And what about those years when we were happy and we didn’t know it, when we listened to bands that made us scream with emotion and we believed that “being emo was not a fashion, but a lifestyle”. Does anyone remember that stage when Mayday Parade, All Time Low, Simple Plan, Boys Like Girls, The Maine and many more bands, made us dance more than 10 years ago? Sure, how can I forget …
But there is a band in particular from that niche that knew how to adapt and adapt to the changes in the industry and people’s tastes: Paramore. And it is that a combination of the talent and charm of the leader and vocalist of the band, Hayley Williams, together with the creativity and musical ability of the Farro brothers, together with Taylor York managed to position this band as one of the most important promises of the moment, beyond 2007.
Paramore is known to have undergone several lineup changes – the most notorious, the departure of the Farro brothers in 2010 – but fans of the band and Hayley Williams have remained faithful to the nicknamed ‘Princess of Pop Punk’. . Not for nothing was she named by VH1 as one of cien The Hundred Greatest Women in Music ‘, in 2012.
But hey, as we said, Paramore has made us sing and dance with milestones like “Ain’t It Fun?”, “Still Into You”, “Hard Times”, “Brick My Boring Brick”, at the time with “Misery Business ”(although for a time they stopped touching it), and has also made us sensitive with rolotas such as “The Only Exception” and “We Are Broken“.
It is known that at the end of last year, Hayley Williams broke the news that he would release a solo albumAnd beware, this does not mean the end of Paramore at all, but simply a new stage in your life. And this album, what’s up or what? Ah well, a few days ago he finally released his first solo album, and under the name of Petals For Armor I, started this new project.
We had the pleasure and honor of talking with her a few days ago, and she told us what this album means to her, as well as her inspirations and beginnings as a singer. Did you think Hayley Williams was a kind and cute person? Well, they were not wrong. It is worth mentioning, and before entering fully into this interview, that Hayley turned out to be one of the kindest, most loving, and honest people we have had a chance to chat with. There we leave that information so that they fall in love even more with it. PLOP!
Launching new record material is always a daunting task. There are months, and even years of work behind an album, so… how is Hayley taking this new challenge? “Oh, wow! I feel like I’m very excited and a little nervous at the same time. I guess I’m ready, I’m here and I like this, it’s definitely a bit awkward right now but it’s never a bad thing, it’s always an opportunity, you know? Just to grow. “
As we said earlier, Hayley is presenting ‘Petals For Armor‘, And it is curious that it is a completely different sound from what we were“ used to ”with Paramore. He dared to experience new genres and sounds, but … what about the lyrics? Where did you get inspiration to write this album? Not long ago you made a call for mental health care, and so what is the message behind this album?
“The message behind this album, for me, is really that … a message for me, but I hope that other people will get something from it too. It’s about trying to remember to stay soft, because the world is so hard and we tend to be so hit by life that it sometimes makes us insensitive. And I’m trying to remember being vulnerable, because for me that’s what keeps me connected to other people, it’s what keeps me connected, you know? Accept myself and think about the things I’ve been through or the things I might be feeling. Life can really get tough and I think sometimes we let it make us feel bad and soften us up to a point where you can use all those lessons and get something good out of it. ”
Of the most privileged voices of the genre
And speaking of musical evolution – both Paramore to Hayley williams– Have you noticed how in his early years, Hayley chose to sing super high notes and do magic with his voice? She is a soprano recognized for reaching four full octaves with her voice, that is something very unusual, almost unreal. But lately we no longer hear those high notes that we hear in “Brick my Boring Brick“, but much more sober voices, just like in his new project, this is very likely due to the theme of his new songs. What about that evolution, both musical and compositional?
“The evolution for me started when I started writing with Taylor, which happened a couple of albums ago. Obviously, when Josh and Zach originally left the band, Taylor and I had to start writing all of the Paramore records ourselves, and prior to that situation, Josh had written a lot of the music. I was so amazed at what Taylor and I did when we wrote the songs for our self-titled album, that it gave me great faith that no matter what they threw at us, we could meet that challenge.
