Thursday, November 3, 2011
Panic At The Disco
The band was formed in the suburban area of Summerlin, Las Vegas, by the two childhood friends Ryan Ross on the guitar and Spencer Smith on the drums. Since the age of thirteen, the two played Blink-182 covers in bands of different formations. Ross and Smith then created a band under the name of "Summer League", possibly a reference to the suburb in which they lived or possibly not, with childhood friends Brent Wilson, and Trevor who would later leave the band.
It was at Palo Verde High School where Wilson met Brendon Urie. Wilson had asked Urie to try out as guitarist for Panic at the disco, as they were looking for a replacement guitarist at the time. Originally, Urie was not the band's lead singer or their guitarist. Rather, the position belonged to current guitarist and lyricist Ross. However, when they heard him sing backup vocals during a rehearsal, they were impressed with his backup vocal abilities and unanimously decided to make him the
singer. The band then settled on the name 'Panic! at the Disco.' They lifted the name from the lyrics of a song called "Panic," by Name Taken: Panic at the disco / Sat back and took it so slow / Are you nervous? Are you shaking? / Save compliments to praise compilation / We don't have to feel we fit in / We can move back / We can leave them.Although the band often says that the name comes from the song Panic by The Smiths, it was revealed by them that the Name Taken song did also lend inspiration to the band, but that the song by The Smiths is sometimes easier to explain to the ones who are unaware of Name Taken.
In order to promote music, the band contacted Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz through LiveJournal, and sent him an internet link to their PureVolume site. Wentz took a trip to Las Vegas to meet the band. After seeing them practice, he asked if they would sign with his Fueled by Ramen imprint label Decaydance.
Panic at the Disco released their debut album A Fever You Can't Sweat Out on September 27, 2005, making a fan base through PureVolume and MySpace, though achieving little commercial recognition. After a consistent presence in PureVolume's top 10 signed artists, and reaching number one in MySpace's indie charts, Panic at the Disco were featured on MTV's Total Request Live on January 17, 2006, where they premiered their music video for "I Write Sins Not Tragedies." Featuring Lucent Dossier Vaudeville Cirque and a circus wedding theme, the video débuted at #10 on the TRL countdown, later winning the Video of the Year award at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards. The single itself, released April 27, 2006 got to #7 in the US charts.
The band was originally third-billed for the Truckstops & Statelines Winter Tour in early 2006, which was headlined by The Academy Is... and included Acceptance as direct support and Hellogoodbye on the line-up. Due to their increase in popularity before and during the tour, the band ended up getting pushed above Acceptance to second-billed every night playing right before the headliner and "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out" outsold The Academy Is...'s debut album, "Almost Here" during the tour.
Their second single, "But It's Better If You Do", was released in the UK on May 1st, 2006 where it debuted, and peaked, at #23. The accompanying music video, released the previous month, portrays the band playing in a speakeasy in 1930's America, which, according to Urie, shows "the dark and secluded style of Panic."[
The band officially announced the departure of their bassist, Brent Wilson, with a message on the band's website on May 17, 2006. Wilson has since claimed that the decision to leave was not his, and that he was fired without warning for monetary reasons, though the rest of the band deny this. Wilson is now demanding a cut in royalties, and has threatened he will take his former band to court if need be.
Just days after Wilson's departure, the band embarked on their first headlining tour through Europe, with long-time friend, Jon Walker, formerly of 5o4plan, filling in for the summer tour as a temporary bassist while a permanent replacement was sought. All of the dates were sold out, with some, notably Manchester, selling out in a matter of hours. Upon their return, the band embarked on a two-month North American headlining tour with supporting acts The Hush Sound, OK Go, The Dresden Dolls, and Lucent Dossier Vaudeville Cirque, still retaining Jon Walker as a temporary bassist. On July 3 of that year, the band's MySpace profile was edited to list Walker as bassist/vocals, and he became a permanent member of Panic at the Disco.
The success of their first two singles helped catapult their debut album to the top of the Billboard Independent chart and to #13 on the Billboard 200 in July 2006. The video for "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" has been streamed from YouTube almost 9 million times.
Towards the end of July 2006 Panic at the Disco released their third music video, "Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off." The video features people with fish tank helmets walking the streets of what appears to be a studio back lot. The video only shows the band in one shot, reportedly because they felt that their looks were distracting from their music.
