The members of Las Vegas rock band Panic! At The Disco are relying less on computer software and more on their musical abilities for their next album. The as-yet-untitled release, due in stores March 25, will be the follow-up to their 2005 debut “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out,” which has sold 1.7 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
“We just wanted the record to sound like four people playing a song,” Panic! guitarist/lyricist Ryan Ross tells Billboard.com. “A lot of the songs are definitely more geared toward playing live; we didn’t think about that on the last record.”
Musically, the band is “working backwards,” Ross explains, drawing musical influence from such acts as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and the Beach Boys. “When I started playing music, all I was hearing was whatever was on the radio,” the guitarist explains. “I’m 21 now, so a lot of my musical tastes have changed.”
Along with some horn and string orchestral arrangements, “I played harmonica on a song and did some slide guitar, which we’ve never done before,” Ross notes.
Discovered online by Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz, Panic! became a headliner on the road shortly after the debut album came out, grossing nearly $6 million from 50 concerts in 2006, according to Billboard Boxscore.
Indeed, Panic! has learned a few lessons during that time, many of which are reflected on new songs like “Things Have Changed” and “Nine in the Afternoon.” Lyrically, Ross is moving away from sarcastic one-liners and focusing on “our situation now and how things are a lot different than they were on the last record,” he explains.
“Nine in the Afternoon,” which the band road-tested on summer gigs, is about “all of the things you get caught up in while you’re in a band … then coming back and realizing that it’s just fun making music with your four best friends,” Ross says.
To promote the new album, Panic! will play U.S. theaters in March. Known for its elaborate stage setup and costumes, the band “just started throwing around ideas for a tour,” Ross says.