Twenty One Pilots were formed in 2009 by high school friends Tyler Joseph, Nick Thomas, and Chris Salih. The pop trio built an enormous regional across Ohio and the Midwest, spurred on by constant energetic touring, shrewd use of interactive social media, and connecting with fans on a grassroots level. Twenty One Pilots self-released a debut album of their rap-infused high-tech pop, twenty | one | pilots, in 2010 before Thomas and Salih left the band in 2011; Tyler Joseph carried on with new member Josh Dun. Later that year, second album Regional at Best surfaced, the first with the new duo lineup.
The pair also gained popularity through publicly releasing a series of videos made by their friend Mark Eshelman. In 2012, they signed to Atlantic subsidiary Fueled by Ramen, releasing the Three Songs EP in the summer of that year and working with Adele producer Greg Wells on Vessel, their debut album for the label. Vessel saw release in January of 2013, and the band was scheduled to support it with an international tour deep into the year. For the recording of their third album, the band opted to work with various producers on an almost song-by-song basis. Working with Ricky Reed, Mike Crossey, Tim Anderson, and others, this process took them to studios throughout Los Angeles and London. The album, the Billboard 200-topping Blurryface, arrived in 2015.