Paramore experienced some significant growing pains during the recording of their fourth studio album. The eponymous LP, due out in April, is the band’s first without founding members Josh and Zac Farro, who acrimoniously split from Paramore back in December of 2010. But to hear lead singer Hayley Williams tell it, Paramore 2.0 is an improved band, one that “didn’t hold back” in pursuing their poppier inclinations this time around.
“The new album has a lot of different sides of us on it,” Williams explained to us down in Austin at SXSW last week. “The cool thing was we were a lot more open-minded to our inspirations, and the artists and the music that we really love, and the stuff that we always wanted to try. We didn’t really hold back — we tried everything at least once, and if it felt natural then we did it, and if it didn’t feel natural, we didn’t do it. But I mean, I think without naming a genre or a style of music that I think that it can be labeled under, I mean, I just feel like you really hear our personalities on it, and you hear the styles of music we each individually love, as well as collectively.”
When we pressed a bit for details as to what the lack of “holding back” brought to the finished album, Williams continued (see video above). “I’m excited to show people [the pop] side to us,” she confessed. “I mean, we love pop music, and we love melody, and I feel like we got to write one of those songs. Like, I get stuck in my own head, and I’m like, ‘Ugh, it’s really embarrassing.’ But I love it, and I’m happy we get to show people that.”
Even though it feels like Paramore has been around FOREVER, it’s important to note that Hayley Williams is only 24 years old. This puts her alongside Rihanna and Adele in a bumper crop of female artists who were born within a few months of each other back in 1988. We asked her if, as three of the most influential female singers of their generation, she felt any kinship with either of these two artists.