2016 marks ten years since the release of "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" by the iconic punk band Panic! At the Disco. The song catapulted the band to the top of the charts in an era where pop-punk and teenage angst ruled the radio. Ten years later, Panic! At the Disco is back in the spotlight with a vibrant and rambunctious new sound with singer Brendon Urie at the helm of it all. ESPN Music spoke with Urie to gain insight into the band’s resurgence taking new strides at the top of the charts.
Their album Death of a Bachelor dropped today in the wake of a number of singles released by the band over the course of the last year. Urie told us about how this album was a new creative endeavor for him:
“I was spending a lot of time working on my producing and songwriting skills. I knew things I wanted to talk about and stories I wanted to tell, so it’s just a matter of spending the time trying to accurately portray the story...”
Along with their singles, Panic! At The Disco has released a handful of music videos starring Urie where he dons a number of different personas. In the video for the track “Victorious” (shown above) Brendon squares off against Joe Schilling, Bellator MMA Fighter, in a dramatic fashion and even more dramatic ending. Brendon recounted his time in the ring with Schilling:
“I didn’t know until the day-of it was going to be Joe Schilling. So I show up and I see this monster of a man…and from that point on it was just the best two days of shooting…It was intimidating to say the least; he was really quiet but really patient with me learning to spar. I’ve learned a lot about boxing and I have a way deeper respect for it.”
We reached out to Schilling to hear about his time in the ring with Brendon; he commented:
“I had an awesome experience shooting the video with Brendon and the guys. I’m even more of a fan of the band now!”
The album is certainly a creative landmark for pop music in 2016. Tracks like “Hallelujah” (video below) sample Chicago’s “Questions 67 and 68” and the party-track “Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time” samples The B52’s “Rock Lobster.” Beyond the music and production itself, Urie takes a definitive step in raising the bar as a vocalist. “Victorious” and “Emperor’s New Clothes” take a page out of the late-great Freddie Mercury’s book, featuring neo-classical sounding vocal-runs and choruses, pushing the music beyond the realm of your everyday chart-topper. Going a step further, Urie pays homage to Frank Sinatra in the title track of the album “Death of a Bachelor” showcasing a certain finesse in capturing a crooner vibe with a modern sound. Brendon commented on what it was like singing on this album:
“It’s a huge challenge…I wanted it to be the soaring vocals and high vocals with Queen-esque runs…it ended up working and I kind of played different characters for each vocal line. I’m so happy with it; it’s an even better reward.”
Death of a Bachelor showcases the band’s versatile ability in creating music suitable for any number of environments in their own unique and energetic way. We’ve used a number of songs off this album here at ESPN, and we can’t wait to team up with Panic! At the Disco again in the future as they go on to release more new and exciting music. If you would like to listen to the album, you can download the music from iTunes here.