Panic! at the Disco: Road to Success

Eva Fischer


Panic! At the Disco is a pop rock/punk band begun in 2004 by Brendon Urie, Ryan Ross, Spencer Smith, and Brent Wilson. This band derived from Ross, Wilson, and Smith’s band Summerleague Rock (originally Pet Salamander). The name Panic! At the Disco was instituted upon Urie’s arrival and was created from a variation of a Smith’s song title. The band has produced six studio albums which have won many major awards including three Grammy nominations, an AMA, four Billboard music awards, three MTV awards, and two Teen Choice Awards. 

    P!ATD’s first album (2005), A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, which included the hit single I Write Sins Not Tragedies, went triple platinum. The next album (2008), Pretty. Odd. had an entirely different sound than the former release. Whereas the initial album was inspired by My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Weezer, or Green Day, the second album had a similar sound to the work of The Beatles, the Beach Boys, or the Kinks. However, this album still went platinum. The next album was not released until 2011 and was titled Vices and Virtues. This album returned to the original sound. Two years later, the band put out another album, Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!. This album also went platinum. In 2016, the band released Death of a Bachelor which introduced an alternative pop sound into the band’s music as well as the influence of Frank Sinatra. This album had multiplatinum success. Most recently, in 2018 the band released Pray for the Wicked which went platinum. This album continued the band’s alternative pop sound.

    Throughout the band’s 18 years, the members have shifted dramatically. In 2006 the original bassist, Brent Wilson, was replaced with Jon Walker. Two years later, there was a dispute over the direction of the band’s sound. Ross and Walker wanted to continue in the direction of Pretty. Odd. whereas the other members wanted to return to their alternative roots. This resulted in the exit of Ryan Ross and Jon Walker. In 2010, guitarist Ian Crawford and bassist Dallon Weekes joined the band to tour. Shortly after Weekes became a permanent member. In 2011, Urie and Smith released Vices and Virtues alone and Urie became the lead singer. After the release of Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! in 2013, Smith departed due to health concerns relating to drug usage. As of their most recent album, Pray for the Wicked, Brendon Urie is the only remaining original member.