Panic! At The Disco, I.E, one third of the 'emo trinity' as dubbed by the internet. Originally formed in 2004, Panic! At The Disco has taken the world by storm. They've faced a lot of different lineup changes over the last twelve years, but are still doing great things today!
The band was formed by childhood friends, Ryan Ross, Spencer Smith, Brent Wilson and Brendon Urie. As it stands right now, Brendon Urie is the only official member, but touring members have included Dallon Weeks on bass, Kenneth Harris on lead guitar, and Dan Pawlovich on drums.
What's rather impressive is that Brendon Urie is currently the lead vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist, bassist, and drummer for the band! He also completely wrote and recorded everything for the band's newest album, Death of A Bachelor! But, we're getting ahead of ourselves. We have a lot of ground to cover before we get there.
Over the years, they have released five studio albums and one EP since 2005, and have been much loved for so long. All but their recent album have been released through Decaydance Records, and now they're with Fueled By Ramen.
When they formed, they began posting demos online and somehow caught the attention of Pete Wenst of Fall Out Boy. He signed them to Decaydance, and Panic! At The Disco had never performed a live show. At the time, the band were all still teenagers, and supposedly they started as a Blink 182 cover band. I had never heard this until doing research to write this biography, so can someone let me know how true that is? All I think of when I hear Blink-182 cover band was All Time Low back in the day, so I'm now curious about that.
The band has many different influences, ranging from bands like The Beatles, the Beach Boys, The Zombies , and more. These influences, along with their own personal twists set them up with a style that can only really be described as one of a kind. If you had to pick a vague genre for Panic! At The Disco, you could call them pop rock, or even alternative on some tracks, but they're not easily labeled in the slightest. Not that that matters -labels are for soup cans anyway.
Their first album came out on September 27, 2005 and is easily one of their most iconic albums. A Fever You Can't Sweat Out has gone double platinum here in the US, and has platinum certifications in the UK and Australia! It managed to break into the top twenty in several charts around the world, including the US, UK, Australia, and the top ten in New Zealand! Not bad for a debut album, huh?
The album features some of the most iconic songs Panic! At The Disco has ever released, such as "Lying is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off" and the classic, "I Write Sins Not Tragedies." The album is split into two, sound wise. The first half is electronic dance punk, and the other is more melodic with strings, piano and an accordion. Sales started off slow, and then sky rocked! By the end of March 2006, so only six months later, the album had surpassed the 500,000 sale mark and the band had announced their first headlining tour. On top of that, the music video for "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" won the Video of The Year at the 2006 MTV Video Awards.
In regards to the new found fame, Ryan Ross, was once quoted saying, "Some aspects of the fame are annoying, but at the end of the day it's something we're most grateful for. It's certainly opened the door to a whole new batch of opportunities."
Opportunities did continue to rise, as they soon went on to support The Academy Is... on a world wide tour, and performed at the 2006 Reading Festival. They also announced there second ever headlining tour which was called the "Nothing Rhymes with Circus Tour." That's an amusing name, and is thought to be the debut of the theatrical and notable live performance Panic! At The Disco is quite known for. They were reviewed by the New York Times, and welcomed with open arms for their circus like show that included dance numbers, skits and tricks. "There’s something charming about watching a band trying to navigate sudden success, aided by a contortionist, a ribbon dancer and all the rest of it."
As far as I am aware, Panic! At The Disco's live performances today are much different than they used to be. Though still wonderful as far as I hear, they're less theatrical and more classy. Maybe one day I will see for myself!
After a crazy year, and brainstorming ideas, it came time for the band to write their second studio album. Pretty Odd was written in the mountains of Mount Charleston, Nevada, and after they recorded some new songs, and performed them live over the summer, they went back to Las Vegas. Supposedly, they then grew bored of the work they had already written, and scrapped the entire thing which was apparently most of the way done. They ended up writing the album done in the most raw form they could -with an acoustic guitar and someone singing, and ended up very happy with their work!
And here is where the first real drama I remember that surrounded Panic! At The Disco. Does anyone remember when they dropped the exclamation point and how much of a fuss the internet had over it? Man, people sure do like their punctuation. In January 2008, the band decided to redesign their band logo, and drop the exclamation point from their name. So instead of emphasizing "Panic" it was simply, Panic At The Disco.
To this day, I'm not sure why fans made such a big deal out of that, and apparently the band didn't even use it themselves back in the day. They wrote it that way once and somehow it stuck, and it wasn't a big deal to them at all. (Very obvious spoiler alert, it came back just a year later actually.)
