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Josh Dun

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Josh Dun
Josh Dun playing drums live for an audience.
Dun performing with Twenty One Pilots in 2015
Joshua William Dun

(1988-06-18) June 18, 1988 (age 32)
Years active2009–present
(m. 2019)
Musical career
OriginColumbus, Ohio, U.S.
  • Drums
  • percussion
  • trumpet
LabelsFueled by Ramen
Associated acts

Joshua William Dun (born June 18, 1988)[1][2] is an American musician. He is best known as half of Twenty One Pilots, alongside Tyler Joseph, contributing drums, percussion and trumpet.[3][4][5]

Early life[edit]

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.[6] 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."[7]

Dun would often skateboard down to the local music store and purchase records, most of which were of the punk rock genre.[8] 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.[9][10] "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."[11] 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".[12] One method Dun references was imitating the beats of the records he'd buy on an electronic drum kit.[13]

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."[7] 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.[14][15]


House of Heroes[edit]

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.[16] 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.[17] He also took part in House of Heroes' live tour until October, when Rigsby returned to his duties.[18]

Twenty One Pilots[edit]

Dun performing with Twenty One Pilots in Munich, Germany in 2016

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.[19] 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.[15] Dun subsequently became the band's full-time drummer.[2]

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.[2]

Twenty One Pilots' third studio album, Vessel, was released on January 8, 2013.[20]

The band's fourth studio album, Blurryface, was released on May 17, 2015, two days ahead of its intended release date.[21] 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.

Guest appearances[edit]

  • Dun was featured on George Watsky's 2016 single "Midnight Heart" for the album x Infinity.[22] In addition, he cameos in the music video.[23]
  • Dun appeared on two singles from Canadian singer and songwriter Lights' album, Skin and Earth: "Savage" and "Almost Had Me".[24]
  • In 2017, Dun partnered with Hayley Williams of Paramore to promote her hair dye line "Good Dye Young".[25]
  • In 2020, Dun played guest drums on The Hunna song "Dark Times".[26]

Personal life[edit]

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."[27]

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.[28][29] Joseph's is located on his right bicep and Dun's is located on his neck behind his right ear.[30] Dun also sports the name "Tyler" above his left knee.[31]

Dun maintained a relationship with actress Debby Ryan from May 2013 to September 2014.[32][33] The pair resumed their relationship sometime after. On December 23, 2018, Dun announced their engagement on his Instagram account.[34] On December 31, 2019, they were married.[35]


