The latest craze among the mini-Ranter and her friends is the band “Panic! at the Disco”.
So, in order to show that we are not completely out of it when it comes to modern music – here’s a few facts about the band:
Just barely out of high school, emo-pop outfit Panic! at the Disco burst out of suburban Las Vegas in 2005 with their full-length debut, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out.
Taking their name from a line in Name Taken’s song “Panic” (…burning alive from the inside, burning down, sleep now you’ve fallen out of face, panic at the disco…), the group materialized when friends Spencer Smith (drums) and Ryan Ross (guitar) grew tired of covering blink-182 tunes together and thus recruited classmates Brendon Urie (guitar/vocals) and Brent Wilson (bass) to complete the quartet.
Crafting pop-influenced songs with theatrical touches, quirky techno beats, and perceptive lyrics, Panic! at the Disco posted some demos online and soon caught the attention of Decaydance, the Fueled by Ramen imprint headed by Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz.
Even though the band had yet to play a live show, they subsequently became the first band signed to the label.
With their record issued in September 2005, the guys hit the road that fall on the
successful Nintendo Fusion Tour alongside Fall Out Boy, Motion City Soundtrack, Boys Night Out, and the Starting Line.
As their single “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” found its way into TRL hearts (and the Top 40) by the early months of 2006, the band kept the momentum going on the road with the Academy Is…, Acceptance, and Hellogoodbye.
Proving to be a popular lineup, the tour consistently sold out venues across the country. Wilson was fired from the group mid-year; Panic! pressed on with their friend Jon Walker on board for a full summer of headlining dates around the country that culminated with appearances in Chicago at Lollapalooza and overseas at the U.K.’s Reading and Leeds festivals.
Their second single from Fever, “The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage,” also began making waves on radio and TV, as the guys picked up Video of the Year at MTV’s yearly VMA ceremony, beating out heavy hitters like Madonna and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
A collector’s boxset version of Fever, full of random Panic paraphernalia and a DVD, came out just in time for the 2006 holiday season.
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And which one is the favorite? Well…
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Brendon Boyd Urie (b. April 12, 1987 in Las Vegas, Nevada) is the lead singer of the band Panic! at the Disco. He also plays keyboard, accordion, piano, organ, cello, bass, drums and guitar.
The youngest of five children, Urie was raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, though bandmate Ryan Ross says that Urie is no longer “the good Mormon boy we once knew”. Urie attended Palo Verde High School, located in the unincorporated community of Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada. He joined Panic! during his senior year of high school.
It was at Palo Verde High School in his guitar class that Urie met Brent Wilson. Wilson had asked Urie to try out as guitarist for Panic! as they were looking for a replacement at the time. Originally, Urie was not the band’s lead singer. Rather, the position had belonged to current guitarist and lyricist, Ryan Ross. However, when the band heard him sing backup during a rehearsal, they were impressed with his vocal abilities and unanimously decided to make him the singer. Urie reportedly put so much time into his band during his senior year of high school that he almost did not graduate.
After graduation, Urie’s parents strongly encouraged him to attend college, but against their wishes he chose to pursue his interests in music and helped get Panic! at the Disco off the ground.
Urie was later asked to leave his home by his disapproving parents upon deciding to pursue Panic! At The Disco, and was forced to rent a one room apartment with only his job at a local Smoothie Hut to support him, as well as help pay for the rent of the band’s practice space.
After his father saw him at their first major show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Urie’s parents started supporting their son.
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The other members’ full names and dates of birth are: George Ryan Ross III (b. August 30, 1986 in Las Vegas, Nevada), Jonathan Jacob Walker (b. September 17, 1985 in Chicago) and Spencer James Smith (born September 2, 1987 in Las Vegas, Nevada).
Brent Wilson is the former bassist for Panic! at the Disco. After a hostile ousting, he was replaced by new bassist, Jon Walker. Despite being credited on the album A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out as the band’s bass player, the rest of the band claim that he wrote and/or recorded few or even none of the bass parts.
Currently, Wilson is pursuing legal action against his former bandmates for his percentage from the album. Contrary to the band’s statements, Wilson claims to have played on the band’s debut album.
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And here is an interview with Ryan Ross, the interview is from the “Rolling Stone” magazine:
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PANIC IN THE MOSH PIT
Most successful bands have to endure low-budget, glamourless tours in a van before catching their big break. But all Panic! At the Disco did was post their first two songs on Fall Out Boy’s message board. FOB bassist Pete Wentz dug what he heard from the young Las Vegas quartet — they’re all under twenty-one — and immediately IM’d Panic! guitarist-lyricist Ryan Ross. “He’s like, ‘This is Pete.’ I was like, ‘Somebody’s fucking with me!’ ” Panic! quickly signed with Wentz’s imprint, Decaydance. Since its release last September, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out has steadily climbed the charts with its quirky, offbeat punk pop — the band’s current hot single, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” is even laced with an accordion. And the little girls love to sing along to Ross’ painfully personal lyrics. (“Camisado,” for example, Ross wrote about his father’s long battle with alcoholism.) “Last week we sold almost 30,000,” says Ross, 19, from a tour stop in Pontiac, Michigan. “Who’s buying our record? It’s just crazy.”
