Ohio duo Tyler Jospeh and Josh Dun are set to release their debut album Vessels on 2 September . They combine intensely emotional lyrics with exuberant live performances – featuring backflips.
The mix of euphoric melodies and big dynamics seems to contrast with darker lyrics. Is it deliberate that you have that contrast?
Taking a “happy” sounding melody and lacing it with lyrics that would never described as “happy” is one of my favorite things to do. I don’t believe that I was doing it on purpose, It’s just that sometimes you need your melodies to be catchy in order for people to listen to what you are saying.
How do you feel about Vessel being labelled as your debut album when you have previous releases in the US?
I like the idea of Vessel being considered our debut album because I like the idea of someone being introduced to us with those songs. I think that the other albums that were released independently add a history to our story for people to discover if they feel so inclined to discover it.
Do you have fans who have tattoos of your lyrics and is that quite a responsibility knowing your words are so ingrained in their hearts and minds?
The first thing I think when I see someone get a tattoo related to the band is, “well, we better not quit because then that tat would suck”. But seriously, seeing someone be impacted by your art to that degree will never get old – those people give me the confidence to continue to create.
Your voice seems to have changed a little since early recordings such as Addict With A Pen. Do you think you’ve changed the way you use it and see it more as another instrument, especially since you stripped down to a two-piece?
Great observation. One of the best decisions I ever made was getting my own recording software and being able to record my voice and hear it played back to me. I have spent countless hours hearing my own voice come back at me and it really has given me the opportunity to sculpt and form what kind of voice I want it to be. As you have pointed out, I am still moulding that instrument in to what I ultimately think sounds the best for the songs that I am writing. I don’t think that I will ever stop changing my vocal delivery over time; hopefully always resulting in a better singer, better songwriter, and better performer.
Lyrically there’s a sense that you’re preoccupied by anxiety and loneliness, especially during the night. Why is that?
For me, the night is when it all comes out. I don’t know why. It’s just the way it is for me. Fear, loneliness, insecurity, anger – the list goes on. For some reason the night-time is usually a time to think. Probably because I am the least distracted at night. During the day it’s pretty easy to focus on something else other than these negative emotions. All the partying and living while we are young and recklessness I hear about on the radio, I just simply don’t relate to.
You must have played in some dodgy bars and venues, what’s the best heckle you’ve received and are you good at dealing with them?
Haha, yup. We definitely have seen our share of interesting situations in some small clubs or bars. I love it when people try to yell stuff from the crowd. It gives me some material to work with and I always win, I have the microphone and the ability to cut him off by seamlessly going in to the next song.