Frontman Tyler Joseph took to Instagram yesterday (January 1) to reflect on the period writing the band’s sixth album, which was released during the COVID pandemic when touring was limited.
Joseph explained that he and drummer Josh Dun had been curious about writing an album that didn’t place the live experience front and centre, and then the pandemic forced such an occasion. However, songs from their latest album, which was released in May 2021, eventually took on a new life and meaning once the band got back on the road.
“‘Scaled And Icy’ was created and born in a time of uncertainty. Live shows were always an important part of our DNA as a band. We probably wouldn’t even exist with out them,” began Joseph in his message.
“We always wrote songs for the show, never the other way around. But I always wondered what it would be like to write a record that never existed in a concert setting.
“Then we had no choice but to write that kind of record. So that’s what we tried. As the songs took shape, and we released them, and sat at home, we felt proud. Proud of our fans, mostly. It felt good to release music. But something was off. I wondered, what would happen to these songs if we let them echo through a venue? And then, slowly, live music began to dust itself off.”
Joseph continued: “71 shows and 14 countries later, ‘Scaled And Icy’ became something different. The lyrics meant something different, something more, the colours found their purpose, the chords rubbed together differently. The record came to life. It was confirmed: this band and these specific songs needed live music.
“I want to thank our crew, who took us around the world during one of the toughest eras of touring ever. This past album cycle has meant so much to me. And you, you resilient bunch of my favourite people, you brought this to life and continue to support it. You have given me purpose, humility, and pride. You guys have given me so much. Thank you.”
The singer ended his post with: “And that concludes ψ”. The symbol “ψ” is Psi, the 23rd letter of the Greek alphabet, aka “psuche” (meaning mind or soul) from which the term “psyche” arose.
Fans on Reddit previously discussed Joseph’s apparent recurring use of the phrase, “East is up,” which can be interpreted as a new day/new beginnings due to the sun rising in the east and setting in the west.
NME also wrote previously that the “ψ” symbol could be connected to Joseph’s “fascination with psychology”, which is “commonly explored in the band’s lyrics”, and may well hint that the ‘Scaled And Icy’ era itself it “concluded”.
Furthermore, fans in the comments section of Joseph’s Instagram post have complained that the duo never toured ‘Scaled And Icy’ in Europe and other areas elsewhere, including Australia.
However, Twenty One Pilots weren’t explicit in the post about it being the end of an era, nor did they say anything about a new album that would lead fans to assume the closure of a chapter.