Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie: Rock must rip up the rulebook

Freedom and excitement are key to Brendon Urie. Panic! At The Disco’s frontman believes removing the shackles will always make for the best art…

Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie: Rock must rip up the rulebook
Brendon Urie, speaking to Emily Carter
Andy Ford

“Music should be about not just getting stuck in one idea. I think that hip-hop has been doing a thing that rock has failed at on a lot of points, which is: no rules. The more that I hear hip-hop, they just do whatever the fuck they want, and that makes me so excited.

“I’m a Kanye West fan – he can say what he wants and vote for who he wants. I think he’s a genius at getting people to talk about him, and finding the right songs. Even if he stopped producing stuff, finding the right songs and having that ear to acknowledge that there’s a talent in that idea, and how to use that, is a genius move. Genius doesn’t just mean that you created this thing all on your own; you’ve got to be able to delegate and go, ‘That’s going to be awesome, trust me, let me sing on this, it’ll be amazing.’ That’s why I think hip-hop just does it right.

“When I’m writing, I’m thinking, ‘What’s going to excite me?’”

Brendon Urie

“What do they say – ‘a committee trying to make a horse made a camel’? Because if you start talking with too many people, your ideas and your visions are not going to be what you thought they were. You wanted a horse, but then people were like, ‘What if it had two humps? Yeah, let’s give it a hump, and a weirder tail, and a fat mouth? Yeah, that’s beautiful, that’s a horse!’ So people will start to dictate what you envision, but if it feels right for you, then why change it? And luckily I get to just be as selfish as possible on [2018 album] Pray For The Wicked, so it’s really nice (laughs). I’m honestly only as good as the people that I surround myself with, so hopefully that comes across. I could never put something out that I wasn’t 100 per cent sold on. If it felt fake, it would just be fake. There would be no reason for me to do it, and I would just be so bummed! I would be so unhappy playing stuff onstage that was manufactured artificially.

“At the end of the day, when I’m writing, I’m not thinking about anyone else. I’m thinking, ‘What’s going to excite me the most?’ And hopefully people jump on board, because if I’m not happy with something, I would never want to put it out. That’s really what it comes down to.”

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