It is in fact, the unpretentious, bouncy and all-around fun of this Las Vegas
quartet that makes it hard to keep your feet planted on the ground and it’s
proof that not everything that happens in Vegas should remain a secret.
Luckily, this secret is out of the bag.
A little more than a year ago, the four high schoolers recorded a couple of dance-pop, electro-rock tunes, posted them online and sent a link to Fall out Boy’s Pete Wentz. Within months, the band signed a record deal on his new Decaydance label, recorded its debut album and embarked as the opening act on two national tours – all before playing a single show in Las Vegas or anywhere else for that matter.
Sure, the band’s success may seem somewhat unlikely. After all, things happened rather quickly. So quickly in fact, that Ryan Ross (guitar), Spencer Smith (drums) Brendon Urie (vocals, guitar) and Brent Wilson (bass) never really had the opportunity to experience what the rock star struggle was like.
Even so, don’t be too quick to pass them off as just another well-dressed run of the mill band that somehow got a lucky break. Their debut album A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, hit No. 1 on both Billboard’s Heatseeker’s and Alternative New Artist charts and steadily continues to sell records.
"We are still not confident about what we are doing. I don’t think any of us expected us to do this well," explains Ross. "Ever since I started playing guitar this is all I have ever wanted to do. I am just thankful that we are able to do that now."
Even with the praise Panic!’s album has received, both critics and fans alike have given the band some flack for its similarities, vocally, to Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump.
"It would be unfair for any one of us to sit here and say his voice doesn’t sound similar to Patrick’s, because it does," Wilson says. "But we don’t go into write a song or write a melody and try and sound like him. His voice just happens to sound similar."
Wilson points out that the only reason people are making this an issue is because of Panic!’s close relationship to Fall Out Boy.
"It’s kind of funny because like five years ago, even two years ago, pop punk was huge, there were a million bands and every singer sounded the exact same but that’s just the way was. So, even if they do both sound the same, they both know how to correctly sing and there are some bands that don’t even know how to do that."
Not only does Urie have the ability to sing correctly, the band members also, collectively, have the ability to create songs that are theatrical, dramatic and lyrically mature beyond their years.
Ross says that ultimately, the band just wants people to think about what they are listening to.
"We’re just trying to do something a little different than what’s going on," he says. "We are trying to make people think and open their eyes."
As for the future, Panic! has big hopes and dreams for its music. Think more theatrical and more elaborate. Think violinists and cello players.
"There’s a lot of stuff we would like to do live that we can’t do yet," explains Urie.
Until then, the band is content with where they are, building up the confidence to take that next step.
"We have succeeded more than we ever thought we would, but it’s all about staying power, being able to do it for a while," he says. "We just want to keep pushing on and progressing. "
A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out is currently available. Panic! At the Disco will be performing on Dec. 8 at Chain Reaction in Anaheim and on Dec 11 & 12 at the Troubador in West Hollywood. For more information visit www.panicatthedisco.com.