A couple of the songs talk about ‘pointing the finger.’ Is it also a comment on outsiders making judgments and getting too nosey in the band’s business?
As far as what’s on the record, it’s more from Hayley’s view because she wrote all the lyrics. It’s more of like realizing that if she has a problem with us or we have a problem with her, we all have these same problems going on inside of us. So instead of pointing out everyone else’s flaws, look at yourself and fix yourself first and that’ll solve the problem.
You guys basically have grown up over the course of your three albums. Have musical tastes that you’ve developed worked their way into your sound?
I think it’s more of us figuring out who we are, who Paramore is. We’ve all listened to and been inspired by the same music our whole lives. But we do have a lot of new favorite bands and listen to different kinds of music. I think you’ll see that in each individual person’s playing on the record.
Who are some of the bassists or bands you yourself look to for inspiration?
I would say a very wide range of music: Rap, hip-hop, old country and a lot of rock music. I love the bass player from Muse and the bass player for Death Cab For Cutie is one of my favorites, but I think most of the stuff that I play comes from when I first started playing bass. I was in love with and learned funk music and I think that’s where my kind of style fits in. I think what I bring to the band is the groove and creating the kind of music you can’t stop yourself, it just kind of makes you bob your head.
The new album sounds a little rougher than Riot! Where were you going with the sound?
We all love playing hard, like tough sounding music just as much as we love playing really soft music. What we tried to do was create a balance between playing pop, hard and soft. There are songs that sound pretty tough and then you get to a bridge and there’s an acoustic guitar over it all and that creates a different atmosphere. As far as this record, I think we just tried to create a balance between our three kinds of favorite music.
‘All I Wanted’ is quite a powerful-feeling love song. Why did you decide to wrap things up with that?
That song wasn’t going to make it on the album actually. Taylor and I fought for that one and everyone fell in love with it and we’ve been hearing such cool stuff about that song. There’s no particular reason for it at the end. For us, it’s just so powerful with her vocals, it’s a tough sound and I can’t imagine playing that and then playing a dance/poppy song after. I guess save the best for last.
Speaking of Taylor, how’s he holding up with you guys? Wasn’t he just added to the band?
Well, here’s the story with Taylor. He was in a band with Josh and Zac before this band started, when Hayley and I were in a different band together. But when this band started, Taylor wasn’t interested. Every time we’ve gone through guitar member changes, we’ve asked Taylor to join and he was like, ‘I don’t feel like it’s the right time.’ It’s kind of frustrating like, ‘What are you waiting for?’ A lot of it had to do with he had to finish school, which is a great thing and I’m a kind of believer that everything happens for a reason. I think he came in at the perfect time and played the perfect role in our band as kind of the peacemaker and we really needed that when he came in. He’s actually been touring with us for a couple of years now and we didn’t officially invite him to be a member until it was like right before this record. Taylor’s very key and I don’t think there’s any other guitar in the world that would fill his shoes like he does. It just makes for a perfect match.
Looking ahead, I read you were going to be on the upcoming Timbaland album?
You know, I thought I read something as well. When we got nominated for a Grammy, we played his pre-Grammy party. He came up to us after and said, ‘You guys are incredible and we need to do some work together.’ But that was a couple of years ago and about the most I’ve ever heard about it.
I read that and got really excited.
I know right? I wish, maybe in the future.
Who would you say then that you would want to work with be it producer or artist?
Wow, that’s such a tough question. I have no clue. Maybe, there’s a band called Mew, they’re probably the most ingenious band and they’re all really nice guys and I would actually want to sit down and try and see what would come up out of minds as crazy as theirs. I would really like to see what kind of sound would come out of it.
brand new eyes is available now. Paramore play a sold out show at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC on Oct. 21. paramore.net.