A note from the interviewer Natalie Kuchik (whom also writes for Examiner.com) – “You’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t.
The response to the article I wrote on The Young Veins has been overwhelming to say the least, a lot of positive, some negative, and for some reason people have also expressed anger?! I do have the pleasure of seeing exactly where my webpage hits originate from and looking through some tonight, I feel the need to address those that are angry because it still bewilders me. We know that in interviews, questions are asked (by me) and then questions are answered (by band members). When doing my research beforehand (to be honest I knew little to nothing about Panic! At The Disco before the interview) I ran across people wanting concrete proof about certain things that were or were not said to fans when they asked the boys themselves. That is what I did. I asked the boys questions, and they told me answers. Not once did Ryan/Andy/Nick start ranting or talking bad about Panic! and it’s members. I am still very unclear as to where people are seeing that and getting so upset.
Below you can read the entire interview word for word, nothing left out.”
Estrella: Can you please state your name and what you do in the band?
Ryan: My name is Ryan Ross and I am the James Dean of the group.
Andy: I am Andy Soukal and I play the thumping bass. Slapping the bass.
Nick: My name is Nick Murray and I play the drums.
Estrella: The first tour as The Young Veins, how has it been going and what’s the crowd reaction been like?
Ryan: Seems like it is getting better and better.
Nick: The tour seems to be picking up steam.
Ryan: More and more people are coming I feel like than the first shows, so that’s really nice.
Andy: We have such a diverse line-up. We have a hip-hop band, a crazy Freddie Mercury style band and then a throw back band and the crowd has been really receptive to all of it.
Estrella: How did you guys get on this tour with Foxy Shazam?
Ryan: We are managed by the same people. It was kind of tough to get on a tour when you don’t have any music out or any records, so I think they did us a favor. Or maybe we are doing them a favor.
Estrella: What is it like going back to more smaller intimate venues?
Ryan: It is more interesting every night, you never know what you are going to walk into. Some of these stages are, I question the craftsmanship in a lot of these clubs because I can’t figure out what they were thinking but it makes it a lot of fun. Being so close to the crowd again, I forgot how that was and it makes the show have more energy I think.
Estrella: Do these venue sizes make you guys more hands on? Do you go out and sign merch afterwords?
Ryan: Yeah, pretty much every night. If you need to come see me, I am petty much around. It has been really nice to actually be able to talk to the kids it has been awhile since that has been possible.
Nick: Especially, since we don’t have any music out or released we are building a really close relationship with what fan-base we do have is really important. Being as close as possible, building friendships and meeting people around the country is good.
Estrella: What kind of comments are you guys getting from fans?
Andy: It ranges all over the place.
Ryan: Yeah, where do we begin. Well, I guess about the music it has been cool to have kids say, “I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this or not”, “I’ve only heard two songs but I’m really excited about the album now.” Then sometimes they ask if they can marry me.
Nick: The best feeling in the world is to have people that did not come for our band and like our band and tell us that after the show. Especially, since no one has any pretense of what to expect. If they did like it, that is a really good feeling, it is the best feeling in the world.
Ryan: It really feels like we are up there trying to win people over, it is challenging.
Estrella: When this tour ends what are your plans after?
Ryan: More touring, we are going to do Bonnaroo. Then we are trying to route a tour around that so we will be touring in June and then the album comes out June 8th.
Estrella: The first single is “Change” why did you go with that one?
Nick: Seemed logical.
Ryan: Yeah, I don’t know. I feel like that album is all over the place and so many songs sound different. I can’t say it represents the album best but it is one of the more upbeat heavier songs. I think live it is a lot of fun to do.
Andy: We also did a lot of market research.
Estrella: Did you really because people do that.
Ryan: We polled people at the movies.
Estrella: On your upcoming album Take a Vacation! all the songs are three minutes or less, was that planned or did it just happen?
Ryan: No, I don’t know. I guess something switched in Jon and my songwriting and I guess we just trimmed the fat and cut out parts we didn’t need. It is going to kind of make it hard to do a headlining tour. A lot of our favorite records are really short. I mean, there are so many early Elvis songs that are under two minutes long it is really crazy. It wasn’t a conscious thing it is just the style of music we write is shorter, I don’t know for what reason.
Estrella: The album comes out June 8th, are you planning on streaming it online for free before it comes out, or any other promotions?
Ryan: We are sort of putting together some sort of marketing plan but that is not really my strong point, so the label is always coming up with stuff like that. We are doing something pretty cool where if you buy the vinyl you’ll get the CD for free. We are doing these really neat pre-order packages where we are doing these view master things from when you were a kid. We are doing a box set thing where you get one of those with pictures of the band and we did a couple of photo shoots for them. Stuff that is fun for us to do.
Estrella: Did your label come up with those ideas or was it your guys?
Ryan: That was ours.
Nick: We really liked the idea of having a view master.
Ryan: We were talking about it months ago.
Nick: We just didn’t think it was a possibility.
Ryan: The label has been really great about letting us do these crazy things already.
Estrella: What about the vacation photo contest, was that your idea?
Ryan: That was their idea, which I really liked because I have been meeting the kids every night and they are really excited about it. There is really nothing we have to do, it is just a great way to have people come for free.
