Capturing Paramore’s irrepressible attraction
Audio stream: Pop-punk titans Paramore play Dublin next week. We asked for your questions: this is what you wanted to know
Paramore are a band who have been through hell and back. Their third album Brand New Eyes in 2009 made these Tennessee pop-punk titans global superstars, but also precipitated an ugly split between the band and brothers Josh and Zac Farro who quit in 2010.
The impact, though, on their popularity with their fans, has been minimal. Their latest self-titled album went straight to number one in the Irish album charts and several other countries.
Throughout it all, the band has been fronted by the irrepressible carrot-topped figure of Hayley Williams (24), the lead singer and inspiration to a generation of teenage girls.
In advance of Paramore’s concert at the O2 next Monday, Hayley Williams agreed to take questions from the band’s Irish fans.
Selena Kane (27) Artane, Dublin: I’d love to know what has influenced and inspired the band’s new music direction as it has changed dramatically from the previous album.
Hayley Williams: I would say number one it is time, honestly. We have lived quite a bit of life since the last record. We have gone through a tonne together as friends which has just changed our tastes and hopefully changed our skill level.
We always want to get better at our instruments and our writing. For me in particular it was discovering New Wave music from the 1980s and a million bands that you would expect me to say when I say New Wave. It is really good punk rock and rock music.
Isobel Doyle (14), Greystones, Co Wicklow: Jeremy Davis’s temporary departure inspired the album All We Know is Falling. Has Zac and Josh’s departure being address in song?
Hayley Williams: I would say yes, but a lot more vaguely that we talked about Jeremy on our first album. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t want to write a super-bitter or super-detailed album about the band. I didn’t want to talk about the split. A lot of people can’t relate to that because not everybody in the world is in a band.
We wrote that record on Brand New Eyes. Brand New Eyes is from start to finish about Paramore. I didn’t want to do a part II with that. For the most part this album is about the three of us living our lives, going through specific things together and separately.
Stacy-Lee Tormey (18), Bluebell, Dublin: What’s it like to be the only girl in the band?
Hayley Williams: It is fun. I guess I miss my girlfriends though I don’t have a tonne. It’s really honestly hard to make a lot of friends when you tour all the time so the guys are really like my brothers at this point. We’ve grown up together and they truly are my best friends.
Bethany Crooks (17), Belfast: You’ve signed up for a four day cruise of the Carribean with your fans in March called Parahoy!. What is the thinking behind Parahoy!?
Hayley Williams: We wanted to do something different and exciting that are fans can really dig into with us and that felt a little bit more personal and more involved. It is often crazy. The whole idea of getting on a boat with a bunch of fans kind of sounds crazy and really fun. It should be a good time.
Erica O Hara (20), Bagenalstown, Co Carlow: What has been the defining moment of your career so far?
Hayley Williams: The defining moment of our career so far has been, honestly, making this album. It is an album that very well may have never happened and had we not pressed on through the tough times that we’ve had as Paramore. We’re really proud. Definitely this new album is it for us. We really love it.
Katie Browne (16), Clonsilla, Dublin 15: How do you keep your hair in such good condition?
Hayley Williams: I don’t dye it as often as I really should and I use really, really good products that don’t have a lot of chemicals in them. I’m not a 100 per cent natural and try and use things that are not bad for me and not bad for the environment. Recently I cut a lot of my hair off so that’s always good for your hair. That helps it stay soft.
Helen McGuinness (49), Ballyshannon, Co Donegal: We are Paramore’s oldest fans. Can you ask Hayley, with her hair now short, does she miss the headbanging effect she had with the longer hair?
Hayley Williams: The headbanging is in the heart not the head.
Rachel Fitzgerald (18), Kildoon,Co Kildare: What’s your favourite thing about being in Ireland?
Hayley Williams: I like the people, I like the history and I love the shows there. The shows in Ireland are absolutely insane. Every time the crowd screams and yells, it sounds like a battle cry. It is the loudest, aggressive and most exciting noise that a band can possibly hear when they are on a stage so we’re really, really excited to get back there and put on an amazing show for the people that we are really excited to see.
Paramore play the 02 Dublin next Monday.
Their self-titled album Paramore is out now