Panic! at the Disco Frontman Breaks Silence About Drummer’s Departure

It’s been a couple of weeks since Panic! at the Disco fans were given the sad news that original drummer Spencer Smith had extended his leave from the band, indefinitely.

Since Smith’s official announcement on the band’s website, remaining original member and lead singer Brendon Urie had been quiet about the departure, but as it turns out, the leave did not come as a surprise to him.

Speaking to Billboard recently, Urie finally broke his silence about Smith’s departure which according to the interview, he know shortly before it went public.

“[The decision] didn’t take me by surprise,” admits Urie.

“It wasn’t talked about a lot. We had minimal conversations about what he wanted to do. Any time we’d hang out we were just hanging out as friends. There was never any business or band meeting. We still hang out all the time. It’s nice to have a friend instead of worrying about band and business stuff. I knew shortly before [the announcement]. We had a few discussions and he told me what he wanted to do and I backed that 100 percent. Obviously I’m going to miss him in the band, but I’m proud of him. I love him to death.”

Even with Smith’s departure, it doesn’t sound like Urie and the rest of Panic! will be stopping anytime soon especially on the new music front.

“I’ve really never stopped writing. I’m picking through demos that I’d been working on for the last couple of years,” he said.

“Every day I’m writing something. I write an idea a day. Even if it’s 10 seconds of a melody or a lyric. I love it too much to not work. It would drive me crazy to not do anything.”

When asked what are the chances new Panic! music will be heading our way in the near future, he responded with “If I had to guess, I’d say this year.”

You’ve got about eight months to make that happen, Brendon.

Spencer Smith Officially Leaves Panic! at the Disco

For anyone who has been to a Panic! at the Disco show over the past two years, they would instantly notice that a key and original member of the band was no longer sitting at the drums, but now, that absence has become permanent.

Today, now former-Panic! drummer Spencer Smith took to the band’s website to reveal that he has officially left the band. In a lengthy post, Smith writes to fans how grateful he was to be in the band, to be with his “family” and all the things that came with it, but felt it was the right time to leave especially since he is still recovering from the addictions that had plagued him.

Back in 2013, the band had unveiled that Smith had been battling alcohol and prescription drug addiction and would be missing their arena tour for their latest release, Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die. In the post, he writes that he has now been “two years sober from prescription medication” and is now “working on a year sobriety from alcohol.”

Read a small portion of the post below or click the link under to read the full letter.

A MESSAGE FROM SPENCER…

To our fans…After 10 years of being a part of this unbelievable journey it saddens me to say that I will be leaving Panic. This was not an easy decision to come to, but after a lot of thinking it became clear that this is what’s right for me and the band. I love this band with all my heart, and getting to see it grow from 4 kids in my parents garage to what it is now has been incredible. I loved it all. But, at a certain point, I realized that I wasn’t able to be there for the band the way I wanted to be, and more importantly, the way they needed me to be. I consider myself extremely lucky to have been surrounded by the people I have been all these years.

To read more click here.

Panic! at the Disco’s Spencer Smith to Sit Out Tour

panic-at-the-disco

After revealing last week that he had been recovering from addiction, Panic! at the Disco drummer, Spencer Smith has officially decided to step down from being part of the band’s arena tour.

Singer Brendon Urie released a statement explaining why Smith had decided to do so. The full statement can be read below.

HI. I’M BRENDON URIE FROM PANIC! AT THE DISCO.
And my band has been through a lot.

From graduating high school to almost immediately getting an indie record deal. To having to become best friends with new acquaintances in the close quarters of a conversion-van whilst touring the country. To dealing with animosities inside and outside of the band. To dealing with “creative differences”. New band members joining. Old members quitting. And now this: one of my closest friends has been struggling with addiction.

I guess I never thought that last one would ever really be a “thing”. Ever. I figured if we ever got into drugs or partying that we would phase out just as quickly. And for a while, we seemed to do just that. Phase in and out of consciousness without worrying about future consequences; or, “future tripping”.

