author TL date 25/06/13

It's the day of Paramore's first show in Copenhagen since they shrank from a quintet to a trio back in 2011, it's 3 in the afternoon and fans are packed outside Store Vega's entrance singing along to a stereo booming out the band's hits. On one hand this must be a welcome sight for a band that must have worried how their changes would go over with the fans, but on the other, getting this big as such a young band, and finding so much success with such a young crowd, must have meant that you've had to answer some pretty ridiculous questions during interviews. More so considering the occasions when band members have had their privacy exposed to the internet. So as I'm preparing at home - and really still when I'm waiting to meet the band backstage - I'm trying to weigh what I can ask that'll interest you readers while not coming across too much like "the enemy". To find out how I managed, you can either listen to my chat with the band using this player, or you can read on below, as things start off right after I've had the audacity to introduce as "sort of a Denmark-based, only with a lot more reviews and with a lot less people arguing in the comments", prompting some early laughs and nods of appreciation from the band.

Paramore are: Hayley Williams (vocals), Taylor York (guitar), Jeremy Davis (bass) So how are things going with the tour and with everything really?
Hayley: It's been amazing! This is our first big festival run with the new record, so it's kinda' cool to see how different audiences are accepting what we're doing with it. It's cool because we're not really playing to all our fans unless we do a show like tonight. We've done a handful of headlining shows, but even in Germany or other places where we didn't know how the new stuff was going to go over, everyone's been really into it and that makes us feel good. How about to today, has it been a busy day, or have you gotten to chill a bit in Copenhagen?
Jeremy: It's been pretty chill. We got to see a bunch of the city yesterday when we were here, and we got to walk around and have some amazing food.. And stare at your beautiful country, [laughs] This is the first time you're back here since your line-up changes in 2011, and I wanted to just ask you how you guys are feeling in the band right now, both touring and with the new album that you put out as a three-piece?
Taylor: We're honestly.. Honestly I feel like we're more confident than we were. You know it's really hard touring - It's an amazing thing but it's really hard and I feel like we now have a whole support system out here that we've never had, and I honestly feel like we're getting better. We're becoming better musicians and performers.. At least in our heads we are, [laughs]

Hayley: Yeah at least we think so, [laughs]

Taylor: Yeah at least we feel that way, and we're really lucky to have amazing musicians playing with us - good friends of ours too.. So it's going really well. Considering that right up until then you guys we're "happening" in a bigger and bigger way, do you feel like either picked things right up, or maybe lost some momentum, or has coming back possibly felt even bigger?
Hayley: We were scared that we would lose a lot of momentum and that it would be very awkward coming back, but our fans have been really supportive throughout the whole process. Writing this record was one of the scariest and most amazing and liberating experiences ever for Paramore. So we knew how we felt, but we weren't about the record once it would come out and be put to the real test. I mean we can love it all we want, but we also really want our fans to love it. So we did some listening parties where our hardcore fans could hear the songs first.. And having their approval really sealed it for us. That's all we need. I mean there was Billboard and we went to number 1, but all those things are just numbers, but they did make us feel sort of relieved.. Like okay, it's good, we didn't totally screw this up, it's gonna be fine.. So like I said it's all sort of just numbers when it doesn't pertain just to the music, but we've had a lot of fun with this record and we feel very appreciated, which we in turn appreciate. Okay so to my own ears, personally, Paramore started out as a pop-punk band and has become more of a pop-rock band.. And at least this year I feel like there's been a trend where bands like Fall Out Boy or Thirty Seconds To Mars, or you guys, have sort of had records exploring the no-mans-land between pop and rock. Did you guys have thoughts about this, or what were your intentions when you were figuring out the style of the new album as a trio?
Taylor: I think we weren't really trying to fit any sort of a particular mold. I think at the beginning we were trying to fit into our own mold. At the beginning it felt like it was going to be a "Brand New Eyes" part two, like the same kind of sound just with newer songs. But we are so proud of our first three records and I think we did that sound - in our opinion - as best as we could, but I think we felt that we had to progress. I don't think we even knew what it was, but we just started writing what we connected with. It's really surprising because we'd write like a funky song.. We didn't set out to write a funky song like "Ain't It Fun" That's my favourite song on the new record actually!

Taylor: Oh, thanks! [laughs] It's like we didn't set out to write that kind of song, and at first we were scared of it, but we figured that the only thing that we could really do is write a record that we love and believe in and think is good, Obviously we want people to connect with it, but we didn't want to compromise our art just to make people happy. We wanted to make something good. So I guess it just kind of happened really. It's funny watching the videos from the record, because you got the video for "Now", which is sort of message-driven and sincere, and then you have the video for "Still Into You", which seems like it's all fun.. Was that totally comfortable, also shooting a video which was that poppy? Was that a bit weird, or what did you feel?
Hayley: It actually wasn't weird. Or I guess it was weird when we got the treatment we were asking ourselves; "Do we really like this, or are we just telling ourselves that we like it?" .. And then - especially because the director Isaac is so cool and have done some great videos that we love - I guess we trusted that he was not going to steer us wrong. We did want to make something really fun and vibrant and just different for our band. And I feel like the important thing for this record is that I feel like it is time - If there was ever a time - to show people, both our fanbase and people outside of it, who we are, and the different sides that there are to us. We do believe in the heavy messages like you can get from "Now" and its video - that is very genuine to what we believe in.. But there is also a side to us where we just really want to hang out and enjoy whatever's in the moment.. And we do like colours, and we also like dark things and all that, and I feel like there's room for that in bands and in music. I think there's room for people to have versatility and different shades to themselves, and we might have always been a little scared of that, but on this record I guess we're kind of squashing all those thoughts. All the things we could never do... We feel like this is not the time to doubt any more. Well like I said, "Ain't It Fun" and "Still Into You" are both great songs, you have my vote at least.

