Brendon Urie on the best Panic! covers, life, love and how cool you are
In the 10 Topics section of our April 2018 issue, the chairman of PANIC! AT THE DISCO continued to crack wise, speak his truth and live the dream.February 17, 2020
WHAT YOU HOPE TO BE REINCARNATED AS.
I always say an animal and then I think about it and realize a lot of people eat animals—including me. I would like to be a cow in Nepal or India where they’re worshipped. Fart, eat grass and chill.
THE BIGGEST LAUGH YOU’VE HAD IN 2018.
Oh! You know what I saw the other day? Lil Dicky’s video [“Freaky Friday”] where he becomes Chris Brown. I was fucking dying, dude. I was rolling on the floor. He becomes so many people: DJ Khaled and Ed Sheeran and shit are in it for like, 10 seconds. It’s so funny.
THE BEST PANIC! COVER VERSION YOU’VE HEARD.
There’s this girl…I watched a clip of her doing “Death Of A Bachelor” the day after the song came out. I was so impressed that she learned it that fast and totally put her own spin on it. Her name is Brittany Butler. If I didn’t know I wrote that song, I’d be like, “Wow, what a cool song she wrote.” That’s how much she owned it. Totally cool.
— Brendon Urie (@brendonurie) September 3, 2015
I’ve seen some metal bands do that song. There was one called Hearing Shapes. They cover “Death Of A Bachelor,” and the second chorus is all—imitates sound of hard drive thrown into a shredder—metal.
DESCRIBE ONE HALF OF YOUR PERFECT DAY.
Wow… [Pauses.] This is tough. I’m such a homebody. My perfect day is playing video games with my wife and chillin’ with my dogs. That’s the first half of my day before I really have to go do stuff.
THE LAST TIME YOU WERE MISUNDERSTOOD.
A lot of the times I have to explain myself, I’m just the worst. It happens so much. You know when it happens the worst? When I’m doing an Instagram livestream and I’ll just say stuff on a whim. “Yeah, I’ll answer that real quick,” and then a flood of offended texts just come in because of something I said or didn’t say right. I can’t remember the last time it happened, but it happens pretty quick.
HOW COOL TODAY’S HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE.
Honestly? They’re the coolest. I get fucking blown away every time I see fans or hear about these Parkland kids. They are so wise and so much more fearless than I was when I was in school. They adapt quicker than I did. That gives me hope: I have my hopes all the way high, just because I see so many possibilities in this generation. They’re like, “This is who I am. You will respect that.” Man, if I had that kind of courage back then, things would’ve been so different. Not in a bad or worse or better way, but it would be different. I’m glad I’m going to get see that kind of change in a new generation. It’s really cool. They’re empowering themselves, but they’re empowering me just by watching them.
THE TOP THING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST.
If I’m being totally honest, it’s an EGOT. Which is actually four things—an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony—that’s been on my bucket list for years. And it’s only been this year that the impact of it just hit me. I was passionate about it before, but something just hit me and I’m really passionate about it now.
IF MONEY WERE NO OBJECT…
I’d probably be doing the same shit I’m doing. [Laughs.] Which is a cop-out answer, but it’s true. If I didn’t have money or success, I’d still be pursuing it, making records with my friends. I’m lucky enough that I get to do it in such an open way. There’s way more possibility and open doors now.
THE PEOPLE YOU WOULD HAVE IN YOUR RAT PACK.
My band are pretty much my Rat Pack. They’re a bunch of badasses. I keep a small circle of friends around me: You have to keep your small circle of friends who you can run back to. But really, they feel more like family than a Rat Pack. I like to surround myself with people who challenge me, as well as respect each other.
THE MEANING OF LIFE.
I think the Beatles said it best: love. The older I get, the more I realize that hate does nothing but spread more hate. I know it’s such a cliché: You hear it in movies and they say it all the time. But you don’t really [understand] until you’re on the giving end or the receiving end. There is no way I could go back now: There’s no way I could not believe that love is the meaning of life.