Dun performing with Twenty One Pilots in 2015
Joshua William Dun
June 18, 1988
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
|Origin||Columbus, Ohio, U.S.|
|Labels||Fueled by Ramen|
Dun was born in Columbus, Ohio, to Laura Lee Dun (née McCollum), a hospice social worker, and William Earl "Bill" Dun, a physical therapy assistant. He grew up with two sisters, Ashley Bonnie Lee and Abigail Christine "Abbie" Dun, and a brother named Jordan Christopher Dun.
Dun states that his adolescence was somewhat rebellious. "I just had this aggression," he says, noting that his parents nearly kicked him out when he was 14. "They almost sent me to military school. They didn't know what to do with me, and I was always in detention. I never got into drugs or alcohol, but I would yell at my parents and just treat them terribly. Everything was an argument."
Dun would often skateboard down to the local music store and purchase records, most of which were of the punk rock genre. His parents used to set strict rules on what type of music Dun was allowed to listen to, so instead he asked people at the store to recommend albums to him. "I'd hide albums like Green Day's Dookie underneath my bed," Dun says. "Sometimes they'd find them and get real mad. They'd find a Christian alternative, like Relient K, and make me listen to that." Regardless, Dun says, "Looking back, they were trying their best."
Dun initially took trumpet lessons at school, but was "never awesome at it". He said the lessons only taught him how to read music rather than create his own. Dun turned his attention to drums but decided to teach himself rather than take lessons, believing at the time that "somebody else teaching me how to play an instrument... was kind of prohibiting me from being creative". One method Dun references was imitating the beats of the records he'd buy on an electronic drum kit.
Dun did not attend college, instead living with friends and focusing on musical hobbies. "I was going nowhere," he says. "One day I said to my dad, 'Are you disappointed that I'm working a minimum-wage job, and I didn't go to college?' I'll never forget his response. He replied, 'It's not about how much money you make or what your job is, but it's more about your character. For that, I'm proud of you.' It gave me motivation." Dun worked at Guitar Center for three years alongside his friends. It was here he met former Twenty One Pilots drummer Chris Salih, who introduced him to future bandmate Tyler Joseph.
House of Heroes
In March 2010, Dun joined House of Heroes after the band's drummer, Colin Rigsby, took a break to spend more time with his family. In Rigby's place, Dun played the drums for many tracks on the band's album Suburba. Dun also makes an appearance in the music video "God Save the Foolish Kings", and provides a vocal cameo as well. He also took part in House of Heroes' live tour until October, when Rigsby returned to his duties.
Twenty One Pilots
Quitting his job at Guitar Center, Dun planned to leave for Nashville, Tennessee in pursuit of a drum career in the industry; however, he was stopped by Twenty One Pilots drummer Chris Salih, who offered him his role. He went on to play a show with Tyler Joseph after Salih and bassist Nick Thomas left the group due to busy schedules. They played one song before police officers eventually cancelled the show. Dun subsequently became the band's full-time drummer.
As a duo Twenty One Pilots released the band's second studio album, Regional at Best, on July 8, 2011, and signed with record label Fueled by Ramen, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records, in April 2012.
The band's fourth studio album, Blurryface, was released on May 17, 2015, two days ahead of its intended release date. At this point in Twenty One Pilots' career, the band had topped the charts with their hit "Stressed Out" – the song's music video being filmed at Dun's childhood home, and has since received over 2 billion views on YouTube.
Their fifth studio album, Trench, was released on October 5, 2018.
- Dun was featured on George Watsky's 2016 single "Midnight Heart" for the album x Infinity. In addition, he cameos in the music video.
- Dun appeared on two singles from Canadian singer and songwriter Lights' album, Skin and Earth: "Savage" and "Almost Had Me".
- In 2017, Dun partnered with Hayley Williams of Paramore to promote her hair dye line "Good Dye Young".
- In 2020, Dun played guest drums on The Hunna song "Dark Times".
Dun has said with regard to music, "I've always wanted to play drums and now I'm able to do that pretty much on a nightly basis. That's what I love the most, getting together with people in a room and letting music unify us – I know that sounds really dramatic, but it's a really cool experience and something that I won't get tired of for a while yet."
Both Dun and Twenty One Pilots lead Tyler Joseph have an "X" tattoo on their body symbolizing their dedication to their hometown fans in Columbus, Ohio. They received it on stage during their hometown show at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion on April 26, 2013. Joseph's is located on his right bicep and Dun's is located on his neck behind his right ear. Dun also sports the name "Tyler" above his left knee.
Dun maintained a relationship with actress Debby Ryan from May 2013 to September 2014. The pair resumed their relationship sometime after. On December 23, 2018, Dun announced their engagement on his Instagram account. On December 31, 2019, they were married.
Awards and nominations
|2014||Alternative Press Music Awards||Best Drummer||Josh Dun||Nominated|||
- List of people from Ohio
- List of people from Columbus, Ohio
- Music of Ohio
- List of songs recorded by Twenty One Pilots
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'I loved everything about the band, except for one thing: I wasn’t in it,' said Dun, 24.
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I worked at Guitar Center for three years, and the old drummer, I worked with him.
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