“We’ve had quite an interesting last nine months,” says Panic! at the Disco’s guitarist Ryan Ross. “We were in the mountains for a while writing songs, and then we moved to L.A. for a bit, and then we decided to start over in July. So now we’re trying to finish this second second record. Actually, it’s almost like our third record, since we were three-quarters finished with the other one before we scrapped it.”
The “mountain sessions” started in earnest earlier this year, when Panic took up residence in a log cabin to begin the tracks they would eventually trash. The Internet has been ablaze with theories as to why the band decided to shelve an album's worth of material.
"We were just piecing stuff together up in the cabin,” says Ross. “We would take lyrics, but we didn't really have a proper band set up. We were just writing on pianos and guitars separately and just throwing other things in there, and it didn't really sound like a band; it sounded like a film score.
"We went through a stage of writing what just happened because we were on tour for so long, and we were sick of those old songs so much that we decided to write songs that were really complicated and challenging for us," he continues. "Then we realized that it's not going to be any fun to play these live either, so we decided to ditch the whole project. There was a story line throughout the whole record, a short story, and we decided to put that on the shelf and just start playing as a band, and it's been a lot better."
Okay, so what about the new new songs then?
"We've got about six or seven songs that are pretty much complete. They've got a more positive outlook to them. It's kind of hard to write a bunch of sad songs if you're not sad anymore," Ross says. "I guess they're pretty different than the songs on the first album. I mean, we wrote those songs three to four years ago, so obviously we've changed a lot in terms of everything."
Ross wouldn't say just when Panic plan to enter the studio to begin recording the follow-up to their debut, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, but according to drummer Spencer Smith, “First and foremost, Panic will be staying at home in Las Vegas to work on the album. Secondly, we want to have the new single out by the end of the year, probably around Christmas. And then have the album out in February. We hope."