Paramore is an American rock band from Franklin, Tennessee, formed in 2004. The band consists of lead vocalist Hayley Williams, lead guitarist Josh Farro, bassist Jeremy Davis, drummer Zac Farro, and rhythm guitarist Taylor York.
The group released their debut album All We Know Is Falling in 2005, and their second album, Riot! in 2007, which was certified Platinum in the US and Gold in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. Brand New Eyes, Paramore's third album, was released on September 29, 2009. Brand New Eyes is the band's highest charting album to date.
In 2002, at age 13, vocalist Hayley Williams moved from her hometown Meridian, Mississippi to Franklin, Tennessee where she met brothers Josh Farro and Zac Farro while she was attending a private school. Shortly after arriving, she began taking vocal lessons with Brett Manning. Prior to forming Paramore, Williams and bassist Jeremy Davis, along with friend Kimee Read, took part in a funk cover band called The Factory, while Josh and Zac Farro had practiced together after school. The other members of what was soon to be Paramore had been "edgy about the whole female thing" of having Williams as vocalist, but, because they were really good friends, she started writing for them. Williams said of the guys when she first met them, "They were the first people I met who were as passionate about music as I was." The band was officially formed by Josh Farro (lead guitar/backing vocals), Zac Farro (drums), Jeremy Davis (bass guitar) and Hayley Williams (lead vocals) in 2004, with the later addition of Williams' neighbor Jason Bynum (rhythm guitar). When Davis showed up, he was stunned to find out the drummer was only twelve years old. He admitted "I had very, very, very, little faith in everyone in the band because of their age. I remember thinking, 'This is not going to work because this kid is way too young,' but that first day of practice was amazing. I knew we were on to something." According to Williams, the name "Paramore" came from the maiden name of the mother of one of their first bass players. Once the group learned the meaning of the homophone "paramour" ("secret lover"), they decided to adopt the name, using the Paramore spelling.
The band's first song written together was "Conspiracy", which was later used on their debut album. In 2004, they were a featured band in Purple Door. At this time, they were touring the southeast, usually being driven by Williams' parents. She commented that "Back then, I guess we were all thinking, after school we'll go to the house and practice. It was what we loved to do for fun, and still do! I don't think any of us really knew this would turn out to be what it's become."
They were first signed when Williams was only 14, at first to a music management company, The Agency Group. Booking agent Ken Fermaglieli said to Billboard that "I knew when I met her that there was a star there. She knew exactly what she was doing, how she wanted to do it, and she had a plan." The company helped book gigs for Paramore around the Southeast.
Head of Warner Music Group, Lyor Cohen had already identified Fueled by Ramen as a label they should partner with and it was decided the rock label would make an ideal match for Paramore. According to Robertson, when the band were presented to Fueled by Ramen's CEO John Janick, "he got the vision of the band immediately." Janick went to a Taste of Chaos performance in Orlando, Florida to see the band perform live. In April 2005, after a smaller private performance at a warehouse, the band was signed to Atlantic Records and Fueled By Ramen.
Paramore's record deal was first considered when Atlantic Records' A&R Steve Robertson and Tom Storms were sent the band's demo by Kings Of Leon manager Kent Markus. Agreeing that they heard a great voice they set up a meeting with their boss. According to Robertson in an interview with HitQuarters, when the label first held discussions with the band, Williams wanted the label to understand who she and her band was from the very start, "She wanted to make sure that we didn’t look at her as some straight to Top 40 pop princess. She wanted to make sure that she and her band got the chance to show what they can do as a rock band writing their own songs."
2005–2006: All We Know Is Falling
Paramore traveled back to Orlando, Florida, but shortly after arriving, Jeremy Davis left the band, citing personal reasons. The remaining four members of Paramore continued with the album, writing "All We Know" about his departure, and later deciding to base All We Know Is Falling around the concept. The album artwork also reflected Paramore's grief as Hayley Williams explains, "The couch on the cover of All We Know is Falling with no one there and the shadow walking away; it's all about Jeremy leaving us and us feeling like there's an empty space." Recording took three weeks, and promotional material for the album only featured the four remaining members.
