Implicit Demand for Proof

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Twenty One Pilots

Translating complex thought into deliberate word and sound.

By Chase T. Jackson
Executive Editor

In 2009, the band, Twenty-One Pilots, released a self-titled album that would launch an era for the bands alternative music. The band was originally three members; Tyler Joseph, Nick Thomas and Chris Salih. The band’s current only original member, Tyler Joseph, wrote the lyrics in entirety for this album. Tyler’s lyrics often correspond with taboo topics such as faith. His songs seem to be a way to express his personal issues or topics that he never could speak about.

I guess when I first started writing music, I really had no idea if anyone was ever going to hear what I was writing and almost no intention of people hearing it. So, it was kind of this journal. It was pretty unfiltered.
— Tyler Joseph, Twenty One Pilots

Tyler was born into a Catholic family. The vert first one the Self Titled album, Implicit Demand for Proof, dives right into Tyler’s Catholic faith. Right away it becomes apparent the song is directed at questioning the existence of a God. In the Catholic faith, it is considered a sin to question God, doubt him, or have lack of trust. The title of the song uses the key word, “Implicit,” meaning being without doubt or reserve. In the song, Tyler details his battle with not wanting to sin and still feeling the undying urge to find the truth about faith. Like many of us, he’s merely seeking proof.

”I mean no disrespect
I am simply very perplexed”
-Implicit Demand for Proof, Twenty-One Pilots

     The song is simply demanding proof. It starts off directly speaking to God. The lyrics, I know you could set fire this day, must be relating to the prophesy that the world will end in fire that is stated through out the bible, for example 2 Peter 3:7. Not only is he questioning God, but challenging him. The lyrics “Strike me down I am calling your lighting down from your dark hiding place” and the repeating phrases, “Rain down and destroy me” are both straightforward challenges to God for proof. The song seems to have submission along side angry, rebellious death wishes. Tyler is begging God to destroy him just to know that his prayers are being heard!

The lyrics, “Why won’t you let us use your name,” appear to question why a mortal can call an all masterful being in praise but is forbidden to use it when grieving. Every single lyric in this song challenges God but is perpetually climaxing in question. Every part of this song has meaning, down to each beat. That is insane to me. I applaud Tyler Joseph for being able to translate the most intense thoughts into words.