Going solo? Don't panic
Frontman Brendon Urie, the last man standing in US alt-rock band Panic! At The Disco, relishes his creative freedom
When Las Vegas alternative rockers Panic! At The Disco swing into town next month for their first live gig here in eight years, local audiences will see a drastically different outfit compared to the one that raised temperatures at music festival SingFest in 2008.
After a series of line-up changes, the US band is down to a single member - flamboyant, enigmatic vocalist-frontman Brendon Urie.
Yes, the 29-year-old, who founded Panic! At The Disco in 2004 with three childhood pals, is essentially now a masterful one-man act.
And with the success of his latest album Death Of A Bachelor, which was released in January and boasts an intoxicating mix of pop, funk, jazz, emo and gospel, Urie has proven that doing everything solo - he wrote, played every instrument and recorded all the songs by himself - has its rewards.
Death Of A Bachelor topped the Billboard 200 album chart in its first week of release, bumping artists like Adele and the late David Bowie down the ladder.
"I was speechless," Urie told M in an e-mail interview.
"I never know what to think when something great like that happens. Ultimately, it makes me feel so grateful to be where I am."
Urie, who currently works with touring musicians for Panic! At The Disco's live concerts, is enjoying the creative free rein he has when it comes to making music.
"I still tour with a tight group of friends," he said.
"But now, I have more freedom to create what I want without much compromise."
Best known for hits such as I Write Sins Not Tragedies, Nine In The Afternoon and Victorious, Panic! At The Disco will perform here on Aug 16.
"I'm very excited to return to Singapore. The last time I was there, I didn't have much time to see the sights," said Urie, who is married with no kids.
"This time round, I'm hoping to have more time to check (Singapore) out."
Long-time fans will be glad to know that there is, at the very least, one part of Panic! At The Disco that has remained constant over the years.
Till today, Urie rocks his signature guyliner from time to time.
"I work in moods. Some days, I dress more flamboyantly. Other days, I'm more reserved," he said, when asked if his fashion style has mellowed with age.
"I hope that never changes."
Meanwhile, the band's stirring cover of Queen classic Bohemian Rhapsody is featured on the soundtrack of upcoming Hollywood supervillain movie Suicide Squad.
"I'd wanted to record a studio version (of it) for a while now," said Urie.
"Luckily, this gave me an opportunity to do it right and be a part of something great as well."
Diversity could very well be Urie's middle name.
This year, he sang with It girl Halsey at the Coachella music festival, did a joint tour with fellow alt-rock band Weezer and even contributed vocals to metalcore band Every Time I Die's soon-to-be-released new album.
"I love all of these artists and it's an honour to work on so many different projects with so many diverse artists. I would love to continue collaborating with different artists in the future."
WHAT: Panic! At The Disco — Live In Singapore
WHERE: Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre, Level 6, Hall 601- 604
WHEN: Aug 16, 8pm
TICKETS: $98 to $148 from Sistic (6348-5555 or www.sistic.com.sg)