Four days before the release of the fourth album “Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!“, Brendon Urie, leader of The Las Vegas band, came over Paris to talk about it. Relaxed and excited at the same time, the singer talked about the recording and the past few weeks before the release of the record.
How have been the past few days?
Brendon Urie (vocals) : Past few days have been good, just been getting to talk about the new album which is always good. I love talking about the new music especially so close to the release of the album, in four days even if we did linked it a few days ago and just putted on YouTube.
Did you get some reactions from your fans?
B : Yes! It’s been really nice. It’s been pretty definitive, either don’t like it at all or really really like it, and like 99% of it has been really positive. So it really seems like they like it. I honestly don’t want to be in the middle I’d rather people hate it or love it. If they hate it, that just tell me if they feel strong about it which is always good.
What was the main idea when you decided to make this new album?
B : The main idea was to do something different, that’s always usually the goal. Musically I get pretty bored and I don’t want to repeat myself so I tried to look for ways to reinvent sounds for myself, to reinvent song writing and producing. This record for me is my favorite so far because I feel like it’s so eclectic and it’s sounds kind of jump all over the place. It was a lot of fun to make.
How did you compose this new record? Did you have a special idea as you wanted it to be different than the others one?
B : Yes, lyrically I wanted it to be a little more confessional, I wanted it to be honest, I kind of wanted to just bounce around with personal experiences and I wanted to get that across. Musically I wanted to be a little bit more direct with the influences where in the past we would use ideas rather than sound directly. But this time I was listening to a lot of like 80’s pop and hip hop, dance music from like french groups like M83, Justice and Daft Punk. I wanted to make a dance record, a record that was a party record and on that people could dance to.
But the songs are really different, when you take the first one “This is Gospel” and the last one “The End Of All Things” they have nothing to do with each other.
B : Yes, for sure we wanted to do some different end. A song like the last song “The End Of All Things” is something we have never done before, it was just really minimal with piano, vocal, vocal effect and some strings. That’s probably the song that we’ve done the least of man of tracks and intimate song. I love being able to do that, I like being able to do something new and different, it keeps that exciting. If we ended up doing the same thing other and other I wouldn’t even want to be in a band. It would be so boring! (laugh)
Why did you choose to call your album “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare To Die!”?
B : I felt like that was the perfect description. About two or three weeks after the record was done, we were finished and we had to come up with an album name, that’s usually the hardest. It’s always the last thing that we do.
You have done it this way for every album?
B : Yes, always! (laugh) We always push it because we write every song separately and we never really have a full concept in mind. So at the end of it I was like struggling, try to figuring out what a good song or album title would be and I was watching “Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas”. Johnny Depp, playing under stamps, says that as he is describing his friend, “he is too weird to live, too rare to die”. I felt like for this album, as much of its own character that it was, it was a really good description of how I saw all of the songs putted together.
So is it tied to the cover of the album?
B : A little bit because that’s how I feel personally for sure, a little too weird to live too rare to die and it also fits with the background of Las Vegas, where I grew up and having Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas be another tie. It was pretty much perfect, it just was a really good fit.
What about the black and white picture with the smoke in colors?
B : That was a conscious effort, that was definitely on purpose. I like the idea of the black and white to be a throwback to retro time but also the drabness can be placed on face value of somebody. The inside of someone when he excels or the smoke from a cigarette can be something so beautiful but you’ll never know until you see it and in the contrast of the black and white sometimes. It’s very symbolic.
If you have to choose three songs from this record, which one would it be and why?
B : Just three songs! I’ll pick “This Is Gospel”, “Vegas Lights” and “The End Of All Things” because I think those are really all different from each other, besides “Miss Jackson” they are a really good example of how eclectic this record is for sure.
About “Miss Jackson” why did you choose it as a first single for your album?
B : Well, that’s another reason is to show the eclecticism and kind of singing reason actually. I felt like for first single I usually pick a song that is a good representation of what the album is going to be, to give you a good introduction into how eclectic the record could or could not be. This time around I felt like for this album every song was so different from each other that “Miss Jackson” was so exciting that, for me, it was a good way to pull people in but it sounds like no other songs on the record. So I thought it would be a good way to catch everyone’s attention and we were like “hey this is song we’ve never done before, it’s so different and get ready for even more different songs, this is gonna be great!”.
If you had to describe this record in one word, which one would it be?
B : Amazing! (laugh)
Alright, why not! (laugh)
B : Why not! One word that’s tough! (laugh)
You have been on tour with Fall Out Boy, how was it? Can you share some memories with us?
B : It was awesome! It was just like basically old friends hanging out. I’m glad they took us back on the road, I’m glad they sort of touring again too. It was really cool like I’ve even tour with them in like five years almost! We did a tour like three years ago right before they took a hiatus, we toured with them with Blink-182, that was really cool but it was also like we were both kind of opening for Blink 182 and they had a lot of press to do and we had on our own stuff to do so we didn’t really meet up too much. But this time around, this last tour was amazing because we both had a little bit more time to hanging out and even more we get busy we’ve seen each other before the show, during the show, we did collaborate on stage. I had to come up on stage and sing a song and then the last show of the tour we all do the end of the tour pranks. We just started to pranking each other like they ran up on stage dressed as manikins that we had on stage and started a messing with us. (laugh) I went up on their stage to sing and I just started to eating food which was really weird. (laugh) We just did a bunch of weird stuff like that, it was really cool, it was fun to get back touring with friends.
And before that, have you seen each other? Did you talk about your albums together?
B : No, Patrick (Stump) showed me a couple of demos that he had, months before they went in the studio. But when we took a couple week break, before we wrote the last couple of songs included “Miss Jackson” for our record, they went in because they heard our demos and they thought it would be really cool to go in with Butch Walker (producer of P!ATD’s “Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!” and Fall Out Boy’s “Save Rock And Roll“), like “we really like the Panic! Song, let’s go make our record”. They had a few songs written but that’s when they went back in, for the first time, with Butch Walker that they really wrote key songs like “Lightem’ up” was one, “Alone Together” was one . They just did such a good job, I feel like there are a lot of similarities unlike maybe one or two songs but our records are so different from each other. I love what they did with Butch because it’s such a good album. I’m glad they made it, that’s awesome!
Most of your shows are sold out, do you plan to make a tour next year?
B : I hope so, I want to come back. If we don’t play festivals, I want at least do another tour on spring next year, that would be really nice because we haven’t played in France in like two years, so anytime we can come other here is always great! I know, these shows are sold out really quickly which is good but also some people won’t be able to see us. So yes hopefully we’ll get plan where we can play again really soon, next year, that would be really nice.
Let’s talk about what you listens, so what is the last song you had a crush on from another artist?
B : Oh god! It might be an Action Bronson song, I’ll say Action Bronson “Triple Backflip”, that’s a good song. Do you know Action Bronson?
No, I don’t.
B : He’s awesome, you should listen to his music, he is a rapper from New York, he is great!
I’ll check it out. And the last question is about our website, as the name is “RockUrLife”, tell us what is rocking your life?
B : What is rocking your life? (laugh) It’s funny actually because my buddy Zack other there has saying he rocks and he rolls! That’s just how we love our lives every day you wake up and like try to excite yourself, to do just like some pretty badass like order a pizza. (laugh) No that’s so stupid! I mean for me honestly rock n’roll is keeping things exciting, not just musically but like individually, personally and the way to do that is to surprise yourself. Just don’t be fearful, you know you choose to be afraid of something but when you live confidently in the moment that’s so rock n’roll. That’s how you rock your life!
Great way to end! Thank you.
B : Yeah! Thank you.
Website : panicatthedisco.com