Paramore thought they were finished talking about the departure of Josh and Zac Farro — there’s a reason we called their 2011 interview about the split “The Last Word” — until they began writing their new album … and discovered they still had plenty left to say on the subject.
“The first half of the writing process, we tried to stay away from that. The first song we demoed was ‘Proof,’ and I kind of thought ‘Oh, this is great; this is how every song will be! We’ll just glide right over all that stuff and write a bunch of love songs,’” Hayley Williams told MTV News. “But then, as time went on, I would get these crazy stints of writer’s block; I wouldn’t be able to think, and I realized that I just needed to say what I felt. And we wrote ‘Now,’ and … from the first line of the song, I felt like I was waking up … I was just passed out in this blackness, and needed to wake up and recharge [the band]. It needed to happen, we needed to talk about it a little bit, but not be bitter about it.”
And talk about it, they most certainly do. Their self-titled album is full of fleeting mentions of the Farros, and overcoming the drama that followed their departure. But, at the same time, the record also makes it abundantly clear that Paramore are moving forward: Case in point, album-opener “Fast In My Car,” which is about as propulsive a song as they’ve ever written … and we’re not just talking about the driving synth lines, either.
“We were living in LA when we made the record, and we were writing it out there too, and one night, I had, like, a Honda Hybrid car, and we pile into it, and there’s only two seats, and so Taylor [York's] laid out in the back of it; we’re all trying to fit into it to go get sushi,” Williams explained. “And it felt like one of those nights, back in 2004, when were headed to our first shows, and we all just piled in to a station wagon with all our stuff. It felt like that again, and it felt so good, so I wanted to write a song about us getting away together. Piling up in a car and getting gone.
“Sometimes, whether it’s in interviews or press in general, they like to paint a certain picture of us, because I think in the past we’ve been very easy targets and we’ve had a lot of drama,” she continued. “And I was just ready for people to get bored of that and let us move on … that’s where we’re at right now, we’re moving forward. And I think you hear that on the whole record.”
So while they’re still looking back, more and more, Paramore have their eyes firmly fixed on the future; with their new record, they’ve reinvented themselves … and, in the process, made the album of their lives.
“I think that we put that pressure on ourselves from day one, which is probably why we got so much writer’s block; we were freaking out,” Williams said. “That’s why it’s a self-titled record, we want to make the fans happy, we want everyone to be stoked to keep moving forward together, but … if this was the first Paramore album that somebody ever heard, and this defined us for them; we feel comfortable with that. I really feel like, if I get it by a subway train here in New York City, at least we made this record.”
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