Panic at the band meeting. After 10 years, one of Panic! at the Disco’s original members is leaving the group.
Drummer Spencer Smith announced in a statement last week that he is ending his run with the band that he co-founded. The musician, 27, released a statement on the band’s official website on Thursday, April 2, to break the news.
“After 10 years of being a part of this unbelievable journey it saddens me to say that I will be leaving Panic,” Smith wrote. “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 formed the group in the early 2000s with guitar player Ryan Ross, who left Panic! at the Disco in 2009. In the years since, Smith has seen a variety of incoming and outgoing bandmates, with whom he has released four studio albums.
“I love this band with all my heart, and getting to see it grow from four kids in my parents’ garage to what it is now has been incredible,” the drummer continued. “I loved it all. But, at a certain point, I realized that I wasn’t able to be there for the band the way I wanted to be, and more importantly, the way they needed me to be.”
Smith first took some time away from the band in 2013, when he revealed that he was struggling with addiction. He has since gotten clean, but chose not to remain in the band at this time.
“A few years ago, when my addiction grabbed hold, and wouldn’t let go, they could have easily kicked me out, and never looked back, but they didn’t,” Smith wrote in the statement of his bandmates. “Instead, they encouraged me to seek treatment, and gave me the time I needed to get my life back in order. They helped me through those rough times, and now, on the other side, with two years sobriety from prescription medication, and working on a year sobriety from alcohol, I am nothing but grateful for all they have done. It’s things like that that always made this band feel more like a family to me than anything else.”
Smith, who was featured on Panic! at the Disco’s 2013 album Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!, went on to extend a message to fans of the “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” group.
“What will stick with me the most is showing up in city after city and finding more and more of you who had learned the lyrics to all our songs, or had made home made t-shirts with our faces surrounded in puff paint, or baked us cookies from your grandmas secret recipe and put a single hair in each one (ok, that one was a little creepy…creepy, but delicious),” he wrote. “For me, that’s what made it all so surreal. Yes, getting to travel around the world with my friends was no doubt some of the best memories of my life, but it was what happened during that hour and a half on stage each night that was truly magic. And none of it was possible without you.”
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