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20 Apr 2017

Beats 1 interviews Paramore

Paramore did their first on-camera interview with Beats 1’s Zane Lowe at Taylor’s house in Nashville earlier this year. You can watch the first part of the interview below. The band talks about new music, deciding to stay together and Zac’s return. The second part of the interview will be out on May 11th  and in that one the band will discuss the new album track by track.

New photos from the interview available in our gallery.

19 Apr 2017

New interview and photos: Paramore talks to The New York Times about ‘After Laughter’

Paramore talked to the New York Times about their new album and sound. You can read the whole interview below or here.

The interview also features brand new photos of the band taken by Eric Ryan Anderson. Go to our gallery to see them in high quality.

 

Paramore Bounces Back With Old Faces and a New Sound

NASHVILLE — Hayley Williams needed a break from “Paramore hair.”

For more than a decade, while she established herself as one of the most dynamic mainstream rock singers of her generation, Ms. Williams was recognizable for her dramatic razor-cut bangs and bobs in bursts of violent color, typically the loudest synthetic shades of red, orange and pink. “I had a haircut that could have murdered you,” she said of the look that helped make her an icon of the mall-punk Warped Tour set.

Yet as her band, Paramore, worked to transcend its restrictive genre dogmas across four increasingly ambitious albums, taking the angsty pop punk of the Myspace moment to the Grammys and the Billboard charts largely on the strength of Ms. Williams’s voice, the singer, now 28, began to feel beholden to a visual shtick.

Last year, staring down a deep depression amid more personnel changes in a band plagued by them — and questioning herself under the hefty burdens of adulthood — Ms. Williams opted for “a blank slate,” she said, her currently white-blond locks further minimized under a beanie.

“You can run on the fumes of being a teenager for as long as you want, but eventually life hits you really hard,” Ms. Williams, a mighty presence who barely cracks five feet, explained last month, speaking for the first time about the tumultuous period since Paramore last released an album, in 2013. “I didn’t even know if we were going to make another record,” she said. “There was a moment when I didn’t even want it to happen. Then it was like, I want it to happen, but I don’t know how we’re going to do it.”

Paramore, somehow, pulled it off again. On May 12, the band will release “After Laughter,” its fifth LP, introducing another lineup — each Paramore album has featured a different combination of members around Ms. Williams — and, more notably, a new sound. Instead of the meaty, distorted power chords and hyperactive riffs of its adolescence, Paramore has dipped into cleaner, more rhythmic and synth-kissed textures of the ’70s and ’80s, owing to recent obsessions with Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Cyndi Lauper and Blondie.

But while the group has long functioned in its own bizarre hybrid milieu — “too rock for pop and too pop for rock,” said the guitarist and Ms. Williams’s chief songwriting partner, Taylor York — Paramore returns to a Top 40 landscape even less hospitable to guitars than the one it left on an idiosyncratic high note. (“Ain’t It Fun,” which won a Grammy for best rock song, was also the band’s highest-charting crossover single.)

In pop, a throwback ’80s sound has since been tried with varying degrees of faithfulness and success by the likes of Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen and Jason Derulo, but has not, of late, been credibly executed by a band. Paramore, though, may be suited to this moment: Ms. Williams, cartoon hair or not, remains the focus, and her nimble melodies and sneakily huge pop hooks are as crisp and magnetic as ever, unbeholden to genre walls.

As a frontwoman, Ms. Williams’s shadow of influence has only grown during her break from music, with the most vibrant rock, especially in offshoots of punk, coming increasingly from female-led bands who aren’t afraid of a chorus.

Bethany Cosentino, the lead singer of Best Coast, called Ms. Williams an industry mentor, despite being her elder by two years. “She’s the most humble person I’ve ever known,” Ms. Cosentino said. “She’s a major superstar, but on any given day in Nashville you’ll see her in the back at a show. She’s still true to her punk roots.”

Ms. Williams demurred at suggestions that for a new generation of female musicians, she represents what Gwen Stefani of No Doubt and Shirley Manson of Garbage were for her, insisting that she is the one inspired by much younger acts like Cherry Glazerr, Tacocat and Bleached.

But she also recalled her determination when Paramore started in a male-dominated scene. “If we were booked on a bill with all dudes that were twice as old as us I wanted to be better than any of them,” Ms. Williams said. “I didn’t care if they had a penis or not. I had to be great at my job.”

Musically, her band “can do whatever we want and then when Hayley gets on it, that’s what makes it Paramore,” Mr. York, 27, said, adding that his recent guitar tones and phrasings had also been inspired by Afrobeat and other international sounds. “We’ve gotten to a point with our new music where we don’t really want to headbang anymore.”

