Latest posts ‘Hayley’
Last month, Paramore’s fourth album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart, becoming the band’s first chart-topping set.
For Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams, the chart victory was significant: The self-titled “Paramore” marks the pop-punk outfit’s first album since a nasty split with founding members Josh and Zac Farro, who left the band in 2010 and subsequently trashed Williams in a bridge-burning blog post.
The scars from the breakup are evident on “Paramore,” which finds the band reduced to a trio (guitarist Taylor York and bassist Jeremy Davis round out the group). But the difficulties surrounding the album make its chart triumph that much sweeter, Williams says.
“The fact that our fans saw everything go down — the ups and downs of our band — and they hung in there, I feel really humbled that people walked through the fire with us and came out the other side with us,” says Williams, on the phone last week from a tour stop in Phoenix. “It’s been kind of cool.”
Paramore didn’t intend on making the new album too pointed, but its driving first single “Now” finds Williams lashing out, barking “don’t try to take this from me!” at people standing in the way of her dream. When the line came to her, she knew she had to follow it through.
“I realized I still have something to say about my feelings on nearly losing the most important thing in my life, which is Paramore,” says the 24-year-old. “Some parts of the writing process, I tried to avoid some of my deepest fears and feelings, and there were some moments where I realized I just couldn’t do that anymore. I had to be honest, and ‘Now’ is one of those moments.”
Another one is “Moving On,” one of the album’s three ukulele-led interludes, where Williams sings, “I could be angry, but you’re not worth a fight,” over York’s gentle ukulele chords. “Moving On” was originally intended to be a chugging Ramones-style rocker, but in the studio it became a sort-of vaudeville goof-off, and the band was happy with the result.
“There was just a lot of humor in it,” says Williams, who taught herself to play ukulele in the studio while making the new album. The band has been starting off some of its recent concerts with “Moving On”; rather than Williams coming out and doing it on her own, she makes a point of playing it with her bandmates.
“I think, especially with all the stuff we’ve been through as a band and all the things people have probably heard about us, it’s nice to do things together as a team all the time,” she says. “So at least when people come to a show it’s not just me walking out on stage by myself. I think I’m more sensitive about it than our fans or anyone else is.”
Paramore’s current tour, which comes to the Fillmore Detroit on Friday, marks the band’s first round of U.S. shows in three years, and Williams says she feels more confident as a performer now than she ever has. She says she’s never been entirely confident with the spotlight, saying she felt like people were watching her “like a hawk” on stage, but now she’s more accepting of the lead singer role and everything that comes with it.
“I feel less vulnerable and more empowered by that kind of attention,” says Williams, who lives in Nashville. “It took me all this time to be comfortable with that, well, people are going to look at you. That’s how it works.”
Williams scored a huge hit a few years ago when she sang the chorus on B.o.B’s “Airplanes” and its remix, which featured a verse from Eminem. While it seemed like she was primed to become rap’s next chorus queen, she hasn’t appeared as a guest artist on any hip-hop songs since. Maybe she will in the future, she says, but she’s waiting for the right opportunity.
“Everything in due time, especially for this band,” Williams says. “We’ve learned the hard way that sometimes, the best things, you really have to wait for them.”
We spoke to the busiest women in the music biz — as she tours across the states – to get the low down on writing a new album in a very new way, what she’s listening to and being a t-shirt and jeans girl.
How did the band’s new make-up alter the album making experience?
Everything with us works differently now. The writing process was the most insane head trip. Taylor stepped up into a primary writing role and I’ve been wondering why we ever waited so long to start writing songs together. He is a mad scientist when it comes to composing music and experimenting with sounds. It was all very new and it made the writing and recording process the most fun we’ve ever had creating for Paramore.
Was there an element of catharsis in the album’s creation or a central inspiration behind the album as a whole?
I guess the main idea behind the whole thing is getting up in the morning and just putting one foot in front of the other. Growing up. Rising above your own past and people’s limited expectations of you.
Did living in LA rather than Tennessee influence your music?
