Vices & Virtues is “all over the place”

The last time MTV News spoke with Panic! At The Disco, Brendon Urie and Spencer Smith had just premiered “New Perspective,” a song they’d written for the Megan Fox horror flick “Jennifer’s Body.” They were fresh off a run of shows opening for Blink-182 and only two months removed from the departure of Ryan Ross and Jon Walker, who were still 10 months away from releasing their first album as the Young Veins.

So, yeah, it’s been a while.

But in recent weeks, Panic! have slowly begun edging their way back into the spotlight. They’ve announced plans for a new album — Vices & Virtues, due March 29 — and unveiled the first single from that disc, “The Ballad of Mona Lisa,” which drops February 1. And they’ve just filmed a video for the song, directed by longtime collaborator Shane C. Drake.

MTV News was on location with the band during the shoot, and while we can’t reveal any details just yet, we did manage to ask Urie and Smith a bit about the single and the album, both of which, it would seem, are rather intrinsically linked.

“Basically, all of the songs, including ‘Mona Lisa,’ kind of touch on what the album is called … it’s called Vices & Virtues, and in one way or the other, at least one to 10 virtues or vices are represented in every song,” Urie said. “[It’s] little minor things I didn’t know were vices or virtues, until we looked them up. I was like, ‘I don’t know what altruism means, so I’ll look that up.’ Things like logic, pride, vanity — it can go either way. So it was kind of interesting to read about that.

“And it just made sense, because all the songs [on the album] are so all over the place,” he continued. “They don’t sound anything like each other, and it’s like, ‘How does this all tie together?’ and then it kind of made sense. It was kind of lucky.”

And though Vices is a musical grab bag, Panic! couldn’t have made the album any other way, and they’re pretty sure fans will be happy with the results — especially fans clamoring for a return to their A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out heyday.

“We’ve been working on music for about a year and a half, so I think that partly adds to why some of the songs have some varying styles,” Smith said. “Part of it was us, at the beginning, trying to figure out what we wanted to do — we had a new opportunity with just the two of us — and as we sort of got a better hold on what that was, just kind of went from there. … I think there’s stuff from the first album that we kind of got away from on the second record that people who were fans of the first one will enjoy.”


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