Before touring, the band added John Hembree (bass guitar) to their line up to replace Jeremy Davis. During that summer, Paramore was featured on the Shira Girl stage of the 2005 Warped Tour. After being asked by the band, Jeremy Davis returned to Paramore after five months apart, replacing Hembree. All We Know Is Falling was released on July 24, 2005, and reached #30 on the Billboard's Heatseekers Chart. Paramore released "Pressure" as its first single, with a video directed by Shane Drake, but the song had failed to place in the charts. The video featured the band performing in a warehouse, eventually getting sprayed with water sprinklers as the storyline of a conflicted couple occurs. In July, "Emergency" was released as the second single, the video again reuniting the band with director Shane Drake and featuring Hunter Lamb (rhythm guitar), who replaced Jason Bynum. The video for "Emergency" showcased Paramore in another performance, this time fixing the members bloody costumes. The third single, "All We Know", was released with limited airtime, with the video consisting of a collection of live performances and backstage footage.
In January 2006, the band took part in the Winter Go West tour where they played alongside Seattle bands Amber Pacific and The Lashes. In February, Hayley Williams was featured on "Keep Dreaming Upside Down" by October Fall. In spring of 2006, Paramore was an opening act on headlining tours for both Bayside and soon afterwards, The Rocket Summer. They toured the United Kingdom from October 5 to October 15, 2006, where they ended in London at The Mean Fiddler. The band then covered Foo Fighters' "My Hero" for the Sound of Superman soundtrack which was released on June 26, 2006.
During the summer of 2006, Paramore played a portion of Warped Tour, primarily on the Volcom and Hurley Stages, and their first night on the Main Stage was at a date in their hometown of Nashville. Paramore's first United States headlining tour began on August 2, 2006 to a sold-out audience with support from This Providence, Cute Is What We Aim For, and Hit the Lights with the final show in Nashville. That year they were voted "Best New Band", and Hayley Williams was voted as #2 "Sexiest Female", by readers of the British magazine Kerrang!.
In 2007, Hunter Lamb left the group to get married, and Paramore continued onward as a quartet. Paramore was then named by British magazine NME as one of ten bands to watch out for in their "New Noise 2007" feature. In January, the band played an acoustic set for the grand opening of a Warped Tour exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the dress Hayley Williams wore in the video for "Emergency" was also put on display in the exhibit.
Paramore was featured in Kerrang! magazine once more, however, Hayley Williams believed the article was an untrue portrayal of the band, particularly because it focused on her as the main component. Afterwards, Williams addressed the issue in the band's LiveJournal, with a post saying, "we could’ve done without a cover piece. sorry, if it offends anyone at Kerrang! but i don’t think there was one bit of truth in that article." In April, Hayley Williams' vocals were featured in "Then Came To Kill" by The Chariot. They headlined a tour in early 2007 with This Providence, The Almost and Love Arcade.
2007–2008: Riot! and other projects
Paramore began recording their second album, Riot! in January 2007, ending production in March without rhythm guitarist Hunter Lamb (who left the band early in 2007 after getting married); without Lamb, lead guitarist Josh Farro was required to play both guitar parts on the album. Taylor York, who had been in a band with the Farro brothers before the two met Hayley Williams, joined as a replacement for Lamb. After being courted by producers Neal Avron and Howard Benson, Paramore opted to record Riot! with New Jersey producer David Bendeth (Your Vegas, Breaking Benjamin), releasing the album on June 12, 2007. Riot! entered the Billboard 200 at number 20, the UK charts at number 24, and sold 44,000 its first week in the United States.
The name Riot! had been chosen because it meant "a sudden outburst of uncontrolled emotion", and it was a word that "summed it all up". The first single from the album, released June 21, 2007, "Misery Business", is, according to Williams, "more honest than anything I've ever written, and the guys matched that emotion musically."
Summer of 2007 saw Paramore participating on their third Warped Tour and posting journals of their experiences on yourhereblog for MTV. In June they were declared by Rolling Stone as "Ones to Watch". Paramore made their live television debut on Fuse Networks daily show, The Sauce. The second single from Riot!, "Hallelujah", was released on July 30, 2007, and is only available online and on UK television. The video, much like "All We Know", features backstage footage and live performances.
In August 2007, Paramore had been featured in television spots on MTV, performing acoustic versions of their songs or acting in short accompaniments to MTV program commercials. As "MTV Artists of the Week", the band filmed the faux camping themed spots in Queens, New York, all written and directed by Evan Silver and Gina Fortunato. MTV.com also has a collection of short videos with the band to promote Riot! as well. For weeks in August 2007, the "Misery Business" video was the number one streamed video at MTV.com. On October 8, Paramore played "Misery Business" live on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, a booking made possible due to the friendship struck between the band and Max Weinberg during the 2007 Warped Tour. In August, Paramore participated in New Found Glory's music video for their cover of Sixpence None the Richer's song "Kiss Me".
