Things were ticking along like clockwork in Paramore's schedule: Their Final Riot! tour was about to wrap up, they were gearing up for a spate of shows in Mexico and South America, and they were beginning to work on a bunch of songs for their new record.
They soon found out that they were nominated for Best Rock Video at the 2008 Video Music Awards, and, on top of that, they also learned they had been tapped to perform at the big show. Suddenly, everything became very jumbled — in the best possible way, of course.
"Man, this is going to be the first performance we've ever done at any awards show. And I'm glad it's at the VMAs, because we've all grown up watching them. And there's always huge things happening and artists blowing up and doing crazy, ridiculous stunts," fiery frontwoman Hayley Williams laughed. "Since we're on tour, and we've found all this stuff out, we're stoked, but I don't think we've really had time to sit down and realize: 'We're going to the VMAs. We're going to be playing in front of a lot of people.' We're not nervous now, but it's definitely coming."
And while Williams stopped short of saying just what fans can expect from their VMA performance (she hinted at a surprise or two, but, as Zac Farro put it: "Why would we tell you about the surprises now?"), she did want fans to know that all the Moonman-related shenanigans will in no way interfere with the band's work on the follow-up to their platinum-plus Riot! album. Why?
"Well, it's in the very early stages," she laughed.
"Like, not even stage one. Stage 0.5," guitarist Josh Farro added. "The stuff we have now, the heavy stuff sounds a lot heavier, but the softer stuff is a lot softer, so I feel like it's more diverse. I feel like we'll be able to reach a lot more fans that we weren't able to with Riot!"
And that's a notion shared by Williams, who makes no bones about her desire to keep expanding Paramore's, well, ever-expanding fanbase. It seems that for album number three, some good old-fashioned world domination could be in the cards — conservatively speaking, of course.
"I've seen our fanbase grow even since we started this last tour. I feel like on this tour there's some older fans, and that could be from some of the bands we're bringing out — we've got Jack's Mannequin, Phantom Planet — and I think it's a perfect tour to take us to wherever we're going next as a band," Williams said. "With Riot!, we started getting radio play and MTV, and I think that brings in people that might not be into any particular scene of music. They're just into what's hot and what's working. I think that with this next record, we can bridge that gap even more, you know, to find people that just like to listen to the radio and people that don't even have a radio — they just listen to records. I just want to bridge that gap even more."
At the moment, Paramore can only speculate as to when they will actually get down to the business of making their new album. Farro says that they currently have "around 10 ideas" for songs, but they're "not finished in any way, it's mainly just music." All signs are pointing to sometime in early 2009, after the band has returned home and sufficiently unwound from the epic, globe-spanning tour.
And though it's still early, Williams said that fans can probably guess what kind of stuff she'll be singing about on the new record — especially if they've followed the "are they or aren't they" breakup drama the band endured earlier this year.
"Lyrically, I think everyone knows by this time our band has been through a lot of ups and downs — even the past six months have just been ridiculous. Like, personally and professionally, things that we never thought we'd go through, we're experiencing and learning from. And just growing up in general," she laughed. "I think you'll hear a lot of those types of themes. A lot of stuff about friends and relationships, like always. I'm excited to see where it goes, because once I'm home and once we're all writing together and not playing shows all the time, I think things will start pouring out that I didn't really know existed. And I'm psyched to see where it goes."