Smith and guitarist/chief songwriter Ryan Ross formed the band in 2004, adding Urie and former bassist Brent Wilson to the lineup. Wilson was then replaced by bassist Jon Walker.

Ross and Walker posted the following message on the band’s website, citing creative differences for their departure:

“Ryan Ross and Jon Walker will be leaving Panic at the Disco to embark on a musical excursion of their own. Though the four of us have made music together in the past, we’ve creatively evolved in different directions which has compromised what each of us want to personally achieve. Over the years, we have remained close and honest with each other, which helped us to realize that our goals were different and that parting ways is truly what is best for each of us. We are all excited for the future, you should be too.”

Fans were told to check back with the website for updates on Ross and Walker’s new as-yet-untitled project. The message noted Urie and Smith were continuing on as Panic at the Disco and that all touring and album plans “would continue as previously announced.”

It seems a bit strange Ross and Walker didn’t wait a few months before walking away from the band because Panic At The Disco is set to tour the U.S. with blink-182 throughout August, in addition to opening a couple of shows for No Doubt. (In addition to Panic At The Disco, the blink-182 tour includes rotating guests Weezer, Fall Out Boy, All-American Rejects, Taking Back Sunday, Asher Roth and Chester French.) Couldn’t the band have put aside their creative differences just a bit longer? Guess they were just too honest not to go their seperate ways. PATD is working on its third album, a follow-up to 2008’s Pretty. Odd.

Urie and Smith later posted a message of their own:

“We just wanted to let you know, that the news of Ryan and Jon leaving the band is unfortunately true. It’s been an amazing journey being in a band with them, but sometimes individual tastes take friends in different directions and you can’t ignore it.

“They are some of the most talented guys we know, and we’re sure that whatever they do next will be great. That said, Panic At The Disco is alive and very very well. We are working on new songs that we are excited for you to hear. Our dates with Blink and Fall Out Boy start in a little less than a month, and we wouldn’t miss those for the world. We know everybody has a lot of questions at this point with everything being so out of the blue, most of those should be answered in the coming weeks. We appreciate every one of you, and hope you continue with us on this incredible ride.”

What do you think of the band’s split? Will you miss Ryan and Jon? Will you check out their new project? Will you stick with Panic At The Disco?

Click here for Panic At The Disco’s website.