20 Jun 2014

Pop Entertainment interviews Hayley

Pop Entertainment’s Shana Bergmann interviewed Hayley over the phone. They talked about Monumentour, which items she takes along with her on tour, what to expect in the near future and other things. You can read the interview below.

I wanted to congratulate you on “Ain’t It Fun” being your biggest hit ever, and I was wondering if that, after all this time, you were surprised that song would be the one to make it big.

Thank you. Yeah, it should always be a surprise, I think. I don’t think you should ever just assume that a single is going to be your big hit or be a success. But this one, by far, has just shocked all of us. It’s been so much fun. We give Jeremy all the credit, though. It’s our first Paramore song with flat bass on it. We were just thinking that has something to do with it. But you really have to give credit to the fact that this was a song we really took a huge risk on. We really were just excited by it and it was so much fun and there was so much passion, and I think – I hope – you can hear that. That, and the message, hopefully, is sarcastic, but also inspiring enough for younger people who might be getting into the world for the first time on their own. I know it really helped me through a transitional phase in my life, so maybe it can also connect with people in that way, too.

I’m sure you’re looking forward to performing it on the tour…

Oh yeah. It is, by far, at this moment, my favorite song to perform. I mean, not only just because it’s the one that people definitely know if they don’t already know all of the songs. It’s the kind of song that I’ve always wanted to sing in Paramore. I grew up listening to a lot of R&B and pop and soul. It was kind of cool that we were able to write a song that infuses a little bit of that energy into what we do as a band.

What can we expect on the tour, and what will the set list will be like?

We just wrote up the set list the other day while we were doing a show in the Bahamas, and I’m really pumped about it. Us and Fall Out Boy are both playing the same amount of time. It’s kind of crazy when you get into a place where you’re having to fit so many songs into a certain amount of minutes and you’re thinking: First of all, how are we going to play all of the singles? How are we going to play all of the songs that please our old-school fans? I’m really pumped with what we came up with, though. I feel like it’s going to be really explosive. I think it’s going to be really exciting for whatever Paramore fans that might be at the show. I feel like we’re hopefully going to make all of them happy. I’m really excited, that’s a hard thing to do. I agonize over set lists every tour.

What was the process that you three went through to find what was next musically?

It was definitely a lengthy process for us. Once we were down two band members, we had to go through an emotional process, that included some grief, and anger, and bewilderment; all of those crazy emotions that we had to ride up and down for a while. We were, at the same time, realizing that we did still want to make music. It didn’t change the way that we felt about Paramore. That alone, before we even got to actually writing music, that took time. It took us a really valiant effort to really get to know one another again as people. So Jeremy, Taylor, and I would hang out – usually at Jeremy’s house, because he lives out in the country and we would just kind of watch tons of movies, or cook a meal, or whatever. It was important for that stuff to happen before we got into the studio. Then, once we did all of that – lived life together as friends, did a few tours together – it was time to make the record. That also, took a really long time. It took baby steps. I remember going over to Taylor’s house, [in] which he has a little studio. A few times where there was just no electricity. There were a few times where we left feeling really discouraged. It just wasn’t there. Then, it happened.

Once the first song came out, that was the spark that we needed. They kept rolling out. It was so important for us to keep encouraging one another and feel that fire again that we felt ten years ago when we started playing music. The whole process of making music, and making an album, and recording it, was really just a discovery process. We didn’t set out to make a specific style of an album. We didn’t have a concept in mind. It was just, “Let’s just be whatever we’re going to be” Whatever the song comes out like. If you love it then who says it can’t make the record and who says it doesn’t fit? We made the rules this time around and it was such a great, liberating thing for us to feel. I would say it definitely was the longest amount of time that we’ve ever spent doing anything as a band. We really had to become Paramore all over again. At this point now, looking back, I don’t think it could have happened any other way.

Do you feel like you redefined what the band is, musically? Do you feel like its a different band in any way?

Yeah, I actually feel like we redefined ourselves in a sense that there isn’t as narrow of a path. We broadened our horizons a little bit; We’ve broken through whatever feeling was there before. We discovered that we don’t have to meet anyone’s expectations. We always have to be good, and we always need to be better than we were the last time around, but Paramore is Jeremy, Taylor, and Hayley. It’s whatever we are in that given moment. Next year if we put out an album, or make an album that is all pop songs, or all heavy songs, or funk, like “Ain’t It Fun”; I just don’t think there are any rules anymore. Before this album, we always put ourselves in a box. We always had to live up to whatever expectations we felt mattered. It’s just been really liberating. I could never make an album under the same restraints that we might have put on ourselves before we made Paramore.

