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Monday
Jan182016

Panic! at the Disco's Brendon Urie Talks the Influence of Bowie, Queen and Sinatra on Death of a Bachelor 

Credit: Sherwin LainezAt their show in London last week, Panic! at the Disco decided to donate all proceeds from merch sales to Cancer Research U.K. in honor of David Bowie, who died on January 10 following an 18-month battle with the disease. Like he did for many of today's artists, Bowie had a profound influence on how Panic! frontman Brendon Urie approached making music.

"With every decade, sometimes half a decade, [Bowie] would come out with an album and it would be a completely different sound than what he tried before," Urie tells ABC Radio. "That was always a motivation for me personally to push myself in that direction, wanting to create something that was all my own, 100 percent, that I could claim wasn't repeated from something before. And he was the king of that, I mean, he was the master of reinvention."

That mentality continued on Panic! at the Disco's latest album, Death of a Bachelor, which was released Friday. Going into the album, Urie knew he wanted to try something new, which resulted in an homage to another one of his favorite bands.

"Production-wise I was really into a lot of hip-hop and a lot of just, like, older Queen stuff," Urie explains. "Roger Taylor and Freddy Mercury's combination of vocal on 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' I wanted to mimic that in a new way, like how I would do it. And so I just stacked my vocals like 32 times maybe, and it was just so much fun, man."

"That was something I hadn't done before," he says.

Perhaps the biggest influence on Death of a Bachelor, however, was Frank Sinatra. The legendary singer not only affected the way Death of a Bachelor sounds -- especially on the title track, which Urie says was his attempt to write a "Frank Sinatra-type song" -- but also the way Urie approached the album lyrically.

"Everything [Sinatra sang] had to relate to him, and that was something that inspired me for this album," Urie tells ABC Radio. "I used that influence with everything I was writing, it had to relate to me somehow and be personal. So everything on this album is honest, autobiographical, and I thought that was just very important to me to follow in those footsteps."

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