CHICAGO — Making their Lollapalooza debut on Friday (August 2) was a bittersweet moment for the men of Twenty One Pilots.
On the one hand, singer Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun were super psyched to get their names inscribed on the wall of fame for the legendary festival. And after playing a string of summer gatherings in fields and by the Alabama shore, they were excited to be performing in the middle of a major city.
“It’s really cool because … this is our first festival that’s in a city, most festivals are set in the middle of nowhere in a field,” said Joseph of their inaugural trip to perform and attend Lolla. “It’s cool to feel that this festival isn’t the only thing going on, you see other people working and other lives going forward and taxi cab drivers really pissed off because there’s so much traffic.”
On the other hand, Dun said the hurry-up-and-move-on nature of festivals means that they aren’t going to get to see many other bands, with Joseph lamenting that, as they were speaking to MTV News, they were missing out on Robert DeLong’s set.
Also, every time they take the stage for one of their high-energy shows, they can pretty much count on a phone call or text from their moms about their daredevil stage stunts.
“Live shows have been going on for so long, can you really do something that’s never been done before?” Joseph asked about his tendency to climb the rigging of stages and sing from three stories above the crowd and Dun’s habit of throwing backflips into his routine.
“If you really see how many live shows are going on … you can start to do things that are out of the ordinary,” Joseph said. “We’re not the first people to climb up something or do a backflip during a set, but we want to do something that gets people’s attention.”
He said part of that “look at me!” attitude comes from their days as a band struggling to get anyone in the bar to pay attention to them. “Now that we have stages that are a bit taller … why not go for it?” he said.
There’s only one real problem, though. “She figured out the Internet,” Joseph joked of his mom. “Which everything since then has been downhill. When your mom figures out the Internet, you’re screwed.” Now, Joseph’s mom goes online hunting for videos and pictures of the band and, well, it’s not great.
“She doesn’t appreciate it,” he said. “She’ll send me a text like, ‘you seriously need to stop doing that.’ And I’m like, ‘whatever mom! The band’s gonna make it! I dropped out of college for a reason!”
Hang with us all weekend for news, pictures and interviews from Lollapalooza.