Anyhow, enough about the exclamation point! At the same time this was announced, another very notable Panic At The Disco song was released as a single for the album. "Nine In The Afternoon" was released on January 29, 2008, and was the first song written after the band scrapped the entire album the first time. The song itself grew so popular that it on its own has a Gold certification.
The album finally came out on March 25, 2008 and it spent eighteen weeks in the Billboard 200. The album has never done as well as the debut album, but instead has a cult following and has sold 422,000 copies. It did however do fairly well on charts world wide, hitting as high as number one in Australia. The sound has been described as "more organic and mellower" than their previous album, and was compared to music the Beatles released. It was said to be an accident, but of course that's quite the compliment.
In support for this album, they went on the 2008 Honda Civic tour as the headliner, with support from Motion City Soundtrack, The Hush Sound and Phantom Planet. Then later in the year, they went our with Dashboard Confessional and The Cab in promo for not only their album but Rock Band 2. Their stage presence changed very drastically, to match their sound change. Instead of the circus vibes, they now covered their stage with lights and flowers, and each member of the band wore vests to dress up nicely. When asked about the switch from the circus theme, Brendon once said, ""We did it and it was a lot of fun when we did it, but this time around I think we wanted to get back to a more intimate, personal setting, and scale it down a little bit." Due to the floral aspects, it was defined as an effort to remain environmentally conscious event. During the tour, they also worked with Reverb and Global Inheritance, which promote environmentally friendly touring and inspire eco-activism.
They also released a live DVD in early December of the same year, which obviously featured this new performance style. It also features all of the music videos from the album, behind the scenes footage of the videos, and tour. It also featured a short film about the band, along with a documentary.
Around Spring of 2009, the band began working on their third studio album, which ended up becoming Vices & Virtues. However, some things were postponed, because Ryan Ross and Jon Walker announced that they both were going to be leaving the band that summer. Everything was fine, they just had some creative differences and chose to go their own ways. It took them quite so,e time to get back to recording after that, though they did release one song that was recorded without Ryan or Jon. "New Perspective" was released on the soundtrack for Jennifer's Body. "New Perspective" was released on July 28, 2009, and was shortly followed up by a tour in August with Blink-182. They had Dallon Weekes and Ian Crawford from The Cab and The Brobecks to fill in for the lost members on the tour.
They finally went back to the studio in early 2010, and then proceeded to spend most of the year recording. They also in this time announced that Dallon would be officially joining the band, making them a three piece for the time being. However, he was not featured on the upcoming album, he did help come up with the concept for the album, and is on the album cover in a mask.
The album was finally announced on January 18, 2011, and would be released on March 22, 2011. The first single, "The Ballad Of Mona Lisa" was released digitally on February 1, and was followed by the music video one week later. I remember when this one came out, because it caused quite a stir. Most people loved it, but it was vastly different, which made some people to become displeased. Which is funny really, because Panic! At The Disco has always been a very diverse band, and no two albums from them are even remotely similar.
A lot of people weren't impressed with the lyrics, for some reason, and thought of it as a generic sort of album. But on the flip side of that, many people did like it, and called it "Emo retro pop." That sounds a bit odd, but quotes have floated around the internet proving that the critics meant that in the best way possible.
The album debuted at number 7 on the Billboard 200, and sold 56,000 copies in its first week alone. It made it all the way to number 2 on two different US charts, and one in the UK. It also broke the top 100 in Sweden, Scotland, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Canada, Belgium, Austria and Australia.
In support for the album, they announced many tours, one of which was "An Intimate Evening With Panic! At The Disco." It was a North American tour that went from late January 2011, through April 4, so the album was released in the middle of that tour. After that, they also went over to Europe, and returned to the US for a summer tour. They decided to go back to their roots for this one, and performed at smaller venues that they plated at while promoting the first album. During this tour, they were joined by their label mates, Foxy Shazam, and Funeral Party.
This tour was apparently over the top theatrical, and apparently happened because Brendon just missed the costumes and makeup, and had been doing a lot of reading about Tesla coils and wanted to figure out how to get one to sit on the stage and spray sparks out without hurting anyone.
This is the only album from Panic! At The Disco to not receive any sort of certification thus far. Even Pretty Odd has gone gold, thanks to its cult following.
While touring, they announced that they were writing their fourth album, which would become Too Weird To Live, Too Rare to Die. The album was announced on July 15, 2013, and then came out on October 8 of the same year. They announced the album with the first single and its music video, "Miss Jackson."
