Panic! At The Disco Try A Different Tack For New LP: Simplicity

After trying out 'weird' songs, the band decides to go to a happier place.

Notice to those hoping to catch a sneak peek of Panic! at the Disco’s new album during one of their upcoming festival gigs: What you hear might not ultimately be what you get.

Case in point is a song tentatively called “It’s True Love,” which the band unveiled last month at Summerfest in Milwaukee. The way things are looking now, it’s probably not even going to make the cut for album number two.

“We hadn’t played a show in a while, and we wanted to play something new, but that song’s probably not even going to make the record at this point,” guitarist Ryan Ross told MTV News at last weekend’s Virgin Festival in Baltimore. “We’ve changed a lot of what we want to do with the record. And I feel like we’re happier with the new songs we have so far than we ever were with any of the old songs on the last record.”

Change seems to be the theme these days for Panic, who made waves earlier this year when they announced they had retired to a cabin in Nevada to begin writing the follow-up to A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (see “Panic! At The Cabin: Rockers Go Into Hibernation To Work On Sophomore Disc” ). Then in April the band forced the WTF-meter into the red with an open plea to land Dr. Dre as a producer for the new, yet-untitled album (see “Panic! At The Disco Planning ’Love Story’ — And Dr. Dre Hookup?” ).

Through all that, they were still working off the template Ross laid down last year: to create a “modern fairy tale” (see “Panic’s Vacation Plan: Shoot A Video, Write Songs, Find Spot For Moonmen” ). And while that’s still the case, it looks like things are — you guessed it — changing yet again.

“We wrote a bunch of songs that we were happy with, and we liked ’em a lot, but we just weren’t having as much fun as we should’ve been, you know?” bassist Jon Walker said. “Things are pretty good for us right now, and we’re pretty happy, and I think that is gonna come out more in these songs. We spent the past year and a half playing a bunch of songs that have weird melodies and weirder phrasings, [and] long words that [frontman] Brendon [Urie] still can’t pronounce all that well. We’re just trying to write songs that we have fun playing.”

And it turns out that means adhering to a heretofore un-adhered-to concept, K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

“We wanted to approach these songs in the most basic form,” Ross said. “We wrote them all on one acoustic guitar and with someone singing. I think that we kind of skipped that part of songwriting on the first record, and this time we’re sort of paying attention to that. We moved into a cabin in the mountains, and then we went to L.A. and worked there for a while. And then we came home [to Las Vegas] a month ago and got into our old rehearsal studio, where we wrote the last record — and we’ve written a bunch of songs since we’ve been home. I think it’s the most fun and the happiest we’ve been since we started.”

While there’s still no firm date for just when we’ll get to hear the fruits of those happy labors, Panic said that they’re in no rush to get album number two out there, despite some of the pressure they’re starting to feel from their most ardent fans.

“We haven’t any problem with our label at all. I don’t think we’ve talked to one person from our label since we started writing,” drummer Spencer Smith said. “I know a lot of bands have issues with their label, but we don’t.

“A couple of my mom’s coworkers are pissed, though,” he laughed. “They want new songs.”

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