Panic at the Disco is no more. At least, not the version of the Las Vegas band heretofore known to the world.
Panic has announced that half of its four members—guitarist Ryan Ross and bassist Jon Walker—have left the band. “Sometimes individual tastes take friends in different directions,” a post attributed to the two remaining Panic-ers, singer Brendon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith, confirmed today on the official Web site. “That said, Panic at the Disco is alive and very, very well. We are working on new songs that we are excited for you to hear. Our dates with Blink and Fall Out Boy start in a little less than a month, and we wouldn’t miss those for the world.”
No official word yet, however, on whether Panic will honor its scheduled August 7 date opening for No Doubt at the Joint, or what the band’s membership might look like when it does begin playing again.
The exit of Ross, one of Panic’s four founding members (original bassist Brent Wilson was booted from the band in 2006 and replaced by Walker, an out-of-towner), is particularly noteworthy, since he has served as the band’s chief songwriter and primary lyricist.
The Ross/Urie/Smith lineup leaves behind two albums, 2005’s A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, which reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Independent Albums chart, and 2008’s Pretty. Odd., which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The latter matched The Killers’ Sam’s Town for the highest first-week showing by any Las Vegas act in history.