In early August 2006, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out went Platinum, having sold over one million albums.
During Panic's opening song on August 25, 2006 at the Carling Weekend: Reading Festival, an unknown audience member threw a bottle at the stage, which struck and temporarily knocked out Brendon Urie, forcing the band to stop playing. After some minutes, he got back up and shouted to the crowd, "You can't take me out! Let's see how well you guys do with my left side", and continued with the same song. In a phone interview Ryan Ross stated that "We [Panic!] were kinda expecting that [The bottling] going into the Reading, because we heard that that's kinda a tradition they have over there" and then continued by saying that "We walked on and we were kinda expecting that to keep our heads up the whole time, and unfortunately Brendon, he was catching bottles coming towards me and Jon and then he was dodging them himself, and kinda just didn't see one coming that I saw and it got him pretty good, and I dunno that's the only time anything like that's ever happened so hopefully we won't have to worry about anything like that too much."
The band embarked on a world tour in the later part of 2006. It included dates in Australia, New Zealand, and continental Europe. On November 7, 2006, they kicked off their first-ever arena tour with Bloc Party (who shortly dropped out because of drummer Matt Tong suffering a collapsed lung) and Jack's Mannequin. The Plain White T's were added to the next few weeks of The Nothing Rhymes With Circus Tour. They opened up the shows beginning in New York through November 26 in Iowa. After that, Cobra Starship were on the tour through December 9 in San Diego. The band appeared along with Fall Out Boy, Marilyn Manson, and other bands on the special edition soundtrack of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas covering "This Is Halloween", which was re-released in 3D on October 20.
Their final single from A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, "Build God, Then We'll Talk", was released on March 5, 2007. The accompanying music video portrays the fallacy of relationships.
In May 2007 it was announced that a Smashing Pumpkins Tribute LP would be released, compiled by MySpace and Spin. The LP features Panic's cover of "Tonight, Tonight" and was included free in the June 26, 2007 issue of Spin.
In early 2007, Panic at the Disco began writing their follow up album but decided to rewrite the entire album from scratch in July 2007. While speaking to MTV, Ryan Ross explained that the album lacked a band set up "sounded like a film score." He also explained that the new songs have "a more positive outlook to them." The band also began performing new songs during various festivals and gigs - two of these songs: "Nine in the Afternoon" and "When the Day Met the Night".
Rob Mathes, who produced the record, described the album as “the most significant music project I have done in a while in that it is young and intense, adventurous and endlessly creative. Working with these young kids has made me look at music the way I did when I discovered early records by The Who and Brian Eno-period David Bowie when I was 16. For this project I am also filled with “gratitude”. The band previously planned to have Danny Elfman, who worked on the original Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack, produce the album.
On November 19 on the NBC drama Heroes a recorded portion of Panic's song "Nine in the Afternoon" was played during a scene where Claire Bennet is practicing for a pep rally.
On December 11, it was announced on Billboard.com that Panic's second album was set to be released on March 25, 2008. Later that day, a series of puzzles began to appear on the Panic at the Disco website. The first puzzle led to the answer of "You Don't Have to Worry" - Drummer Spencer Smith explained that it was a lyric from a song named "We're So Starving".
The video for "Nine in the Afternoon" was shot on the December 21 and 22, ahead of the release as a single in January 2008.
A second puzzle revealed samples from a song on the upcoming album with the third piece of the puzzle leading to a blog entry on MySpace which updated the progress of the album while releasing a rough version of the song "We're So Starving". The band also announced that they would be recording the strings and mixing the album at Abbey Road Studios.
On January 9, the exclamation point in the band's name was dropped, a day later the band's homepage was changed to the logo for the Honda Civic Tour, which the band is headlining this year. They confirmed that the second album was titled Pretty. Odd. with a release date of March 25, 2008. They defended the decision to drop the exclamation point during an interview with MTV : "It was never part of the name to us. (...) When we started doing new promo stuff for this album, we just told everyone not to use it anymore."
A fresh puzzle appeared on the band's website on the January 16, various parts of the puzzle were released on to different websites. A week later, the completed puzzle appeared on the website revealing the album cover of Pretty. Odd.