But over the course of the last 6 years or so, I’ve learned that not everybody deals with things the same.

I don’t know why that particular lesson took so long for me to learn. I mean, I’ve always understood that people are different and you can’t judge someone you don’t know because you haven’t walked a mile in their shoes and so forth. But when it happens to someone close to you whom you love and respect… It’s just a different story altogether.

I first joined this band (then under a different band name) as a replacement guitar player. Initially, I had no intentions of being a permanent member. I was just filling a space as a temporary solution to a not-so-serious problem. But within a couple month’s time, I was a lead singer of a growingly popular rock band out of Las Vegas. So, things were pretty damn good for a hyperactive high-school kid with sub-average grades and no plans for college.

My initial impression of Spencer was that of intrigue and curiosity. Most of the time he was quiet and reserved, but every now and then he would unleash his wit of which I was an immediate fan. We seemed to share the same brand of comedy which was a breath of fresh air to me. That initial connection became a fully-fledged friendship that would become stronger over the course of many years. And many fights. Many tears and many laughs.

Writing our first album together was so much fun. Even sometimes cutting class to work more hours for more pay at a smoothie hut just to make ends meet for gas bills and a rehearsal space couldn’t have been more fun to me. And when that album became popular, it was so completely surreal. My entire childhood was spent practicing for and dreaming about entertaining crowds of people. I lived to perform. To sing. To dance. To play music. And I was finally getting to fulfill my dream.

And through the years of changing sounds from one album to the next, of fighting over who should still be the lead singer, of being around people who were so completely done with being a band, I never gave up. I just showed up. And hoped that there were people like me who wanted to make a difference. People who wanted to create something. Because they needed to. Because if they didn’t, it would drive them insane. And luckily, I found people like that.

I guess what I’m saying is that Spencer and I have been through a lot of hurdles together, but witnessing one of my closest friends immersed in such a battle has been the most difficult. There was never anything I could say to comfort him or empathize with his situation. What the fuck could I possibly say to him to make him feel like everything was gonna be okay? So I told myself that all I could do was work even harder with whatever I was doing to make sure he didn’t have to stress about anything. So I did.

And I wrote as sincerely and honestly as I could for this album. I didn’t want to hold anything back. No one was telling me what I could and couldn’t say. This was my diary and the pages were filled with confessions. About everything. About my story. What I had gone through and what I was going through. I kept writing and never really stopped.

So, here’s another confession for my diary. Only this time there’s no musical soundscape or background in which I can flood the message. All I can do is say it. So here it is.

Today is August 6th 2013, and it’s become evident Spencer still needs more time to take care of himself. I can’t expect him to be fighting addiction one minute and be fully immersed in a national tour the next.

With all that said, the tour will continue without Spencer while he is away getting the help he needs. Thank you all for your support and kind words.

I love you. I believe in you. Just show up and don’t ever give up.

Brendan Urie”

About a week back, the drummer revealed that he had been fighting addiction for quite sometime. He said that the addiction started with prescription medication and eventually just spun out of control. While being interviewed by MTV, Smith delved further into his addiction.

All we can say is get well soon.

Panic! at the Disco Drummer Reveals Addiction Problems

panic-at-the-disco

For fans of Panic! at the Disco, we can all say that the band went from being a little unknown Las Vegas band, to scoring hits on MTV really fast. But apparently things haven’t been all fine for one member of the band that has been there since the beginning, drummer Spencer Smith.

Last night, the sticksman released a message to fans where he explained about his drug and alcohol addiction that was pretty much unknown to anyone except himself. In the message he reveals that he had an addiction to pain medication and when he wasn’t int he public eye, things would get worse. He also confirms that he is indeed clean and sober as their new album is slated to be released in a few months.

