwayChokerSaturdayThe OutsideOvercompensateNext SemesterBackslideThe Craving (single version)

Tours Local ShowsTwenty One Pilots TourRegional at Best TourMostly November TourBlurryface World Tour

Emotional Roadshow World TourTour De ColumbusThe Bandito TourTakeover TourThe Icy Tour

List of Twenty One Pilots songsList Twenty One Pilots music videos