Despite what you might presume, the members of Panic! at the Disco have no idea what's happening on their Web site. Really.
"We don't really know anything about it," bassist Jon Walker laughed. "It went blank one day, and ever since, someone's been updating it." "The short story is that our site got hacked, and we don't know what's happened to it," frontman Brendon Urie added. "Now our songs are getting leaked, and all hell is breaking loose."
S-u-u-r-e, guys. The mystery surrounding Panic's site started last week, when strange, "Wheel-of-Fortune"-inspired word puzzles and invisible clocks began to appear. And it continues to grow, first with the revelation of a single phrase, "You don't have to worry," and then with the appearance of a jigsaw puzzle, featuring the date "01.01.08" and a muffled, five-second snippet of a song, presumably from the band's upcoming album.
So, really. What's the deal?
"['You don't have to worry'] is a lyric in the first track of our new record," explained drummer Spencer Smith. "We chose it to open the record, [because] it was written for that purpose."
"It's like a disclaimer almost," Urie chimed in.
It bears mention here that this interview took place on the back lot of a studio in Los Angeles, where Panic were filming the video for "Nine in the Afternoon," the first single from their new, yet-untitled album. And while the bandmembers were decidedly less-than-forthcoming with details about the song, they did say that it was the first one they wrote for the album — but it's not clear if that's counting all the songs they reportedly scrapped earlier this year.
"This is the first song we wrote. It's a song we all wrote together. It's basically about our situation for the past few years, just kind of looking at it all in a good way, and as a positive thing," guitarist Ryan Ross said. "It's one of the most straightforward songs we've ever had, lyrically. We wanted to have a song people could just get on the first listen. ... It was one of those spur-of-the-moment songs that came together in a couple of hours. It's just a fun song; it's not really meant to be taken seriously."
And as for the video itself, well, there's not much we can give away, except to say that there are gratuitous fake moustaches involved. And a rather bizarre parade being led by the guys in Panic, who are dressed in what could only be described as "Sgt. Pepper's-meets-ice-fishing" attire (lots of epaulets and thermal underwear). Each of them also wears a sash printed with the phrase "Pretty Odd." Perhaps that's another clue in the ongoing Web site mystery? Or, even something simpler, like maybe the title of the record?
"You can't know yet. It's a secret," Ross teased. "There's a lot of surprises ahead, [but] it has a meaning."
"If you do this interview again in a couple months, we'll tell you," Smith added. "It's not that we don't want to tell you; it's that we're not allowed. It goes along with the theme of the whole record."