On October 11, 2007, the music video for "Crushcrushcrush" debuted on the United States television as the next single from Riot!. The video for "Crushcrushcrush" featured the band playing a performance in a barren desert, being spied upon, and later destroying their equipment. The single was released in the United States on November 19 and made available in the United Kingdom on November 12, 2007. Hayley Williams recorded guest vocals for the tracks "The Church Channel" and "Plea" for the Say Anything concept album In Defense of the Genre released on October 23, 2007. The group performed live, acoustic style in Boston on November 29, 2007 for FNX radio. On December 31, 2007, Paramore performed on the MTV New Year's Eve program which ran from 11:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
Paramore was featured on the cover of February 2008 issue of Alternative Press magazine and voted "Best Band Of 2007" by the readers. The band was nominated for "Best New Artist" at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards presented on February 10, 2008 but lost to Amy Winehouse. Early 2008 saw Paramore touring the United Kingdom, supporting their album Riot!, along with New Found Glory, Kids in Glass Houses and Conditions. In early February 2008, the band began a tour in Europe, however on February 21, 2008, the band announced that they had canceled six shows due to personal issues. Williams wrote on the band's web site that "the break will give that band 'a chance to get away and work out our personal issues'". MTV.com reported that fans of Paramore were speculating about the future of the band and reported rumors of trouble had begun earlier in the month when Josh Farro expressed his anger against the media's focus on Hayley Williams. The band, however, returned to their hometown to record the music video for the fourth single "That's What You Get", which was then released on March 24, 2008.
The band toured with Jimmy Eat World in the United States in April and May 2008. The band headlined the Give It A Name festival in the United Kingdom on May 10 and May 11, 2008. Also the band performed on the In New Music We Trust Stage at Radio 1's One Big Weekend in Mote Park, Kent on May 10, 2008. Paramore played their first Ireland show at the RDS in Dublin on June 2, 2008, followed by the 2008 Vans Warped Tour from July 1–6.
On MTV's TRL, May 7, 2008, lead singer Hayley Williams said that the band was working on a new album and that it would hopefully be released by next summer. Hayley Williams says she and the band have been practicing the new songs during the sound checks on tour. In an Alternative Press cover story, Zac Farro speculated on a forthcoming album, saying that it would sound like bands Mew, Thrice, and Arcade Fire.
On May 19, 2008, Paramore announced on their website that they will be going on tour again, the tour being named "The Final Riot!", starting July 25 and ending September 1. On this tour, the band performed part of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". On September 2, 2008, Paramore released a collaboration hoodie along with Hurley Clothing based on the album Riot!. All proceeds went to the Love146 foundation.
Paramore's song "Decode" was the lead single for the novel-based Twilight film. Another song called "I Caught Myself" is also featured on the film's soundtrack. "Decode" was released on October 1, 2008 on the Paramore Fan Club site as well as Stephenie Meyer's website. The band began shooting the video October 13 and it premiered on November 3. Hot Topic hosted listening parties for the soundtrack on October 24, 2008, and the album was released on November 4, 2008. Borders released an exclusive version of the soundtrack that features an acoustic version of "Decode."
The band released a live album named The Final Riot! on November 25, 2008. The album includes a bonus DVD with a full concert recorded in Chicago, as well as a behind the scenes documentary. As of the 9 of April 2009, The Final Riot! is certified gold in the United States.
2009–present: Brand New Eyes and touring
In January 2009, Josh Farro spoke about the band's upcoming third studio album. Talking to Kerrang!, Farro said: "We're gonna try to [record] it in Nashville. I think writing the album there will inspire us, and then if we record there too it'll be a lot easier since we can sleep in our beds at night rather than in hotels like the other 300 days out of the year! We're not sure who's going to produce the record yet. We did "Decode" with [producer] Rob Cavallo, which was a good experience, but we're looking around and don't want to make any decisions until we have a lot of songs and we know what we're looking for. We really enjoy our live sound and we want a producer who can really capture that."
On January 21, 2009, it was announced that Paramore will be the special guest with Bedouin Soundclash, The Sounds and Janelle Monae at the No Doubt Summer Tour 2009, starting in May 2009 in outdoor amphitheaters and arenas across the US and Canada.
