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Interviews

 

JOSH DUN OF TWENTY ONE PILOTS
INTERVIEWED BY ANDREW COOK OF A ROCKET TO THE MOON
 
 
 


I know that you grew up skateboarding. Was there a specific fall or injury where you thought to yourself, "You know what? I should probably stop doing this if I want to play drums for a living…" ?



Surprisingly, I was never badly injured. Maybe that means I wasn’t very good at skateboarding, although I like to think I was. There was definitely a time where I weighed the pros and cons of skateboarding and just realized it wouldn’t be worth breaking an arm or a leg if I want to continue doing music as much as possible. I still try and get on my board every now and then but nothing crazy.
 



Seeing how you appreciate a drummer that wails, has hitting really hard ever backfired on your during a show? Was there ever a moment where you broke something and ruined a song or moment?



Maybe four years ago I was playing a show in a juvenile detention center somewhere in Ohio. It was mid song and I realized that my stick was starting to break. Whenever that happens I usually just brace myself to get smacked somewhere with the broken end of a drum stick. I didn’t hit any softer, but just braced. All of a sudden the end of the stick broke off and shot up at my eye. I kept playing but couldn’t see anything and my eye was throbbing. The whole time all I could think about was that I was going to be blind in that eye. Everything turned out alright and it’s made a good story. Also, now I have x-ray vision.



 
The drumming glove... is it ever cool, in any circumstance?



I’d say it’s cool if it’s on fire. Or maybe if it’s being worn by a cheetah playing drums. That would be radical to see.



Can you remember a distinct song that inspired you to play drums? Was there a singular moment where you knew it was what you had to do?



Well, I’ve actually had to give up my real dream and passion, which is being a barista at Starbucks, to play music. But I’d say there was a collection of things that inspired me to play drums. One of the first things that drew me to drums was watching videos of Buddy Rich play with his band and do drum solos. I spent hours on drummerworld.com clicking on links to random drummers and watching their videos, listening to their music etc. I learned to play by watching loads of videos of drummers with styles all over the place. It helped me develop my own style in a sense. I think as soon as I learned my first drum beat was when I realized that I want to do it forever. But I miss Starbucks :(
 



We have some similar tastes when it comes to TV shows. If you could rewrite the last episode of "LOST," how would it end?
 
Man, probably any other way than how it did end. I know there’s controversy on who liked the ending and who didn’t. I personally wasn’t satisfied. Too many questions unanswered. Maybe I’d just write it so that they finally made friends with the giant polar bears (what was the point of them again?), and they rode on their backs to LA, where they all got an apartment together and were super happy.



Would you rather spend a day playing drums with Buddy Rich, or a day on a ride-along with fictional hero and CTU agent Jack Bauer?



That’s an excellent question. So far I’ve been stroking my beard for 5 minutes, debating in my head which I’d prefer. If by “day” you mean the full 24 hours, that would be pretty exhausting. So much happens. So I’d choose that.
 



You've told me you wish you could cook. Have you ever had a cooking disaster, where you attempted to cook something for someone else and failed miserably? If tomorrow you changed careers, went to culinary school, and became a chef, what would you first signature dish or restaurant be called when you became a wildly successful restauranteur/international playboy/culinary wizard?



I don’t cook often, but I baked cookies one time. I mixed up how much sugar I was supposed to put in the batter with how much salt I was supposed to put in the batter. Ended up just tasting like bricks of salt and chocolate chips. So maybe I’m on to something, salt lovers. With that being said, I’d open a bakery. I’d call it “Dun Deal.”



Growing up, I was a staunch advocate of giving mixtapes to girls. I can recall many embarrassing tunes I included those mixes, thinking they might show my "softer side." Did you ever make a mix for a girl and have it result in either a date, or in an awkward/embarrassing moment?



I’m glad I’m not the only one in that boat. I’ve definitely done it as well, and for the same reasons. I’ve never really had it backfire on me (I don’t think), I think it really resulted in a date, but maybe it wasn’t the mix tape so much, but the salted cookies that really won her heart.

 
In the studio, most drummers play to a click (or metronome, for the lay people out there). I's typically a woodblock or digital beep of some kind, BUT- if you couldn't have either of those, and were forced to choose between your metronome being A) Joey Lawrence of "Blossom" fame saying "whoah" repeatedly, B) Harry Caray shouting "hey!", C) Pauly D from "Jersey Shore" yelling "cabs are here," or D) Miley Cyrus saying "pretty cool," which would you choose?
 
All of those would be great options. I don’t know how you could ever be off-tempo with option B though. I’d choose that. If I didn’t choose that, my #2 would be a direct sample of Batman saying “Where’s Harvey Dent?!” from “The Dark Knight”. I would like it if Miley Cyrus were to count me in on each song though.