What almost overshadows the buzz around Paramore’s latest album, brand new eyes, is one factor that almost made the record not even happen. Rumors that the band was in talks of quitting preceded the album’s release and came to life in several tracks like their first single, “Ignorance.” If you hadn’t known this back story, bassist Jeremy Davis would have you believing Paramore was still running as smoothly as ever.
Having spent the summer opening for No Doubt, they hit the road for a headlining fall tour when halfway through, a case of laryngitis hit singer Hayley Williams. Recovery was quick and Williams, Davis, guitarists Josh Farro and Taylor York, and drummer Zac Farro are back performing and celebrating an album that almost wasn’t.
Congratulations on the new album. I heard the writing process wasn’t like previous records for Paramore?
The writing process for this record was pretty different from what we’ve ever done. It still mostly consisted of Josh and Hayley with all the lyrics and everything, but this one we kind of did together. We took some time off after we finished the Final Riot Tour to take a breather. About a month and a half before we were going to start recording, the four of us guys started coming up with the music. Hayley wasn’t there because she does a lot of the writing at home. This time we finally had time to all sit down and come up with a record. Whenever you spend a little bit of time, the best thing comes out and we’re pretty excited about it.
Did you guys feel any pressure when writing this album coming off of the success Riot! had?
Actually we were expecting it to be a lot more stressful. The only pressure we were feeling was the pressure we were putting on ourselves. Because normally you have the pressure from the labels and everyone else like that, but everyone was really supportive and just let us do our thing. It was pretty stress free.
One thing that I read that was different for you guys was your pre-production time was without a producer on hand.
Rob Cavallo produced our record and he was finishing recording for Dave Matthews Band and that went over a little bit. So we actually got to spend more time than what was expected just for ourselves. That’s what made it stress free because it was like old times back before we really had to write a record and we were just writing songs for fun. I think that is why we love the record so much because it kind of just happened.
You keep saying things were stress free, but I have to ask the million dollar question—weren’t you guys almost at the point of splitting up as a band before this record?
We’ve always been good about keeping our personal lives separate. If you’re with someone all the time, yeah, it gets tough and you get mad at each other sometimes, but we still love each other and we still have the same passion for music that we did when we started. I’ll even go far as saying, whenever we were going through our hardest times, the only time when we really enjoyed being together was on stage. Because as soon as we started playing music, we connected and everything else just kind of went away for a minute. I guess that’s why I feel it was stress free because it was. We were dealing with a lot of stuff and we did have a lot of drama with each other and things came out through the writing process. But we didn’t feel pressures from anything else because we were just making music.