Dun's gear consists of SJC Drums,[36] Zildjian cymbals,[37] Remo drum heads[38] and Roland electronic drums.[39]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Ceremony Award Nominated Result Ref.
2014 Alternative Press Music Awards Best Drummer Josh Dun Nominated [40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Happy Birthday Josh Dun!". Fueled by Ramen. June 18, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "With debut album set for release, Columbus duo Twenty One Pilots poised to break out". The Columbus Dispatch. October 18, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2014. 'I loved everything about the band, except for one thing: I wasn’t in it,' said Dun, 24.
  3. ^ "Twenty One Pilots Release New Single "Fairly Local"". Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  4. ^ xxivmagazine. "INTERVIEW: Twenty One Pilots". XXIV Magazine. Archived from the original on July 9, 2015. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  5. ^ Sisario, Ben (May 27, 2015), Twenty One Pilots Tops Chart With 'Blurryface', The New York Times, retrieved April 20, 2016
  6. ^ "Billboard Cover: Twenty One Pilots on Their Musical Bromance and Fleeting Fame -- 'It's Going to Go Away'". Billboard. April 7, 2016. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Twenty One Pilots: Inside the Biggest New Band of the Past Year News Video Music Politics TV Movies Video Games RS Country RS Hip-Hop More TRENDING 'Fifty Shades Freed' Review: Welcome to the Most Painful 'Shades' of All 'Fifty Shades Freed' Review: Welcome to the Most Painful... Mike Pence Responds After Gay Olympian Adam Rippon Declines Meeting Mike Pence Responds After Gay Olympian Adam Rippon... Hear Rush's Alex Lifeson Guest on Fu Manchu's New 18-Minute Psych-Rock Epic Hear Rush's Alex Lifeson Guest on Fu Manchu's 18-Minute... Twenty One Pilots: Inside the Biggest New Band of the Past Year". Rolling Stone.
  8. ^ SJC Custom Drums (September 10, 2014), SJC Artist Profile - Joshua Dun - Twenty One Pilots, retrieved January 28, 2017
  9. ^ "MessiahPulse Interview: Twenty One Pilots". YouTube. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  10. ^ "Twenty One Pilots Talk Punk Rock Teen Years". YouTube. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  11. ^ Greene, Andy (January 14, 2016), Twenty One Pilots: Inside the Biggest New Band of the Past Year, Rolling Stone, retrieved April 21, 2016
  12. ^ Chamberlain, Rich (July 25, 2016). "Josh Dun on humble beginnings, hit records and the monster success of Twenty One Pilots". Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  13. ^ "Mass Attack: Interview with twenty one pilots". Ones to Watch. November 12, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  14. ^ "Vessel: Chatting With Twenty One Pilots' Tyler Joseph, Plus Reintroducing The Johnny Stallings Arts Program and Six Market Blvd". Huffington Post. January 14, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  15. ^ a b "Interview: Twenty One Pilots, part 1". Retrieved June 26, 2014. I worked at Guitar Center for three years, and the old drummer, I worked with him.
  16. ^ "House of Heroes Band Changes". Stereo Truth. March 3, 2010. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  17. ^ "God Save the Foolish Kings". House of Heroes music video on YouTube. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  18. ^ "Colin's back!!! and the Suburba (n) Vagabonds Tour is coming soon!". House of Heroes' Facebook Page. October 10, 2010. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  19. ^ "Founding Twenty One Pilots member Chris Salih opens up about band".; Chris Salih interview. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  20. ^ "Twenty One Pilots – Music, biography, Credits and Discography: AllMusic". Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  21. ^ "SURPRISE! Twenty One Pilots Release "Blurryface" Early!". Radio 104.5. May 17, 2015. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  22. ^ "Twenty One Pilots' Josh Dun Features On A New Watsky Song - News - Rock Sound Magazine". Rock Sound Magazine. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  23. ^ "Can You Spot Josh Dun In This New Hip Hop Video?". Pop Buzz.
  24. ^ "Lights reveals how that Josh Dun collaboration came together". Alt Press. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  25. ^ "WATCH: Josh Dun Joins Good Dye Young As A 'Brand Ambassador'". Pop Buzz.
  26. ^ "Josh Dun, The Hunna". Twitter.
  27. ^ Broom, Chris (February 21, 2016), Josh Dun of Twenty One Pilots: ‘I love getting together with people and letting music unify us’, The News, retrieved April 21, 2016
  28. ^ "Twenty One Pilots Get Tattoos on Stage". YouTube. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  29. ^ "Billy Hill's Tattoo TV Special – Tattooing 21 Pilots on Stage During Home Town Show". YouTube. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  30. ^ "Twenty One Pilots Show Off Their Favorite Tattoos". Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  31. ^ "Twenty One Pilots Tattoo Their Names on Each Other". October 31, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  32. ^ "Debby Ryan Instagram: 'Jessie' Star and Boyfriend Josh Dun Named Hot, Young Couple of 2014?". Fashion & Style. March 28, 2014. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  33. ^ "Debby Ryan's New Year's Eve Kiss With Boyfriend Joshua Dun". Disney Dreaming. January 3, 2014. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  34. ^ Baumgartner, Scott (December 22, 2018). "Debby Ryan Got Engaged To Boyfriend Josh Dun". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  35. ^ Macon, Alexandra. "Actress Debby Ryan and Twenty One Pilots' Joshua Dun Planned Their Whirlwind Austin Wedding in Just 28 Days". Vogue. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  36. ^ "Josh Dun - Twenty One Pilots – SJC Custom Drums". Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  37. ^ "Josh Dun". Zildjian. December 22, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  38. ^ "Joshua Dun". Remo. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  39. ^ rolandmedia. "Josh Dun - Twenty One Pilots". Retrieved January 25, 2019 – via YouTube.
  40. ^ "The AP Music Awards - Alternative Press". Archived from the original on March 7, 2017. Retrieved March 12, 2017.

External links[edit]