“‘I wouldn’t say this is a concept album where a story begins with the first song and and the last song ends the story. I describe him as a guy I met in a different dimension. This is going to sound really dramatic, but that’s the way it is: He represents everything I’m insecure about.
Here’s what I know: Human beings are very self-aware creatures. We all pretty much know we’re insecure about ourselves. Where our self-awareness starts to be less clear is how those insecurities affect the way we live our lives and how we compensate for that insecurity. For me, there are a lot of different areas I know I’m insecure about, but I need to work on how to react [to those things]. It helps me to give my insecurities a name and a seat at the table I can look across and address. He’s not a good guy, but he’s a guy I intend on conquering. He’s a guy I have to beat every day. The idea of creating something, making a song and having the courage to show someone that song is a form of defeating that insecurity. It helps me focus on areas in my life I don’t like.
Believe me, I know that Josh and I seem very confident when we get up onstage. And we emit this idea of a couple of guys who don’t care about what anyone thinks and we're so confident. But there are so many times where I get up onstage and I feel the world about to pressurize me into nothing. There have been times where all I want to do is walk offstage. “I can’t do this. I’m not good enough.” It can crush you. So I started to try to win. This suffocating feeling whenever I get in front of people or show someone songs, I want to win. I want to conquer this thing. I want to conquer this person. So I started naming him.
A few things I’m insecure about include: what I’m doing onstage is horrible and this is just a karaoke show on steroids, all the way down to what Josh and I do onstage. If you’re a musician snob and see us onstage, you’ll say, “Oh, that’s stupid.” I say that to myself sometimes! For me, I’ve had to overcome a lot. Going back to the first question you asked about what I have learned in the last two years, as much as it’s been a blessing and a success and we’ve gotten a lot of traction, I’ve learned where I fail. I learned where I don’t have that confidence where I thought I did. I learned a lot about my limits. So when I take the stage, I feel like I am under attack and by the end of the show, I hope I come out on top.
Maybe I’ve revealed too much; I hope it doesn’t come across that it’s a drama to entertain people, as much as it is truly something I hope to do for myself every night I play this album in front of people.”
Tyler Joesph about