In addition to a fresh direction, “After Laughter” is a partial reunion for the group, which, during recording, welcomed back the drummer and founding member Zac Farro. Formed in 2004 as a teenage garage band in Franklin, Tenn., Paramore fractured nearly seven years ago when Mr. Farro and his older brother, Josh, then the main songwriter, quit in a fit of acrimony, having dubbed the band “a manufactured product of a major label” that “became all about Hayley.” (Paramore’s 2011 damage-control interview with MTV is an excruciating document of an awkward period.)

Mr. Farro’s homecoming developed gradually after a personal rekindling with Mr. York, his childhood best friend, that became a necessity because the pair kept running into each other socially.

“Every teenage year that I lived was in this band, on tour,” said Mr. Farro, 26, a lovable goof whose mellow presence balances that of his more high-strung bandmates. “I needed a reset button.”

Carlos de la Garza, who worked as an audio engineer on “After Laughter” and its self-titled predecessor, called Mr. York and Mr. Farro, who spent his time away traveling New Zealand and making his own music, “true kindred spirits.”

What resulted from that refreshed partnership were many jubilant, even danceable, instrumental tracks that Ms. Williams then flipped on their head. “There was a little bit of a dark side creeping in to Hayley’s psyche,” Mr. de la Garza said. “Something was eating at her, and she was able to use a lot of that as fuel for lyrics.”

Despite the joyful, collaborative energy that stemmed from the reconciliation with Mr. Farro, Ms. Williams agreed that “there was a dark cloud” over the writing and recording process, stemming from relationship issues both personal and professional.

In the last two years, “A lot of life happened,” said Ms. Williams, who married a fellow musician, Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory, last February. Just before that, Paramore announced that it had parted with its longtime bassist, Jeremy Davis, who in a lawsuit invoked claims that have long dogged the band, and especially Ms. Williams.

While Mr. Davis contends in court papers that he was a creative partner, entitled to additional profits from songwriting royalties, merchandise and live shows, pre-emptive filings on behalf of Ms. Williams noted that she is the only member officially signed to Atlantic Records, leaving the rest of Paramore to be paid as at-will employees. (Lawyers for the singer noted that “because she wanted to foster a feeling of camaraderie within the band, at her direction, the band members’ salaries included a portion of Williams’ earnings.”)

Derek Crownover, a lawyer for Mr. Davis, said in a statement: “Jeremy Davis did not leave the band,” adding that the bassist “did not initiate the lawsuit either.” While the case is ongoing, Mr. Crownover expressed hope for an amicable settlement soon.

“Again?” Ms. Williams asked herself as she pondered the group’s fate. “I prayed until my knees bled, pretty much,” she said, acknowledging that Paramore has at times felt more like a soap opera than a band.

“We were down another member — same old story almost from Day 1,” she continued. “It made me question everything — am I doing something wrong? You read things that people say about you and eventually you just think, ‘Oh, I must be some kind of diva bitch.’ I know that’s not me, but it caused a lot of self-doubt.”

Ms. Williams, never one for love songs, channeled her disquiet into an album preoccupied with betrayal, disappointment and regret. “Hard Times,” the opening song and first single, begins with lines like,

All that I want
is a hole in the ground
You can tell me when it’s all right
for me to come out.

Elsewhere, she sings, “I can’t think of getting old/it only makes me want to die,” while other album highlights are titled “Forgiveness” (sample lyric: “I just can’t do it yet”), “Fake Happy” and “Grudges.”

“I couldn’t imagine putting something on an album that says ‘life’s great, everything’s cool, party with me,’” Ms. Williams said. And it’s true that despite long-running accusations of major-label meddling in Paramore’s career, the band has written its own often-bitter songs across three straight platinum albums without fiddling from the pop machine.

Though its members said their record label has previously tried to pair them with hitmakers of the moment, “We’ve somehow earned our freedom,” said Mr. York, Paramore’s softest spoken member. “I can’t imagine getting up there and playing a Max Martin song,” he said. “At that point we might as well just stop.”

Now, as Paramore moves from re-establishing its foundation in private to the public glare of an obsessive, impatient fan base, its members are openly anxious about how it will be portrayed and received. One recent night, the trio attended a hockey game for its hometown Nashville Predators, something they hadn’t done as a group since childhood. Exceedingly gracious to all who recognized them, there remained a nervous but endearing energy among the band, not unlike recently reconciled exes around skeptical old friends.

Yet in quiet moments, as Mr. York, Mr. Farro and Ms. Williams picked food out of each other’s teeth and retreated to the safety of inside jokes, they couldn’t help but seem downright content. “This is what you go through hard times for, so you can have these moments where you’re proud of yourself, proud of your choices and your friends,” Ms. Williams said.

“I have a public diary of my life,” she added, “and I feel useful because of it.”

