By HAZEL REID
Panic! at the Disco are heading back to NZ shores in February for one massive show at Vector Arena. This will be their first time back since their last show in 2008.
We called Brendon Urie to chat about recording their latest album, dream collaborations and returning to New Zealand.
Hi Brendon – congrats on your Grammy nomination!
Thank you! I actually woke up at 5:30am to my phone ringing and it was my manager. It was the coolest way to wake up.
You’ve been doing music for over a decade now – what was the experience like getting back into the studio for your latest album, Death of a Bachelor?
It was so much fun. I had just recently moved so I built myself a studio, which I’d never done before. I was so excited to do it – a little one room studio. I spent most of my time recording in there – most of what you hear on Death of a Bachelor was recorded at my house. Anywhere from waking up to going to bed, anytime of the day I would just jump into the studio if I had an idea. That was a blast!
What inspires your music?
All kinds of things – I’m one of those people who believe that any interaction I have, this talk included, is a butterfly effect. I don’t think I’d be the same person tomorrow if I hadn’t bumped into somebody – that kind of thing. Everything can be an inspiration – any kind of entertainment I feel is a derivative of some kind of art.
Who would you love to collaborate with in the future?
I’m a huge fan of pop music – Taylor Swift, I would love to work with her. Kendrick Lamar is phenomenal, The Weeknd is also. Someone who I’ve wanted to write with for the past ten years is Chris Martin from Coldplay!
What’s one song you wish you’d written?
Oh man – there’s so many. I get frustrated all the time – listening to the radio, I’m like “Oh my god!” In the music world, someone’s going to get that song so you want to keep writing. Bohemian Rhapsody is one of my favourites, one of the best compositions of all time. It’s one of those songs I really wish came from me.
You’re performing at Vector Arena next year – what can we expect from your show?
It’s very loud – the best way I can describe is it is like a workout tape. It’s basically 90 minutes straight through, it’s back-to-back so come prepared to sweat and work out, it’s so, so much fun.
Your show originally sold out in 90 minutes and had to be moved to a bigger venue – are you excited to be coming back to New Zealand after all these years?
Definitely – we haven’t been there enough. We finally got the gig back after telling our booking agent – it’s going to be awesome. It’s been a while, I’m so grateful to our fans – everybody that supports us. I’d be nothing without them, if I just showed up to a venue and played with no-one there, it would just be called rehearsal. The fact they’re there means everything, it’s amazing.
What’s your favourite song to perform?
Bohemian Rhapsody – but that’s not our song! [laughs] Also Golden Days, it’s off the new album – I love playing that one live.
Best piece of life advice you’ve ever received and live by?
One of my friends, Rob, once said these three words: “Just. Show. Up.” This was when the band had just split and I had no idea what was going on. So as long as you got out of bed and showed up, you were good. I would have over-thought it in the beginning, but that meant a lot to me – just show up.
Speaking of life advice, are there any words of wisdom you could give to young people wanting to work in the industry?
Creativity and genius come from solitude. Anyone that I’ve looked up to and idolised as a musician, I’ve noticed a pattern… in their past they’ve spent a lot of time alone. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; I did it as a kid. I spent countless days and weeks alone in my room listening to music, soaking it in – trying to learn chords, teaching myself scales. I think spending time alone when you’re feeling creative is a very good thing.
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Panic! at the Disco’s new album, Death of a Bachelor, is out now. Don’t miss them live at Vector Arena on February 2nd! Tickets are available now from Ticketmaster – click here to grab yours.