The raven-haired Urie looks like a natural, landing left hooks as the trainer gives him a few boxing tips. “My last fight?” he asks. “Oh god, high school. My friend Ryan was getting his ass beat by a bunch of dudes, and so I jumped in and started punching the backs of heads. Then we took off and got out of there in five seconds.” The early days of Panic! at the Disco were similarly chaotic. The parties were endless, and the temptations countless. And it wasn’t always easy. The upbeat songs on the new album—“Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time” and “Victorious,” for instance—seem to recall those hedonistic days, but Urie is more grown-up now. Though he’s constantly goofing off with his wife Sarah on Vine, there’s a more traditional domesticity that seeps through to the record. It’s as if he’s finding a delicate balance between adulthood and his more rebellious impulses. “I needed to party that much to accumulate enough information to use in lyrics,” he says. “I still party sometimes, but as I’m older, now I know how I want to party, who I want to invite, what happens. I do it sometimes, and other times I just want the comfort of relaxing.”
The heightened sense of maturity on the album is due in part to Urie being the only full-time member of Panic! at the Disco. This allowed him the freedom to explore influences that give Death of a Bachelor a more theatrical vibe. There’s a spiritual connection to Queen that’s evident, and some songs even take cues from legendary Vegas crooners. “There’s the obvious connection, just from growing up in Vegas and hearing about all these icons like Sinatra and the Rat Pack,” he says. “But beyond that, Sinatra was associated with a lot of my good memories growing up. If I ever need comfort, I can always go back and get the soothing tone [from his music], and if I ever want to hear a playful song from him, I can. He was just someone I wanted to be, in terms of his musicality and the way that he composed himself in public. I think it was really important for me to learn that early on.”
As he parts, Urie’s enthusiasm is palpable. There’s a relaxed smile on his face—maybe it’s leftover adrenaline from getting launched into the air. Or perhaps it’s the satisfaction of having his feet on the ground while at the top of his game.