Paramore wrote and completed their newest record Brand New Eyes in early 2009. The first single off of the album was "Ignorance" and was released July 7, 2009. The official music video for "Ignorance" aired on all MTV platforms, networks, and websites on August 13, 2009. Paramore, along with Paper Route and The Swellers, toured in support of Brand New Eyes in the fall of 2009. Some tour dates were postponed due to Hayley Williams becoming infected with laryngitis.
Paramore recorded a performance for MTV Unplugged.
On November 23, 2009, the band released "Brick By Boring Brick" as the 2nd single from Brand New Eyes. The video debuted on the band's website. "The Only Exception" followed on January 14th, 2010. Paramore announced that the band's next single would be "Careful"
Paramore then played a sold out 15-date European tour with You Me At Six, Paper Route and Now Now Every Children. Their stadium tour culminated at London's Wembley Arena, to an audience of 12,500. The band performed in 2010 in the Australian Soundwave Festival along with bands such as Faith No More, Placebo, You Me at Six, All Time Low, Jimmy Eat World and Taking Back Sunday. Shortly before the tour, lead guitarist Josh Farro announced via the band's LiveJournal that he is engaged and stayed behind to plan his wedding. Justin York, brother of Taylor York, filled in for him on the tour. The band, with Farro returned, embarked on a spring tour of the U.S. in late April. Paramore will be supporting Green Day on selected dates of their Stadium tour, in Dublin and Paris.
In April 2010, the band announced that they would be headlining the 2010 Honda Civic Tour. Currently, there are 31 U.S. dates confirmed and the venues range from medium to large capacity. This will be the largest tour that the band has ever headlined. Opening acts include Tegan and Sara, New Found Glory, and Kadawatha. The tour begins on July 23 in Raleigh, NC and will close on September 19 in Anaheim, CA. In May 2010, the band announced a short UK tour for November 2010.
Musical style and influences
Paramore's music has generally been regarded as "emo", and "pop punk". Joshua Martin had written after an interview with Hayley Williams, "The band isn't just a short pop-punk girl with red hair and a spunky attitude. Their music is like them, it's aged differently. It's sped up, and slowed down. It's emo without being whiny, or bratty. Almost a very literal anti-Avril Lavigne." Alternative Press magazine had commented that the band was "young sounding", while consistently being "honest." Paramore's first album All We Know is Falling had an arguably more "formulaic pop-punk" sound that was "delivered particularly well" and the combination of the two had created a "refined rock infused pop/punk album." The band's second release, Riot! was said to explore a 'diverse range of styles," however, not straying far from "their signature sound."
Alternative Press and various other reviewers have noted that the band's stage performances have helped boost them to larger fame. Alternative Press states that Williams "has more charisma than singers twice her age, and her band aren't far behind in their chops, either." Singer-songwriter John Mayer had praised Williams' voice in a blog in October 2007, calling her "The great orange hope"; "orange" in reference to her hair color. Due to the female fronted aspect of the band, Paramore has gained comparisons to Kelly Clarkson and the aforementioned Avril Lavigne, to which one reviewer said was "sorely unfounded." Reviewer Jonathan Bradley noted that "Paramore attacks its music with infectious enthusiasm." However, he also explained that "there isn't a whole lot of difference between Riot! and the songs from Kelly Clarkson or Avril Lavigne." A reviewer at NME had likened Paramore's sound to that of "No Doubt (stripped of all the ska bollocks)" and "Kelly Clarkson's wildest dreams." Hayley Williams has gone on to comment about the female aspect of the band saying that Paramore is not "this girl-fronted band" and it makes "music for people to enjoy music, not so people can talk about my sexuality."
Paramore has expressed appreciation for Fall Out Boy, Blink-182, Death Cab for Cutie, Jimmy Eat World, MewithoutYou, and Sunny Day Real Estate, as well as Thrice and New Found Glory; Hayley Williams citing her personal influences as Robert Smith of The Cure and Etta James. Williams also explained that bands such as U2, "who are massive, and do whatever they want, write whatever they want and they stand for something," Jimmy Eat World, "who I don’t think ever disappoint their fans," and No Doubt, who "have done amazing things," act as a pattern for the path in which Paramore would like to take their career.
In an interview with the BBC, Josh Farro stated "Our faith is very important to us. It's obviously going to come out in our music because if someone believes something, then their world view is going to come out in anything they do. But we're not out here to preach to kids, we're out here because we love music."