Twenty One Pilots Album Theories Explained: Are You Still Sleeping, Clancy, Dema

9 July 2018, 12:57

Twenty One Pilots
Picture: Getty
Woodrow Whyte

By Woodrow Whyte

Billboards in London, a strange newsletter email and a mysterious website featuring a journal by a man named Clancy? Find out what all these things have to do with the Twenty One Pilots new album.

Perhaps it shouldn't have come as a surprise that Twenty One Pilots' decided to begin their new era via an email with a GIF of an eye and the cryptic message: 'ARE YOU STILL SLEEPING?' This is a band, after all, that rarely does things by the book and love to keep their fans guessing.

But the email wasn't the first communication from Tyler and Josh. At least, not officially. Fans have been closely monitoring updates from a mystery website following the story of a man named Clancy. The website was discovered in a GIF on the TØP website and it unlocked a whole new world of theories about what this could possibly mean for the TRENCH era, the band's forthcoming fifth album.

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And that's not all. Fans in London shared photos this morning of billboards adorned with a new TØP logo against a yellow and black background but with no other information AND the band have just tweeted for the first time in a year - this time another GIF of an eye featuring the new logo and an image of a horse.

They've also updated all their socials with the new yellow artwork.


The music videos for 'Jumpsuit' and 'Nico and the Niners' are packed with references and allusions to these theories, so here's a brief summary of all the latest theories that have been swirling round the internet.

'Are You Still Sleeping?' Twenty One Pilots Newsletter

As we mentioned above, the first 'official' communication from the band came via their newsletter. The title of the email was 'are you still sleeping?' and then the main body of the email contained a GIF of an eye. The eye appears to have a video but, at first, it wasn't easy to make out what the footage was.

Eventually, it become clear that it was footage from the 'Jumpsuit' video, as it featured the same white horse we see the red villain riding as he chases after Tyler.

What the hell is / Clancy / Dema?

Now, some people have really gone in on the meaning of Clancy, so if you're looking for a deep dive we'd recommend you head over to the Reddit page or the Discord app channel, but here's a general overview.

In April, fans noticed that if you went to the Vessel merch store on the Twenty One Pilots website, the video at the top of the page linked out to a gfycat page. At the end of that GIF, a website address appears and if you typed that address into a browser, you were sent to the DMAORG site. That's where fans discovered Clancy's journal.

No one knows for sure who Clancy is, although a lot of theories suggest he is a representation of Tyler or a metaphor for Tyler's feelings about the world or his mental health. The website has been updated several times by Clancy and his posts allude to a place called Dema. We learn that Clancy wants to leave Dema and has planned an escape, before finally confirming that he made it out and that he's "very alive". Grainy, black and white photos and a distorted audio recording were also posted since the website's discovery in April. Here's a few of the posts courtesy of @top__today.

Turns out, this all ties in with the videos for 'Jumpsuit' and 'Nico and the Niners'.

For example, the 'Jumpsuit' video features several of the images from the website including the watchers on the top of the cliffs and the body lying in the river.

Well damn.

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There's some confusion about whether the 'Nico and the Niners' video is a sequel or prequel to the Clancy story but either way it looks like Josh and his yellow crew represent Nico and the Niners and they come to rescue Tyler aka Clancy from Dema, the city which Clancy was trying to escape.

The band have confirmed that the videos will form a three part series, so expect another video soon and to find out more about Clancy and DEMA.