Panic! At The Disco mainstay Brendon Urie returns to the cover of AP prior to the release of Panic!’s sixth album, Pray For The Wicked. And while he’d probably say that his pop life is business as usual, many fans have embraced his work in a new capacity, one that aligns with their socio-political worldviews. How the hell did that happen?
Urie is known as a fast-talking, wise guy with an amazing vocal range: He’s quick with a joke and a laugh and seemingly doesn’t have a care in the world. But there’s a new generation of listeners who are using his music as a rallying force for causes such as gun law reform, the Human Rights Campaign, as well as the LGBTQ awareness sparked by his 2013 single, “Girls/Girls/Boys.”
“Seeing all these hearts fly up during a song I wrote about a sexual, personal experience that turned it into something else…,” he pauses, “the fans made it into something way cooler. It changed the meaning entirely for the better, and I was so happy to see that happen. It’s so beautiful. I hope there is some reciprocity [between me and my fans]. I don’t want to always put it on them, like their only call to arms is to be there when I fall. I want to be there when they fall.
“I’m always excited when I hear that someone is using my art to make a change,” he says, beaming. “Isn’t that the best possible outcome someone can hope for? Someone changes the world because they were inspired by something I just love to do? That’s so beautiful.”
Don’t worry, it’s not all heavy. Urie celebrates new bassist Nicole Row and her predecessor Dallon Weekes; gets chatty about life on Broadway, especially the days he wasn’t allowed to leave the theater; and laughs over how excessive partying with friends can yield some pretty great songs. Hell, who wouldn’t want to hang with him?