It’s pretty safe to say that Paramore are the biggest rock stars in Franklin, Tennessee, which is why it’s rather strange that they can wander its picturesque streets (or ride around them on bikes) without receiving as much as a wayward glance from anyone.
It’s as much a testament to their humble demeanors and overall lack of flash (frontwoman Hayley Williams’ preferred method of transport? A Huffy bike she bought at a thrift store) as it is to Franklin itself. The town is a hamlet of Nashville, and, as such, is populated by a bizarre number of country artists (including Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban), NASCAR drivers, and, uh, Cyruses (Miley and otherwise). So, really, Paramore aren’t really that big of a deal around these parts.
Not to mention they’re locals, born and raised (for the most part) in and around Franklin. People know them here, have seen Williams ride around on her bike for years, and can remember the Farro brothers when they were just two tiny terrors. All of this only adds to their anonymity. Paramore are just a group of Franklin kids that made good.
So, anyway, that’s why, when myself and producer Akshay Bhansali spent yesterday with the band in Franklin, we were amazed by just how un-bothered Paramore were … how free they were to roam, to ride bikes up to the local Goodwill (see evidence below), to eat BBQ and cupcakes. And how willing they were to open their homes to us.
Over the coming days, we’ll be rolling out footage from our trip — trust us, there’s some amazing stuff ahead — all leading up to September 29, the day Paramore’s Brand New Eyes album hits stores. Consider this blog (and the photos) an appetizer for the main course.
And, in keeping with the food metaphor, it appears Paramore are about to take us to another mom-and-pop restaurant … so we’ll have more later. Seriously, these guys (and gal) know a thing or three about Southern hospitality — and eating, which are apparently inextricably linked here.