Haylor: Thank you! Okay so moving on a bit, when I was thinking of these questions I came to think about a few years back when I was watching Thursday play at Groezrock, Geoff Rickley observes that there's only one female performer in the whole festival's line-up.. And I thought a bit about that and then forgot about it until I was reading this news article about last week's Copenhell festival in Copenhagen, in which a reporter was also pointing out that there was not a single woman performing at the entire festival. So when I had to interview you guys I came to wonder if you would think twice about it, if you were playing a festival and somebody told you, that you were the only band there that had a girl in the band?
Jeremy: That happens at most festivals...

Taylor: Yeah not all of them but it's kinda been common.. The cool thing is that Hayley is such a badass. She's really confident and she really fights and wins people's respect and attention. And if they don't like it then that's okay. I think it's just always been cool for us to be different in that way and it's something that we've learned ot embrace.. And it always feel like we have a mutual respect between us and the other bands regardless, so I don't think we really think about it any more, but I guess we do notice every once in a while.. Especially in the rock scene.. Well that was actually more what I was getting at - because it never crossed me that you guys wouldn't feel confident about it - it was more sort of asking about what you think about the state of the scene? If it would be better thing if it was more mixed and not so many bands with all dudes?

Hayley: I just don't think it should be a thing. Girls like music, and in fact girls and women have been a big part of the reason that a lot of these artists have been successful in the first place, just from being fans and loving music. And I don't even care if it's just because they have a crush or whatever.. I know from experience growing up as a kid that I loved boy bands, old 50s and 60s rock'n'roll, I liked r'n'b - I liked all of it but never for any other reason than because it meant something in my soul.. Something that was deep to me. So I don't think it should be a thing. Guys and girls have the capacity to be passionate about all the same things. Sure we're different, we have different minds and I think that's part of what make humans beautiful, but I don't know why it's such a thing..

Taylor: I think ultimately good art just rises to the top..

Hayley: Yeah that's exactly right, but on the other hand, we just did Soundwave Festival and Shirley from Garbage came up to us on one of the first days and she mentioned it. She was like "We're like the only girls here!", and I was like "Yeah, you're right, it's crazy!" .. And she was really encouraging to our band as a whole but also to me, saying "you guys are doing the right thing, you're doing great!" .. And it was such a simple thing for her to say that and be supportive of us, but it meant a lot, and to me too as a woman it meant a lot for me to see this powerful frontwoman that really just gave us her stamp of approval. That was cool! Did it ever make a difference when you were making the music? Like having to communicate emotionally and musically across the gender-gap?

Taylor: It's not a thing..

Hayley: Yeah I don't think it's a thing. It's not for us anyway.

Taylor: I think it's really just personalities, not so much gender. You're three individuals coming together around one piece of art, and there are differences between us, but I don't think gender has anything to do with it. Can I ask you how you write the songs to begin with? Because you get bands that come into the studio and one or two guys have written almost the entirety of the songs on acoustic guitars in their bedrooms and everybody else just adds little stuff, but what's it like for you?

Hayley: That has actually usually been us, especially in the past. The majority of a song would always be done. But this record was crazy because I would have ideas for lyrics or melodies and we were all scared to death of what would happen when we started writing this record.. It was a really nerve-wrecking situation to go into.. So if I had the courage I would sort of whisper "I have this little idea.. I don't know if it's good or not.." and some songs would happen that way. It would be melody first or lyrics first. Other things would be Taylor messing around with these weird sounds on his keyboard and then "Ain't It Fun" would happen. Jeremy would be "Let me put some slap bass on that!" .. And it's been cool to not have a formula for the first time in our entire career. Making this record sort of felt like writing our first record, not really knowing what we were doing. Just enjoying it and pushing every song to the limit y'know? Since we're running short on time, I just want to quickly ask you what plans you've made so far for Paramore's future - that you can tell us about at least?
Jeremy: Just touring, touring, touring! There's a lot of work that goes into it after you've made a record. We felt like we'd been away for such a long time that we're just excited to get back to these places again and see the life again. Coming out here and seeing fans already out front and getting the feeling that the show tonight is going to be crazy, that's what it's about for now. A lot more of that! Do you have any specific big dreams left, that are still out of your reach but you're hoping to some day get to realise them?

Taylor: ... Erhh, sure..! I think there are, but I don't think there's anything that all of us have our eyes fixated on.. Well I mean it could be individually?

Taylor: ... Well, you know we always want to be better and to connect with more people.. But.. Awards are cool but that's not why we do it.. There are things like that which it's an honour for every band to get to do, but I think we've already gotten to do some cool things where we used to think "that'd be such a cool bonus!" .. You sound pretty comfortable! That's good!

Hayley: Yeah! Okay guys, time's up, so if you have any shoutouts, here's your chance:
Hayley: [laughs], Dude, shoutouts to Copenhagen!

Taylor: Shoutouts to your online community that doesn't fight a lot!

Hayley: Yeah, for real!

Taylor: Yeah don't talk so much trash, just spread the love man! Spread the love!

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