Who is Blurryface? This is the question Twenty One Pilots fans have been asking ever since mid-March, when the first song off the upcoming album was released. Since then, two more have been released as well. Throughout the three songs, the character Blurryface keeps popping up. Using clues within the lyrics as well as music videos, fans have been able to put together a decent idea of who Blurryface is or at least what this fictional character represents.
In short, Blurryface is the opposite of lead singer Tyler Joseph. Blurryface would be Hyde if Tyler was Dr. Jekyll. Blurryface has been described not as an actual physical character but rather as a intangible character living inside of Tyler. Blurryface’s presence first became known on the track “Fairly Local.” The song, although very deep and dark, has a cheerful message in the beginning. Starting off with the chorus, Tyler sings “I’m fairly local, I’ve been around.” This indicates that he is still staying true to his roots and feels a connection to his true fans who have been with him from the beginning. The first verse, however, takes on a slightly darker mood as Tyler vents about how the media criticized the depressing themes on “Vessel,” the band’s debut album. The bridge, however, is the darkest part of the song as it is supposed to represent Blurryface. With lines such as “Yo, this song will never be on the radio,” it is clear that Blurryface wants Tyler to change the music style.
The next song that came out was “Tear In My Heart.” Where as Fairly Local had a slow, dark mood, Tear In My Heart felt like the exact opposite. In fact, the main message of the song was about how Tyler was able to beat Blurryface through the help of his wife Jenna. The name of the song is a representation of how Jenna has tore open Tyler’s heart and essentially ripped out Blurryface. The music video, which was slightly controversial after it was misinterpreted, shows Jenna beating Tyler repeatedly to a point where blood comes out. Although it seems very violent, the visuals are actually trying to portray Jenna literally beating Blurryface out of Tyler. This is backed up by the chorus of the song where Tyler sings lines such as “I’m Alive” and “I’m on Fire,” both an indication of how Tyler feels because of “The tear in [his] heart.” In addition, the song also had another meaning and that was to show Tyler’s love towards Jenna. Near the end of the song, Tyler sings “My heart is my armor” before repeating “she’s the tear in my heart.” Armor, is obviously known to be very tough and impenetrable but because Tyler loves Jenna so much, he has let her into his true feelings. The song came off as a little cheesy for some, but then again, for Tyler to not sing about how he felt would mean a victory for Blurryface. In the end, “Tear In My Heart,” which was a fairy tale on many levels, only left fans craving for more music.
That new music turned out to be the song “Stressed Out” which can be found below. Fans were very curious as to how the story of Tyler’s battles with Blurryface would progress since it appeared that Tyler had already won in the last song. This was proven to be untrue very quickly. The song was originally scheduled to be released Sunday night, 21 days from the last release. This would follow the pattern that Tear In My Heart set when it was released 21 days after Fairly Local. This was not what happened. Instead, fans were greeted with an announcement from a Blurryface twitter account that Blurryface himself made the band change the release date to Monday night. The reasoning behind this is unknown however it did show that Blurryface was still in control of the whole situation. The authenticity of the Twitter account was quickly confirmed as the band modified its cover photo on Facebook to show the words “Monday Ni ht” scribbled in bad handwriting, presumably Blurryface’s.
Fans were finally satisfied as no more unexpected announcements were made and “Stressed Out” became available to the public Monday night, accompanied by a music video as well, which is shown below. “Stressed Out” appears to be the most complicated song so far in terms of it’s meaning, partially because it conveys so much. To sum it all up, the song message is that the Tyler is “Stressed Out” because of Blurryface. The song starts off with Tyler singing the words “I wish” at the start of each line. Here, he expresses his desire to be a better song writer than he is now. The next line, “I wish I didn’t have to rhyme every time I sang” indicates that Tyler wants freedom to make the music that he wants and to not be confined by rules. Next comes the pre chorus. This part is from Blurryface’s point of view as he sings “My name is Blurryface and I care what you think.” This shows that Blurryface is the side of Tyler that makes music geared towards other people’s wants, not music that is a representation of his true self. The mood lightens up with the chorus as Tyler expresses his longing for the simplicity of childhood with lines such as “Wish we could turn back time, to the good old days.” The second verse stays consistent with the theme of the chorus by describing how simple his childhood was and ending with the wish that he had “tree house homes” instead of “student loans.” The song ends with an outro playing in Blurryface’s voice, the same deep voice used on “Fairly Local.” The outro is shown through Blurryface’s perspective where Blurryface is telling Tyler to wake up from his dreams of his childhood and start making money. Money, as many Twenty One Pilots fans known, is not what motivates Tyler and band drummer Josh Dun to make music. It is what motivates Blurryface.
The nostalgia for childhood is also displayed throughout the music video for “Stressed Out”. Although extremely simple, like the song itself, many fans describe it as their favorite music video. The video features shots of Tyler and drummer Josh Dun riding on tricycles through their neighborhood (Other shots include them drinking fruit punch while sitting on the curb as well as play dates in each other’s bedrooms). Despite the fact that both are 26 years old, they are doing the same activities 10 year olds would be doing. The only difference is that most 10 year olds don’t record songs for their next album while hanging out in their bedroom. Near the end of the video, as money is mentioned in the song, the families of both band members appear on screen, possibly indicating that they feel pressure from family members to make money as well. The video ends with a close up shot of Tyler speaking with red eyes while the Blurryface outro is heard.
In addition to all this, smaller signs have also surfaced that reveal even more about Blurryface. In all three music videos so far, Tyler is shown to have black paint on his throat and neck. As many fans know, Tyler not only sings, but also plays the ukulele and piano. The black paint located where the music originates from could mean that Blurryface is inside his music. Another reoccurring theme appears to be the letter “G.” In all of Blurry Face’s messages so far, the letter “G” is left out (Monday Ni ht). Three years ago, Twenty One Pilots released a teaser of a song called “Goner.” In their recent AMA on Reddit, Josh revealed that they did remake the song “Goner” and it will be the last track on the album. Although nothing is confirmed, it seems that the letter “G” is Blurryface’s weakness and the end of Blurryface might be in the lyrics of the remastered version of “Goner.”
Overall, the general reaction to the new music has been mostly positive. “Fairly Local,” being the darker song, has received some criticism. Longtime fan Jennie Jiang describes the song as “not being melodic enough for me.” On the other hand, the reviews for “Tear In My Heart” have been mostly positive )with the exception of those that misinterpreted its meaning). The same goes for “Stressed Out” as another longtime fan Jamie Pershing described it as a “really relatable song.” Regardless of what people think about the new music, the album is sure to be a great success as fans are eagerly awaiting to see how the Blurryface story will come to a close and whether Tyler is able to overcome his struggles. Unfortunately, the album does not come out for another three weeks but CD Universe recently revealed that there will be one more single titled “Lane Boy” which comes out May 4th so fans have that to look forward to.