Spencer Smith announces permanent leave from Panic! at the Disco, leaving one original member

As of this morning, the pop punk band Panic! at the Disco announced that their drummer, Spencer Smith, who had been taking a leave of absence already, will be leaving the band permanently. The announcement was issued in the form of a letter from Smith himself, citing all of the great memories and experiences he had through his long time with the band.

While sad, this was a long time coming, due to Smith’s struggle with addiction he announced in 2013. He attempted to continue touring for a while, but eventually Brendon Urie, the band’s frontman, announced that the touring environment was not conducive to Smith’s recovery and that’d he’d be leaving for a while.

Well today, that “for a while” just became “forever.” “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,” Smith wrote.

If you’ve been a huge fan since the start like me, Smith’s letter is worth a read (and probably will result in a few tears.)

Past and present members. (via Wikipedia)

Past and present members. (via Wikipedia)

Panic has been through a lot in terms of line up changes. In 2009, Ryan Ross and Jon Walker left the band citing creative differences. The two moved onto a side project called The Young Veins and both did some solo work, but nothing ever as prolific as Panic.

This leaves Urie as the only original band member – the original line-up being Urie, Ross, Walker and Smith. Urie wasn’t even supposed to be in the band in the first place. Part of the reason Ross and Walker left was Urie had started to overshadow Ross as a vocalist.

Is it even the same band anymore? Their sound definitely changed immensely between Pretty. Odd. (the last album with Ross and Walker on it) and Vices & Virtues (which saw the addition of bassist Dallon Weekes, who eventually became a permanent member). Which makes sense, given the tension that had built between the two halves of the band.

It’ll be interesting to see what Urie and Weekes produce going forward, if anything.

My sixth grade self (and maybe 19-year-old self) weeps.

Here's a nice band member timeline from Wikipedia.

Here’s a nice band member timeline from Wikipedia.

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