Hello, internet! It’s theory time. I know this isn’t a normal type of post for me, but last night I was having trouble sleeping, and you know what? I was just lying in bed, pondering how soon Twenty One Pilots would release a new album (because, you know, I like to cause myself emotional pain by contemplating these things), and something kind of just went ‘click!’ in my mind.
Now, maybe this particular set of information is fairly old news, but I just thought it was really cool, so I’m going to be setting out my theory anyway. Let’s see if we can predict some things about Twenty One Pilots’ illusive next album! Here goes…
Nota Bene: I refer in this theory multiple times to Twenty One Pilots as pulling a promotional ‘stunt’. Often, the word ‘stunt’ can be used in a negative light: referring to some fake or deceitful event, especially a scandal, concocted in order to market a product.
I use the word in this post only because I don’t think that there’s a better word I could use to describe the kind of thing currently going on. I do not use this word negatively at all; in fact, I think that TØP’s marketing and promotional tactics are extraordinarily well done and can definitely set an example for online marketing. TØP is not using these ‘stunts’ to deceive or con people, but instead to build hype in an interesting, exciting way, so, again, I do not use the word negatively. Anyway, that’s just my little disclaimer. Onward into the theory!
Theory: TØP is currently pulling a big promotional stunt for their next album.
Although there has (to date) been no official announcement of a new album from alternative hip-hop/rock duo Twenty One Pilots, it should be noted that they are known for using extremely elaborate online stunts and marketing schemes in order to raise awareness for new albums. For Blurryface, the band’s most recent album, they set up social media accounts, a website, and an interactive email address for the character Blurryface, a creature who embodies fear and doubt and who was the main focus of the concept album.
To date, as of July 6th (Mostly. July 18th in one case.) both the official and personal Instagram and Twitter accounts of the band, as well as their official YouTube channel and Facebook page, have fallen silent. This, along with several other pieces of evidence enumerated below, leads me to believe that this silence is, in fact, a large scale promotional stunt hinting at a new album and the beginning of a new ‘era’ for the band.
Several fans I’ve seen online —as well as Tyler Joseph, the band’s vocalist and piano/ukulele player— have pointed to this being ‘the end of the Blurryface era’. The caption of Tyler’s latest Instagram post [to date] (written, as always, in cryptic Tyler script) reads:
tylerrjoseph:.:few festivals, then hometown shows, then cycle is complete:.:whatsnext………………………………….|-/
This little message makes it fairly clear: album’s cycle is complete. The band finished up their summer tour back in July, and has since gone silent. The era is at an end, and we should be eagerly awaiting news of a new album. But is there any more evidence that this ‘silence’ is, in fact, a promotional stunt for that as yet illusive album? I’ve compiled a few interesting points below:
The stunt itself: On July 5th, 2017, the official TØP Instagram posted for the last time [to date] uploading a short highlight video from the band’s recent tour. On that same day, the final chapter of ‘Sleepers’, a video series chronicling that tour, was posted on the band’s YouTube channel. To date, both of these social media platforms have fallen silent, posting nothing for the past two months.
On July 6th, the official TØP Twitter posted a series of images with what appear to be lyrics from various TØP songs, written backward on an increasingly darkening background which, as some people have remarked, looks like a closing eye:
Translated, these lyrics read:
You’ll have to come and find me
My pretty sleeper
Wouldn’t it be great if we could just lay down
I will face the night again
Nobody dreams when they blink
Remember the morning is when the night is dead
And now we just sit in silence
After this cryptic message, the band’s official Twitter also went silent, and replaced its former profile pic, which had showed the TØP symbol |-/ with one showing only the symbol’s middle dash. The Twitter page’s cover photo has also been changed to a black background with the word ‘Silence’ written across it in TØP-style script. This has happened consistently across the band’s YouTube channel, Instagram, Facebook page, and Tumblr site, which also fell silent on July 6th after the update.
All personal Instagram and Twitter profiles of band members Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun have also fallen silent, although not at the same time. It should also be noted that Josh Dun was active on Twitter on July 18th, when he replied to a Tweet from h3h3productions, over a week after silence officially fell across TØP’s online presence. To date, both band members’ Instagrams and Twitters, while not used prolifically before the silence, have not been posted to for almost two months, indicating that they too are a part of the stunt.
Silence has fallen. Whether or not this entire coordinated stunt is simply an announcement of an extended hiatus for TØP or an actual promotional stunt for their next album (and I strongly suspect that both could be true), this has finally marked a definite end to the Blurryface era, though not, perhaps, the end of Blurryface himself. The cryptic lyric-poem could be seen as a farewell from the character, but it could also be seen as just an announcement of his own hiatus, as he bides his time as well, waiting to return in the band’s next album. The line “I will face the night again” is particularly telling.
Promotional stunt or no, we can certainly expect a new album from TØP fairly soon. Blurryface was released back in 2015, so the band is fairly due for a new album: their first album (self-titled) was released in 2009, and their second album, Regional At Best, was release two years later (in 2011). Two years after that, Vessel was released (2013) and again, two years later, Blurryface appeared. If the pattern holds, we should be seeing the announcement of a new album anytime now.
What can we expect this new album to be about? Of course, no one can tell for sure, but these quotes from an interview with Tyler Joseph about what the band is working on are fairly telling:
I was working on something last night that I’m really excited about…Right now I think it would be a little less up-tempo than the last record. I would want to focus a little more on the lyrical content.
There are parts of the self-titled record that, production-wise and vocally…There are so many things wrong with that record, or at least perceived as wrong. But the authenticity, lyrics, delivery and the fearlessness of the songwriting, I’d like to try to take [TØP] back to that. It’s really hard to write a slower song. I want to try to write some slower songs again.
If I can take myself out on a limb a little bit, I would theorize that we will certainly be seeing the return of Blurryface, or some character like him, in the next album. Blurryface represents Tyler and Josh’s self doubt, fears, and struggles. While some have been talking about the ‘defeat’ of Blurryface, fears, struggles, depression, anxiety, and all the things he represents (and all the issues that the band members struggle with and explore so passionately in their songs) are not things that can be just defeated, or put behind you forever. At least not in this life.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on this issue, and while information is currently fairly scarce, I will be very excited to see what happens going forward! I personally cannot wait for Twenty One Pilots’ next album. But, hey, it’s just a theory. A Twenty One Pilots theory! Thanks for reading.
What do you think? Have I convinced you? Is this whole ‘Silence’ thing a promotional stunt for TØP’s next album? Do you think we’ll see the return of Blurryface? Chat with me in the comments! I’d love to hear your theories.