That doesn’t mean I always feel confident, most of the time I don’t feel confident as a songwriter, but I try to keep in the back of my mind that I will be able to do things that I’m proud of, even if I think I can make fun of myself. same. Somehow I just have to keep believing that: ‘I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but it’s going to happen somehow.’
The last time Paramore wrote an album, we wrote ‘After Laughter’, and Taylor was really interested in incorporating many elements that were completely new to our songwriting process, he wanted to try many styles and genres to match. I wanted to merge with our music, which before that would not have made sense, so again I opened my eyes to what we are capable of doing and what is the potential that we have if we try. If you like something and want to do it, just do it because you never know, right?
When I started writing the songs for this new album, I kept all those lessons in the back of my mind, you know? I may not feel like a good songwriter today, but if I keep pushing and writing, there will be something I am proud of. And then the next day, I’ll be able to think, ‘Wow, I don’t know how to do that, that sounds very inspiring, but I don’t know how to do something like that,’ but if I go back to my experiences through the growth and evolution of Paramore, I can believe I can do it one more time. ‘
The first song I wrote for this album was called “Leave it alone” and I wrote it with Joey (Howard), who is a bassist for Paramore (since 2016), we were both going through very heavy things in our personal lives. I was really struggling with the idea of losing one of my grandparents, I was very scared of that, and we started writing a song that was very dark to me, it didn’t sound like anything I have ever written before for Paramore or any previous album and it scared me, but it was so nice … it was almost like, I don’t know if you like scary movies, I really love them, and it was that kind of fear where I knew everything was going to be fine, but it was just tension and anticipation that It really took me to get to the end and figure out where it would take me.
And I followed that feeling through the whole songwriting process, like when I wrote any of these songs, it was a good sign if I was feeling a little nervous, kept curious, kept experimenting, and on songs like “Cinnamon” It happened, where I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, where did this come from? As if he didn’t even know how it happened. ’ That’s the feeling I yearn for now, being amazed at yourself and believing that you can try new things even if it’s a little scary, that’s the kind of mindset behind all these creative processes that kept me going.
Why jump into solo just now?
And it is that with such a voice, and with so many stories to tell and so many feelings and situations to share … Why did Hayley decide to go solo as a solo artist right now? This, if we take into account that he has made solo collaborations with different bands and artists, such as Zedd, Chvrches, Deftones, etc. Since when did you want to take this step in a solo career? What was the trigger to do it now, not before or after?
By the way, watch this video JEWEL, in which Hayley was singing “Misery Business” very happily, and she took a fan on stage to sing with her (as usual), but oh surprise! who also joined them Lauren Mayberry from Chvrches to make that day unforgettable for many fans.
“Well, to be honest, presenting a solo project has never been a real wish for me. It is something I never imagined. Even today, when I do promotions and interviews for myself that are not about the band, but rather about my own music that comes out under my name, it is a bit strange.
It is just what I am doing right now and it is where life has brought me today and I am very excited about it and fully prepared for the challenge. I look forward to seeing what kind of artist I will become. I’m not interested in being this famous big ‘thing’, like the girl who left the band and is looking for something new to do.
It has really been an incredible journey on learning to express some of the things I’ve been going through, learning how I can grow as a musician, and ultimately I think that will lead me back to making another record with Paramore, where I hope to have more experience and new skills to add and get back to what Paramore does.
It took me until I was 30 to be willing to write songs that put my name on it, and I am really proud of them, sometimes uncomfortable, but I agree with being uncomfortable, you know? ”
“In the end, the Paramore story is one of my favorite stories.”
