Now that Paramore have dropped their first new track in a minute, “Hard Times,” and announced that a new album, After Laughter, is on the way, Hayley Williams is opening up about their new music — and how it almost didn’t even get made.
In a new chat with the New York Times, Williams says that she reached a point where she was tired of being Hayley From Paramore with her Crayola hair and the expectations that came along with it, especially when she was coping with depression and dealing with gnarly inter-band issues in between records.
“You can run on the fumes of being a teenager for as long as you want, but eventually life hits you really hard,” she told the NYT of growing up and away from the peppy, poppy face the band had put forward. “I didn’t even know if we were going to make another record. There was a moment when I didn’t even want it to happen. Then it was like, I want it to happen, but I don’t know how we’re going to do it.”
Given the amount of turmoil she and her bandmates have faced, it’s understandable. After Laughter sees the return of founding member and drummer Zac Farro, who walked away from the band in 2010. He wouldn’t be the only one to do so, as his brother, Josh, quit with him, and Paramore and bassist Jeremy Davis parted ways last year. Williams was candid about the effect the personnel — and personal — issues had on her.
“We were down another member — same old story almost from Day 1,” she continued. “It made me question everything — am I doing something wrong? You read things that people say about you and eventually you just think, ‘Oh, I must be some kind of diva bitch.’ I know that’s not me, but it caused a lot of self-doubt.”
Still, it’s all worth it in the end, and Paramore’s perseverance made it possible for After Laughter to see the light of day. “This is what you go through hard times for, so you can have these moments where you’re proud of yourself, proud of your choices and your friends,” Williams concluded. “I have a public diary of my life, and I feel useful because of it.”