Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie sat down with Billboard to reveal the story behind his band’s recent single “Say Amen (Saturday Night)” – which appears on their new album Pray for the Wicked – as part of the “How It Went Down” video series.
Urie explains that the song was initially inspired by Budos Band’s “Aphasia,” which his band used to walk out on the stage to during live shows, comparing its sound to a Black Sabbath record. Through some connections, he was able to get the band to sign off on him using a sample from the track. “So I chopped a little bit of that,” Urie says, “And that’s the horns that you hear in the chorus while I’m singing, ‘I pray for the wicked on the weekend.’”
Urie also tells Billboard that with the song, he wanted to pay homage to the Mormon faith that he was brought up with. “For us, Saturday night was the preparation for the Sabbath,” he says. “We’d spend about four hours just together reading scriptures and getting ready for the Sabbath, so for me – I don’t do that anymore, I’m not religious – but my getting ready for Sunday is just going hard cause I’m gonna sleep in on Sunday.”
“So my church, my Sabbath is the sleep-in,” he jokes, adding that he felt compelled to include the “religious stuff” because it is a huge part of who he is, both as a person and as an artist.
The frontman also recalls the recording process of the song, explaining that when he was in the studio recording vocals, he would jump up and down because “that’s the party.”
“You hear that,” he says, “When I’m playing a live show and I see the crowd bouncing at like 125 BPM, 164 BPM, it goes off and there’s that little warble in the voice…That’s my favorite thing when it’s like pulling your soul out of your body. It’s the best.”
You can hear the full story of how Brendon Urie wrote “Say Amen (Saturday Night)” above, and check out the cinematic slapstick bloodbath of a music video below.