Panic! at the Disco are well known for tracks including ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’ and ‘Death of a Bachelor’, but what was the song that started off the band’s career?
Find out more about Panic! at the Disco’s early music and subsequent career below.
Who are Panic! at the Disco?
Originally, Panic! at the Disco was a group of high school friends who performed songs from the band Blink 182. The band was first formed by drummer Spencer Smith and guitar player Ryan Ross, however, the two soon found additional members in another guitar player, Brendan Urie, and bassist Brent Wilson.
They found their unique band name in a line from the song ‘Panic’ by Name Taken. They began sharing demos of their songs online, and caught the attention of label owner and Fall Out Boy member Pete Wentz.
Wentz provided one member of Panic! at the Disco, Urie, with his first studio experience, when he invited him to provide backing vocals for ‘7 Minutes in Heaven’, one of Fall Out Boy’s tracks. “He had never been in a real studio,” Wentz explained of the encounter with the young Urie.
“He had a really raw electric talent…It was a weird thing watching someone who was so naturally good at what they do that they don’t actually know it and the world doesn’t know it. Seeing it all before it happened was so odd at the time.”
Panic! at the Disco were offered the chance to sign to Wentz’s label, Fueled by Ramen. They were the record label’s first signing.
First Song & Career Launch
The band’s first album, ‘A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out’ reached number 13 on the album sales chart. ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’, the leading single from the album, reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, maintaining a place in the chart for 37 weeks.
Speaking about the song later, Urie credited it with much of his success. “That’s the song that got me to this point…That was the one that took me around the world.”
Another track on their debut album, ‘Time To Dance’, was the first song that Urie wrote for the band.
In 2006, while their debut album was finding popularity, the band parted ways with Brent Wilson. In a statement, they stated that it was “A decision we all came to as a band.”
Wilson, however, refuted this, and told MTV, “I was kicked out of the band…It was 100% percent a surprise to me.” He added, “There had been no previous conversations about anyone leaving.”
Rumors had circulated that the band had decided to fire Wilson for financial gain, but they deny this. The remaining members found a new bassist in Jon Walker, who joined them for their first US tour.
In 2008, they released their second album, ‘Pretty. Odd.’ The album had a distinctively different sound to their first and wasn’t able to match its commercial success.
Split and Subsequent Singles
In the year following the release of ‘Pretty. Odd.’, the band was halved when both Walker and Ross quit. The news was announced via a statement released onto social media platform MySpace.
“Though the four of us have made music together in the past,” it read, “We’ve creatively evolved in different directions which has compromised what each of us wants to personally achieve.”
Panic! at the Disco, however, continued, with the band now a duo. They released ‘Vices & Virtues’ in 2011 and in 2013, ‘Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die’ was released.
In 2015, Smith also left the band, leaving only Urie. “I love this band with all my heart,” he said in his statement, “and getting to see it grow from 4 kids in my parents’ garage to what it is now has been incredible. I loved it all. But, at a certain point, I realized that I wasn’t able to be there for the band the way I wanted to be, and more importantly, the way they needed me to be.”
Urie has continued to front the band, now as a soloist, achieving success. Since Smith’s departure, Panic! at the Disco has released two albums, ‘Death of a Bachelor’ and ‘Pray for the Wicked’.