They’re No. 1: Catching up with Hayley Williams about Paramore’s chart-topping new album

April 17 2013, 4:31 PM EDT By Scott Heisel

They’ve sold millions of albums worldwide, inspired thousands of fans and influenced hundreds of bands (as well as appeared on the cover of AP four times, including this month). But there was one achievement PARAMORE had yet to unlock: earning a No. 1 album on the Billboard Top 200. All that changed today, however, when Paramore entered the charts at No. 1 with a whopping 106,000 copies sold. We quickly caught up with frontwoman HAYLEY WILLIAMS to get her thoughts on her band’s victory.

INTERVIEW: Scott Heisel

First off, congratulations on debuting at No. 1! You're the first band to debut at No. 1 while on the cover of AP since AFI released Decemberunderground in 2006. What does this accomplishment mean to you?
HAYLEY WILLIAMS: I still can't believe it. If anything, this means to me that we did the right thing by not giving up. We stuck with it and so did our fans.

You know how much I enjoy the new album, and obviously a lot of other people love it, too—but there are bound to be detractors. Have you seen anything over the past week in the way of negative criticism that stuck with you?
Actually, no. The few comments I've seen about us changing too much or whatever are completely irrelevant anyway, ya know? We never wanted to stay the same.

I really enjoyed the way you debuted your album stream online as four different sides of two vinyl records. Do you think Paramore can be compartmentalized into four different sides, though?
I'm not actually sure. I definitely like it as a two-sided thing. Unfortunately, we couldn't fit that many songs on just two sides! Either way, it's good people have the option of listening to the album on vinyl or listening to it as a nonstop 17-track thing on CD or iTunes or otherwise.

You're spending Record Store Day at Grimey's in Nashville and releasing a limited edition 7-inch, too. Are there any RSD exclusives besides your own that you want to get your hands on?
Tons. But mostly, I'm just hoping someone saves me one of New Found Glory’s Ramones covers LP.

Your world tour kicks off in Houston later this month. How much of the new record can fans expect to hear live? Do you think you'll be rotating new songs in and out, or are you locked into a setlist?
We haven't started rehearsals yet, but we want to play a good handful of the new songs.

Be honest: How stoked are you that Barbra Streisand didn't release a new album last week?
Words cannot express. Ol' Babs let us have it this time, didn't she? ALT

Catch Paramore on the cover of our current issue, AP #298!