Panic! At The Disco’s Lyrical Guide to Getting Lit
If you don’t think it’s possible to sample “Rock Lobster” and improve on the original, then you are wrong my friend, and you need to listen to Panic! At The Disco.
You may or may not have heard the newest and coolest album by the ex-emo-ers, “Death of A Bachelor,” which came out last year. It’s now nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Album of 2017.
Resident Panic partyboy and adorable frontman with-the-good-hair (and last remaining member of the original band) Brendon Urie has truly made magic on this album which is probably best described as: Sinatra Hip Hop meets Beyonce Rock. Brendon basically wrote, produced and played all instruments on this collection of rockin’ party tunes, and sings several octaves higher than ever before — just like the perfectionist overachiever we all know him to be when it comes to his music.
Even though B’s known for having a crazy vocal range and hitting obscenely high notes like those of 80’s hairband dreams, when asked if he could potentially sing higher than Justin Timberlake, Brendon’s natural partyboy response was: “I think Justin Timberlake can sing higher than me. But maybe I can still GET higher than [him]…”
If you’ve heard any of Brendon’s past magical tunes, you’ll know he’s no stranger to bending them genres — pulling from rap and hip hop for his 2013 hit “Miss Jackson” and EDM inspired vocoder vocals for “This is Gospel,” which is no doubt a departure from the OG days of “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” for which Brendon went through a guy-liner and emo-bangs phase.
But that’s cool, because now, he’s taken those same genre-blurring skills to the newest album by sampling old classics like The B-52’s “Rock Lobster,” and Chicago Transit Authority’s “Questions 67 and 68” and reimagined them in his own amazing way, making for memorable and ridiculously catchy songs.
“Death of a Bachelor” is no exception in the growth of Brendon’s weirdness and musical experimentation — and thankfully he traded in that grody guy-liner for good hair and shiny designer rocker pants.
The album seems to have the yin-and-yang/running theme of “wild child” meets “classy-ass mother f*cker,” which seems to perhaps be akin to Brendon’s actual IRL two halves. And since we know Brendon loves to get lit, especially according to his lyrics, we’re going to let him break it down for you on just exactly how to do it right. So listen closely to his lyrics, as they may in fact be your guide to having the Best. Night. Evar.
First, tell us the best party story you have, where was it, who was it with, what it made it so ridiculously cool?
I went to a party in high school one year at a kid’s house that owned pocket-size dirt bikes. He also had a pool… and a second-story roof that sat right above that pool. Great night. Rough morning. Back in like 2007, my buddy Pete and I partied in the bowling alley suite at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas. I still don’t think I’m ever allowed in that room again.
In “Victorious,” you sing: “turn up the crazy until we feel alright,” what are two ways we can achieve this without hurting ourselves and continuing to be law abiding citizens:
If you’ve never been to a party with farm animals and a vodka bubble machine, can you really say you “turned up”? Of course you can. But it’s more fun my way.
You sing, “I taste like magic” — has anyone ever “surprise” kissed you? Lastly, do you actually taste like magic?
One time I was rushed by a girl on stage who just wrapped her arms around me and gave me a big ol’ kiss. Didn’t hate that at all. And yes, I’ve been told I taste like magic.
In “The Good, The Bad and The Dirty,” you sing, “If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch (make it a good one)” — have you ever gotten into a fight at a bar/party? And what are your thoughts on girl-fights?
I was in a handful of fights throughout middle and high school. One time I was sitting on the couch at a party and got body-slammed by someone who was getting body-slammed. So, like, a transitive body-slam. Body-slammed by proxy.
I say equal rights, equal fights. Fights are usually fun to watch no matter what. Not always fun to be in, though.
You sing, “Who are these people? I just woke up in my underwear… Maybe I should introduce myself.” Is there a real story behind this lyric?
I can’t recall how many times I’ve woken up at a stranger’s house in my underwear. Not always a terrible way to start your day to be honest. And most times it’s because you had the best ending to the night before.
You sing, “I’m not as think as you drunk I am” and “The wine plays tricks on my tongue.” When you start to slur and flop your words, what’s a good way to hide the fact that you are super effed up?
I never understood trying to hide how drunk you are from everyone, y’know? It’s like, “that’s why i’m drinking… to get drunk.” So anytime I slur mid-sentence, I either just give up on the sentence entirely and just walk away or I say something like “Wow. Well… I’m fucked up.”
“Champagne Cocaine Gasoline and most things in between.” Tell us a story about a night you accidentally mixed too many different types of beverages. If you were to choose one vice for the evening, what would you stick with?
I used to think it mattered in what order I chose to drink, i.e. beer before liquor never been sicker, liquor before beer… etc. Now, I know it only matters how MUCH you drink at one time. But before I learned what I actually like to drink and how much I can handle before it goes south, I spent many nights hugging a toilet for a few hours. If I had to choose one vice for the evening, I’d say weed. Can’t get a hangover from weed.
Story continues below…
“Sycophants on velvet sofas, Lavish mansions, vintage wine, I am so much more than Royal…” — Tell us about the most ridiculously lavish party you’ve ever been to, what kinds of things did they have there? Who was there with you?
I went to a Halloween party — Not gonna say whose party, but he’s a well-known actor and a beautiful man. There was a live DJ just playing hit after hit, a huge ballroom where everyone was dancing, gorgeous naked people who were hired to walk around and make out with each other — it was lavish to say the least. Definitely made me realize I gotta step-up my party game.
“Tonight we are victorious, champagne pouring over us, all my friends were glorious…” If you were to throw your own lavish party with your homies, what are three things you’d make sure to have at your party?
A live DJ, a huge ballroom, and gorgeous naked people who would just walk around and make out with each other.
“Forever younger growing older just the same, All the memories that we make will never change.” You seem to sing about memories a lot, what’s a good way to make good memories and still get lit at the same time?
Always a good idea to party with as many witnesses as possible. That way, if you don’t remember shit from the previous night, no problem! You’ve got like at least 25 people who are totally willing to tell you all the dumb shit you did!
What are your thoughts on formerly being considered an “emo” band?
It never really mattered to me how people chose to describe Panic! mainly because I never knew how to describe it myself. So any suggestions are welcome. One of the cooler ones was “baroque, cabaret-punk.” That’s pretty cool.
Do you ever regret recording all of “Death of A Bachelor” in such high octaves when you have to perform all the songs live?
When I was writing and recording DOAB, I knew how challenging it was gonna be to perform those vocals in a live setting. But it ended up just being so fun.
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