Because I have so many friends in the rock business that would die to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – people that really spend their whole life doing that.
I’ll take anything you give me in country music because I feel like I will have earned it, because I’ve worked my whole life in it. But I felt like this was something they voted on and I did not want to take votes away from anybody, like a Pat Benatar. You know, the girls that were in the business.
I just said I did not want to do it. It caused a bit of a controversy, and I did not want to stir up controversy. I’m always trying to keep things as calm as I can.
So anyway, they went ahead and put me in it anyhow. [Laughs] They explained why they do it – it’s people’s music that had influenced other people’s music, or whatever. So I said, “If they put me in, I’ll accept it gracefully,” but I still didn’t feel like I’d earned it. And I had often talked about doing a rock album, and well, I’m also not one to miss timing. So I thought, if I’m ever gonna do it, I’m doing it now, so I can feel I earned it.
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.
Hayley Williams of Paramore gave a health update on the band’s Discord and mentioned the band is back in the studio.
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Zac and Taylor and I also just want to get back to making things. We’ve been craving that for a while now. Not only the creative process but the layer(s) of insulation that can come with the creative process. For me, when we get into this mode it always feels nice to disappear in a way.
“It feels like a crazy victory lap and she’s not even close to the end of her career,” Williams says of the stadium trek. “It’s just so historic to be a part of it. Both [Taylor and I] started really young and we’ve grown up alongside our fan bases, and that makes both of our stories really unique in a way that we get to come together from two different sides of the industry. Paramore isn’t quite mainstream, but people know our band, and we’ve had a really lucky, long career thus far. For both of us to be feeling like we’re in our prime now in our early thirties, career-wise, that’s just so special, and we don’t take it for granted. I’m so grateful that all these years later, we’ve stayed connected.”
Williams’ favorite Swift era? “Speak Now — since it came out it’s been my favorite Taylor record ever,” she enthuses. “The fact that I got to be on Taylor’s version of a vault track [“Castles Crumbling”] was just like kismet. I really got to know her when she was writing that record and I was so enamored. … She is the epitome of a songwriter, you know, just someone that will stop in the middle of your conversation and say, I have to write this down, or I have to record this. I was so in love with how passionate and present she always was.”
We started working on new material as a band over the last year and a half – you know, the three of us, Zac, Taylor and I – and I just want to say it, I don’t even feel like it gives away very much…Bloc Party, from day one, was the number one reference because, it was like, there was such an urgency to their sound that was different from the fast punk or the pop punk or the loud wall-of-sound emo bands that were happening in the early 2000s. They had their own thing and it was so unique and so dynamic and it really stuck with us and I’m really really thankful for this band. I’m so thankful that they’re back and playing shows. They’re putting out great songs and it just makes me feel even more excited to get back out into the world and maybe cross paths with a band that has been a huge part of our story since day one.
Solo artist and Paramore front-woman Hayley Williams shares how mental health affects our creative muscles, and the way she’s strengthened those muscles over the course of her almost two-decade long career. She shares tools, tips, and wisdom on how to best prepare and protect oneself from the pitfalls of burnout.