My name is Tyler, and I wanted to start a band, so I picked a name, a logo, and wrote and recorded songs in my basement. I really had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that music did something to me. What I DID know was that I needed help bringing the songs to life on stage. Then I met Josh, a kid with no plan B. He lived and breathed plan A: music. And I liked that he beat the crap out of his instrument.
Then we played shows, all kinds of shows. It never really was discussed, we just knew we had no choice but to play with as much conviction for 5 people as we would for 5,000. We wanted our shows to be more about others than about ourselves, creating an unpredictable but always beautiful dance with the people in the crowd. Honesty and authenticity works, and, as it turns out, people wanna be a part of that.
9,765. Turns out it doesn’t take a million likes to get the music industry’s attention.
On November 19th, 2011, we played in front of a sold out hometown for 1700 of our most dedicated fans in Columbus, Ohio. A few years of hard work materialized into one night, our fans were the first local fan base to ever sell the place out to that
capacity. I don’t know exactly how it happened, but after that night people from 'the industry’ started asking the question, ‘What’s going on in Ohio?’
The next 3 months were the craziest months of our lives. Out of nowhere, we had a dozen labels interested in our small local band, taking us completely off guard. We had questions: Would we lose creative control? Would we be turned into something
we are not? Can we keep doing what we are doing, the way we were doing it? Are we selling out? Encouraged by the answers to those questions, we signed a record deal called Fueled By Ramen. A record deal!
Tonight, 5 months later, we are back in Columbus to explain the incredible news to the people who deserve to hear it first. But it’s just the beginning. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for us
and our fans. And to them we say: We never got a big break. You created our big break. Thank you.
So if you are pursuing your dreams, pursuing what it is you are passionate about, I hope this story encourages you. And if you know someone who is, encourage them with this: Don’t give up. Push through the droughts. Channel the inevitable disappointments back into your craft. Break molds. Think. Create. But most importantly: Stay alive. And in the meantime, make it about others. That seems to work. Stay strong, live on, and power to the local dreamer.
Tyler Joseph, after being signed by Fueled by Ramen with Josh Dun.
imagine telling seventeen year old tyler, screaming vocal demos in his basement, that in eleven years time he would win a grammy with his best friend, who lived, breathed and had now more than achieved plan a