Most musicians would panic when half the band leaves — which is exactly what happened to Panic! At The Disco in July 2009.
But surviving members Brendon Urie — who is continuing to perform despite a broken ankle suffered last week — and Spencer Smith soldiered on, finishing a tour that year with blink-182 and putting together a song, “New Perspective,” for the film “Jennifer’s Body.” Frontman Urie says that made it easier for the duo to hit the studio running for the latest Panic! album, “Vices & Virtues.”
“I think we built up confidence fairly quickly,” Urie, 24, notes, “which is good for us. We dove right into working and didn’t want to spend too much time lingering on the fact the split had happened and wondering what we were going to do.”
And, he adds, Panic!’s fan base has seemed to be intact and supportive, without a discernible split in loyalties between the continuing group and the former Panic! members’ new band, the Young Veins.
“Sure, there could be a divide. It’s hard to gauge,” Urie says. “We just go by what we know and the shows and actually talking with fans face to face, and they seem as excited as we are, if not more. So far, so good.”
Those fans, meanwhile, are poring through songs on “Vices & Virtues” for lyrical reactions to the split. Urie says that while it was not a prevailing theme, it’s certainly there to be found.
“I definitely expected that going in, which is why we started writing this song called ‘The Calendar,’ ” he explains. “It started out as something else, but when we started looking at the lyrics before they were finished, we thought, ‘Oh, these kind of sound like the breakup, and what a great opportunity to talk about that.’
“We felt that if we didn’t talk about it, it would just be the awkward elephant in the room, as they say. People would be like, ‘Really? You didn’t talk about the split? That’s a big deal.’ So I’m glad we did that. It was really nice to be able to do that, and kind of therapeutic, too.”
Panic! At The Disco, fun. and Foxy Shazam perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 4, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Tickets are $25 and $35. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.
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