Sequel: If Only Until Morning

Pictures on Silence

Chapter 31

Penny Dreadful released the album-- entirely self-made, self-produced, and self-recorded-- the day before we had our radio interview with Live 105; because of a sudden spike in demand, our interview got moved to the middle of the afternoon so more people would hear it. All in all, I thought the album was pretty good, except for most of the parts where I sang. However, Trill, Butch Cassidy, Sundance, and Aero all assured me it rocked.

The guys of Panic! At The Disco had kept in touch adamantly, at least one of them calling every day to check in. It got so much that I gave them my home phone number so that I wouldn't have to pay for all the calls. The roaming charges pretty much killed my wallet.

On July first, the morning of our interview, after we'd had an album release show at Slim's and afterparty at Matt's house-- a.k.a. the city estate, a.k.a. the studio-- I finally uploaded the pictures from tour onto my desktop; cash flow had prevented me from getting them developed. Going through them, I frowned thoughtfully at a couple unfamiliar shots.

Staring at one enlarged, I pulled my phone out of my pocket and scrolled down to Jonno. It rang a few times before he picked up. "Hey, Pen."

"Jon, why are there pictures of Ryan and I sleeping on my camera?" I asked curiously.

He laughed on the other end. "So you finally found those, huh?" Brendon said something in the background, and he replied, "Yeah, she's looking at them." They both laughed.

"As hilarious[/b[ as this is," I quipped, rolling my eyes and continuing through the pictures, "Where the hell did they come from?"

"You remember that night in the Hard Rock?" Jon recalled.

"Ah." I returned to and stared at the picture. The image of Ryan and myself so close together gave my insides a considerable jarring, though I couldn't say why. Staring at the two inches between our lips, I clicked off the application and conversed, "Some of these shots are pretty good, even though I do say so myself."

"The ones of Ryan, I'm guessing."

"Implying what exactly?" I demanded suspiciously, logging out of the computer.

"Nothing, nothing," Jon said, waving off the comment. "Today's your interview, right?"

I travelled across the house as he spoke and shut the door of my room. "Yeah, I'm a little nervous about it. I've never done an interview before."

"It's all good. Just be yourself and you'll do fine."

"Thanks for the enlightening help, Jonno," I said, rolling my eyes. "Your wisdom blinds me."

Jon sniffed. "I know,[/]i" he said smugly. "What would you do without me?"

"I have no idea," I replied sarcastically. "But tell the guys I'll probably talk to them later; I have to leave pretty soon if I want to take the metro up there."

We said our goodbyes, Ryan and Bren calling into the receiver before Jon hung up, making me laugh. I tugged on my ratty old converse, because I didn't have anyone really to impress--we were on the fucking radio, for Christ's sake-- and picked up Ryan's hat and a scarf before heading down to the car of my older brother, who drove me to the Colma station before going to his friend's house.

Standing in the drafty tunnel, I gripped my bag tightly and stared blankly down the station. Taking public transportation alone always made me nervous, and the fact that I was heading downtown to talk about myself made it all the worse.

"Your hair's beautiful," a man of about thirty-five complimented me. I smiled distantly and thanked him. "Must take a lot of care." I shrugged. Please leave me alone, I requested to myself. "What's your name?"

"Kerry," I told him without changing my expression.

"Nice name." My train's headlights appeared in the black of the tunnel. "So do you have a boyfriend?"

"Yes, I do," I said, straight-faced. "I am going to see him now." My parents always told me as a kid that lying was wrong. So where the hell did this incredibly useful ability to do it well come from? Unless they lied when they said that. Now there's a conundrum.

"Oh." The man seemed disappointed. "He's a lucky guy."

The train stopped and the doors slid open. "Thank you," I said, "I'll tell him you said so." And with that I got on the train and sat in a seat in the corner, thoroughly creeped out. Luckily, the man didn't get on the same train and I could put on my headphones to drown out my paranoid thoughts of suffocating in the tunnel.

"What's the matter?" Jesse asked, noting the tightness of my hug. "Did you stop in the middle of the tunnel again?"
I nodded and adjusted Ryan's hat on my head; I'd worn it almost every time I went out since he'd lent it to me. "And some creep tried to talk me up in the station." I looped my arm through his as we headed up Market Street towards to the radio station.

Matt and Sean stood waiting for us outside, and together the band went inside. I'd never been inside a radio station before, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but it had offices and meeting rooms and studios. An assistant told us we'd go in a few minutes-- that we shouldn't be worried, the jockey would ask us a few questions about the album, our beginnings, and future plans, and then they'd play the single. We would just have to watch our language a bit. "Yeah, Pen," Matt joked, nudging me. "Watch your fucking language."

I sat between Matt and Sean with a headset on in front of a microphone as the jockey talked. "And now we have a local band in the studio who've gotten very popular in the past few weeks," he announced into his mic, "Penny Dreadful. How you doing, guys?"

'Good' was the general consensus.

"You four seemed to spring out of nowhere, from the local scene upward. How did you get started?"

