#TBT Panic! at the Disco
If you were ~low key cool~ in middle school, your angsty iPod nano (that you stored in your monogrammed Jansport backpack) most definitely had some Panic! at the Disco to accompany your school bus ride home. You also wrote their meaningful lyrics on the souls of your Vans or as your AIM away message.... or maybe that was just me. Regardless, Panic! was the epitome of angst and 2007 bad-assery and it showed everyone that you knew cool music and had big dreams of going to Warped Tour.
The Very Beginning
It all started in the suburbs of Las Vegas by two childhood friends Ryan Ross (vocals and guitar) and Spencer Smith (drums). Deciding in 9th grade to officially start a band, the two invited Brent Wilson to play bass and Brendon Urie to play guitar. While Ross was originally the lead vocalist, the band decided to promote Urie to the frontman role after hearing him excel at backup vocals. And for an additional fun fact, the band originally started out as a Blink-182 cover band.
You Know You Have Talent When…
Panic! at the Disco managed to get signed without playing a single show. On a whim, the band sent a sample of 3 songs to Pete Wentz, bassist of Fall Out Boy who at that time were working on their major debut From Under the Cork Tree. Casually, Wentz drove out to Vegas to meet the young members of Panic! and after hearing them practice roughly 2 songs, signed them to his Fueled by Ramen imprint label, Decaydance Records, making them the first on the label.
The band added to their resume after a process of marathon writing, working 5 ½ weeks for 12-14 hours a day, all while living in a 1 bedroom apartment. But finally, they played their first live show in the summer of 2005 on the Nintendo Fusion Tour, aided along by their mentors, Fall Out Boy.
On September 27, 2005, their debut album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, was released and the scene was set with the release of the music video for “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”. Panic! began their theatrical, vaudeville performance method with the premiere of the circus-esque video, willing Video of the Year at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards.
After a series of tours and shows, the news dropped that Wilson had been kicked out of the band due to his “lack of responsibility” and musical differences.
In January of 2008 the greatest controversy of all occurred when the band revealed their new logo and dropped the exclamation point, causing nothing short of outrage in their fanbase. Their sophomore album Pretty. Odd. was released March of the same year, revealing a more mellow, organic side to their music than before.
After an equally as mellow tour, complete with floral projection and wood paneled equipment, Panic began working on their untitled third album. Yet in July of 2009 Ross and Walked announced that they would officially be leaving the band. In a following interview, Ross said the split was largely due to creative differences between him and Urie. Urie wanted the band to explore a more polished pop sound, while Ross – and, by extension, Walker – was interested in making retro-inspired rock
The return of !
July 10, 2009 was a sacred day for original fans everywhere with the return of the exclamation point. After releasing the first single with the new lineup “New Perspective” Panic! went on tour again with various guest musicians to fill in the newly created grap.
In early 2010 the band re entered the studio and emerged in February of the next year with the record’s first single “The Ballad of Mona Lisa” with the third studio album Vices & Virtues following soon after.
Nowadays, only Brendon Urie keeps the Panic alive, talking about the possibility of a fifth studio album, although he’s not sure whether or not it will be released as a solo project, since Smith officially left in 2015. But until its fate is decided, the band has been releasing a series of singles to keep us excited and on our toes.
Awkward middle school picture of me and Ryan Ross- it was a pretty big deal.
Image via: flippenmusic.com.