We Interviewed the Guy Behind @dril, the Undisputed King of Twitter
He says his second book "will make the first book look like sesame street and barney."
Drawing courtesy of Dril.
Dril, the inscrutable hermit king of Weird Twitter, makes posts that are like jazz—if you have to ask what they mean, you'll never know. In the course of his ten-year (and counting) reign online, he's coined the term “corncobbed” and opened up a much needed dialogue on economics, in the process amassing over a million followers and getting dubbed “the most iconic Twitter account in the history of social media” by the AV Club.
And now, the person behind the grainy Jack Nicholson avi has deigned to bless the world with a book. The 420-page (heh) tome, titled Dril Official Mr. Ten Years Anniversary Collection, is a compendium of top-shelf tweets and original sketches curated and drawn by the maestro himself.
Dril, also known as Wint, has long kept his true identity shrouded in mystery and his fans seem to prefer it that way. Last year, when a Reddit detective dug into Dril’s pre-Twitter history and unearthed his government name, both his fanbase and the media collectively chose to ignore the reveal and avoid proliferating the name so as to not spoil the last pure thing on the internet. Nonetheless, some ne’er-do-wells couldn’t resist the urge to take pot shots at a celebrity and, sadly, Dril was doxxed.
Despite these attacks on his anonymity, the man behind Dril has graciously agreed to be interviewed to promote his new book, an interview conducted entirely through Twitter DMs, of course. With one foot still firmly planted in character, Dril’s alter ego offered some relatively earnest answers about his creative aspirations, being publicly outed, and further insights into the character that has consumed his life.
This interview has not been edited at all. Everything is very much [sic].
VICE: Many people regard you as the funniest person on the planet. Has the weight and pressure of learning about that designation had any effect on the way you create your art?
Dril: Well, many people are sick in the head, if they think that. They're dirt to me. My mission is to create informative, compelling content that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the greats, like Andy Rooney, and Dick Clark. If you come online just to laugh at things I dont know what to tell you. You might as well just be cranking your pud .
Is being Dril your full-time job? Are you working towards making it that? What else do you do for work?
it is absolutely a full time job, dealing with this Shit. i'm talking True full time, 24 hours. Listening to the perverts scream at me in the instant dm box while I'm trying to cobble together a coherent post. Standing on thje median strip at a busy intersection, next to the guy with a 20% off mattress sign, failing to shill copies of my Horrible book. Waking up screaming from Night terrors involving complete strangers accusing me of "Selling OUt." There is no clocking out. The clock is a part of me, it's always inside of me, and I'm fucked.
What will be in the second book that you foreshadowed at the end of this one?
well, where the first book is just a Lousy collection of posts, the second book is a "Deep Dive" into many of the concepts that these posts have introduced, whether it's through long form writing, or elaborate illustrations. It will go places my followers have never asked me to go, or wanted me to go to. It will make the first book look like sesame street and barney. Now, I don't know if youre a fan of those, but they are generally regarded as childrens' shows, so what I'm saying here is that the 2nd book will be absolutely intense.
So, it seems like you have other creative outlets and aspirations beyond Dril?
I certainly do. Seeing people enjoy the fruits of my labor brings a smile to my face. I'd love to be able to branch out and explore different forms of media, after my books are summarily consumed and rejected by the public sphere. Other than that, I'm looking into becoming a Private Defense Contractor in Iraq.
Was there a particular moment where it first dawned on you that Dril was a big deal?
I would have to say that when "Dog the Bounty Hunter" took the time out of his schedule to personally block my account, time he could have spent yelling at his son or whatever, is when I knew the shit had become serious
How long does it take to compose the average tweet? What’s your process?
I am not at liberty to discuss "The process" . As for the amount of time, tweets can take anywhere from 1 second to 10 years to create, depending on how good they are. One can only imagine that there exist certain tweets that people have been preparing since the platform was born, some 12 odd years ago. When they drop those bad boys, look out.
Is there any sort of bible for Dril’s personality traits and backstory or is it all fairly loose and off the cuff?
My posts are the bible. My brain is the bible. The books I'm releasing are bibles. It's all bible, baby
What made you choose that particular Jack Nicholson photo for your avi? Were there other contenders?
I couuld not even begin to imagine what the young man from Peru who previously owned "@Dril" was thinking when he chose this avatar, before my Social Media Management Firm seized his account and bulldozed his home. All I know is that this avatar is irrevocably attached to my brand and my life at this point, and I must now undergo many extensive surgeries to make my real face look exactly like it, or people online will accuse me of being a coward.
How much of the real you is in the character and where do your personalities overlap?
Well its simple really. You may have heard of a character from the batman movies, called the Joker. The joker just lives a normal life like you or me, going to the grocery store, and the office or what have you. But WHen the joker puts his mask on, he becomes the joker, and he mercilessly goes out there and gets Paid. Thats what I try to do in my life and the way I live life, and I do do it every day, and it is the essence of understanding my pain.
Speaking of pain, a big part of the dril character is his perpetually failing health. Is there any truth behind that? Do you have medical bills?
Dont worry. Im healthy as an ox. Most of my medical bills involve parts of my body getting trapped in things, or poison. So my health is normal.
Who in your real life knows that you play this character online? What do they think about your internet fame?
Most people I know are aware of the ways I debase myself online. It feels normal not to talk about it so we don't talk about it much.
Your real name was discovered last year and you were subsequently doxxed. What sort of fallout happened from that and how did the experience change the way you interact with fans?
First off, I don';t listen to the trolls who are out there, claiming I'm named this or that. Nobody seems to give a shit any how. They plug my name into the sex offender registry to try to look up some mugshots and get bored when they don't find anything. It turns out there's like a billion other people who use their real name online that they can go bother, many who categorically deserve it more than I do, so it's fine, probably.
What do you do to unwind after a long day?
i will never un wind
Do you have a personal favorite dril tweet?
Absolutely I do not have a personal favorite of my own tweets. "Faving" your own tweets is a vile act, an event I liken to a mother rat eating her young, the unholy marriage of cannibalism and incest. My "Favs" are a carefully curated citadel of modern wit and wisdom, one I would never hope to violate through shameless self promotion. Also they call them "Likes" now for some reason.
Finally, as either yourself or dril, have you ever been owned?
Hmm,. let me check. Nope
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Follow Justin Caffier on Twitter.