The rock world received jarring news just before the end of 2010 when band co-founders (and brothers) Josh and Zac Farro announced they were leaving Paramore behind.
Since then, the brothers issued a scathing statement about why they exited the group, and the remaining three members — singer Hayley Williams, bassist Jeremy Davis and guitarist Taylor York — sat down for an extra-long interview with MTV News to lay out their side of the story and react to the Farros’ statements. (You can watch that entire conversation as “Paramore: “Last Word” right now.)
But how did the band get to the point of breaking up? There has always been upheaval with the lineup (no fewer than eight people have been a part of the band since its inception), but the first taste of possible drama came when the group abruptly canceled a European tour at the beginning of 2008, citing “a lot of internal issues.”
Rumors flew about what those particular issues were (there was even speculation that Williams was pregnant), but the band remained closely guarded as to why they specifically backed out of the tour.
It appeared as though the time off did them some good, as they managed to finish 2008 strong, touring the United States and playing the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards .
When it finally came time to record a new album, the group addressed many of their internal issues head-on in the songs that make up Brand New Eyes, their most mature release to date. The group admitted that many of the songs on the album directly dealt with the turmoil they had experienced the year prior.
“There’s a lot of calling out and pointing the finger, but then it starts to change,” Williams said at the time of Brand New Eyes‘ release. “We’ve gone through these things, we’ve worked out most of our issues, and it’s much more positive and hopeful.”
Their star continued to rise, though Williams began to experience success outside of the realm of Paramore. Just before the release of Brand New Eyes, her first ever solo track, “Teenagers,” appeared on the soundtrack to the horror movie “Jennifer’s Body.” And in early 2010, “Airplanes,” a collaboration with Atlanta rapper B.o.B from his album The Adventures of Bobby Ray, became a gigantic hit.
Still, the band kept on trucking, headlining sold-out concerts all around the world and producing eye-popping videos for the singles from Brand New Eyes. As their tour wound down in December, the group was ready to move on to the next project. “We’re doing a tour of South America, and then we’re taking time off to write a new record,” York told MTV News. “We’re at the end of this record, and it’s bittersweet.”
A few days later, rumors started to swirl that the Farros would be exiting, which led to both the band’s statement and the Farros’ reaction. The remaining members of Paramore have committed to continuing on as a unit, and no matter what the future holds, they are already experts in handling upheaval.
What did you think of “Paramore: “Last Word”? Let us know in the comments!