The full message could be read below and believe us, it’s a powerful read, so get some tissues:

For the past 4 and a half years I’ve been battling addiction. Well, to be honest, I’ve really been battling it for the last two years. Those first 2 and a half years were spent in a place where I thought I had finally found the correct dosage of my personally prescribed medicine to feel “normal”…..In reality, I was mostly stumbling through my life hoping no one noticed I was high. 

Growing up I never used drugs or alcohol. I smoked weed and had my first drink in the same night when I was 19. I loved it, and from that point on I made sure to make up for all those years I had spent abstaining. I’d think to myself… “What have I been doing? This is it! This is what I’ve needed”. I didn’t know it then, but it would be the identical reaction to the way I felt while using that would later lead my drug use dominating my life. For the first few years, my life in a band afforded me the ability to maintain a drinking habit that wouldn’t have lasted a week at a day job. Being on tour left me with a very distorted view of what drinking habits are considered “normal”. But, unlike most of the other musicians I spent time with on tour, when I got home my drinking increased. My anxiety and depression became much worse, and I used alcohol to attempt to numb it. It can be a shock to the system when you go from being on tour for 18 months, almost never being alone, always having somewhere to be and a show to play, to waking up alone having no clue what your gonna do for months on end. Now, if that sounds like it should be on the top of the list of first world problems, you’re right. No one deserves any sympathy for having too much free time. But for someone like me, an addict and alcoholic, free time can be dangerous. I need structure, and when I don’t put it in place for myself, I suffer the consequences. 

Then, a little over 2 years ago, something traumatic happened in regards to the health of a loved one. It was around this time that I started taking Vicodin and Xanax on a daily basis. It was an intoxicating mix. At the time, I honestly thought that I had figured it all out. That I could self medicate my way to always being happy and never having to deal with any underlying issues causing my depression. I quickly became a serious addict. As crazy as it seems to me now, when I was high, I felt like the person I wanted to be. I liked myself, and I thought that everyone else must like me more too. I’d become so used to functioning when I was drinking and taking pills that, in my mind, everyone else must think I’m not only acting “normal”, but happy! outgoing! and content. On tour, It became a balancing act between taking enough so I didn’t start feeling withdrawal symptoms and not taking too much that I couldn’t function. 

When we got off the tour we were doing for our last record, I slipped further into my addiction. With a lot more alone time and no worry of being presentable at an interview or a meet & greet, my life began to revolve around my addiction. Wake up: Take a pill to have the energy to get out of bed. Leaving the house: Make sure I have enough pills to last till I get back. I had back up pills in my car, my backpack, all over the place incase something happened to the ones I had on me. I couldn’t go more than 8 hours without feeling painkiller withdrawals. I was taking a dangerous amount of pills while drinking to chase that high, and just like with any other substance, the higher the high is, the lower the low is. What started out as a way for me to numb anxiety and depression had become the major cause of it.

Last fall, after months of trying to quit and only making it 2 or 3 weeks, I entered treatment. I was extremely lucky to have the support of my family, bandmates, friends and my girlfriend. I’ve met too many people who have lost everything and burned every bridge they have due to their addiction. I can honestly say that without the love and support of those closest to me, I wouldn’t be here, sober, and able to write this today. The thought of putting this on paper and out into the world is scary. Since I’m still so fresh in my recovery, I was questioning whether or not I should. But, as anyone who has dealt with this personally knows, recovery is not possible without honesty. I spent years hiding and lying about my addiction. A huge weight was lifted from me when I could look at my friends, family and band in the eye and tell them what was really going on. It didn’t feel like I had some sort of double life anymore. I don’t want that feeling in any aspect of my life again. 

Wow, now that I’ve put this down all my nerves have gonna away and it just feels freeing. My goal in releasing this is to try and relate to anyone who has experienced addiction personally or with a loved one, and to be honest with everyone else. To let people know that anxiety, depression, and addiction are not picky. They plague people of all ages from all walks of life. But, you can recover!! So, please seek help if you’re suffering personally, and urge anyone you know to get help if they are suffering. It gets better one day at a time.

Looking forward to seeing all of you on tour,

Spencer