It is their biggest song, the one that put them on the map and got them to where they are today. But on their new album,
" 'Misery Business' was a big step for me, because it was sort of an embarrassing, vengeful emotion, and I just felt really bratty. And it was good for me to get out. And I think a lot of girls related to it, and some guys too," frontwoman Hayley Williams said. "But with this record, it's different. I wrote ['Misery Business'] about a past experience, and I had already seen the outcome and gotten through everything. And that's the same with every song on the record, even the ones that weren't that personal. ... But this record, I felt a lot heavier.
"We'd be at practice, and I didn't even like some of the songs at first, because of my parts, because I was like, 'This isn't a feel-good song, because I'm writing about something I'm going through right now, and it's still painful,' " she continued. "And I confused that with actually not liking the songs, when actually I was prouder of them than I've ever been before. They're heavier emotions for me. ... I'm still going through some of this stuff, and these songs are really healing to me."
Writing the songs on the new album was a therapeutic and terrifying experience — not just for Williams, who grappled with self-doubt throughout the process, but the band itself. The wounds were still raw from Paramore's near-split in early 2008, and now they were faced with the prospect of reopening the sutures to make the kind of songs they knew they had to deliver.
So they sat down and talked. A lot. They hashed out old differences, made amends and came out with a batch of songs — likely first single "Ignorance," the heavy "Careful" and the lush "Exception" — that act as the spiky soundtrack to all those ups and downs.
"If we took three years, we would probably have one-hundred-billion songs, and we wouldn't know what to put on the record ... so we decided to stop writing," guitarist Josh Farro said. "And what we had was really all over the place, which is what we were going for. Because Riot! was pretty 'same' the entire record. There wasn't a lot of dynamic. I think this record definitely has that. We have an acoustic song, we have the pretty songs, and then we've got the midtempo and the heavy ones. ... It's a good mixture."
So while they're always going to be proud of their past, Paramore are moving forward. They had to, both as people and as a band. And the end result of all that soul-searching is a record they're endlessly proud of — and not just for the reason you might expect.
"I'm not going to sit here and try to convince everyone that [these songs] are the best thing I've ever written and these lyrics are my masterpiece, but they're really helping me," Williams smiled. "They're helping our whole band."