Panic! at the Disco was formed in 2004 in the suburban area of Summerlin, Las Vegas, by friends Spencer Smith (drums) and Ryan Ross (guitar). The pair, who both attended Bishop Gorman High School, originally just covered blink-182 tunes.
Having tired of playing another group's material, Smith and Ross recruited two additional band members, their friend Brent Wilson (bass) from nearby Palo Verde High School and Wilson's classmate Brendon Urie as a stand-in guitarist for a couple of gigs.
"I was willing to do anything," Urie recalled to Q magazine. Play tambourine, sell merch. I was just desperate to be involved."
After hearing Urie sing back-up during rehearsals, Smith, Ross and Wilson decided to make him the lead vocalist.
The newly formed quartet decided to name themselves after a line in Orange County pop-punk outfit Name Taken's 2004 song "Panic."
Panic! At the Disco posted several demos online and on a whim, sent a link to Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz via a LiveJournal account. Wentz had just set up Decaydance Records, and he drove from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to meet with the teenage quartet. Even though Panic! At the Disco had yet to play a live show, he was impressed by the songs they played to him and they became the first band signed to Wentz's label.
Panic! broke onto the music scene in 2005 with their double-platinum debut album A Fever You Can't Sweat Out.
Bassist Jon Walker joined Panic! at the Disco in May 2006, replacing Brent Wilson. However both Walker and Ross left the Las Vegas band in 2009, citing creative differences, and formed another band, The Young Veins.
Appearing on a 2018 episode of Neighbourhood Of Good, Urie recalled: "The first split than Panic! had, I was very depressed. I sometimes wouldn't leave my house for weeks."
The musician added that it was producer Rob Mathes, whom he described as one of his "greatest friends and greatest mentors", who gave him a key piece of advice that helped him get through that period. "He said, 'Dude, just show up. If you just show up, things will happen – this isn't about you. Get out of your head,'" Urie recalled.
Panic At The Disco's third album, Vices & Virtues was recorded by the remaining duo singer/multi-instrumentalist Brendon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith. They were joined for their fourth LP Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! by bassist Dallon Weekes. However, by the fifth record, Death of a Bachelor, Spencer Smith had left the outfit, citing a need to settle his drug issues and bassist Dallon Weekes had also departured from the official line-up, subsequently becoming a touring member only. As a consequence the entire album was written and recorded by Brendon Urie with external writers.
Though Brendon Urie married Sarah Orzechowski in 2013, he subsequently came out as pansexual insisting he has never limited himself to any one gender when it comes to dating.
"I'm married to a woman and I'm very much in love with her, but I'm not opposed to a man because to me, I like a person," he told PaperMagazine
. "I guess you could qualify me as pansexual because I really don't care. If a person is great, then a person is great. I just like good people, if your heart's in the right place. I'm definitely attracted to men. It's just people that I am attracted to... I guess this is me coming out as pansexual."
Panic! at the Disco sat for 76 consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart between November 2018 and April 2020. Their "High Hopes
" single spent 65 weeks at the peak position with "Hey Look Ma, I Made It
" replacing it at the top for the other 11 weeks.