Backstage at the KROQ Weenie Roast on Saturday (May 14), the hottest artist trailer combo was without question, the teaming of Panic! At The Disco and Empire Of The Sun. When we went there to meet with Panic! architect Brendon Urie and Empire’s Luke Steele for separate interviews, there was a traffic jam of kids waiting to take their picture with the gracious and always smiling Urie.
That’s life at the top — and that’s where Urie finds himself these days, coming off the group’s first No. 1 album with January’s Death Of A Bachelor and an upcoming sold-out tour with Weezer that will bring them back to Irvine Meadows, the scene of Weenie Roast, this August.
Urie made his Weenie Roast debut a decade earlier, in 2006. “I think this is our fourth Weenie Roast. The first time we played Irvine Meadows was 2006 and Rob Zombie was co-headliner,” he recalls. “We played like five acts before him and you’ll have to pardon my language on this cause I’m just quoting Rob Zombie, but we had played and then I watched his set because I freaking love Rob Zombie. I’m watching him and he goes, ‘Yeah, you know, I’m sick and tired of this fucking scene, a bunch of tight-pants, fairy-looking fa—ts.’ I was terrified and then I was like, ‘I love this guy. Awesome, you are such an evil rock star.’”
The band’s just released video for “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time” seems like something Zombie would approve of. In the clip, which Urie describes as “tentacle porn,” a woman is seen getting ready for a night out before meeting up with Urie at a bar. There are more tentacles than porn in the ensuing scenes, but what happens is implied, and Zombie would love the part where a tentacle goes through Urie’s gut.
Urie credits director Ted Hendrix with the clip’s unique story. “We talked about doing a video for ‘Good Time’ and I wanted to go literal with the lyrics, I wanted to wear high heels and all this other stuff, and then this guy came to me with this crazy tentacle porn idea. I was like, ‘I’m in, that’s super weird,’” he says. “That was all the director, Tim Hendrix, he’s awesome. He’s a really talented kid and I’m glad he did that cause I would’ve never come up with that concept.”
Still, Urie doesn’t feel he has found the right song yet to team with Zombie. As a horror fan though, Urie would love to work with the “sick genius.”
“I don’t think I have a song worthy of his direction,” he says. “I was actually just talking with somebody about the Rob Zombie incident ten years ago and I love his films so much, from the Halloween remakes to Devil’s Rejects and House Of 1000 Corpses, they’re all beautiful, even his El Superbeasto cartoons are crazy. He’s just such a talented mind, it’s hard to find something that he would want to jump on. Maybe in the future though, because I would love nothing more than to make a Halloween video with that guy.”
If Zombie did want to work with him, Urie would happily do something special for the occasion. “I would do something specific. If he had an idea I would work as hard as I could to write a song for that, or do it vice versa,” he says.
Back in December, Urie spoke to us about some circus-like theatrics for his next tour, such as shooting himself out of a cannon and setting himself on fire. “Right now I figured out some kind of fire thing for Europe, so I have that down,” he says. “But then the cannonball was the next thing. So I’m hoping arena tour at some point in a couple of years, would be awesome. Might be a couple of years, there’s a lot of insurance and all that kinds of stuff,” he adds laughing.