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Panic! At the Disco

Some bands spend their whole careers just hoping to produce an album as complex, cohesive and creative as A Fever You Can'tSweatOut.NotPanic!At The Disco: They managed to get it right on the first try.

Before you grab a cold washcloth, let's diagnose what caused A Fever.

It all started in the suburbs of Las Vegas when 12-year-old Ryan Ross asked his parents for a guitar for Christmas. Not to beoutdone,neighborhood pal Spencer Smith begged his parents for a drum set so the duo could start jamming. "Really, from that first year[playinginstruments], all we really ...read more

Some bands spend their whole careers just hoping to produce an album as complex, cohesive and creative as A Fever You Can'tSweatOut.NotPanic!At The Disco: They managed to get it right on the first try.

Before you grab a cold washcloth, let's diagnose what caused A Fever.

It all started in the suburbs of Las Vegas when 12-year-old Ryan Ross asked his parents for a guitar for Christmas. Not to beoutdone,neighborhood pal Spencer Smith begged his parents for a drum set so the duo could start jamming. "Really, from that first year[playinginstruments], all we really did was cover Blink 182 songs," remembers Spencer, laughing. The band eventually matured, moved onfrom allthe small things and recruited classmates Brent Wilson and Brendon Urie on bass and vocals, respectively.

With the final lineup now in place, the newly christened Panic! At The Disco (from a line in the Name Taken song"Panic") started practicinginSpencer's grandmother's living room and began crafting the songs that would eventually make their way onto A Fever You Can't SweatOut.With their flair for experimental instrumentation and intimately observant lyrics,it wasn't long before the band sparked the interest of FallOutBoy's Pete Wentz, who brought the band to Decaydance/FueledByRamen, a label with a green thumb for new talent. "We really clickedwith[Decaydance/Fueled By Ramen] and they understood what we wanted to do as a band," Ryan explains. "They gave us a lot of freedom todowhat would make us happy with our music..

Soon after signing, things got serious and started moving forward at a rapid pace. Spencer and Brent finished high school throughdistanceeducation; Brendon was taking classes during the day, practicing at night and barely scraping by his senior year; and Ryan decided toleavecollege at the end of his freshman year, causing a huge rift between him and his family."When I told my dad I wanted to drop out andwritemusic, he definitely flipped out. It was a battle between me being happy and doing what would make him happy." So minus the blessingofone father, the four friends packed up, left home for the first time and headed east to College Park, Maryland, to record their debutalbumwith famed producer Matt Squire (Thrice, Northstar, The Receiving End Of Sirens).

"We didn't want to write a record that had 11 of the same songs on it," explains Ryan. In order to make sure that didn't happen, thebandcame up with the concept to divide the albumin two halves: the first being futuristic, complete with drum machines and synthesizers, andthesecond being nostalgic,complete with Vaudevillian piano and accordion. "It was too extremes of influence being put next to each other:themost electronic music we have on the record and the most old,out-of-style music we have on the record." The band took pointers fromsomeof their biggest, although not overt, influences. Third Eye Blind's melodic song structures (on "But It's Better When We Do"),Queen'stheatrical instrumentation (on"Build God,Then We'll Talk") and Counting Crows' vivid and narrative lyrics (on "There's A Good ReasonTheseTables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought Of It Yet"). "You wouldn't hear our record and say, 'Hmmm, these guys areinfluencedby Fleetwood Mac or Counting Crows, 'but those are our favorite bands," insists Spencer.

It's this split-brain approach to songwriting that has resonated with listeners young and old. The band has scored big with PureVolume(continually being on the site's Top 10 Signed Bands chart) and MySpace (reaching #1 on the indie charts), and when they returned toLasVegas after recording,they played a hometown show (actually, the band's first live concert ever) and over two hundred people showedup.The boys' parents, especially Ryan's father, realized the band was more than just a fleeting hobby and eventually became card. carryingmembers of Panic! At The Disco's fan club.

Warning: Panic! At The Disco is not a trend. Prepare accordingly. « hide

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