Interview: Brendon Urie Talks Co-Headlining Reading & Leeds This Weekend
Ahead of Reading & Leeds, we caught up with Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie for a massive eight-page cover feature – plotting the musician’s journey from young wannabe rock star to dazzling festival headliner.
Here, Brendon reveals what to expect when he brings Pray For The Wicked to Reading & Leeds this weekend – and we’re in for a treat…
Production-wise, are your Reading & Leeds sets going to match Panic!’s current Pray For The Wicked shows over in America?
“We’re trying to figure something out! Bringing production across the seas is a little tougher, so we’re trying to work with a couple of companies, and just make them the biggest shows we’ve ever had over in the UK, for sure! I literally think about this stuff so much to the point where I have to beat my own ideas. Before a tour starts, I’m beating my own ideas with other ideas, and talking to other people and getting their opinion, and they’re trading ideas with me, and then I finally get to decide, ‘Okay, this is how it should be.’ But you can’t please everybody, so it’s really just about doing the things that excite me the most that I try to accomplish for each show. I know what I’m planning, but I really don’t know how it’s going to be. Because even with this tour, I had an idea of what it was going to be like, but it blew my expectations out of the water!”
What’s your favourite memory from playing Reading & Leeds in the past?
“Oh, jeez… just getting to see all these amazing bands play – it’s kinda like a free concert, which is a little unfair (laughs). But it’s awesome. I get the pleasure of meeting all these phenomenal artists, and getting to witness how they do stuff and recreate their material onstage. That’s really fun to do. Watching other artists helps you get inspired by them, and we try to take as much of that experience and put it into our own – that’s really what I get out of it.”
How do you feel about sharing the co-headline slot with Kendrick Lamar?
“Oh my god – there’s no greater honour. I’m such a huge Kendrick Lamar fan, and I have so much respect for the guy. I can’t wait to see him – I’ve never had the chance to see him live before, and I know that it’s going to blow my mind! I’m not all about pressing too hard, but if [a collaboration] happens then it happens. That’s very much how it’s been on this tour: it’s been really organic, and no-one has had to push anybody to do anything that they haven’t wanted to. But I would throw the idea [to get Kendrick onstage during Panic!’s set] out, for sure! I’m such a big fan that I feel like I’m honoured to even just watch him.”
Do you think the fact that you’re co-headlining with a hip-hop artist says a lot about the state of music in 2018?
“Yeah, definitely. I think it’s cool to have a line-up that’s so eclectic. There are so many diverse acts going into it, and there’s something very exciting about that. There’s no rules, and it doesn’t just have to be rock artists, or one genre; it can be all of these artists compiled together to create something really different and really fun. I love it!”
You’re running out of time to pick up this week’s issue of Kerrang! – so if you haven’t already done so, GO GO GO!
Brendon Urie photo: Andy Ford