Yeah, I feel like it totally did. For one, it’s constantly sunny there. Almost to the point of it being obnoxious! Haha. The vibe went along with most of the songs we were writing. On top of that, it was good to get away from familiar places and comforts and all that.
We’re big fans of your style here – do you work with a stylist to perfect it?
If we’re doing a video or a big performance, our friend Elizabeth Barrois styles us. Well, except for Taylor. He’s adopted the Johnny Cash uniform. All black everything. For the most part though I really just like to dress myself. I know I’m not great at it… I don’t even know anything about fashion but I think that’s why I can enjoy it.
What are some of your favourite designers or brands to wear?
J Brand, Rag and Bone, Tripp, Topshop, Jeremy Scott. Nothing too fancy. Well, some Miu Miu too. Really though, I’m a t-shirt and jeans girl at heart.
Do you have any style icons or women in music whose aesthetic you appreciate?
Siouxsie Sioux, Cyndi Lauper, Gwen in the ’90s, Missy Elliot in the ’90s —remember the trash bag?—, oh and Scary Spice.
What music are you currently listening to?
A little of everything… Purity Ring, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Iceage, my guy’s band (New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert) What’s Eating Gilbert, the new Tegan and Sara album.
What are your touring must-haves?
I like the bus to feel like home. Candles, aromatherapy oils, herbal teas… And then of course my computer and other technical crap, which is why the world needs candles and aromatherapy in the first place.
Do you have any shows you’re particularly excited about playing?
We’re playing my favorite ballroom theater type venue in NYC next month. The Hammerstein Ballroom. It’s completely gorgeous. The contrast between the whole place and our music and our fans and all the sweat is perfect to me.
If you could collaborate with any artist who would it be?
I never can decide who’d be the most interesting or the most fun. I’m also not great at co-writes. It makes me nervous. Writing lyrics and all that feels so personal. How do people sit down in the same room and do that with strangers? Maybe I’ll find out someday…
Hayley updated her Tumblr with an explanation of what’s been going on with her lately. We hope she gets healthy as soon as possible!
AND OH SO TIRED OF BEIN SICK
First of all… Salt Lake City, I am so sorry that we had to cancel our show. There aren’t many things I regret more than letting our fans down. Canceling shows is a big deal to all of us and I tried so hard just to push through them but unfortunately that wasn’t the smartest idea for my health. Canceling was the last resort and again I’m sorry it came down to that.
Maybe I can just quickly try explain what’s going on, so you hear it straight from me. This started last week when we were meant to play Conan… And I woke up feeling really sick. I thought it was just a sore throat but didn’t want to risk not being well for our own shows, so we cancelled. I stayed in and got some food and of course, caught food poisoning from it… Because, why not? Not to get all graphic on you but it was a lot like that scene in The Exorcist where she projectile pukes green and it’s really violent. That ended up burning my throat which made it sore all over again. Then to make matters worse I woke up a couple of days later having gotten some sort of virus, which is what I’m still dealing with now.
And there you have it. Clearly, it has not been my week. I wish that my being sick didn’t affect so many people and again, I am terribly sorry to everyone who I have let down by not being able to perform tonight.
Thanks to everyone who’s sent me a get well soon message or any kind of support over the last week. So thankful that music has connected us.
See you all soon.
Hayley just posted a new Instagram picture of herself hanging out with her boyfriend Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory in Nashville! Even though Paramore kicked off their North American Spring Tour in Houston, TX, yesterday, Hayley surprised her boyfriend who had a show in Nashville, TN, by flying out to see him. Paramore will be playing at the Edgefest in Frisco, TX, tomorrow.
Wendy Rollins of Radio 104.5 interviewed Hayley over the phone. They talk about the album, surprisingly, and Hayley tells us all why she thinks the album sounds different than any of their previous projects. They also talk about the album cover art and the symbolic meaning behind it.
This interview is for On Air with Ryan Seacrest. Similar topics are discussed :)
Hayley last spoke with interviewer Wendy Rollins last month just before the album came out. But now Hayley is back talking with her about the new album and how successful it has been so far.