Panic! at the Disco have been through some changes.

The band line-up has changed so dramatically that only one original member is left, and their sound has consistently shifted between electro-dance, pop, rock, soul and even - at times - hip-hop.

But one thing hasn't changed: "It's still very high-energy - that's still very much there and has never gone anywhere," says lead singer Brendan Urie.

Panic at the Disco's original lineup: Jon Walker, Spencer Smith, Brendon Urie and Ryan Ross. Photo / Supplied
Panic at the Disco's original lineup: Jon Walker, Spencer Smith, Brendon Urie and Ryan Ross. Photo / Supplied

Though he started out as a back-up singer for founding member Ryan Ross, once the band heard Urie sing he was immediately moved to the lead and has fronted the band ever since, adding a wild theatricality to their sound, look and performances.


Now he's riding a wave of success brought about by Panic's latest album, Death of a Bachelor, which has just earned a Grammy nomination for best rock album.

And that wave's bringing him back to New Zealand for the first time in nearly 10 years.

"The last time was 2008, which is so crazy to think about. I still remember the first trip we took there, it was amazing. So it's very cool, very exciting," he says about coming back.

And though fans may not be sure what to expect without any of the other original members, Urie promises to deliver the hits.

"There are some fun dramatic moments. I like to do a mix of everything, just because if I went to a show of a band that I was a fan of, I wouldn't just want the new stuff, you know? I want to hear the hits, I want to hear the songs that made me fall in love with them. So that's what I try to bring.

"I mean, playing the old stuff...could get really repetitive if it weren't for the fans. Having them sing the lyrics back to me gives them an entirely new meaning."

For Urie, Panic! at the Disco remains more of a concept than a collection of certain people.

"A thing that I thought Panic always had was just trying out different genres. The first album; we tried jazz, we tried Spanish rock, a couple different things. And that was an attractive idea for me, just bouncing from genre to genre, I liked that. I liked having no rules," he says.

"And that's part of the reason I never questioned Panic as a whole, just to keep going. I never considered it to be a solo project and when the other guys left there was never any weirdness about carrying on with the name. It's because we've always had this connotation of excitement and no rules."



Panic! at the Disco


Thursday, February 2


Vector Arena, Auckland


Available now via