Twenty One Pilots accused of "glamorising" terrorism with their Bandito Tour

7 March 2019, 17:16

Sam  Prance

By Sam Prance

A political party has condemned Twenty One Pilots for wearing balaclavas on their tour in support of Trench...

Twenty One Pilots are being accused of "glamorising" terrorism.

The band are currently in the midst of The Banditø Tour in support of their critically acclaimed fifth studio album Trench. Tyler and Josh have already performed in the US and Australia and are now taking their show to cities around Europe. The group have, for the most part, received praised for all of their concerts but they are now being criticised by a political party after their recent performance in Northern Ireland.

Twenty One Pilots: Banditø Tour balaclava backlash explained
Twenty One Pilots: Banditø Tour balaclava backlash explained. Picture: Fueled by Ramen // Katja Ogrin/Redferns via Getty Images

The head of the Traditional Unionist Voice party, Jim Allister, has called out Twenty One Pilots for using inappropriate imagery in their tour visuals. He said: “Balaclavas are the stock-in-trade images of terrorism in this part of the world, so to don them at this sort of event inevitably has the consequence of sanitising or glamorising that with which they are associated in this part of the world, namely terrorism.”

He then added: “Whatever they thought they were doing, this is hardly the sort of imagery that Belfast needs. Balaclavas still speak loudly in Northern Ireland of the evils of terrorism - with many still struggling to cope with the devastation and murder wrought by balaclava-clad killers. I would be very surprised if nobody associated with this operation has any knowledge of the Troubles."

Given the history of Northern Ireland, the backlash is understandable. However, Twenty One Pilots have used balaclavas in a positive way throughout their careers and it's likely that they meant no ill intent with them. Not only that, most fans attending the Banditø Tour are aware of this. With that in mind, many members of the clique have taken to social media to defend TØP.

Here are some of the responses.

As it stands Twenty One Pilots are yet to respond to the backlash.

What do you think? Are the balaclavas offensive?