Latest posts ‘Interviews’
Our gallery has been updated with HQ scans from the newest issue of Alternative Press. The magazine includes a short interview with Hayley, new photos of Hayley and also new photo from Paramore’s photoshoot with Kane Hibberd. You can find all the scans here.
Hayley spoke with James Montgomery of Rolling Stone about the success of ‘Ain’t It Fun’ and why now is the best time to be in Paramore. You can read the full interview below.
Over the past decade, this band has experienced success, but nothing on par with what’s happened this year. Is this the best time to be in Paramore?
For sure. On every level. We keep learning what it means to be a band, both professionally and as friends in a band. It’s a constant learning process. We made a record that we were so proud of, and its success is so far beyond anything that we expected when we were writing it. So that’s incredibly satisfying, obviously, but on a personal level, I feel like our friendships are just constantly deepening, and becoming really important and vital.
“Ain’t It Fun” has become an anthem. When you first wrote it, did you have any idea it would become this massive?
We took so long making this album that we couldn’t help but be disconnected with what was going on with music at the time. It was about how we felt in the moment, what was inspiring us and what made us excited to be in a band again, and it’s so weird that those same songs are the ones that gave us the most success. Some of them are the poppiest things we’ve ever written…”Ain’t It Fun” was like word vomit; it just came out, and now everybody’s singing it, it’s on the radio, it’s really cool. I don’t know if you get that twice in your career. This is the first time we’ve experienced it, and I’m just really thankful.
So have you had a chance to actually enjoy any of this?
We all have. This year has been surprisingly calm, especially considering the song has been going wild. We did one tour at the beginning of the year, we did a cruise and now we’re on Monumentour. That’s kind of all we’ve done. We spent a lot of time at home, and it was really nice; real life is so different from the life you spend in a bus. Now I much prefer sitting on the back porch, being with family. I can tell, now more than ever, how much older I’ve gotten since we first started.
Paramore has never been bigger, yet, in a lot of ways, all of the success seems very organic. Has it been a struggle to do things on your terms?
We know when things don’t feel right. We’re all very close-knit on the road, and we are able to be honest with each other when something doesn’t feel true to the cause. Doing things like that fashion video that involved our crew guys, that keeps us enjoying every little moment, so it doesn’t become this big factory. That’s the stuff that’s important. Just like back in 2005, when we were writing back [to fans] on MySpace, if it feels real to us, then that’s how we gauge every step that we make.
Have you personally turned down offers that didn’t feel right?
In the beginning, I turned down tons of stuff; as soon as I turned 18, FHM magazine came to me. There’s been countless ridiculous things since then, and probably some cool opportunities that we just didn’t feel right about at the time. We sort of let ourselves bloom as people at the same time that we’ve let our band expand its territory. I think some of that has been in us, to know what feels right, a sense of what Paramore really is, but some of it, you grow into it. I’m not so sensitive about going out and doing certain things by myself these days, and the guys aren’t so sensitive about it either. And there’s something like the Teen Choice Awards, where we would have been like, “Oh, we don’t want to do a teen show” when we were actual teenagers and it probably would have made more sense. [Laughs]
In the past, you’ve been wary of being the focal point of the band. Is that still an issue?
You know, it depends. [Sometimes] we do TV spots, interviews, and we spend tons of time talking and you think that it feels very evenly spread out, you think that it feels deep and the questions are nice, and then it gets edited and then it’s just you, and it’s just asking about your hair. That’s the stuff that I get uncomfortable with.
There was a recent Nightline interview that certainly made mention of your hair…
Oh, well, that’s kind of what I’m referring to.
At the same time, you did “Stay the Night” with Zedd, and it went platinum. So what’s next, another Paramore album, or more solo stuff from you?
We want to make another record. Taylor’s writing all the time, and Jeremy writes quite a lot, too. I’m in that phase where I spend a lot of time journaling, and it’s usually a month or two of that before I start liking what I’m writing. It happens every album. So I think an album will happen as soon as we start writing things together that we’re like, “Yes, this feels awesome.” We’ve never finished a song we don’t like, so we have started songs, then been like, “You know what? Nah.” So we’re just waiting for that one to click, and then it will be really on. But the wheels are already turning.
As far as the little solo appearance things, I always judge based on how I feel about something in my gut. If a song like “Stay the Night” comes to me, it’s undeniable, but it has to feel right.
