[artist id="2008947"]Panic! at the Disco[/artist] officially return Tuesday with Vices & Virtues, their first album in three years and the first since the departure of Ryan Ross and Jon Walker. But, of course, if you're a fan, you probably already knew both of those things.
What fans may not know is the message behind "The Overture," the mini-movie teaser the band posted earlier this month. Opening with a scene of frontman Brendon Urie telling two shadowy specters — who most assume represent Ross and Walker — "I'm gonna miss you guys ... looks like we're going to have to part ways" and featuring Panic! and a host of fantastical characters embarking on a journey (to points unknown), most seem to assume the clip represents the band putting their past to bed and heading out into the future.
And while those assumptions are (in part) correct, the way Urie and drummer Spencer Smith see it, "The Overture" (and, really, most of Vices & Virtues) is about something else entirely: the obstacles they overcame just to make it to this point.
"I guess the entire theme to be covered in a word would be 'perseverance.' It's really learning to drop your baggage and keep pressing forward with what you want to do. And having the passion but also the perseverance," Urie told MTV News. "So we're gathering up people [and] we're not really sure where we're going, and how it's going to be, how the trip's going to be, but that's not the point. You never really know how it's going to end up, and that was important for us to get that message out, too, because we've learned that in the past couple of years."
While Urie and Smith were mum about the identities of those two darkened figures at the beginning of the video, it's safe to speculate that they are, in fact, Ross and Walker. But they also represent basically everything Panic! at the Disco has had to endure ever since they burst onto the scene in 2005 with A Fever You Can't Sweat Out — the labels, the gossip and, yes, the almost-breakup. Because, like everything the band does these days, they're parting ways with the past.
"[The figures are] mostly a metaphor [for] that idea of what we thought we were in the past, learning to just let that go and pushing forward with the ideas we knew we wanted to do for this record," Urie said.
Are you looking forward to new Panic! music? Let us know in the comments!