twenty one pilots nico and the niners lyrics review song meaning video decode

Twenty One Pilots – Nico And The Niners (Lyrics Review and Song Meaning)

After a two-year hiatus, the Twenty One Pilots duo are back with two brand new singles and music videos. “Jumpsuit” and “Nico And The Niners” take a modest spin from the music they have been producing so far. This is to say that their music always had a dark and ominous undertone, such as in “Heathens.” The two new songs are from their upcoming fifth studio album titled ‘Trench.’

Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun of Twenty One Pilots have outdone themselves with the lyrics and the music video for “Nico And The Niners.” The song is an ado to depression and its effects. The duo went so far as to create a whole website dedicated to a fictional character named Clancy living in a city named Dema. The website is titled (could be pronounced Dema org), which leads you to a ‘404’ error page. However, the hint is in the error code “(Violation Code. 15398642_14).” When you Google this code, it takes you to a page of the above website which contains the story of Clancy. Below is the story of Clancy.

Story of Clancy of Dema from
The story of Clancy of Dema from “Nico And The Niners”

The story in this creepy writing is about this person Clancy who lives in a city named Dema. The city is ruled by nine bishops (the reference to “Niners”), and these bishops do not want the citizens to leave the city walls. This could be the exact feelings of a person under depression-to feel like being trapped with no choices. The ‘banditos’ mentioned in this letter help Clancy to escape this city. In a nutshell, “Nico And The Niners” is about escaping depression, and that you don’t have to succumb to your temporary emotions (denoted by the bishops).

Watch “Nico And The Niners” Video by Twenty One Pilots

Download “Nico And The Niners” on iTunes and Amazon
Buy ‘Trench’ Album on iTunes and Amazon

‘Trench’ also signifies a story relating to depression. “Am I not the only one traveling through the Trench?” says the letter by Clancy. ‘Trench’ signifies the difficult path that it takes to get out of the city or in this case, out of depression.

The song also reels back to the first single “Jumpsuit” as wearing jumpsuits makes it impossible for the bishops to find the wearer. This is shown in the “Jumpsuit” music video.

Lyrics Review and Song Meaning of “Nico And The Niners”


The intro to “Nico And The Niners” is a reversed statement, where the original is as below;

“We denounce Vialism
You will leave Dema and head true east
We are banditos” – “Nico And The Niners”

Considering that the banditos are the good guys and they deny Vialism, we can predict that the religion of the city of Dema is named Vialism. ‘Vial’ is a small container made out of glass-which could be a reference to the fact that Dema citizens are stuck or contained within its walls.


From the hook, “Nico And The Niners” turn into a dark thematic, yet upbeat tune.

These lines have Clancy looking for a way out of the city of Dema. ‘East’ usually signifies hope and new beginnings. However, since the city of Dema is surrounded by giant walls on all sides, the only way out is up. ‘Up’ here could be referencing to higher power or self-illumination in terms of beating depression.

The hook also repeats that Dema does not control them, which means the negative thoughts and feelings that let you down should not be allowed to win.


These lines take a turn towards faith and higher power in times of need such as depression. A ‘jumpsuit’ is an equipment that allows you to glide down. It cannot take you up, as opposed to what’s said in the lyrics. Hence, it is clear that ‘jumpsuit’ is not a literal reference.

‘Lighter’ is lack of faith, and hence you are lower to the ground. ‘Heavy’ is heavy with faith and belief, which takes you higher. And considering that the only way out of Dema is up, you will need to have a heavy jumpsuit.

There is no clear indication as to who ‘Nico’ in this song is. The ‘Niners’ can be guessed in reference to the nine bishops mentioned in the story.

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Verse 2

Tyler goes into a rap in the second verse of “Nico And The Niners.”

In these lyrics, he talks about Clancy’s escape through the Trench, and about razor blades. Razor blades are commonly associated with depression, as these are used to inflict self-harm. Clancy also realizes that it is impossible to escape Dema without being noticed. So, they use numbers to their advantage. They create a diversion so that Clancy can escape. But the song also says that not everyone can or does escape.

Fighting depression may need a diversion of attention from what causes depression. You might be able to fight it off using this diversion. However, not everybody is fortunate enough to do so. The participants of the mob will surely be caught by the nine bishops.

“Nico And The Niners” has a whole different spin from the music Twenty One Pilots have been producing so far. This is advanced and helpful. We are absolutely in love with the tune, lyrics, meaning and the music video for this track.

Let us know what you think about the new single and video “Nico And The Niners” by Twenty One Pilots. Do you have a different opinion than us? Leave a comment below.

Make sure to share this article with your friends as well.

Full Lyrics to “Nico And The Niners”


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