You’ve been fronting this band for a decade now. Has the job gotten easier or more difficult?
I’m still surprised when I feel uncomfortable with it after 10 years. It’s funny when I feel left out, or in the cold, and everyone’s focusing on me. Onstage, it’s so much about the music that I feel comfortable. But being the frontwoman is not an easy job, it’s something I’m really proud to be getting better at; performing really well, singing really well and speaking to the crowd – that’s the part I’m most nervous about, like “What do I say that makes me sound cool?” – but also trying to keep it the same way that it felt when we were in clubs. I want to connect, and so do Taylor and Jeremy. That’s our mission every night.
Entertainment Weekly’s Kyle Anderson interviewed Hayley and the interview is featured in the magazines newest issue. They talked about Monumentour, Ain’t It Fun, Warped Tour, Parahoy! and other things. You can read the interview below.
You just kicked off your summer Monumentour with Fall Out Boy. What have you learned about them?
Those guys work out every day, and we’re just in our dressing room eating chips. I told [FOB frontman] Patrick [Stump], “Thanks for making us all feel like the laziest buttholes.” He was like, “If I wasn’t doing this I wouldn’t be able to move on stage.” So maybe I’ll start up Ballet Beautiful in a minute.
Is that why you’ve been wearing Paramore-logo kickboxing shorts at shows?
They are the most comfortable thing I’ve ever worn on stage. I’m so happy to not be wearing latex on this tour. I look like a fitness instructor, and I love it.
“Ain’t It Fun” is the biggest hit of your career so far, and the video for it shows the band breaking world records. Were there any you tried but couldn’t do?
Believe it or not, we actually legitimately broke every record we hoped to that day. We had a list. My favorite one was smashing the alarm clocks with the guitars, because I didn’t think I was going to be able to look that badass. I was surprised how quickly those clocks exploded. On the first hit they would just burst into tiny little shards.
Now “Ain’t It Fun” is your regular closer at concerts. How does that feel?
Our show is so built around crowd participation, and it’s one of those songs that’s just got those moments really built into it. Even people who don’t know who Paramore is, they know that bridge with the gospel choir, so let’s go out with the biggest bang we can. It’s a real rock & roll ending.
You spent a lot of summers on the Warped Tour. Any advice for bands about to embark on their first Warped?
Nobody owes you anything. You have to have that mindset. When we did out first Warped Tour in 2005 we didn’t get meal tickets, so we didn’t get to eat the delicious catering. We had maybe five bucks a day to eat frozen pink lemonades or hot dogs. We had to write out all our fliers because some days our band’s name wasn’t on the schedule. It’s a lot of work, and I think it’s crucial for bands to go through that stage of their life, because then when something does get handed to you – when someone does you a favor or bumps you up to a different spot that’s better or busier or bigger – then you’ll appreciate it. Earn everything.
You’re famous for your Technicolor hair. Tell me about your look now.
This is like my SLC Punk!-blue hair. I love SLC Punk! Jason Segel’s in it, how can you not? I love how it looks, [but] as soon as I get really comfortable, that’s when I’m gonna change it.
The first-ever Parahoy! cruise was in the spring. Will there be more?
It sort of surpassed anybody’s expectations. It was this little subculture where everyone knew each other and everyone knew each other’s music and sang and hung out and ate dinner and partied. I loved it. I hope we do this for the rest of our career.
Hayley made a summer playlist for Refinery29. “This is my Melancholy Summer playlist,” she told. “‘Cause sometimes summer is about sunburns and rained-out beach days and summer-fling breakups!” You can listen the playlist and read her comments of each song below.
Bleachers, “I Wanna Get Better”
Hayley: “Love this song as a sort of anthem for the human condition. But, I love that the lyrics don’t settle for brokenness.”
Candy Hearts, “Coffee With My Friends”
Hayley: “Candy Hearts have one of my favorite albums of the summer. It’s happy, melancholy, sad, and sarcastic all in one…This might be my favorite song off the record.”
That Dog., “Retreat From The Sun”
Hayley: “That Dog. are just one of my favorite bands to listen to, period. Perfect for the summer. Perfect for any season, really.”
Sam Smith, “How Will I Know” (Whitney Houston cover)
Hayley: “I haven’t heard anything this sad and this beautiful in a long time.”
