For two weeks, Spencer Smith sat idly by while his former bandmate, guitarist Ryan Ross, spoke at length about leaving Panic! at the Disco and venturing out on a career of his own . Late Wednesday (July 29), that all changed.
Smith spoke with MTV News about splitting with Ross and bassist Jon Walker — echoing Ross’ sentiments, he called the decision “beyond amicable” — and his and Brendon Urie’s decision to carry on under the Panic! at the Disco mantle.
“I suppose it’s inevitable that our two bands will always be linked now … sort of like what happened when Blink-182 split, with Angels & Airwaves and +44, or At the Drive-In split into Sparta and the Mars Volta,” Smith said. “But that’s just a media thing, really, a way to add something to the story. Brendon and I are still friends with Ryan and Jon, we really like their new band [the Young Veins ], they really like our band, and we hope fans like both of them. There’s thousands of songs on my iPod, there’s room for both our bands on it.
“And with Brendon and I, really, there was never any doubt that we were going to carry on as Panic! Honestly, we wanted to move forward as the band,” Smith added. “We’re working on an album now that, hopefully, takes the best parts from both of our records … because we love them both and are really proud of them.”
But before Smith and Urie could move forward as Panic!, they had to come to terms with the past — something that’s proven to be tough, given the reaction most fans have had to the split.
“It’s one of those things where, it’s sad for us to know, but at the same time, it’s sort of heartwarming to know there’s people that love your band that much that they would genuinely be upset that we were splitting apart,” Smith said. “And I think that there was absolutely no way to get around that, and we have to keep reminding ourselves of that. And also knowing that it was the right decision, and as me and Brendon are moving forward and I’m sure Ryan and Jon are moving forward too. … It’s unfortunate that there’s no way to sort of get around the initial fan reaction, but it makes sense, and it’s amazing that they care about our band that much to really feel that way. Hopefully over the next few months, the music will amend that.”
Oh, and about that music. Smith revealed exclusively to MTV News that — for the immediate future, at least — he and Urie have tapped a pair of their friends to join the band for their upcoming dates with Blink-182. Replacing Ross on guitar is Ian Crawford, who spent time with Panic!’s Decaydance labelmates the Cab. And on bass, it’ll be singer/songwriter Dallon Weekes, mastermind behind Utah-based indie act the Brobecks.
“Yeah, we’ve taken on a couple of new guys for the tour. They’re friends, so the decision was easy. Plus, we’re really excited to play with them as musicians,” Smith said. “Ian is probably the most talented guitar player that me and Brendon have ever played with, and Dallon is a really nice guy and a really great bassist. It’s new. Like I said, we’re really excited.”