21 Mar 2017

Halfnoise Interview: Zac on Upcoming Halfnoise EP and Rejoining Paramore

Zac Farro of Halfnoise and Paramore sat down with The Line Of Best Fit to discuss the excitement of releasing Halfnoise’s “The Velvet Face” Ep and balancing it all with rejoining Paramore. You can read the full article below.

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15 Jul 2016

Hayley on the cover of Rock Sound – New interview and photos

Hayley is on the cover of the newest issue of Rock Sound. The cover photo and other new photos in the magazine were taken by Lindsey Byrnes during a photoshoot at her home last year. You can see HQ versions of the photos in our gallery.

In this month’s issue, Rock Sound put together a list of the most influential, inspirational, important people in today’s scene – The Rock Sound 50. Hayley is number one on that list and the magazine includes a special interview with her, you can read it from the scans in our gallery, or below (click to enlarge). She talks about what it means to be influential in 2016, her experiences of growing up in a male-dominated and extremely public setting and what the future holds for her and Paramore.

According to the magazine Paramore’s 5th album is expected to be released in early 2017.

“Life can be pretty crazy sometimes, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel right now, and we’ll be back out there at the end of it. Life is a journey that is about finding your place and your purpose, and finding out what means the most to you, and following it with everything that you have. That’s something that I hope nobody – myself included – loses sigh of.”

 
 
 

 

24 May 2016

Popsugar interviews Hayley

Hayley talked to Popsugar about Good Dye Young during her and Brian’s visit to NYC a few weeks ago. You can read the whole article/interview below.

Hayley Williams’s New Line of Dye Makes It Simple to DIY Rainbow Hair

While rainbow hair has been the top beauty trend for the past few years, Hayley Williams was rocking colorful coifs well before it was cool. If you are a Paramore fan, then you’ve been familiar with her ever-changing mane since she and her bandmates got together in 2004.

“It’s amazing what dyeing someone’s hair will do for their day, let alone their identity, be it who they are or who they present to the world,” Hayley gushed to POPSUGAR. “I became passionate about that side of it.” The singer explained that she usually picks her hair hue based on her emotions, whether it’s due to her mood or the music that she’s working on. True fans have seen her sport every shade from red and blue to her favorite hue, orange (which she wore on her wedding day).

Because Hayley has been experimenting with hair color for so long, she knew exactly what she wanted from an at-home dye — and she couldn’t find it. She and her colorist, Brian O’Connor, would often mix two to three different brands together to achieve their desired results. That’s why they decided to collaborate on their own vegan, cruelty-free, eco-friendly color line, Good Dye Young, launching this June.

If you’ve never taken the plunge into rainbow hair, trust us when we say this brand will inspire you. Hayley and Brian worked hard to create a collection that is as fun and funky as it is good for your hair. The drip-free, creamy formula is packed with sunflower and bergamot oils to richly nourish every strand as it infuses it with semipermanent pigment. Good Dye Young is launching with five shades ($14 each), as well as the mixing potion “Fader” ($14) that allows you to customize your own pastel shade, a bleaching kit ($9), and a tool arsenal ($6).

And, yes, that means that Hayley and Brian want you to bleach your own hair at home — safely, that is. They’re equally passionate about education as they are about bright colors and have provided extensive resources on the Good Dye Young site. “We want people to feel empowered by Good Dye Young,” Hayley said. “The idea is to really create a world within hair, beauty, and fashion for people who are excited about expression.”

The duo has plans to provide fans with color recipes so they can craft their own perfect shade and are starting to shoot and share DIYs. But they’re already getting great feedback from Hayley’s celebrity pals, who got early access to the products. “I got to send hair dye to Shirley [Manson] from Garbage,” she said proudly. “And Josh [Dun] of Twenty One Pilots takes the pink on the road and touches up himself. He’ll write me randomly like ‘Man, it’s so easy to use!'”

Still wary of dyeing your strands at home? Color virgins, you can still add some pizzazz to your style without taking it platinum first. Brian suggested trying Rock Lobster or Blue Ruin (or mixing the two!) for a subtle stain on your mane that’s only visible in certain light. “I love that look,” Hayley added. “It’s really pretty but dark and mysterious, like [Fairuza Balk’s hair in] The Craft.”

13 May 2016

Day 2 of promoting Good Dye Young in NYC

Hayley and Brian are currently in NYC promoting their new hair dye line ‘Good Dye Young’. Like yesterday the two are doing interviews again today, keep checking this post to get the latest updates.

First they visited Buzzfeed. There’s no video content yet, but you can see new photos in our gallery:

  

Video from their visit to Cosmopolitan is available below in two parts. Brian is dyeing a Cosmo editor’s hair blue and purple and they are also answering questions.

New photos from the visit to Cosmopolitan available in our gallery: