Making This Is Why was not a comfortable experience for any of us. There was already anxiety about getting back in the groove of creating stuff together after some time apart. We were hanging out plenty, but we weren’t making things. Zac was doing Half Noise and I made a couple projects, one with Taylor which Zac played on. Being like, “Okay, we’re gonna go for Paramore,” that was anxiety inducing. And then also the world was still scary and nothing ever feels certain anymore, really.
I felt a lot of anxiety about being around people again, that weren’t just in my bubble. And knowing that on the other side of finishing the record I was going to enter the world again was really scary. Not because I thought, “I’m gonna catch COVID.” I didn’t get COVID until we started touring again. It was more about what that did to me in my mind. Part of me had gotten really used to just seeing the people that I know, personally, and that I have all this context for — my family, my bandmates, whatever. And now I have to go be around all sorts of people. People that probably don’t feel the same way, or we don’t align politically. I just don’t know how I’m gonna feel. I don’t know what that’s gonna look like. I don’t know if people are gonna like this version of me and/or Paramore.