Panic At The Disco Explain Excised Exclamation Point: ‘It Got A Little Bit Annoying’

'It was never part of the name to us,' guitarist Ryan Ross says of bygone punctuation.

You would think people wouldn’t get this worked up over a single punctuation mark.

Then again, you’re probably not familiar with the inner-machinations of Panic at the Disco fans.

To wit: On Thursday, Panic revealed that their new album would be called Pretty. Odd., bringing to end a solid month of speculation and message-board hysteria . Of course, they also unveiled a brand-new logo to accompany that new album … one that did away with their much-maligned exclamation point. This, of course, shouldn’t have been a big deal — the simple removal of a bizarre bit of punctuation — except it totally was, quickly becoming the most-discussed topic on fan sites around the world (sample missive: “u CANT take the *!* are u insane!”).

It became such an issue that Panic (it feels so strange not adding a “!” after that) were forced to discuss the “exclamation thing” with MTV News following a press conference in Torrance, California, where they were announced as the headliners of the 2008 Honda Civic Tour. So, really, guys: What was the reason for dropping the “!”?

“At least for me, it got a little bit annoying to try to write that every time you’re typing the name,” guitarist Ryan Ross said. “It was never part of the name to us. … People started writing it, and then it ended up in more and more things like that, so there it was. When we started doing new promo stuff for this album, we just told everyone not to use it anymore.”

“We wrote it that way once, when we first started the band, and then … people kept writing it that way, and it was a freakin’ whirlwind,” frontman Brendon Urie added. “We never made a big deal out of pulling it off the name. … I mean, every time I write [our name], I never put an exclamation point in there.”

So there you have it. The lack of an exclamation point is totally not a big deal (!). Bandmembers didn’t even use it themselves (!). You don’t need to freak out (!). Seriously (!). Calm down (!).

But while we’re on the subject of punctuation-related shenanigans, let’s talk about the album title, Pretty. Odd. It has, like, two periods in it. For no real reason. What’s the deal with that?

“It just happened one night. We were working on a new song, and we weren’t even talking about album titles, but it was just something I wrote down, and I brought it up to the guys,” Ross explained “Like, Pretty. Odd. And then they all liked it, and that was a couple of months ago, so we just kept it since then.”

“And it’s more fun with punctuation,” drummer Spencer Smith added.

Indeed, it is. Oh, and as for the Honda Civic Tour, it kicks off April 10 in San Francisco and runs until June 14 in Anaheim, California. (It will, presumably, leave the state of California at some point.) Motion City Soundtrack and Panic’s labelmates the Hush Sound are also coming along for the ride, plus a fourth, yet-unannounced artist (mysterious!).

At the event, Panic unveiled their custom-designed Honda Civic (it had a hot-air balloon and several flowers painted on it … for real) and played an acoustic set, featuring new songs “We’re So Starving” and “Nine in the Afternoon,” plus the debut of “When the Day Met the Night,” a very Beatles-y tune, in which Urie sung lines like “When the moon fell in love with the sun/ All was golden in the sky/ All was golden when the day met the night” over a spirally, Abbey Road-era guitar line.

So it’s fitting, then, that the band is on its way to London to put the finishing touches on Pretty. Odd. at the actual Abbey Road Studios. And the guys are totally pumped to be working in the Beatles’ own haunt — just don’t expect them to use any exclamation points to convey that excitement.

“I know that a lot of the gear that they used is still there,” Smith said. “And being able to go there and actually use that stuff and sit in the same control room and live room that they did … it’s going to be a great experience, for sure.”