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Guns for Hands

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Guns for Hands is the tenth song on the album Vessel. It was recorded in Los Angeles and is produced by Greg Wells. It served as the second single from the album and was released on December 26, 2012. The video was released on January 7, 2013 on Fueled by Ramen's YouTube Channel. The song was originally recorded for Regional at Best, and was released in 2011, before the album was discontinued following the band's first major label signing. Guns for Hands also appears on the Migraine (EP) as the fourth track. It also served as a bonus track 15 on the Japan/Korea release of Blurryface.

Official Video

Versions

Originally recorded for the discontinued album, Regional at Best, the band performed it at their CD release show in New Albany, OH. This was filmed as part of the Regional at Best web series, and served as episode 5, uploaded to twenty one pilots' YouTube channel on August 5, 2011.

Twenty one pilots- Guns for Hands (Episode 05 - Regional at Best- The Web Series)06:06

Twenty one pilots- Guns for Hands (Episode 05 - Regional at Best- The Web Series)

A live version of Guns for Hands was performed at SXSW in 2014 and released on the Australia exclusive EP, Quiet is Violent

Commentary

Following the release of Vessel, Spotify shared an exclusive commentary by Tyler Joseph for each track on the standard edition.

This next song, Guns For Hands…I don’t dive too specifically into the lyrical content just because, one, I obviously want it to be something to someone and wouldn’t want to ruin my definition of it, but also, you know, it’s very close to me, you know, sometimes it’s hard to talk exactly about what it is I was going through in that moment and try to explain the song’s lyrics, I just want to listen to the song. I mean, I’m saying exactly what I’m trying to say in the song, for me to explain what I’m trying to say in a different setting is kind of weird for me. But, Guns For Hands specifically, I like to talk about what that song’s trying to say. There was one show in particular that this song was inspired by. I was playing a show in Cincinnati, Ohio, and it’s just this kind of a barn full of kids, and after this show, more than usual, there was kind of an unusual number of kids came up to me and felt inclined to share with me what it is they were going through. You know, a lot of their struggles, a lot of their, you know, whether that be depression or suicidal thoughts, a lot of stuff along that vein. And I just thought, I was like wow, I mean I’m—am I just in a hotbed of kids going through stuff, I mean is this just kind of like a crazy ratio of everyone struggling with this thing? And then I remember not too long after that, I was in New York, and I was—I think I saw like a pizza shop or something and I saw a magazine that was you know at the entrance of the pizza shop, this big article about this specific town in New York that has a lot of kids, you know, high school age, going through a lot of the same stuff. And I realised you know, this isn’t just a—it’s not just an isolated event, it’s something that there’s a lot of kids throughout the entire country—even the world—that are struggling with the questions that they have, you know, ‘what’s the point?’, ‘what’s my purpose?’, ‘why am I here?’ and when you don’t have the answers to those questions, sometimes it can lead you to do something that you ultimately shouldn’t do.
So, Guns For Hands is talking about I wanna tell you that I know you have the ability to hurt yourself. You do. You have that ability. I feel like a lot of the older generation when they hear about someone struggling with it, their first reaction is like, “No, you’re not, you’re not struggling with that. Don’t think about that, you know, think about something else, you know, you’re just trying to get attention.” But this song was really trying to say like; “Listen, I know you have the ability to hurt yourself. I recognize that, but let’s take that energy and let’s point it at something else, let’s divert that, let’s kind of shift that momentum and look at something like art, or something like this music specifically, or even point it at me, you know, just point it anywhere, but don’t point it at yourself.” And so that’s what that song’s saying and that song will always be important to me. And I’m not a professional when it comes to this topic, but I write songs, and I feel like someone should say something about it.

Track listing

No. Track Writers Length
1. Guns for Hands Tyler Joseph 4:33
2. Forest Joseph 4:26

Lyrics

I know what you think in the morning
When the sun shines on the ground
And shows what you have done
It shows where your mind has gone
And you swearing to your parents
That it will never happen again
I know, I know oh ow, what that means, I know oh oh oh ow

That you all have guns
And you never put the safety on
And you all have plans,
To take it, to take it, don't take it, take it, take it1

I'm trying, I'm trying to sleep
I'm trying, I'm trying to sleep
But I can't, but I can't when you all have
Guns for hands yeah

I'm trying, I'm trying to sleep
I'm trying, I'm trying to sleep
But I can't, but I can't when you all have
Guns for hands yeah

Let's take this a second at a time
Let's take this one song, this one rhyme
Together, let's breathe
Together, to the beat
But there's hope out the window
So that's where we'll go
Let's go outside and all join hands
But until then you'll never understand

That you all have guns
And you never put the safety on
And you all have plans
To take it, to take it, don't take it, take it, take it

I'm trying, I'm trying to sleep
I'm trying, I'm trying to sleep
But I can't, but I can't when you all have
Guns for hands yeah

We've turned our hands to guns, trade in our thumbs for ammunition
I must forewarn you, of my disorder, or my condition
'Cause when the sun sets, it upsets what's left of my invested interest
Interested in putting my fingers to my head
The solution is, I see a whole room of these mutant kids
Fused at the wrist, I simply tell them they should shoot at this
Simply suggest my chest and this confused music, it's
Obviously best for them to turn their guns to a fist

I'm trying, I'm trying to sleep
I'm trying, I'm trying to sleep
But I can't, but I can't when you all have
Guns for hands

I'm trying, I'm trying to sleep
I'm trying, I'm trying to sleep
But I can't, but I can't when you all have
Guns for hands

Credits

Writers and producers Tyler Joseph and Greg Wells
Recorded by Ian MacGregor at Rocket Carousel Studio Los Angeles, CA Us
Programming Tyler Joseph and Greg Wells
Piano, keys and ukulele Tyler Joseph
Drums and auxiliary percussion Josh Dun
Vocals Tyler Joseph
Additional synths and keyboards Greg Wells
Mixed by Greg Wells at Rocket Carousel Studio Los Angeles, CA Us
Mastered by Howie Weinberg & Dan Gerbarg at Howie Weinberg Mastering, Los Angeles, CAUs
Published by
  • Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp (BMI) / Fueled By Music (BMI) / Stryker Joseph Music (BMI)
  • All rights on behalf of itself and Stryker Joseph Music
  • Administered by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp
Twenty One Pilots
About Twenty One PilotsTyler JosephJosh Dun
Albums Twenty One Pilots (album)Regional at BestVesselBlurryface
EPs Three Songs (EP)Migraine (EP)Holding On To You (EP)Quiet Is Violent (EP)The LC LPDouble Sided
Singles Holding On To YouGuns for HandsHouse of GoldCar RadioFairly LocalTear In My HeartStressed OutLane BoyRideHeathensHeavydirtysoul
Tours Mostly November TourBlurryface World TourEmotional Roadshow World Tour

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