Estrella: When you (Ryan) were in Panic! at the Disco you wrote a lot of the songs, would you ever do one of those songs live again?
Ryan: I don’t know, I sang a couple of the songs so I guess those would be the only ones I would do. I haven’t really thought about it to be honest with you.
Andy: It is a different style so it kind of clashes a little bit. I am not super familiar with everything but if there are a couple of songs similar to our style sure it would be considered but otherwise, it would just clash with what we are doing.
Estrella: I know your sound is so different, when did you feel the shift from Panic! at the Disco to The Young Veins sound?
Ryan: The stuff that I was writing, like half this album (Take a Vacation!) with Jon would have been for the Panic! record anyway. It wasn’t a shift really except for when we quit, I guess it allowed us to do even more than we wanted. Maybe half this stuff we actually already knew [that] there would be no chance it would be for Panic! so we went wild with it. It wasn’t a conscious shift ever in our songwriting, it just kept evolving.
Estrella: When you parted ways did you know your former band members would keep using the Panic! At the Disco name?
Ryan: No, I didn’t think that they would keep the name. It was a little bit shocking when I heard about them doing these tours and stuff without us. I figured doing your own thing meant doing your own thing.
Estrella: What is a song you never get sick of hearing?
Andy: “Wounded” by The Cookies. No one is going to know what that is so you don’t have to write that down, but I am going to throw that out there.
Ryan: Reason why?
Andy: Reason why, well it’s an old song and it’s just really unique and clever. The vocal melody are just so challenging, and that stuff in today’s music is not accessible at all. You don’t find stuff like that.
Ryan: You got one Nick?
Nick: I just thought of one, umm…
Ryan: The one that I keep listening to recently is the song “The Windmills of Your Mind”, the Dusty Springfield version. I think we might cover that song in the future but it is constantly on repeat for me.
Nick: It is kind of an obvious one but “Waterloo Sunset” is still one of my favorite songs of all time which is by The Kinks. I’ve never gotten sick of listening to that song.
Ryan: Yeah, that’s one of mine.
Nick: I have probably heard it fifteen thousand times and it’s never gotten old.
Andy: Also “No Scrubs” by TLC, that one never gets old. We sing that one in the van a lot.
Estrella: Think you would ever cover that song?
Andy: I hope.
Estrella: You are going to need some filler songs when you headline.
Andy: Yeah (laughs).
Estrella: What is something you have always wanted to do but have not done yet?
Nick: Shoot a feature film.
Ryan: Shoot a feature film star.
Andy: I would like to be in Nick’s feature film.
Estrella: Seriously, are you into movies?
Andy: Especially Die Hard.
Nick: Yeah, I definitely want to make one though within the next year or so.
Ryan: I don’t know, I am sorry I don’t have a good answer for this one.
Nick: I don’t even want that to be the answer though, I want something crazier.
Ryan: I know I am not really funny today, I am a little bit upset at myself actually.
Estrella: You guys are young, there has to be something!
Ryan: I have done it all (everyone laughs). I want to learn how to ride a motorcycle.
Estrella: Do you own one yet?
Ryan: No, but wouldn’t that be funny?
Estrella: Well, some people buy frivolous stuff they don’t use.
Ryan: Yeah, I have thought about it. Me and Jon were going to buy motorcycles when I still lived in Vegas and we were going to drive up into the mountains until we realized what a bad idea that was. I still would like to because I used to live near the PCH in California, so I always thought it would be fun to drive a motorcycle up and down the coast.
Estrella: If you could see any band or artist perform any song live, what would it be and why?
Andy: These questions are so hard.
Ryan: They’re so good though.
Andy: Bon Jovi. I agree! No, I’m just joking.
Ryan: Can you travel back in time and see the group when they were young?
Estrella: Yeah, any line up, any song.
Ryan: I might want to see The Kinks do “You Really Got Me” like in 1965 or something.
Nick: “I Was A Teenage Werewolf” by The Cramps.
Estrella: Any particular reason why?
Nick: Yeah, I’m a really big Cramps fan and Lux died last year, so I never got to see them.
Andy: Can I just say, every song that Gentle Giant has ever done.
Estrella: Just an entire concert, any reason why?
Andy: That is such a bad answer. They are just really wacky and they are just this weird band from the 70’s that never made it anywhere but was really cool.
Ryan: I can’t understand why.
Estrella: You (Ryan Ross) received a backlash when you left Panic! At the Disco, did you expect that?
Ryan: No, but I guess…
Estrella: Did you have to learn to roll with it?
Ryan: Yeah, I mean it was already bad enough without that having to happen to. I guess, when people don’t understand the reasons why it’s easy to get mad at the person you don’t know for something you think they did. It’s weird how some of the fans took it personally. I wish they would understand, this is our life and we have to do what is best for us.
Estrella: You have to play the music that you want to play.
Nick: People grow up.
Ryan: It seems to be passing a little bit. Some people are coming around and saying, maybe it wasn’t the smartest train of thought I was on a couple of months ago. I don’t know, I mean obviously if I was a young kid, a teenager and my favorite band broke up I would be a little bit upset too.
Estrella: Do you guys have any final comments?
Andy: No, that was my two cents.
Ryan: Do you want to comment on it? (laughs)
Andy: No, that about covers it.
Ryan: Cool, thanks.