Coldplay, “Another’s Arms”
Hayley: “This new Coldplay album really got to me. I think ’cause of how public the whole backstory seems…Very inspiring to hear a man sing about his heart in such a present and vulnerable way.”
Brody Dalle, “Don’t Mess With Me”
Hayley: “Brody is one of my all-time favorite ladies. Her new album is so rad, and this is the newest single.”
The Angels, “My Boyfriend’s Back”
Hayley: “It wouldn’t be one of my little playlists if it didn’t include the Angels. The ’60s-girl-group vibe reminds me of the beach, reminds me of youth, and I just never stop loving this song.”
Hop Along, “Kids on the Boardwalk”
Hayley: “Super nostalgic sounding band…And, I love the singer’s voice. Plus, the lyrics ‘I wanna love something without it having to need me’ are so real!”
Timber Timbre, “Run From Me”
Hayley: “Taylor [York] just showed me this song, and I died over the vocals. So classic and smooth, but yet the lyrics are kind of deranged. I like the idea of telling someone what you love about them, but warning them you could hurt them. Powerful.”
Kye Kye, “Softly”
Hayley: “We just put out an Ain’t It Fun remix EP, and there’s a Kye Kye remix on there. Such a cool sound, and I love this song.”
On Tap interviewed Hayley while Paramore was preparing for the Monumentour. They talked about the band’s past and future, and the strange connection their first big hit ‘Misery Business’ has to DC’s 9:30 Club. You can read the interview below.
ON TAP: WERE YOU SURPRISED THAT YOUR LATEST SINGLE, “AIN’T IT FUN,” TURNED OUT TO BE YOUR BIGGEST HIT SO FAR?
HAYLEY WILLIAMS: This one, by far, has just shocked all of us. It’s a song we took a huge risk on, and we’re so excited by it. I grew up listening to a lot of R&B and pop and soul, so it was cool to be able to write a song that infuses that energy into what we do as a band. There was so much fun and passion, and I hope you can hear that and people connect to that energy. The message is somewhat sarcastic but hopefully inspiring enough for younger people who might be entering the world on their own. I know it helped me get through a transitional phase in my life. We give Jeremy [Paramore’s bassist] all the credit, since it’s the first Paramore hit with slap bass.
OT: WHAT LED TO YOU EXPLORE DIFFERENT SOUNDS ON THIS ALBUM?
HW: We broadened our horizons and discovered that we don’t have to meet anyone’s expectations. We have to be good and we want to be better than we were last time around, but Paramore is Jeremy, Taylor, and Hayley and wherever we are at that given moment. Next year, we could put out an album that is all pop songs, or all heavy, or funk like “Ain’t It Fun.” Before, we put ourselves in a box and tried to limit ourselves to whatever expectations we thought people were having.
OT: WHEN FANS COME TO YOUR SHOWS, WHAT DO YOU HOPE THEY TAKE AWAY?
HW: It’s about being an escape or a source of strength or making an impact. If we’re not getting on stage and connecting with people, looking at them in the eyes and making them feel known, we’re missing the point of why we’re in a band. We want to be entertainers and play to the best of our abilities, but sometimes it’s more important what’s in between the songs. Sometimes I talk too much, but it’s important to know who an artist is. When fans come to a show, we don’t know what you’re leaving behind or going home to – it could be the best thing or the worst thing – so we want them to know that they are seen, and heard, and important to us. They made a huge difference to our lives, so we want them to know they are important to us too.
OT: DO YOU HAVE ANY INTERESTING MEMORIES OF PREVIOUS SHOWS IN DC?
HW: It’s crazy that you ask. The first time we were on a really cool tour, we were doing a charity tour, and we started out at 9:30 Club. I was so pumped for this tour and it was the first night. We were still a tiny band at that point. After the show I was hanging out in the alleyway behind the club with friends, and I just started coughing, this crazy whooping cough thing, and I couldn’t stop. We had to cancel all the remaining dates on the tour and we just stayed in a hotel in DC for a couple days to see if I could get better before we went home. While we were holed up there, Josh [then-guitarist Josh Farro] started writing the music to our song “Misery Business.” That’s how “Misery Business” came about, which was our first successful single, which got us to the point where we are today!
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.