It seems like you’re gearing up to carry the torch for pop-rock female icons like Cyndi Lauper, Joan Jett. Do you feel a connection to those female icons? Who is an inspiration to you? What do those people mean to you?

Yeah. First of all, I feel super honored that you even said that and put me in the same sentence with those women, because they’re wonderful. When I was younger and we were getting ready to release Riot, I dyed my hair red and yellow and thought, “I haven’t seen anyone do this before. Here I am.” What’s weird is that I totally knew who Cyndi Lauper was, but then, years later, I’m looking at photos and someone put a photo of me from the “Misery Business” video next to some photo of her where she had literally the same exact hair. I feel such a connection with Cyndi Lauper and I’ve never even met her. I heard that she invited me to a show that she’s going to be playing on and my heart stopped.

Joan Jett, as well. I’ve had the chance to meet Joan Jett – we did Warped Tour in 2006 – and I kissed her on the cheek. I love her so much. I think she’s just so tough and that she really paved the way for someone like me to go on Warped Tour, and be fierce, and be proud of that. I just love the fact that anyone could possibly think of me as growing up into an artist like one of them. I think they’re wonderful, and there is a reason that people still say their names today. I just hope that I can be as colorful as Cyndi in my lifetime.

Do you try to impart anything to young women? Specifically when you’re writing songs, or just as your stage presence. Do you think about those things?

I have never really thought of myself as any specific gender when I’m on stage. There are definitely days where I feel 100% comfortable being a woman, and I love that. But then when I’m on stage I don’t always feel like I’m good for a girl, or one of the only girls. You know what I mean? I don’t think about gender at all. I don’t feel like people should; especially younger girls who are wanting to be in a band. Its not about you being a good girl-fronted band. I just think you should try to be a good band. There is power in being a female. I think we have an amazing insight, and an amazing point-of-view to speak from. But I think the best compliments I get are just about me being a great singer or me being a great performer, aside from whether or not I’m a girl.

As for tour life, are there any three items that you take along with you on tour that you simply can not live without?

Let’s see. Summer tours, like the one we’re gearing up for, I have to take lots of sunscreen because I am the palest person on the face of the planet. That’s one thing, but that’s kind of a daily thing. Anyways, I bring that in my bag. I bring candles. Usually, if I can bring some kind of candle from home, the smell of it in our dressing room kind of reminds me of that feeling and it helps me to relax. I also don’t like bright lights, so anytime I can turn down the lights and just put candles on, that’s nice. Besides that, my vitamins. I always bring a blender so we can make smoothies and green juices and stuff.

Along the lines of the last question, what are some things you do on the road to stay sane and energetic?

The best thing is just having friends around. The fact that the band and I grew up together, and we get along, is a huge help. We’ve definitely been a band that, in the past, didn’t all hang out, and even weirder, we were a bigger band. We were a five piece band and I was a lot lonelier. So, the fact that now things are a lot more peaceful, we’re able just to be friends with each other. The days off are crucial. A lot of times, on days off, I just like to go to movies. Or we’ll all go out to a family dinner with band and crew. It’s all about engaging and making sure I’m connected with the people around me.

What is it like being able to gear up for such a big opportunity, especially with a band like Fall Out Boy?

The whole tour is really, for me, a long time coming, because our bands really did grow from the same scene. We share a lot of the same fans, and we still exist separately with two individual fan bases, but what falls in between us is going to be so perfect. We’ll be able to celebrate where we come from, where we’re going, and it’s amazing. The Honda Civic tour was such a big milestone for our band. We hit so many cities, and it was really exciting. We’re a band that never likes to go backwards. We like to do theatre tours, and we like to do underplays and things like that just to reconnect with people, but when we did the Self Title tour last fall we were like, “Yeah.” It was the first tour that we had really done since Honda Civic [tour]. Now, to be able to top that feels incredible. I can’t wait to see how much celebration there will be between Paramore fans and Fall Out Boy fans, to have watched our bands come from nothing. That, to me, is the most exciting part.

Since you both have come through the industry together, and have kind of moved alongside each other, do you think there is going to be some competition? Your set times will be nearly identical, so do you think there will be anything as far as trying to steal the show from each other?

