Published On: Thu, Sep 29th, 2022

Paramore ‘needed a break to find our identity’, says Hayley Williams

Hayley Williams and Paramore will perform their first live shows in four years this weekend

After four years away, Paramore are back with a new song and album, both called This Is Why.

It’s a title inspired by world events, according to singer Hayley Williams.

“Every time I can’t believe [something] is happening, whether it’s planet, politics, social stuff, I’m always, ‘this is why we can’t have nice things’.”

The 33-year-old says the break allowed her and the band to reflect and think about everything around them.

“We all really needed it to find our identity apart from Paramore and all the public projection we get in our life,” she told Radio 1’s Future Sounds with Clara Amfo.

“I learned how introverted I really am.”

Hayley says the band learnt a lot from their conversations and previous music, which they used in their new album

This weekend Hayley, guitarist Taylor York and drummer Zac Farro will be playing their first live shows in more than four years.

Hayley says the time during Covid, when much of the world was forced inside, helped her to reconnect with her roots.

“I don’t think I would have slowed down, gotten time with my family,” she says.

“I was glad we were home because we were part of our own community in Nashville, and we got to be a part of it as citizens, as friends, a daughter, a sister and it wasn’t really about Paramore.”

“None of us knew we were going to be forced all the way inside.”

But time away in isolation didn’t stop the band from thinking about their fans, and importantly building their album.

“I think if you talk to anybody, it was such a ridiculously tragic time,” Hayley says.

I thought about the fans, the shows, the whole time we were writing the entire album.”

The break from the band did a world of good for Hayley

And the UK was at the forefront of their minds.

“We just have such a cool relationship with our fans around the world. But there is something really special about the UK and the lineage of bands that are from there.”

“We were really digging up our oldest influences from across the pond. And every time I would imagine playing a show it was some festival in the UK or some crowd that we played in places like Manchester.”

As for touring the country in 2023? She teases “it won’t be long”.

“We already have the plan,” she says.

“And I cannot wait for people to find out who we’re playing with. I’m just so excited to get back over there.”

Hayley’s BBC podcast about the evolution of emo, Everything is Emo, is available via BBC Sounds – click here to listen.

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