Brendon Urie Interview
[dropcap]I[/dropcap] brought Brendon Urie from the band, Panic! At The Disco, to discuss his new album coming out January 15th 2016, Death of a Bachelor. This is going to be the band’s fifth album. Brendon Urie has been the lead singer for Panic! At The Disco since 2006. The other members split apart for different reasons but Brendon kept the band alive. Versteeg: What I’m interested in asking you first is what instruments can you play?
Urie: Well I can sing, play guitar and bass, the keyboard, synthesizers, drums, and percussion.
Versteeg: So what songs were released to download and what songs haven’t been released yet on the new album?
Urie: Well Victorious, Hallelujah, and Emperor’s New Clothes are up and ready to buy. All of them have a music video.
Versteeg: About the song, Hallelujah? What is the song’s meaning and why was it made?
Urie: I grew up in a religious family and, like, that was a very big part of my life, and still, very much, is even though I don't affiliate with any specific religion. It's just, for me, you know, the spirituality of being able to own up to your sins, as they're called, and take responsibility for your actions really hit me this time around, and so that song really is about that, it's, you know, taking responsibility for things that you felt guilty for in the past and just owning it, because, now, that's a piece of you and you can't get rid of that history, so, that's really what it was.
Versteeg: I do not fully understand the lyrics of Emperor’s New Clothes. 'I'm taking back the crown' / 'I'm taking back what's mine'?
Urie: It was very much that like 'I don't care who gets in my way... I’m just gonna come right though and riot' and it was just like an evil feeling.
Versteeg: And the video? I know it was Halloween themed but why were you turning into a demon?
Urie: That's kind of the character I was playing when I wrote the song. The lyrics are all about that person. It’s fun to play characters in songs. I can just cheat a little bit… be this person for just a small amount of time and just help vent that idea.
Versteeg: That’s really cool.
Urie: Yeah. I was under stress with ideas so I just put that into a song.
Versteeg: Is there a lyric on this album that you wrote and you were just so blown away by how amazing it is?
Urie: There a new single called Victorious and in it, it says, “I want to turn up the crazy. Live it like a washed up celebrity.” Well I’m already putting myself in that scenario. Just like, “yeah. Let’s Charlie Sheen it” when he was in the winning stage.
Versteeg: The music video for Victorious just came out yesterday. Can you tell me a little bit about it?
Urie: There’s a fair amount of champagne, confetti, bikini clad women, and, of course, Dodge ball.
Versteeg: What about the song, Death of a Bachelor? The audio is online but the song is not released yet.
Urie: Well one of the reasons is that only true Panic! At The Disco fans would find it before the album gets released.
Versteeg: And I heard that Death of a Bachelor was dedicated to Frank Sinatra?
Versteeg: Why is that?
Urie: Well Frank Sinatra turns 100 this year and his music has been a major player in the soundtrack of my life. So it’s only right that I return the favor and pay it forward. So I wrote the new album and even in the few songs that don’t sound remotely similar to any of his music I still felt his influence in the writing and the need to relate so personally to each song.
Versteeg: What do you think of Death of a Bachelor?
Versteeg: What’s the story behind Death of a Bachelor?
Urie: It is one where I never thought I was able to let go of the past.
Versteeg: What time is that?
Urie: Everywhere from touring, to personal life, and there are just so many things involved. Like all the craziness for ten years of me being single, but I am married now and it is just really cool to look back and say wow. That’s so weird. Like at who I was and who I never thought how I am today.
Versteeg: So what’s with the album artwork? There is a car in a pool, two cartoon chairs beside the pool, which is confusing, and then there is just you lying on a roof with sunglasses on.
Urie: Yeah. It’s pretty crazy. It’s kind of a hint of the parties I’ve thrown and what some of the songs contain. It’s me the death of a bachelor. The two chairs, you know, are reserved for a couple of people so enjoy your imagination, but that’s essentially what it is.
Versteeg: Was the album dedicated to your wife, Sara?
Urie: Yeah. It is. It is a throw out to my wife. This whole album was written at my house where she and I live. It reflects very much the lifestyle I was living which was so different from how I used to be.
Versteeg: Why did you make this album?
Urie: Well when I was a little kid and I heard a song I liked on TV, I would jump up and run to the piano to try and figure it out by ear. When I was 10 or 11, I built myself a drum kit in the garage made out of empty laundry detergent buckets, old lawn chairs, paint cans, and old trash cans.
Urie: And around that time, my parents got me my first guitar. A baby acoustic. I jumped between all of these instruments constantly to satisfy the ideas I heard in my head. At this young age, I realized that music would play a huge part in my life. I had no idea.
Versteeg: And it did!
Urie: Yeah. 'Death Of A Bachelor' is in honor of those times I spent alone as a kid. Allowing music to consume me. Playing everything myself just to get the idea right and out of my head. It’s a beginning to a new era. And a homage to how it all began.
Urie: And this album is me. Running to the piano, building a drum kit, and strumming a guitar.
*In case you were lost, our Iliad team did not actually have an interview with Brendon Urie. This is a student work of fiction of their interpretation of an interview would be like with him.
Photo Credit: https://sites.google.com/site/panicatthediscobaes/beautiful-photos-of-brendon-urie