Frontwoman HAYLEY WILLIAMS walks us through every track of PARAMORE’s brand new eyes.

Careful
“This was one of the first music demos I got [for brand new eyes] from Josh [Farro, guitar]. He recorded the guitars and put some fake drums to it, and I thought it wasn't going to work. Ha! He even wrote the melody for the tag at the end of the chorus– you know, the part where I say "more" about a billion times. The original lyric was "Whoa", of course. (We like "whoas" a lot.) The chorus came together in about five minutes, only I had no idea what it was about. It was just a bunch of words that came to me. A month later, when I finally got everything together for the verses, it ended up being about how I feel it takes a lot of risk to live fully.”

Ignorance
“Let's see, what hasn't already been said about this song? The guys and I needed this song. We really did. I don't think any of those words were going to be said had they not been written to music. We were at our practice space and no one was coming up with anything. I could tell Josh was really bummed. He looked up at us and was like, ‘Listen, guys, I'm never gonna write another song like 'Misery Business’ so get over it.’ Then he turned around and started playing this riff. I thought, "Well, that one will do". Then I took the demo of it with me and wrote the lyrics on the way home in my car. "Ignorance" is like word-vomit put to guitars and spastic drumming.”
 

 


Playing God (Album Version) – Paramore

Playing God
“All five of us met up at Zac [Farro, drums] and Josh’s house and sat around their living room with two acoustic guitars and [bassist] Jeremy Davis’ bass. Josh and Taylor [York, guitar] started playing these two picking guitar lines–it felt very Jimmy Eat World-ish. Naturally, we were all into it. I had all kinds of lyrics on my old Sidekick (R.I.P.) and the ones used in this song used to be a completely different song, in my head. I had it all fast and rude sounding. But for some reason, I really wanted to reuse them for the JEW sounding song. I changed the melody around and added more once Josh came up with music for the chorus. What I love about the song is the contrast between the subject matter and the melody. The song, at its core, is very angry. I'm ripping at self-righteous people, ripping at my own bandmates and anyone who ever made me feel not good enough. But the overall tone of the song is completely different. It's laid back and really fun. By the time we'd gotten to the studio, the song still needed a bridge. So I sat down at a piano and wrote the parts. It's one of my favorite bridges on the record–I love the call and response vocal that Josh and I did. I feel like this song is one of those that we've been waiting to write for a long time.”

Brick By Boring Brick
“Imagine me walking into this tiny little room where we practiced, not knowing what we were going to accomplish that day and then hearing this song within the first five minutes. I fell in love with the music to these verses from the first snare hit. It reminded me of mewithoutYou and had this darkness to it that I was crazy about. I knew that I had to write something that I thought was just as electrifying as the music or I wouldn't be happy. I didn't sleep that night. I finished the verses and the bridge and came up with several different choruses, even though I didn't like any of them. I was writing a story about a girl who escaped reality through pictures and fairy tales and anything that wasn't the real story. This way, she'd look perfect to everyone else and we'd all think that she's got it together. But being that it was all for show, it couldn't last. The lyrics in the chorus finally happened when I pictured her finally doing away with it all–burying everything she'd made up in her mind so she could face the real world for once. For the record, this song isn't autobiographical.”

Turn It Off
“Another bunch of lyrics from my trusty Sidekick. I wrote all the verses with no melody on the tour with did last spring with Jimmy Eat World. We were going through so much as a band–a lot of negative vibes. I felt hopeless and even faithless a lot of the time. Funny it had to be on a tour with some of our heroes. Nearly a year later, we're at our practice space and the guys are jamming this song. I just started singing these lyrics, reading them right out of my phone and making up the melodies as we all went along. It worked! I memorized the chorus progression and went home to write the chorus with my guitar in hand. Does anyone beside me think the last line in the chorus sounds like, ‘When I hit the bottle?’ Well, it's not. Okay?”
 

 


The Only Exception (Album Version) – Paramore

The Only Exception
“Before I get started on this one, let me just point out the fact that the acronym for this song is ‘TOE.’ All right. Josh and I wanted something short and sweet that would break up the record. He sent me some music and I was immediately inspired. After showing the guys, everyone loved it so much that they told us we had to finish it. So we did. This is the first love song I've ever written. And even if I've tried in the past, this is the first one that I'm really proud of. I like that I was able to express the fact that I have always been really afraid of love–and I still am at times–but the excitement and the hope that it exists is still very evident in the lyrics. So it's not like I'm a total cynic! Love is a good thing, kids.”

Feeling Sorry
“At 20 years old, it's the time when you're either working hard at figuring it out or you don't care at all. I'm talking about life here. The same holds true no matter what age you are, I guess. It's frustrating whenever I see people with so much potential just throw away their dreams because they seem out of reach. Working hard is a good thing. I realize that the guys and I are extremely blessed to be where we are. It probably seems a bit like I'm talking down to anyone who isn't on tour or selling records. But it's not like that at all. It took a lot of sacrifice and years of touring and working our way from the ground up to get to this point. And even if it was all taken away from us tomorrow, every bit of it was worth it.”

Looking Up
“Taylor and I kept bugging Josh to write a feel-good, fast-paced song. You know the kind of song that makes you roll your windows down and sing really loud even in dead-stop traffic (for those of you in L.A.)? I drove over to Josh's one day. It was starting to get warmer outside and the sky was so clear. I didn't get out much during this time, so it was an exceptionally good day for me. When I got there, he handed me a demo and I took off with it. While I was driving away, the sun was in my rearview mirror. I rolled my windows down. Then I realized we had that song! All the lyrics are pretty self explanatory. By the end of the writing process for brand new eyes, we were in such a different place than we'd started. I felt lucky that we'd made it through our differences and the last year. And I thought how dumb we would've been to give up on everything we built. This is my favorite song on the record because it's the most honest that I could've been about how proud I am of Paramore.”

Where The Lines Overlap
“Josh and I wrote this a week before we left the studio. It's the first song we ever wrote together from start to finish. He had this guitar line that really reminded me of some old Get Up Kids song or something. It didn't really sound like anything else we'd written before. It's a simple song. It feels good. And that's pretty much all there is to it.”
 

 


Misguided Ghosts (Album Version) – Paramore

Misguided Ghosts
“This is the redheaded stepchild of the record. No offense to any actual redheaded stepchildren–I was one. Taylor wrote the music for this while we were on tour in England. It was after we'd ‘come back’ from the break. But I think, mentally, we were all still pretty checked out. All of 2008 was pretty hard, and even though there were a lot of amazing things happening, life felt really complicated for the first time ever for me. So I wrote about that. I like it because it sort of embodies every random, confusing emotion that I've ever had about living in this crazy world.”

All I Wanted
“I wish there was an actual story for this song. The whole time we were writing and rehearsing at home, I was in this state where I wouldn't come out or go out unless it was to write with the guys. I spent so much time alone in my apartment that I think it started to mess with me and just make me really sad. One day, I went to practice and Taylor was playing this song. It was another one of his. It hit me and I just started writing whatever came to mind. ‘All I Wanted’ almost didn't make the record. I can't remember why we didn't think it would work. We would've been pissed right now if it wasn't there.”