Brendon Urie on Ten Years of Panic! at the Disco: "Nothing Makes Me Want to Stop"
Photo by Alex R. Kirzhner
For a generation of listeners who grew up with the sounds of the American rock scene in the 2000s, the name Panic! at the Disco is all too familiar.
Forming in 2004, this Las Vegas band released its debut album, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, just a year later. And within another year's time, the group's popularity among teens had rocketed its record to platinum status as its burlesque-themed music videos continued to color the charts on MTV's Total Request Live.
Nearly a decade later and Panic! at the Disco is still going strong, following the success of a fourth studio album, 2013's Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! On its current tour, which kicked off in Seattle earlier this year, the band has sold out bigger venues than ever before, including the Fillmore Miami Beach.
"We've seen familiar faces that have been there since the beginning, newer fans and some older fans as well," notes lead vocalist Brendon Urie.
"What's kind of strange is that we've gotten a lot of younger fans, which is always nice. It's an exciting age to be getting into music and to have that passion, because nothing has really jaded you yet, nobody has really changed your mind about how you feel about music. There's something pure about it."
However, as the group approaches its tenth anniversary, the moment remains bittersweet, even amid the joys of a hit record and fresh, young followers. After all, Panic! at the Disco has spent the last decade dealing with its fair share of drama. And now, with two of its original founding members gone and one currently taking time off, it's difficult to predict what exactly awaits this outfit.
But Urie isn't ambivalent in the least about Panic! at the Disco's future. While lineup changes and variations in style are not always the healthiest variables for a band, the frontman insists that complications have only contributed to the group's continued growth.
At the present moment, the lineup consists of Urie, Dallon Weekes on bass, touring guitarist Kenneth Harris, and drummer Dan Pawlovich, who is temporarily filling in for Spencer Smith. "The dynamic is always going to be different anytime you play with someone else," Urie admits. "But I enjoy it.
"I love this band so much. I love what I do and it feels so natural," he says, reflecting on being the only original band member on the current tour. "There's nothing about what's happened in the past that makes me want to stop doing what I do."