Despite what you may have read, Ryan Ross isn't a drug addict. He isn't a troublemaker or a "rock star" either. He wasn't the reason Panic! at the Disco split up. He's just a guy with a new band (and a new album) who just so happens to also be carrying around a ton of baggage. And he'll happily discuss all of it with you.
"I don't take myself very seriously. I gave up on trying to prove anything to people. If something is funny to me, it's funny," he said. "I don't really take anything very seriously, I guess, unless it's about the band. I would say my main goal is to be one of the top 20 most-hated people on the Internet. I'm well on my way."
He probably is. For reasons that he can't seem to comprehend, Ross — who, along with former Panic! bassist Jon Walker, left their former bandmates behind to start the Young Veins earlier this summer — has been saddled with a bit of a bad-boy tag, mostly by kids who now claim to be his former fans. Which is why every time he posts a blurry photo on his Twitter account or cracks a joke about getting married in a shotgun ceremony, it's not only taken as gospel, but as more proof that he's lost his mind.
And he has absolutely no problem with any of that.
"See, that's another thing — comedy doesn't come across that well on Twitter. I would've figured, come on, if I'm as bad as people think I am, I would've had a way better wedding than that. I wouldn't have done it over Twitter," Ross laughed. "So, no. I did not get married. We thought it would be funny — nobody else thought it was funny. Friends of mine were like, 'Congratulations!' and I was like, 'Dude, are you serious — you actually thought it was a legitimate thing?' People didn't think it was funny."
And rather than try to address any of the rumors surrounding him, Ross has instead decided to disappear from public view, throwing himself headlong into finishing the Veins' debut, Take a Vacation. It's a decision that's only caused his legend to grow exponentially. To a lot of Panic! fans, Ross is a spook story — the dark yin to Brendon Urie and Spencer Smith's bright and shiny yang. He's basically a mystery — albeit one with a very active Twitter presence.
But now, with Vacation done, he's starting the long climb back into the spotlight. And though the Veins currently don't have a label (they're in the process of shopping the finished disc) or any solid tour plans, Ross is ready to welcome his fans — both current and former — back into his world. He just hopes they're ready.
"I hope that our other fans love [the record]. I hope the kids from Panic! like it too," he said. "I think it's more accessible and maybe better than our last record was. In terms of pop songs, I think they're better pop songs. It's not like we're trying to do this cooler than cool new bands — it's pop songs, you know?"