I can still recall the first time I heard Paramore. Back in the summer of 2007 the band’s single “Misery Business” owned rock radio, and every time it blasted out of my stereo, it owned my ears, too. Here was a young band with a strong message, punk energy and the ability to channel both into sculpted, explosive songs. And myohmy, that Hayley Williams. To my mind she’s one of the generation’s great rock singers – she’s a snarling watchdog and an empathetic best friend rolled up into one. It’s been a pleasure listening to Paramore grow and improve with each passing release. And with Hayley’s high-profile guest spot on B.o.B.’s “Airplanes” released this year, Paramore have probably garnered a few new ears. But through all their success, Paramore are staying humble and totally in tune with their priorities. That’s exactly the vibe I got when Hayley checked in with the “We Create Music” Blog, on the eve of a short November tour through the UK.
Your most recent album Brand New Eyes has been about for about a year now, and you guys are still touring off of it. Do you still feel the same connection to those songs that you did when you first wrote the album?
I absolutely feel a connection. That's what makes it so important to me that we write our own songs. No one can tell my stories like I can. Brand New Eyes has some of the most precious moments of my life woven all throughout it.
Does it feel any different playing them live now?
There is a new sense of understanding now. I feel the same emotions from a whole new place. Our band isn't in the same place we were when we wrote some of these songs.
Your newest single is "Careful." What's the story behind it?
One lesson I've learned - so far - is that feeling secure isn't always the safest place to be. I'd rather risk the assumption of being worldly or untamed than to feel caged and never actually get to experience the world.
Paramore's performance was an indisputable highlight of the recent MTV VMAs. How'd you make the decision to perform "The Only Exception" instead of one of your more rocking numbers?
Thank you. We were actually asked to play "The Only Exception" right from the start. We thought of pulling a Green Day and playing something a little more fun, but in the end, we wanted to show people there are many sides to us. I don't regret it.
How'd you get involved with B.o.B. and "Airplanes?" Is it at all difficult to balance your Paramore duties with all the attention you're getting from that song?
It sort of fell into my lap. I heard the demo and loved it. To be honest, I don't believe there could've been a better pairing. I love me some B.o.B. And it seems like random media folks have a harder time balancing the Hayley vs. Paramore thing than we do. I sing because it's my passion. Paramore is my passion. And to me it's that simple.
Nashville is known as a country music town. When you were first coming up, did you ever feel neglected by the music community out there for being different?
The first year or so seemed a bit like pulling teeth...but we finally convinced 'em. Hell, we contributed to Loretta Lynn's 50th Anniversary compilation, so they better be convinced!
Who are you blasting these days in the tour bus? Be honest!
Terror - Keepers of the Faith, Arcade Fire - The Suburbs, and I just got an advance of the new Hellogoodbye record which is pretty darn good. Oh and also, a lot of Robyn. Can't wait to hear Bodytalk Pt. 2!
Over the last couple years Paramore have performed alongside some of the biggest names in rock music. In your wildest dreams, which band or artist would you love to play with?
Man, I mean, besides No Doubt and Green Day...I don't even know who to go to after either of them...Maybe we'll play with Bruce Springsteen?! We've met him and he was a real sweetheart. If we run into him again I'll give him the puppy dog eyes and you can come catch a show soon after.
Take a gander at Paramore’s website: http://www.paramore.net/
Visit Paramore’s MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/paramore
Follow Hayley on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/paramore
…and here’s Hayley’s blog: http://yelyahwilliams.tumblr.com/