"Well, originally, it was Sean, Matt, and I," Jesse said. "We knew each other from school and all loved music, so we threw together as The Puzzlemen and put out an LP. It's on iTunes, if people are interested."

"How did Angie, who's been a major part of your popularity, join the band?" he asked.

"Mostly by accident," I answered.

Matt smiled at me. "We'd gotten kind of bored with just the three of us and wanted a new dynamic, so we put out a call for another guitarist. Uh, we need knew a lot of great musicians-- really talented people-- and... we held auditions for the spot."

Sean leaned over towards the microphone. "She walked in during someone else's audition-- eh, we were going out afterward-- and sat in for a few people. While the three of us were reviewin' someone, Angie starts playin' Jesse's bass. All three of us kinda look at 'er and Jesse 'ands 'er the audition sheet an says, 'Fill this out and play that again'."

"And you got the job," the interviewer finished. "Even though you're a singer and bassist."

"Yeah, I don't know what they were thinking," I said, making a few people listening in the room laugh. I smiled; I liked making people laugh.

"She also brought along our manager, for which we were incredibly grateful," Matt put in, "Because for the LP we did absolutely everything ourselves: all the promotions and getting gigs and shi--stuff. This time was easier because we only did most of everything ourselves."

"Speaking of, the story of your recent tour with Panic! At The Disco is a matter of some dispute among fans. One side says that you're another Pete Wentz miracle band, like Panic!, and the other says you're entirely self-made. So what's the real scoop?"

"Alright, we have to give credit where credit is due," Matt said, adjusting in his chair. "Yeah, Pete was at our show at Slim's, the one where we got offered the tour position, but it was entirely our manager Aromi's idea; Pete just made the calls because he would probably have more credibility with the execs."

"Which isn't to say 'e didn't contribute," Sean put in for the record. "But were it not for Aero, we wouldn't 'ave gotten the gig in the first place."

Jesse snorted a laugh. "So it's really Penelope for the win, again." I smiled in embarrassment; I hated when they did this.

The interviewer kept directing questions and statements towards me, probably because I acted as lead singer, but the guys answered most of them. "But there are a lot of similarities between you and Panic! At The Disco. You both got started out of high school and picked up pretty quickly. Tell us about your tour together."

"Amazing," Jesse said.

"Probably the most fun we've ever 'ad,' Sean answered as I played with Ryan's hat in my lap. "The guys are great; if I had to leave Ange alone for a week with someone, it'd definitely be them."

"Thanks, Butch Cassidy," I said dryly. "Your belief in my own ability to care for myself boggles the mind."

"Any interesting stories from tour you want to share, Angie?" the interviewer asked.

I laughed uncertainly. "All the ones I can tell on air aren't all that interesting." The guys and the radio crew laughed. "No, it was good clean fun mostly, with the occasional lapse."

"There's a rumour going around on the Internet that you're dating Brendon Urie," the interviewer informed me. I rolled my eyes, smirking at the ridiculousness of people.

"I actually read that she's seeing Ryan," Matt said, looking at me. "Apparently someone at a concert claims she experienced them very cozy firsthand." I knew making that joke would come back and bite me on the ass, I thought to myself.

"Any truth in either of those?"

I shook my head. "No, we're just friends. I talk to them all a lot, but there isn't anything more than platonic there. I try to surround myself as many attractive guys as possible," I joked.

"So, you guys share make-up tips?" I laughed, saying it was something along those lines, though I started doing stage make-up before I ever met them. "What are your plans for the near future?"

"We're going to get a short tour in during the summer," Jesse said, "Before Pen has to go back to school in August. It'll be mostly smaller venues. We're into the intimate shows where we really get to know a crowd."

"Anything you want to say about the album before we play the song?"

Matt leaned his chin on my shoulder to speak into the microphone. "Yeah, our bassist is sexy." I exhaled a laugh and reminded him we were on the air you dork. "Um, I dunno. It's pretty unique, I think. We used a lot of influences and brought them together. I mean, I think with everything together, it's nothing quite like anything else."

"You certainly do have a different vibe as a band," the disc jockey said. "For one, your drummer talks more than your lead singer and lead guitarist."

"We're equal opportunity," Sean said coyly. "Drummers and bassists never get enough credit."

"Alright, well, on that note, how about we hear some of your stuff. What's this one called?"

"It is called... What is it called?" Jesse glanced at the next track listing. "Oh, 'England and The Blamer's Guilt'. I think this is my favourite to perform."

"Okay," the interviewer announced to the listeners, "Thanks for coming, you guys, and now for your listening pleasure, here's Penny Dreadful with 'England and The Blamers Guilt'." The on-air light went off and we all took off our headsets.

I swatted Matt over the back of the head once we got to the street. "Shit," he complained, rubbing his head, "What was that for?"

"Generating yet another rumour as to whom I am currently dating," I replied. He winced apologetically and, with a sigh, I kissed his cheek. "But that's no reason to hit you. I apologise."

"Wow, they really did change you," Sean joked. "More than school retreat ever did."

"Ah, but you forget," Jesse put in sagely. "School retreat... is a fucking waste of time."