Paramore singer Hayley Williams has seemed genuinely ecstatic about her band's forthcoming long-delayed fourth album, Paramore, ever since it became clear that the trio had returned from the brink. Promises of a "brand new band" toting a "surreal" new sound have in turn stoked excitement in fans and the emo-pop curious among us, and though we heard a snippet of the new single "Now" yesterday, there are still many questions to be answered. Williams recently sat down with AbsolutePunk to do just that, and we've sorted through her responses for the highlight reel.
1) On titling the new one Paramore: "It just wouldn't seem right to try and force a name when these songs hit us like lightning ... We called the record what it is. It's really us. I hope that that says something important to our fans."
2) On forging ahead as a trio: "It was strange and uncharted territory [but] if we hadn't been forced into it, we might've never made a voluntary decision to open up ourselves up to all possibilities. Musically, I think the biggest growth has come from Taylor [York, guitarist] now being a primary songwriter for the band. You'll hear his mad-scientist personality come out a lot on this album."
3) So what does it sound like? "Like someone let us loose in a blow-up castle full of instruments and we just bounced around it in for a few days with ... purpose?"
4) So why the nearly four-year delay? "We needed to go away for a minute. The drama was boring for me so I can't imagine how boring it must've been for fans. Especially for people who weren't fans! I could almost hear them, 'Ugh, there goes Paramore again acting like a bunch of schoolyard brats!' ... Maybe now people can hear the music for what it is and not for the same old story that was on the cover of every little magazine."
5) How did the time off help? "I have finally gotten the time and the space I needed to grow up and become a woman ... I'd say that my lyrics have an inherently different feel ... I'm sure there'll always be that pissed off, teenage angst inside me as long as I'm living in this crazy world. But geez, it felt extremely liberating to just feel everything for once."
6) But what about love? "I'm deeper in it than ever. Seeing one of my best friends [bassist Jeremy Davis] so happily married does inspire me in a great way to keep believing in love. It's hard, man! I really have to fight the realist in me at times. Nonetheless, there are a couple of really fun love songs on this album."
7) On Paramore's inspirations: "I'd be lying if I said we didn't collectively listen to more electronic music during this process than ever before ... Taylor was listening to Alt-J a lot, I was listening to that Sirius XM channel called '1st Wave' every day just getting my gothy vibes on in the car, and Jeremy keeps us well versed in new hip-hop. No dubstep was jammed in the making of this album."
8) Etc. "This is the longest album we've ever recorded. I'm proud of that."
9) Who would they collaborate with? "I'd love to work with Bruno Mars. Motown music and old R&B is some of my favorite stuff and he just reeks of it. It's not just an influence for him. I mean, like it seems to be running through his veins. Jeremy and Taylor love that stuff too, so it could be fun to sort of be his 'backing band' for a song."
10) But what about the boyfriend? As far as projects with Chad [Gilbert, New Found Glory guitarist] go ... We write and play together just for fun but no joint projects to speak of. Let the record show though, if he ever records an 'Enter Sandman' cover on acoustic guitar, that it was I who taught him the correct way to play it."