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Missing “Level”: Twenty One Pilots’ Tyler Joseph reveals why quarantine single didn’t make ‘Scaled and Icy’

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Credit: Ashley Osborn

Twenty One Pilots‘ new album Scaled and Icy includes 11 fresh songs for the Skeleton Clique to obsess over, but “Level of Concern” is not one of them. The quarantine-referencing jam, which was released in April 2020, was left off the record’s track list. In an interview with Billboard, frontman Tyler Joseph reveals why.

“Something I’ve learned kind of recently…when I would listen to older songs of mine, I used to feel awkward,” Joseph explains. “[I would think], ‘I wish I could have done that differently…I would have recorded that differently.'”

“Then recently, what I realized is the way for me to naturally get over that reaction is I realized, ‘That song is a perfect representation of who I was at that moment,'” he continues. “So the idea of trying to nitpick things that have already been is such a waste of time. You can be proud that it is a timestamp of who you were.”

While Joseph feels that “Level of Concern” would probably fit sonically within the rest of Scaled and Icy, the song “meant more” to him “as a timestamp of something that was in between records, something quick on its feet.”

“What I’m proud of that song for is the ability, when the pandemic really started to take, to show the agility [drummer] Josh [Dun] and I have on a creative level,” Joseph says. “We can write, record and release a song quickly.”

As for what is included on Scaled and Icy, you’ll find the lead single, “Shy Away,” which has led the Billboard Alternative Airplay chart for six weeks.

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