Panic posted the announcement Monday (June 6) on their official site, hinting that creative differences may have caused the split between Ross, Walker and the remaining bandmembers: frontman Brendon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith.
“Though the four of us have made music together in the past, we’ve creatively evolved in different directions, which has compromised what each of us want to personally achieve,” the statement read in part. “Over the years, we have remained close and honest with each other, which helped us to realize that our goals were different and that parting ways is truly what is best for each of us. We are all excited for the future, you should be too.”
According to the statement, Urie and Smith will continue making music under the Panic at the Disco mantle, and the band will still hit the road this summer for their dates on the Blink-182 tour, though it is not known who will replace Ross on guitar and Walker on bass. The statement also says Panic’s new album is still on schedule.
The statement concludes by saying that updates on Ross’ and Walker’s new project will be forthcoming, as will a message from Urie and Smith about the split. At press time, a spokesperson for Panic’s label, Fueled by Ramen/ Atlantic, had not responded to MTV News’ request for comment on the news.
But hours after the news of the split broke, Urie and Smith made a comment of their own, in the form of a second online statement, in which they wished Ross and Walker well and promised Panic fans that the band they loved wasn’t going anywhere.
“We just wanted to let you know that the news of Ryan and Jon leaving the band is unfortunately true. It’s been an amazing journey being in a band with them, but sometimes individual tastes take friends in different directions, and you can’t ignore it. They are some of the most talented guys we know, and we’re sure that whatever they do next will be great,” the statement read. “That said, Panic at the Disco is alive and very, very well. We are working on new songs that we are excited for you to hear. Our dates with Blink and Fall Out Boy start in a little less than a month, and we wouldn’t miss those for the world. We know everybody has a lot of questions at this point with everything being so out of the blue, most of those should be answered in the coming weeks. We appreciate every one of you, and hope you continue with us on this incredible ride.”
Ross formed Panic at the Disco with Smith in 2004, and the duo soon added Urie and original bassist Brent Wilson to the mix. Their debut album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, was released the following year and sold more than 2.2 million copies worldwide. Just as Panic were about to launch their first-ever headlining tour, they parted ways with Wilson under less-than-amicable circumstances, and replaced him with Walker. In 2008, they released Pretty. Odd., an album that didn’t sell as well as their debut but earned them newfound critical praise.