Paramore sat down for their first on-camera interview with Zane Lowe for Beats 1, in which they discussed After Laughter and the events that led up to it.
After Laughter drops May 12 via Fueled By Ramen. You can listen to the ‘80s-inspired lead single and opening track, “Hard Times,” here.
At the onset of the interview, frontwoman Hayley Williams touches on shutting down her social media and how guitarist Taylor York gave her confidence to start writing.
“The more he would write and the more things were coming out of him, I think that confidence built a little more,” she says. “It just took me a long time to verbalize some of the things I was going through.”
Drummer Zac Farro also opens up extensively on his return to the band after six years of absence. Farro drummed on Paramore’s first three albums All We Know Is Falling, Riot! and Brand New Eyes.
Here’s an excerpt from his discussion on the topic:
“I had this moment, after leaving the band, walking to my mailbox, and I had no identity anymore. I was just a person. It was kind of a freeing thing—the thing that I thought I wanted. But it was this really uncomfortable feeling. Not that I care about fame or being in a cool band. I’ve never cared about that in my whole life. But it was something we did. This is our occupation. We live and breathe music, and I was like, ‘I don’t have that anymore.’ When he [Taylor] asked that [to join the band again], I was taken back because I was so thankful and didn’t expect that. It was also, on the flipside of that, it was a really heavy decision, in the first place, that I left. It was even just a rad thing that we were hanging out, and I was being able to play on the record, so I wanted to make a really smart and adult decision about it. I took a week. I already knew that I wanted to do it.”
“I knew it then when we talked to you [Lowe] on the couch, I knew it when we first started, I know it now, I’ve obviously missed the six years I was out of it, but I’ve seen a lot of this—there was only one record that I didn’t play on and that was self-titled—I saw a lot of it, and the thing that drew me back the most, and the most immediate yes, was getting to spend time with Hayley and Taylor everyday.”
Paramore go on to address reinvesting in friendship. Williams then opens up about losing friends. “It’s painful,” she says.
Lowe asks Zac about his brother, Josh, who exited Paramore at the same time. Here’s his response:
“It’s definitely an interesting situation because we both started playing together, and then we left together, and now I’m the only brother back, so, obviously, it’s another thing we’re just used to, we haven’t had the opportunity to keep some things mysterious. He’s an awesome brother, he’s been so encouraging to me. I sat him down, we had lunch, and [said], ‘So you know I’ve playing on the record, and they asked me to be back in the band.’ And he was like, ‘Oh, I thought they already did.’ He figured that would happen. He was like, ‘I’m stoked for you man. You’re my favorite drummer, and you need to be playing. It was a really encouraging thing. It’s not back to normal. He’s not on the band. And it’s not how it all used to be.”
Williams continues to open about her experiences with depression and anxiety.
“I wish I could take credit through fighting things bravely, but I was kind of flatlined,” she says. “If it weren’t for Taylor, the band would be over.
“I had enough,” she continues. “I’m tired of losing friends. I’m tired of doubting myself. And maybe if I’m doing it all, then I won’t have anything to doubt.”
Paramore move on to address After Laughter, the success of “Ain’t It Fun” and how they chose “Hard Times” as the lead single.
Watch the full interview, and tell us your thoughts in the comments.
Watch more: Hayley Williams and Chad Gilbert APMAs red carpet interview with CM Punk and Juliet Simms