Twenty One Pilots Prepared for Rejection on ‘Heathens’

They wrote the song specifically for the film, but were ready to use it for themselves if they were rejected.

By Brian Ives

The big superhero movie of the moment is one that actually focuses on villains: Suicide Squad is the the latest entry into the DC Comics universe. The film’s soundtrack features team-ups between Skrillex and Rick Ross, Lil Wayne Wiz Khalifa and Imagine Dragons and Mark Ronson, Action Bronson and Dan Auerbach.

Related: Twenty One Pilots’ 10 Greatest Cover Songs

Twenty One Pilots is also featured on the soundtrack, and in an interview at Madison Square Garden before their two-night stand at the fabled venue, they told Radio.com that they recorded their song, “Heathens,” specifically for the film; they confirmed that it wasn’t a song that they had lying around.

Singer Tyler Joseph says, “I met with David Ayer, the director, and he kind of showed me some ideas, and some clips [from the film]. I’d never really written a song for a movie before, so it was a new experience. Especially the part where you show the movie company the idea, and you get a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ back. Like, whether or not you’re good enough. For us, we make a song, and if we like it, it goes on a record. So I was a little worried about that part. I kind of prepared myself for it to be a ‘no.'”

He continues, “We made sure that we wrote a song that would make sense for our band; it was a Twenty One Pilots song. I wasn’t going to waste my time.”

Happily, things worked out: “So, they said yes, and they dug it. It seemed to fit with the theme of the movie, and also what we go for.”

Funny enough, the band aren’t big comic book fans. As drummer Josh Dun explains, “I like the idea of comics, [but] I’ve never really gotten into them, and that’s a shameful answer. I do see the movies, and I think the comic culture is really cool and really fascinating to me.”

They note that the band took their entire crew to see the film earlier this week. Joseph says, “Yeah, we went and saw it on our day off, our whole touring crew went and we populated the entire theater. And yeah, we liked the movie a lot. It was cool to hear our song playing in it.”

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