What’s your first musical memory?
When I was about six, I was kind of a cowboy. I’d dress up in boots, straps, hat and bandanna, and my dad would take us to the rodeo. Whenever I’d go anywhere with my dad — in his 1980 burgundy Dodge Ram — he’d always listen to mix tapes of country-music stars like Garth Brooks, Clint Black and Willie Nelson. Those were the first songs I ever learned the words to.
How and why did you get your first guitar, at age twelve?
I was really into Blink-182 and punk bands like NOFX and MXPX. Originally, I wanted to learn how to play like Tom DeLonge. That was my first influence — [Blink’s] Dude Ranch.
I kept begging my dad for a guitar. I picked out an off-brand, a Harmony, I think, out of the Sears Christmas catalog. It came with a battery-powered amp. It was $100 for everything.
Growing up, where’d you go to shows?
The first show I ever went to was a band called Strung Out. It was at this supersmall place called the Castle. There was a huge mosh pit. I was so small — I was just trying not to get killed. After that, I was hooked.
Panic! singer Brendon Urie was raised Mormon. What rules has he broken while on the road?
He’s definitely had some caffeine, and he’s had a couple of drinks here and there, and maybe a couple of girls — I don’t know. [Laughs] I’m not saying. He’s definitely not the good Mormon boy we once knew.
Did you see Pete Wentz’s naked photos on the Internet?
[Laughs] Yeah, I did.
What’d you think?
He’s hangin’ out, showing his stuff. I thought it was hilarious. I could totally see him doing something like that — that part didn’t surprise me.
Are you friends with the Killers? They’re from Vegas.
I’ve never met them, but I think the Killers’ drummer takes his dog to our bass player’s dad, who’s a vet.
Have you trashed a hotel room?
We’ve trashed our bus! There’s just shit everywhere, all the time. There’s a box of pizza in front of me that’s five days old. No one’s gonna eat it. We haven’t learned how to clean up yet.
Does it annoy you when everyone at the shows sings along?
At our first show ever, only three of our songs — “Time to Dance,” “Nails for Breakfast, Tacks for Snacks” and “Camisado” — were on the Internet, and people were singing along to every word. It was a shock; it was flattering. But on the first tour, it was weird. Some of the stuff is really personal, and I felt like people didn’t understand what they were singing. There’s not much I can do about that. People take lines and they’ll ask me, “What does this mean?” I don’t really answer them — if it helps them relate to something, I don’t want to take that away.
Does your dad like the songs you wrote about him?
We haven’t really talked about it directly. I’m sure that he knows they’re about him, and he hasn’t acted differently toward me, like he’s mad or disappointed. He plays the CD all the time — it’s kind of funny.
What’s your ring tone?
I’m getting a new phone in five days, and I have my ring-tone plan down. I’ve got Sixpence None the Richer, “Kiss Me.” That’s one of those songs that you hate to love — but I really do like it.
Other guilty pleasures?
Some people would say Counting Crows or Third Eye Blind would be a guilty pleasure, but they’re two of my favorite bands — I’m not ashamed of it. I really like [the Crows’] Across the Wire — the live stuff — and how [Adam Duritz] changed all the melodies.
That’s how you get people to stop singing along.
That’s true. We’re working on new arrangements for the old songs, so we can change things up for our headlining tour. That’ll be fun. For us, at least.
What’s with the accordions on your record?
I like the sound of that instrument. The Amelie soundtrack is all accordions. I love that and Danny Elfman’s Nightmare Before Christmas. Movie scores are my biggest influence.
Do you listen to classic rock?
I’m into Pink Floyd — they had albums that were completely cohesive, like one continuous track. Queen’s one of my favorite bands — the theatrics! Freddie Mercury’s my favorite vocalist of all time.
Does it piss you off when fans say to Brendon, “Your words move me”?
Well, I can’t really get mad. If I was the singer, I wouldn’t be able to write some of the stuff I write. He’ll get the praise or he’ll take the heat for it. I wouldn’t be able to deliver that stuff. It’s not that I’m afraid of it, but I’m not confident enough.
Or is it because you have a shitty voice?
That’s the other reason.
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Well – that’s about all that we can take right now… We need to get back to our own stoneage music again!!!