To me, any competition is friendly competition. I just feel excited for it. I don’t really think about it. For us, we just have to put on the best Paramore show ever. Every single tour we think that. Whether it be co-headlining the tour, or headlining it, or playing a festival, everything has to top the last thing that we did.

Is there any talk of another album? If not, what comes next?

Well, there is writing going on. I will say that. With Paramore, for us, you never know. We could get fives songs and say, “You know what? Those aren’t good enough.” and go back and make them better, or write a whole set of new songs. I’ll say this, though: this album that we are working right now, once we started finishing and demoing songs that we were crazy about, it just started pouring out, and rolling. We haven’t hit that sweet spot, yet, where we feel really comfortable. I know Taylor is writing every day. That’s sort of his at-home hobby anyways. He never really stops making music. We’re just having fun with it. It’s crazy to be at a point where we have two singles that have done well, and an album that everyone seems to be pretty excited about. That makes us feel awesome.

19 Jun 2014

Atlantis Resort interviews Paramore

Atlantis Resort interviewed Paramore at Cartoon Network’s Summer. They talked about their favorite outdoor summertime activities, what music they listen to before shows and their favorite Cartoon Network shows and characters. You can watch the interview below.

17 Jun 2014

Honolulu Pulse interviews Hayley

Honolulu Pulse’s blogger Erin Smith interviewed Hayley over the phone last week.

They talked about Paramore’s upcoming summer tour with Fall Out Boy, the success of ‘Ain’t It Fun’, future setlists, apps she likes to use on tour, Paramore’s new sound and other things. You can read the full interview below.

The morning of my phone interview with Paramore’s feisty powerhouse lead vocalist Hayley Williams last week, my voice was practically gone.

A few days earlier, I’d flown from Oahu to Maui on three hours of sleep and shot a music video for my upcoming solo album from dawn to dusk, awoke to a photo shoot the next day with The Throwdowns and then went into the studio to belt out a new song called “The Weight.” And when I don’t get enough rest, my voice is the first thing to tell me I’m too tired.

Well, the second thing. After my boyfriend telling me, “Babe, you’re too tired.”

It’s fitting, in a way, that I would have alternative rock-induced vocal strain on the day I was scheduled to speak to Williams. After more than 10 years of belting out rock songs with Paramore, Williams is no stranger to the occasional bout of vocal strain. If we had the time, I could have asked about her top 10 tips for fixing a strained voice.

Another top 10 she could aptly run through are the top 10 ways to mend a strained band. After the band formed when Williams was 15 years old, Paramore went on to sell millions of copies of their four albums, with notable hits like “Misery Business”, “The Only Exception” and more recently, “Ain’t It Fun.”

Along the road, there have been some major internal bumps for the band, culminating in the late 2010 departure of founding members (and brothers) Zack Farro and Josh Farro. The split was highly publicized and there was a fair amount of mud-slinging via blogs and other media.

Following some downtime to get used to the changes and take stock of their new direction as a trio, Paramore hit the studio with producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen and released their self-titled fourth album in April 2013. A mixed bag, stylistically, the album sought not to limit Paramore within the alternative rock genre, experimenting with funk, softer mainstream pop, doo-wop and lilting ballads.

There are still some heavy, raging songs on the album, to be sure. Lead single “Now” and “Anklebiters” have all the punk throttle of earlier Paramore songs. But the overall vibe of the album is decidedly more free, a new start for an already successful group that appears to have shaken off any writing constraints of the former lineup.

The sonic risk-taking and exploration has led to their most successful single to date — the funk-driven, bass-slapping, gospel-choir wailing “Ain’t It Fun,” an ode to finding your way on your own in a mad world.

This summer, Paramore will co-headline the Monumentour with Fall Out Boy starting June 19. Although the bands will not come to Hawaii this time around, I thought fans of the who caught Paramore’s 2011 show at Aloha Tower Marketplace would like to catch up with Williams and hear her thoughts on the upcoming tour and the success of her band’s latest album.

Over the phone, Williams is sharp, light and funny. When asked tougher questions, however, her tone is deliberate and clear. The girl can hold her own.

When I said I was in Hawaii, she replied with, “Aaaah man, I’m jealous.” (That’s what everybody says during interviews.)

Relaxing and getting work done before hitting the road, Williams touched on several topics ranging from the set list for this summer’s tour to her favorite and most used apps.

