This is a response to Panic! At The Disco Announces Breakup After 19 Years
It is the end of all things for Panic! At The Disco fans. On Tuesday, Jan 24, 2023, the frontman and only original remaining member of the band, Brendon Urie announced on Instagram that after the Viva Las Vengence European tour that “Panic! At Tthe Disco will be no more.” after almost two decades and seven studio albums. The reason cited for the decision was that Urie and his wife are having a baby.
Panic was one of the biggest bands in the emo scene, having released their first album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out in 2006. The band made an impact on teenagers and adults alike over the years, myself included. I consider A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out to be one of my favorite albums.
Panic had many departures as the years went on. The most infamous departure to come out of the band was that of Ryan Ross and Jon Walker in 2009, a year after the release of their second album, Pretty. Odd. Other departures included drummer Spencer Smith in 2015 and Dallon Weekes which was also in 2015, although Weekes stayed as a touring member of the band until 2017. With Weekes leaving the official line-up, this made Brendon Urie the only official member of the band left. While there have been other touring members such as Nicole Row, Mike Naran, and Dan Pawlovich, none of them were ever added to the official line-up, leaving Urie to be the last man standing.
The fourth album, Too Weird To Live, Too Rare to Die!, is considered to be the last album released as a band. The three albums following are considered to be solo projects. Let me be clear, there is nothing wrong with solo projects. There have been other lead singers in the same genre as the band that have gone on to release solo projects including Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy with Soul Punk in 2011, and Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance with Hesitant Alien in 2014. Here’s the difference between Patrick Stump and Gerard Way’s solo projects compared to Panic! At The Disco: Stump and Way released these solo projects under their name, without any direct relation to their respective bands while Brendon Urie released his under the bands' name rather than his own.
If the last three albums were truly meant to be solo projects, they should have been treated as such. They should have been unrelated projects rather than using the name of the band that had been dead on arrival since 2015. Using the Panic name made those albums feel a little bit like a cash grab rather than a passion project. Also, using the band's name while performing as a solo project greatly overshadows the contributions made to the band by other members. Ryan Ross and Spencer Smith were the ones who started the band, which was initially a Blink-182 cover band. They just invited Brendon Urie to play in their band and he became the lead singer. Ryan Ross also wrote all of the lyrics to all the songs on A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out. So the fact that Brendon Urie continued to use the name of a band that he didn’t even initially create for profit and fame doesn’t sit well with me or other fans of the band.
Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!, would have been a great album for the band to go out on. Meanwhile, the fifth album, Death of A Bachelor would have been the perfect start to a solo career. I believe that if the last three albums had been released under Brendon Urie’s name that they would have been genuinely better received by the fans. This all goes back to that age-old phrase “quit while you’re ahead”.
While it is a bittersweet feeling to see a band that was once so important to me come to an end, I believe that this should have happened earlier.