30 years … 30 years to start giving herself credit, sounds like she is quite demanding with herself. But that same demand is what has brought him so many fruits and rewards, because it is known that behind success, there is a great story of effort and dedication. When we asked Hayley this, she sighed deeply as if she was remembering everything that had happened in her early days. And boy, does he have a great story to tell …
“I grew up in a small town in Mississippi, lived there until I was eleven, and then my mother and I ran away to Nashville. I have experienced many divorces in my life and my family has been through a lot, so finding Nashville was a great moment for my mom and me, it was an important season in our lives. When I was twelve, about to turn thirteen, I joined a private school – I tried to go to a public school but it didn’t work, I wasn’t very cool – so my mom, who is a teacher, put me in a ‘ homeschooling ‘and we went once a week for our classes. Everyone at school was very weird, like they were all very different and played music and so on. You had super smart kids on the one hand who were advancing so fast that they needed a private school, and on the other hand, very creative kids who couldn’t focus on a public school and needed to be ‘homeschooled’.
I think it was there that I got to know that part. Back then we started sharing music, I learned a lot from bands that I didn’t even know, I started playing the guitar and we started writing songs like Paramore. I was so young, and my voice, well I think it was actually screaming too much (laughs), I had this idea that I wanted to be a powerful singer. I grew up listening to everything from R&B to rock, I never really discriminated in terms of music. So when I started writing with the boys, all I wanted was to be a powerful vocalist and I started to force my voice.
In fact, I fought with my voice for a while because I wrote very high parts that in the end only ended up making me angry when singing them, you know? But it was a great education. I think that the music scene we grew up in – which had its not so cool parts – we were able to create our own club, there was so much freedom to discover myself personally, as a singer and songwriter.
I think if I started listening to the first Paramore records now I would know exactly who I was trying to sound like, or even where I was emulating some other artist. Instead, if I listen to the latest albums I feel like listening to myself, I can hear the personal growth that I have achieved so far.
It has been a very cool trip, I have always felt lucky for this. In the end, the Paramore story is one of my favorite stories. ”.
When he played with John Mayer
Hayley’s voice is serious, has been recognized by the entire artistic world, from Taylor Swift, until John MayerThe latter even called her “The Great Orange Hope”, hinting at her orange hair and precisely at how great her voice is. How many of here knew that around 2008, this renowned and successful singer-songwriter took the stage to play “When It Rains” along with Paramore?
“This time it was incredible! I remember it well. We played, we opened, it was like a very strange show. We were on tour and we were going to be in the same city as John Mayer, I remember that he really liked our album from that moment (‘Riot!’), And he asked us to open a couple of shows for him, and we said: “Sure , there we will be! ”, he went on stage and sang“ When It Rains ”with us and played the guitar.
It was a lot of fun, because obviously we don’t look anything like John Mayer when we played, but I’ve played all kinds of music and grown up on the music scene playing live. I think he introduced us to a lot of people that we would never have met otherwise. He really supported us; He was very good with the boys and with me ”.
And now … if there is a country worthy of making Hayley Williams a religion, that is Mexico. So we throw the bullet as it is: “Hey Hayley, you do know that your most loyal fans are in Mexico, right? (laughs) What do you like the most about them (cof cof, us)? ”, we ask him, And yes, few artists have the privilege of being as loved in our country as Hayley.
“Oh God, the shows in Mexico are crazy! The concert we did for ‘After Laughter’ was one of the best shows we played on that entire tour. It was very loud! I think it was one of the biggest shows that we have had in terms of the number of people that were there, I really tell you, it was a lot of fun and very wild. I really like it, I will never forget to play “Hard Times” that night, were you there? what dance party wasHe commented with overwhelming emotion. Really.
“I saw how that great triumph, you know, how to feel a victory, especially because at that moment I was going through a difficult moment personally, but I had moments – like that night – in which we could all raise our hands and say: ‘nothing don’t give a shit ‘and have a lot of fun together, that was very powerful. I can’t wait for us to play in Mexico again!
We also receive so many messages from fans in Mexico that are so sweet and kind, I know we don’t go often, but I want to make sure that everyone there knows how much we appreciate the support we receive from our Mexican fans, it means a lot to us. ”
And this is how we end our talk with Hayley williams. Of course we would have loved to extend more but the time was somewhat reduced. Still, she was the friendliest and most polite person in the world. Bravo for her! To be vigilant to see what next surprises it gives us.