When I said that, in my estimation, she was gearing up to carry the torch for Joan Jett and Cyndi Lauper, Williams was quiet and serious with a few funny stories to throw in the mix.

My take? She is classy, funny, hardworking and a cool hang.

“I don’t think you can ever just assume that a single is going to be a success, but this one by far shocked all of us. We’re giving Jeremy all the credit because this is the first Paramore song to have slap bass on it. We figure that may have something to do with it.

“This is a song that we took a huge risk on, and we are really excited by it. It was so much fun for us and there’s so much passion, I hope you can hear that. People connect to that sort of energy. Hopefully the message, though sarcastic, is inspiring enough for younger people who might be getting into the world for the first time on their own. At the moment, it’s my favorite song to perform.”

“We just started to work on the set list last weekend at a show we played in the Bahamas. Both us and Fall Out Boy are playing, for the same amount of time, and it’s crazy when you get to a place where you’re having to fit so many songs into a certain amount of minutes. And you’re thinking, ‘How are we going to play all of the singles? How are we going to play all the songs that please all of our old school fans?’

“I’m really pumped about what we came up with though, and I feel like it’s going to be very explosive and exciting for whatever kind of Paramore fan might be at the show. I think we’re going to make them all happy and that’s a hard thing to do. I agonize over set lists, every tour.”

“I don’t know yet. Everything so far on the tour has been very collaborative, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens, once we’re on tour and hanging out every day.

“The Fall Out Boys are so great and just fun to hang out with. When we do a headlining tour its very business … but it’s nice on this tour that we get to share it with another band that we know is going to put on a great show.

“It seems very likely that (a collaboration) will happen, but we have to keep some surprises.”

“I am an avid Yelp user, because we’re always in a different city and we’re always looking for food. I’m always trying to find really good vegetarian food and really good vegan food.

“I’m really into photography apps because I’m very active on our Twitter and my Twitter, where I like to post a lot of photos and stuff from the road. I’ve used Afterlight for a really long time, and that’s by far my favorite. But I also use A Beautiful Mess app, which is great for adding things to your pictures and editing.

“I have a friend named Esther who designed a stamp line for the Line App, and I downloaded that package.”

“Once we were down two members, not only did we have to go through the emotional processing and the grief, and some anger and some bewilderment, we were at the same time realizing that we did still want to make music. And that it didn’t change how we felt about Paramore. And that took time. And it took us making a really valiant effort to get to know one another again as people.

“So Jeremy, Taylor and I would hang out, usually at Jeremy’s house because he lives way out in the country, and we would just kind of watch tons of movies or cook a meal. I remember one day there was a crazy snowstorm and Jeremy’s friends built a couch sled. We just spent the whole day sliding down a hill on a couch, which was wild.

“It was important for that stuff to happen before we got into the studio.”

“I actually feel like we’ve redefined ourselves in the way that it’s not as narrow of a path. We don’t have to meet anyone’s expectations.

“I mean, we always have to be good and we always have to be better than the last time around, but Paramore is Jeremy, Taylor and Hayley. It’s whatever we are at that given moment.”

“When I was younger and we were getting ready to release ‘Riot,’ I died my hair red and yellow. And I thought, ‘I’ve not seen anyone do this before. Here I am, check me out!’

“What’s weird is I totally knew who Cyndi Lauper was. And then years later, I’m looking at some photos and someone put a photo of me in the ‘Misery Business’ video next to a photo of her where she had literally the exact same hair. I feel such a connection with Cyndi Lauper and I’ve never even met her. I heard that she invited me to a show that she’s going to be playing on her upcoming tour and my heart stopped.

“And Joan Jett as well, I’ve had the chance to meet Joan Jett, we did Warped Tour in 2006 with her. I love her so much; she’s just so tough. And really just paved the way for someone like me to go on Warped Tour and be fierce and be proud of that.

“I love the fact that anyone could possibly think of me as growing up into an artist like one of them. I think they’re wonderful and there’s a reason why their still around and that people still say their names today.”

“I think for young girls who want to be in a band, it’s not about you being a good girl in a band, you should just strive to be a good band.”

13 Jun 2014

Interview at Good Morning America

Paramore was being interviewed on stage at Good Morning America earlier today. They talked about dedicated fans, music and upcoming tour. You can watch the interviews below.

