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Twenty One Pilots went silent July 6, 2017. Fans like me waited patiently (or as patient as one can) for the announcement of something from the duo, like perhaps a new single or album, with fingers crossed that we wouldn't have to wait too long. A little over a year later, our prayers are answered and we got two new singles, a tour, an album, and an engaging story to follow. As of writing this, there are now three singles, each with there own music video, merch bundles, and album pre-orders. While the Twenty One Pilots silence seemed sudden, I thought it was a great move on their part and was beneficial for all parties. Here's a breakdown of who this hiatus was good for and why.
Tyler and Josh
Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun are the duo we know and love as Twenty One Pilots. They have been working non-stop (no, that is not a Hamilton reference... unless you want it to be), with the Blurryface Tour and the Emotional Roadshow World Tour back to back from 2015-2017. Post Blurryface, they've also put out "Heathens" for the Suicide Squad Soundtrack, their own cover of My Chemical Romance's "Cancer" for Rock Sound's edition of The Black Parade, and TOPxMM (The Mutemath Sessions), an EP of remixes of their songs.
The hiatus was their break. A break that allowed the pair to finally go out and spend time with their families and friends after years of touring. Tyler could finally eat some of Jenna's beautiful home cooking. Josh could finally fully settle in LA and further develop his own relationships. After continuously giving their all to us for years at a time, the guys deserved a break. I actually feel that, for this reason alone, they should've taken longer.
If you're a fan, I know you saw it. The hiatus merch. Now, I know that some were frustrated by this, but I couldn't help but to admire this amazing strategy. When a band blows up as much as this one has, a year long break such as this one couldn't have come at a better time, and neither could the merch. Fans everywhere bought it, just to have a piece of the band while they're in a total radio silence mode. Even my mom got a hiatus tank top.
Now it's after the hiatus, what do we get? New era merch! A whole tour! Possible tour merch! Pre-orders!
This is amazing for the economic side of the music. The hype that was create from their break helps the band to make more money. This can help in their lives and musically, and the label makes money as an incentive to keep them on as an act (as if there already weren't a million reasons). Tours get bigger and better. Maybe more music videos (we already have two). The possibilities are almost endless.
I'm gonna say it, the hiatus was not as bad as us fans made it out to be. The word "hiatus" was thrown around, which may have caused a panic, as the last Fueled By Ramen act to go on a hiatus was "fun." and we haven't heard from them since 2015. The band never used this word directly, but this name for their break quickly spread and became the word to use when talking about the silence from Twenty One Pilots. So sure, we were all a little scared that there wasn't anything new coming out, but it was only for a year and we got Twenty One Pilots back and ultimately at the top of their game.
The Skeleton Clique, known as "the Clique," is one of the most die hard fan bases I have come across or been in. So, when we realized the hiatus was going to last a bit longer than originally thought, I didn't know what the fandom would come to. I didn't know if complete and utter chaos would ensue or if we would all just lock ourselves in our rooms quietly until we got something new.
What actually happened, though, was quite astounding. We fans began to reminisce on the old times and dive deeper into the older albums and the themes that lie within them. We began to create theories on what the next album would be like and when the guys would return. We began to venture out from our bubble of Twenty One Pilots and listen to other artists (which seems silly to mention, but any fan knows that TØP can quickly conquer your playlist for months on end, leaving you to only be a casual fan to other musicians). We made the best of the hiatus and I couldn't be more proud.
The hiatus was a period of opportunity for Twenty One Pilots and fans alike. The band got to take a break, make amazing music and lore to go with it. The fans got to listen to new artists and come together to celebrate the band's past and theorize and get excited for what's to come in the new era. Everyone won in the end.
On some level, the band never took a break. Okay, they weren't active on social media or giving us new music for a while, but they were making music even when they should've been taking the time to rest (which I'm sure they did). Also, even they weren't doing things, they have always been a band to share the title of Twenty One Pilots with us, the fans. Tyler often says "We are Twenty One Pilots and so are you". This leads me to believe that as long as there is a single fan who is active in the Clique in one way or another, Twenty One Pilots is always here.