Then they went on tour with Fall Out Boy on their Save Rock And Roll Arena tour. Right around this time, due to a prescription medication and alcohol addiction, departed from the band, and they welcomed Dan Pawlovich as support on the tour.
They finally released Too Weird To Live, To Rare To Die on October 8, 2013 and it featured another new sound. This one was dance music, electronica with a hint of hip hop. The album debuted at number 2 here in the US on the Billboard 200. It also hit number one on the Top Alternative and Rock charts here in the US, and broke the top fifty in the UK, Scotland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Finland.
The album also sold over 84,000 copes in the first week alone and as of January of this year, it had sold over 407k copies. It has also received a silver certification in the UK only, thus far.
So the album did fairly well, and introduced the world to some more massive hit songs from Panic! At The Disco. Those songs came in the form of singles, and included, "Miss Jackson", "This Is Gospel" and "Girls/ Girls/ Boys."
"Girls/ Girls/ Boys" caused quite the uproar, mostly of excitement because it was very clearly regarding the bisexual community. Whether or not Brendon Urie is bi, I have never heard, but either way, everyone appreciated that he approached subject.
The video for "This is Gospel" also drew a lot of attention, because we see Brendon dying in the video, and it later connects to another music video, which was released in promotion for their current album.
We are now up to the band's most popular album to date, and their newest release. This album is Death Of A Bachelor, and was written and recorded entirely by Brendon Urie. He is now a solo artist, aside from some touring members, and according to charts is doing rather successful.
Death of A Bachelor has been said to be inspired by the time alone Brendon spent alone as a child, creating music. When asked about it, Brendon said all of the following. "When I was a little kid and I heard a song I liked on TV, I would jump up and run to the piano to try and figure it out by ear. When I was 10 or 11, I built myself a drum kit in the garage made out of empty laundry detergent buckets, old lawn chairs, paint cans, and old trash cans. Around that time, my parents got me my first guitar. A baby acoustic. I jumped between all of these instruments constantly to satisfy the ideas I heard in my head. At this young age, I realized that music would play a huge part in my life. I had no idea. 'Death of a Bachelor' is in honor of those times I spent alone as a kid. Allowing music to consume me. Playing everything myself just to get the idea right and out of my head. It's a beginning to a new era. And an homage to how it all began.
This album is me. Running to the piano. Building a drum kit. Strumming a guitar. Some things never change."
So just knowing that alone, you expect something interesting, and due to the fact that we did a review and went in depth about the album's content there, we're not going to do too much of it here. Please go check out the review by clicking here, and get excited because other reviews for Panic! At The Disco and more are coming very soon.
The first single for the album, "Hallelujah" was released on April 20, 2015, with a lyric video. The official video didn't come until July 7 of the same year.
They actually released about half of the album before the release of the album, which wasn't until January 15, 2016. The singles though were "Hallelujah", "Victorious" and "Emperor's New Clothes."
Remember "This Is Gospel" and how its video connected to another that came out later? That video is "Emperor's New Clothes" and is easily one of the coolest music videos I've ever seen.
We see the death of Brendon Urie, and then see him turn into what one can assume is Satan. Just seeing that video alone is what caught my, and surely many others attention. The song is vastly different than any other track on the album, and the video picks up right where "This Is Gospel" left off.
Speaking of things being vastly different, this album follows suit with previous Panic! At The Disco by being completely different than all the rest. It heavily features influences from the late Frank Sinatra, and while his blues-y sound doesn't sound like it would go with pop punk at all -it somehow works very well.
The album is the band's most popular album to date, and debuted at number one on three different US charts. It also broke the top ten in Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, UK, and Australia. I can completely see why, because its something completely different than anything I've ever heard before. As I said, I did a review of it, so I don't wish to talk about it too much here, but I highly recommend you check it out.
Panic! At The Disco is up to some great things right now and the fun is only beginning. They've come a long way, and have a ton of history, as you can clearly see. Their legacy continues on, and you can catch them on tour this summer with Weezer, Andrew McMahon and The Wilderness. The tour starts in Texas on the 10th of this month and will end on August 6 in Irvine CA. They then get a short break before heading over to Asia to perform at festivals in South Korea, Singapore, the Philippines and Japan!
For further information, please check out Panic! At The Disco's official website! And stay tuned for many more biographies just like this for other bands, along with reviews from Panic! At The Disco and more.
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