Paramore is an American rock trio from Franklin, Tennessee, formed in 2004. The band currently consists of lead vocalist Hayley Williams, bassist Jeremy Davis, and guitarist Taylor York. The group released its debut album All We Know Is Falling in 2005, and its second album Riot! in 2007, which was certified Platinum in the US and Ireland and Gold in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK. Brand New Eyes, Paramore's third album, was released in 2009 and is the band's second-highest charting album to date, going platinum in Ireland and the UK, and gold in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Paramore's 2013 self-titled fourth album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts in the United States. It was also the No. 1 album in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.
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 at a weekly supplemental program for home-schooled students. 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 good friends, she started writing for them. Williams said of the members 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), Davis (bass guitar) and 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.
Williams was originally signed to Atlantic Records as a solo artist in 2003. She had been introduced to Atlantic A&R Tom Storms through Kent Marcus and Jim Zumwalt, lawyers of managers Dave Steunebrink and Richard Williams, and then eventually signed to Atlantic by Jason Flom. Steunebrink and Richard Williams had originally discovered and signed her to a production deal that was later bought out by Atlantic. The original plan of the label was to turn her into a pop singer, but Williams resisted, saying that she wanted to play alternative rock music with a band. In an interview with HitQuarters the band's A&R at Atlantic, Steve Robertson, said, "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." Label president Julie Greenwald and the label staff decided to go with her wishes. The original management team for the band was Dave Steunebrink, Creed manager Jeff Hanson, and Hanson's assistant Mark Mercado.
Paramore were originally supposed to release their music on Atlantic Records but the label's marketing department decided it would be better for the image of the band to not have them attached to a major label. They instead released their music through the niche label Fueled by Ramen. 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.
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."
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 No. 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 chart. 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 No. 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.
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.
Paramore began recording their second album, Riot! in January 2007, ending production in March. 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 .
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 , 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.
From July 25 to September 1, Paramore embarked on a tour named "The Final Riot!". 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.
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 April 9, 2009, The Final Riot! is certified gold in the United States.
2009–2010: Brand New Eyes, line-up change
In January 2009, Josh Farro spoke about the band's next 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." Paramore wrote and completed their third album Brand New Eyes in early 2009. The first single from the album was "Ignorance" and was released July 7, 2009. Paramore was 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.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. "Brick By Boring Brick", "The Only Exception", "Careful" and "Playing God" were the album's following singles. To promote the album, the band recorded a performance for MTV Unplugged.
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 was 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 supported Green Day on selected dates of their Stadium tour, in Dublin and Paris.
The band headlined the 2010 Honda Civic Tour, which began on July 23 in Raleigh, NC and closed on September 19 in Anaheim, CA. After a short United Kingdom tour in November 2010, the band announced, on December 2, 2010, the official dates for a South American tour to take place during February and March 2011. The band were set to take a break after their South American Tour in 2011 to write for their fourth studio album.
On December 18, 2010 a message from Hayley, Jeremy, and Taylor was released through Paramore.net stating that Josh and Zac were leaving the band. The band also confirmed the scheduled South American tour would still happen. Josh Farro wrote a statement on the departure on his Blogger, claiming that the band was "a manufactured product of a major-label." He accused Hayley Williams of being manipulated by her management, treating the rest of the group as her solo project, and claimed she was the only member of the band who was signed to Atlantic Records, while her bandmates were simply "riding on the coattails of her dream". On December 30, 2010, MTV News interviewed Williams, York and Davis in Franklin, Tennessee regarding their reactions to Farro's response. The interview aired on MTV.com on January 7, 2011 as Paramore: The Last Word. While the band confirmed many of Farro's statements, notably that Williams was indeed the only member of the band actually signed to Atlantic, they said they felt the statement was irrelevant, adding that they had addressed many of the claims made already throughout the course of their career.
2011–2012: Singles Club
On January 10, 2011, in an interview with MTV, Hayley Williams said that despite the band losing two of its founding members, they would release new music in 2011, although they had not confirmed if it would be a full album for release, or just a small number of songs. The singer also admitted that Paramore's style was likely to change with the new lineup, but clarified that the band would still retain their core signature sound. The band entered the studio upon returning from their South American tour to record a batch of songs that were released over the summer, prior to their fourth full-length album. One of the songs included "In the Mourning", which Williams debuted on her Tumblr page. Paramore later confirmed they were entering a studio in Los Angeles with producer Rob Cavallo to record their next album.
On June 3, 2011, Paramore released the single "Monster", featured on the Transformers: Dark of the Moon soundtrack, on YouTube. This is the first song that the band released without the Farro brothers.
On June 9, 2011, Hayley Williams announced that the band had started to write their fourth album, which they hoped to start recording at the end of the year, with an early 2012 release. On September 5, 2011, Hayley Williams confirmed the release of another new song, titled "Renegade", which was recorded at the same time as "Monster"
On October 11, 2011, Paramore announced that they would release a new song for each of the remaining months of 2011. The band set up the Singles Club on their website which gave fans the chance to purchase the singles when they were released, as they were released exclusively through the Singles Club and were therefore not sold on iTunes or in stores. A song called "Renegade", premiered the day of the announcement, with "Hello Cold World" following on November 7 and "In the Mourning" on December 5.
On April 18, 2012, Williams announced that the producer for their fourth album was Justin Meldal-Johnsen. Former Lostprophets and current Angels & Airwaves and Nine Inch Nails drummer Ilan Rubin was confirmed to be the session drummer for the recording of the album.Paramore was officially released on April 5, 2013 and a #1 at US albums chart Billboard 200. The first single from the album, titled "Now", was released online on January 22, 2013, and the album's second single, "Still Into You", was released on March 14, 2013. The third single, "Daydreaming", was released on December 2, 2013.
Musical style and influences
Paramore's music has generally been regarded as alternative rock,pop punk and emo. 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." The band has also been regarded as indie rock.
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, Hanson, Panic! at the Disco, 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 2012 Hayley contributed vocals to MewithoutYou's fifth studio album Ten Stories.
The band members are Christians and 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."
In 2007, 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.
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 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".
- Studio albums
- All We Know Is Falling (2005)
- Riot! (2007)
- Brand New Eyes (2009)
- Paramore (2013)
Among other awards, Paramore has been nominated for three Grammy Awards.
Appearances in films and video games
In 2005, Paramore made its first video game appearance with the song "Pressure" being featured in the console versions of the video game The Sims 2.
In March 2008, Paramore made its first rhythm game appearance with "Crushcrushcrush" as a downloadable track in the Rock Band games and later being a playable song in Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades. Later that year, Rock Band 2 was released with the song "That's What You Get" included as a playable track. The video game Guitar Hero World Tour featured the song "Misery Business" along with Hayley Williams participating in motion capture sessions for the game. She is featured as an unlockable character in the game as well. "Misery Business" was also featured as a playable track on Rock Band 3, while "Pressure", "The Only Exception", "Brick by Boring Brick", and "Ignorance" are available as DLC for the game.
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." "Misery Business" is also featured in Saints Row 2, and the soundtrack for EA Sports NHL 08.
The music video for "Decode", along with the Twilight film trailer, was shown in the North American Home Theater of PlayStation Home from December 11, 2008 to December 18, 2008.