Twenty One Pilots creates brilliant backstory for upcoming album ‘Trench’ (Review)


Official Twenty One Pilots twitter

Tyler Joseph jumps on stage during a performance in London. This was the first live performance of recently released songs from the upcoming album “Trench.”

Twenty One Pilots is back with new music, and this time they’ve also created an entire universe.

In 2017, drummer Josh Dun accepted an award for the most dedicated fan base at the Alternative Press Awards. He said, “Tyler wishes he could be here; he’s actually off severing ties with Dema.”

No one knew what this meant, and the conspiracy theories began.

Someone discovered a URL hidden in a gif on the band’s web page. The link brought you to an error code with a hidden message. This was the beginning of what would turn into months of clues into the lore of the Trench era.

The letters were written from a character named Clancy who is trapped in a city called Dema. The city is controlled by nine bishops who seem to have overruling power over the people in the city. Clancy even hints that some of the bishops abuse their power.

Maps of Dema were also released on the website. The interior of Dema (which translates to “the tower of silence”) had nine circles in the center of the complex. The circle layout looked exactly like the cover of their 2015 album Blurryface.

Each of these circles had a name of one of the bishops underneath it, including the bishop Nico. The letters from Clancy continued to introduce themes in the Trench era. He speaks of the Banditos, the group of people trying to escape Dema, and how he is nervous about facing the bishops.

After months of lead up, Twenty One Pilots released the songs “Jumpsuit” and “Nico and the Niners” on July 11. Both of the songs had an alternative rock vibe featuring bass guitar and drums.

“Jumpsuit” was also released with a music video. The video has great cinematography that helped visualize the characters like Clancy, Nico, and the Banditos that fans had been reading about. 

In the video, Clancy tries to escape Dema but is confronted by the ominous bishop Nico. The bass drops as Nico rides his white horse down the middle of the trench towards Clancy.

He gets off his horse, and they stand face to face in a moment with such intense ambiance that viewers are almost guaranteed to get chills. Tyler sings “I’ll be right there, but you’ll have to grab my throat and lift me in the air” as a piano gently plays in the background.

What Twenty One Pilots is doing is unlike anything else currently in the industry. This level of storytelling that is portrayed in the lyrics of the songs, is brilliant. They’re venturing into an unexplored territory of utilizing other elements like photographs, journals, and gifs to enhance their music. They created a fictional universe of unique and diverse characters.

Their dedication and experimentation with music are paving the way for artists in the future.

Click here if you want to read Clancy’s letters and see the photographs from