02 Jun 2014

Hits 97-3 interviews Hayley

Hits 97-3’s Toni Gonzalez interviewed Hayley over the phone. They talked about music, hair, the upcoming MonumenTour, and more! You can read the interview below, Hayley’s answers can be listened from the links.

The colorful Hayley Williams recently celebrated 10 years as the lead vocalist of Paramore! Hayley has travelled all over the world, but Florida will always be a special place for her.

Hayley, being the lead vocalist of Paramore for 10 years now, how does it feel to have the bands biggest hit to date with “Ain’t It Fun”? (Click For Hayley’s Answer)

Hayley, what is the message behind the song “Ain’t It Fun”? (Click For Hayley’s Answer)

Paramore will be making their South Florida return at the Cruzan Amphitheater with Fall Out Boy on July 25th. What excites you most about The MonumenTour? (Click For Hayley’s Answer)

Hayley, you’ve been to South Florida before, so finish this sentence. “The first thing I think about when I think about South Florida is…”? (Click For Hayley’s Answer)

What song is currently stuck in your head that is NOT a Paramore song? (Click For Hayley’s Answer)

Hayley, it’s been said that Paramore has undergone a “pop makeover”. Do you agree with that? (Click For Hayley’s Answer)

If you could write a response song to any current song, what song would you reply to and why? (Click For Hayley’s Answer)

Hayley, many artists seem to be all about colorful hair…again. Who does yours and how to you decide what color to go with? (Click For Hayley’s Answer)

Miami LOVES music cruises, so have you ever considered bringing the Paramore Cruise to Miami? (Click For Hayley’s Answer)


31 May 2014

The Guardian interviews Hayley

The Guardian’s Emily Mackay interviewed Hayley over the phone. She talked about festivals, her WARPED! tattoo, Parahoy! Cruise and other things. You can read the interview below.

The co-headline spot at Reading & Leeds seems a great fit for Paramore; rock, but not too rock.

It’s been cool to grow at that festival. I think the fans who have come to see us from when we started out are really excited to be able to come and support us at the Main Stage, especially in a headlining slot. I feel really at home at Reading & Leeds. I mean, obviously super-nervous, because every time you’re at the top of a billing, that’s a lot of pressure.

Do you think you’ll get to hang out with co-headliners Queens of the Stone Age?
I’m not really sure they’d want to hang out with us because we’re all massive fans. We’d breathe heavily all over them.

What’s been your most life-changing festival experience?
I ended up getting a tattoo to commemorate this one day we had at a festival – it was Cleveland Warped Tour 2007. We were about to go on but it had been stormy all day. It was a crazy storm, things were falling over, and everyone was running and trying to get away. But all the people that came to see us play weren’t moving, they just wanted to watch us. They were screaming “We won’t go! We won’t go!” That day just meant a whole lot to me. That’s what I love about festivals – you never really know what’s going to happen. I like that spontaneity. I got the tattoo at the same festival two years later. It’s behind my left ear. It’s a cloud with a lightning bolt, and it says ‘WARPED!’

In March you did your own cruise festival, which must have been ace.
It really was. I didn’t know what to expect. I was like, ‘Does that mean we’re old, that we’re, like, headlining a cruise now?’

Did you feel the temptation to crack out any cruise-ship show tunes?
I really wanted to walk out to Come Sail Away. I really wanted to ham it up with the whole theme. But no, we didn’t do any show-tunes, much as I would have loved that. Taylor (York, guitarist) wore Hawaiian button-up T-shirts the whole time. But I think we did a really good job of not making it cheesy, while also making fun of how ridiculous the whole thing was. And those two shows that we played were two of my favourite shows of the last four, five years – especially the second one, where we played more deep cuts.”

Will you bring out any rare tracks for the fans at your Reading & Leeds slot?

I feel like, for the most part, whenever we play festivals, we just want to play a lot of fast songs. But now we’ve made it up to headlining, I think there is a responsibility to represent all sides of who you are. It’s going to be so nice to do our tour with Fall Out Boy right before Reading & Leeds, because we’ll feel practised, and we can go into it with a set that, hopefully, all our fans will like. Hopefully even people who have never heard of us, or don’t want to give us a chance, will hear us and think, “Wow, they really know what they’re doing”, or “they put a lot of work into that”. And that’s all I want! I love to win people over. If you’re not there to see us, I at least want you to be able to walk away and say, “Hey, that wasn’t too bad.” Or, “I loved it.” Any of those I would be into.