On January 26, a new puzzle was added to the site, this led to the back cover of the album being revealed.
The single for "Nine in the Afternoon" was added to Amazon.com's digital music catalogue. Although the song will only be available for purchase on January 29, a 30 second preview of the final version was uploaded and later removed.
On January 28, "Nine in the Afternoon" was made available (in full) on the band's official MySpace page. iTunes made the Deluxe Edition and Standard Edition of the album available for pre-order on January 29, 2008.
The day after the video for the first single "Nine in the Afternoon" aired, the band shot a whole new video for the next single, entitled "That Green Gentlemen (Things Have Changed)".
On February 23, Panic at the Disco hosted a private event with fan club members at The Fillmore at Irving Plaza in New York City. The band held a Q&A session with the fans and those in attendance got to hear for the first time three new songs. The setlist included: "We're So Starving," "Nine in the Afternoon", "But It's Better If You Do", "She's a Handsome Woman", "That Green Gentlemen (Things Have Changed)", "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" and "Mad as Rabbits".
A poster for the event featured a Wal-Mart Soundcheck logo, which leads some people to believe the band will soon have a performance up on their website and possibly have Pretty. Odd. released in a Walmart packaging that comes with an exclusive DVD.
During their recent 2008 European Tour, Panic at the Disco performed songs from their new album, Pretty. Odd., including: "That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)", "Nine in the Afternoon", "She's a Handsome Woman", "Mad as Rabbits", and "We're So Starving".
In June, Panic at the Disco embarked on a world tour, with dates in Australia and Japan already announced.
On March 30, the album hit #2 in the UK Albums Chart. The album also debuted at #2 in the U.S., selling 139,000 copies in its first week On April 8, the album debuted at #1 in Australia.
For the week of April 7 to April 12, 2008, Panic was the MTV Artist of the Week. They began the Honda Civic Tour April 10th of the same week at The Warfield in San Francisco, California.
Panic at the Disco is known for its mock Victorian circus shows, where it brings an entourage of contortionists and dancers on stage with it as it performs.
They also had a performance in Times Square during the New Year's Eve events in December 2006/January 2007 with Carson Daly. They performed two songs, "Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off" (Last performance in 2006) and "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" (First performance in 2007). Although both songs have swear words Panic at the Disco sang censored versions of the songs.
Live, they have also performed cover versions of Third Eye Blind's "Slow Motion", Radiohead's "Karma Police", Smashing Pumpkins` "Tonight, Tonight", two versions of Counting Crows' "Round Here", K-Ci and Jojo`s "All My Life", Britney Spears' "Baby One More Time", Nelly Furtado's "Maneater", Queen's "Killer Queen", The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby", Blink-182's "What's My Age Again?", and The Band's "The Weight".
The band also stated that they would stop doing their circus-themed shows, and plans to perform their shows on a new variety of themes.
While Panic has been called an emo band, they themselves do not consider their music emo as stated in an interview with NME, "Emo is bullshit. We want to be the new Radiohead."
However, Panic has gone on record many times saying that their second album would be completely different from A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, as Rolling Stone wrote in an article: "The group cemented its current direction with their first single, called "Nine in the Afternoon". "It’s influenced by the music our parents listened to: the Beach Boys, the Kinks, the Beatles", says Ross. "Our new songs are more like classic rock than modern rock. We got older and started listening to different music – and this seems like the natural thing to do right now." The Vanderbilt University online student community, insidevandy.com, reported on the album style in a blog. "Band members have referenced more mature influences and have expressed a desire for a less hurried, digitized sound than on their previous effort...The first single from the album, 'Nine In The Afternoon,'...displays what Panic has described as the album's classic rock tone. The song's bouncy sound and classic pop structure and instrumentation allude to mature influences...Another new song, 'When the Day Met the Night,' reflects a similar style, featuring poppy, tinkling piano melodies and sunshine-y guitar riffs."
• Brendon Urie- vocals, guitar, keyboards (2004-present)
• Ryan Ross - guitar, keyboards, vocals (2004-present)
• Jon Walker - bass guitar, vocals (2006-present)
• Spencer Smith - drums, percussion (2004-present)
Brent Wilson - - bass guitar, vocals (2004-2006)