I got super lucky and got to sit down with Panic! At the Disco at the Atlanta date of the Nintendo Fusion Tour. These guys were super cool considering it was a spur of the moment thing and I could hardly talk and was doing everything on the fly.
Trevor: Can I get you guys to state your names and what you do in the band? (I really hate asking this question, but when it’s a newer band, and the whole band, it makes things easier.)
Spencer: My name’s Spencer and I play drums.
Brent: Brent, I play bass.
Ryan: Ryan, I play guitar.
Brendon: Brendon, I sing.
Trevor: Alright. So your album just dropped and you’re Fueled By Ramen’s biggest first week. It was over 9,500 I think. When you found out, how did you feel about that?
Brent: Really good. We were really excited, because we weren’t expecting that at all.
Ryan: Yeah..we were expecting..
Spencer: (Quietly) Nothing.
Spencer: Haha, that was the most asshole thing ever. What did we feel, about it..wait what was the question?
Spencer: I just had a whole scenario in my head of what would be funny.
Trevor: Let’s look at it this way. You guys haven’t been a band very long. You had like two demos posted, and you got signed, and then this album is flying off the shelves…when it’s on them.
Brendon: Yeah..there was a little problem.
Spencer: It’s great though. The first week was more than we thought and a lot more than Fueled By Ramen thought or anybody, so it was a lot better than anybody expected.
Brendon: So we’re shocked.
Ryan and Brent: Yeah.
Spencer: Yeah, we were really excited. I know it was an awesome way to start this tour.
Trevor: Was the “Take Cover” tour your first official tour?
Spencer: It was our first only tour.
Brendon: That was like our third show ever.
Trevor: That’s got to be insane. How were you feeling when you left for that tour?
Brendon: Pretty nervous.
Spencer: The thing is, our second show ever was on the way to that tour. We had to drive from Vegas to Baltimore so we played one time in Ohio.
Brendon: So even the first few shows of the “Take Cover Tour” there were some things going wrong, but I think by the time we got down to Florida we felt a little more comfortable. We were definitely very nervous on the way out, though.
Trevor: Did the crowds respond well to you during that tour?
Brendon: Yeah, as good as you could hope for, you know..not having a CD out and opening. It was like…there were definitely some shows that were a lot better than others, but there wasn’t horrible shows as far as crowd reaction.
Trevor: You went straight from that tour to here, because Paramore took over for you guys, right?
Spencer: Yeah, they overlapped.
Trevor: Now, I know you guys probably got some pretty big crowds there, but this tour has sold out shows everywhere. With you opening here, are you feeling nervous at all?
Brendon: Actually less nervous. I feel like we all agree that it’d be like, a lot more unnerving to play in front of like..20 kids instead of 2,000 kids.
Ryan: There were a couple of shows like that on the Acceptance tour. I don’t know. It’s a lot harder to play in front of small crowds.
Trevor: Yeah, I can tell you guys should be playing to bigger crowds with the energy you guys have, so I can see it being weird with a small crowd.
Ryan: Yeah, it’s just hard when you’re up there and you’re into it or whatever and it seems like the less people are there, the worse it is.
Trevor: Let’s talk about the album a little bit. You have some weird structures and melodies..I don’t know..it’s different from stuff I’ve heard before. I really don’t know how to describe it. Where are you taking your inspirations from?
Ryan: Lots of different places, I guess. The stuff earlier on is a lot of dance-influenced, so dance music in general. The second half is more theatrical stuff..like movie soundtracks and musicals. I guess the melody stuff would be from bands like Third Eye Blind and Counting Crows, stuff like that.
Trevor: Have you picked a first single?
Brent: We want to go with..”I Write Sins, Not Tragedies.” It’s not 100 percent for sure, but it’s what we all want.
Trevor: I was thinking about that the other night. I was like, “They should really make a video for this song.” Because like, Fall Out Boy’s “Dance Dance” just came out and it’s sort of like a mini-movie. It’s like..a super small version of “Thriller.”
Spencer: I still haven’t seen it.
Trevor: You haven’t seen it yet?
Brendon: It’s good.
Trevor: Yeah, it’s very well done.
Spencer: I heard it was good, but then I also heard…nevermind.
Spencer: (Laughing)That was gonna be really bad.
Trevor: Now, if you did do a video for “I write Sins, Not Tragedies,” would you have any concepts that you would want to run through the treatments with the director about?
Spencer: Well, I think..it’s the same thing, like with our album artwork and t-shirt designs. A lot of the time we’ll tell people an idea and they’ll give us back something. Then, we’re like, “Well, you have to change this, this, this, and this.” So it basically ends up being us doing it all ourselves, only using their like..skills to do it. So I think if we did a video, it would be close to 100 percent our idea.
Trevor: So just not the tech parts of it?
Spencer: Yeah, yeah. Like, obviously we couldn’t go out and know how to shoot a video ourselves, but we want to be a big part of the creative aspect of it.
Trevor: Do you know who did the marketing campaign? Like, the promotion with purevolume and myspace?
Brendon: That was..I think that was Fueled By Ramen’s idea actually.
Brendon: Yeah, John Janick. Johnathan Joseph Janick Jr. He’s the man.
Trevor: Well, he did a very good job, because that had everyone talking. People were waiting entire weekends just to hear a new song.
Trevor: I definitely think it helped the album sales and everything. So do you have anything planned for after the Fusion Tour?
Ryan: We’re going to take some time off in December, maybe do the video, and then go on tour in the UK with theAcademy.
Trevor: Yeah, I’ve heard so much buzz about that tour.
Spencer: The one here or..?
Trevor:The one coming up with theAcademy.
Spencer: Well, see, we’re going to the UK with them in January and we’re doing another tour with them and Acceptance in the states.
Trevor: Oh, really?
Trevor: Okay, I hadn’t heard of that one yet.
Spencer: Yeah..end of January.
Trevor: I’d just heard of the UK branch.
Ryan: Yeah, we’re all looking forward to going over there.
Trevor: I know a lot of kids over there have been going across the message boards and they’re looking forward to it.
Brendon: Right on.
Trevor: Thank you for taking the time to do this. I know it was very short notice. (Laughing) I’m sorry it wasn’t better prepared, I had a whole thing at home.
Brendon: Haha, it’s totally cool.
Spencer: Thanks for interviewing us at all.