Panic! At the DiscoPanic! At the Disco, the upstart, Las Vegas-based indie band whose 2005 debut album not only became a muscular success, but went on to eclipse many a music industry veteran by winning Video of the Year honors at the 2006 MTV awards, is putting the final touches on their Rob Mathes-produced follow-up album, now due for release in March. Guitarist/lyricist Ryan Ross, who’s previously expressed discomfort with the digital studio polish of Panic!’s debut, told Billboard magazine that the new album will have a more organic sound, one that’s a deliberate departure from the “emo” tag that’s dogged them since their breakthrough.

"We just wanted the record to sound like four people playing a song," Ross said. "A lot of the songs are definitely more geared toward playing live; we didn't think about that on the last record."

Ross revealed that the album will also include more acoustic elements, including harmonica, slide guitar, and even a string ensemble.

"When I started playing music, all I was hearing was whatever was on the radio," the musician explained. "I'm 21 now, so a lot of my musical tastes have changed."—Jerry McCulley