Earlier this month, we saw a different side to Hayley Williams with the release of her debut solo album Petals For Armor. The 15-song album caused the Paramore vocalist to break a Billboard charts record as the first woman to ever led the Rock Albums Chart as both a solo artist and in a group.
Now, following the success of Petals For Armor, Williams is revealing how her friendship with her Paramore bandmates helped make her solo project possible. She is also sharing why Paramore isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
When Williams announced her solo project at the start of 2020, the news was met with both excitement and also some skepticism that Paramore may be over for good. For Williams, she admitted candidly in an interview with Zane Lowe back in February that her solo project contradicts what she has said in the past.
Over the years, Williams has always made a point to say that Paramore is her main focus and she never had any solo plans. However, after dealing with a number of hardships in her life, she began writing music that eventually formed into her Petals For Armor project.
Despite this solo venture, however, Paramore’s Taylor York and Zac Farro were heavily involved in the recording and creative process behind Petals For Armor. York produced the entire album and co-write on multiple songs. For Farro, he helped in various parts of the creative process including directing the “Dead Horse” music video.
As Williams revealed in a new Vogue interview, the trust that she has with York and Farro is as strong as ever. It is this trust that the trio has that Williams says reinforces the fact that Paramore isn’t going anywhere. It is also part of the reason Williams felt comfortable pursuing her solo album.
“I can’t deny there’re frontwomen in history who went solo and didn’t go back,” Williams says. “So that’s where I have to trust that the band knows I’m not looking for greener grass.”
In the Vogue interview, Williams also lists a number of artists who have successfully managed to have both a solo career and one within a band.
“I see guys like Julian Casablancas and Thom Yorke put out multiple records and go back to their bands all time,” she shares. “They do their own shit and nobody thinks it cannibalizes The Strokes or Radiohead.”
Along with Williams’ solo project, both York and Farro have projects outside of Paramore. Farro has his other band HalfNoise and York is venturing further into producing for other artists.
Even though the trio has other projects outside of Paramore, their friendship and bond will always bring them back together as Williams says. For Williams, even though her solo debut has been successful, she plans to take everything she has learned during this time right back to Paramore.
“I’m just trying to get some of that other grass and bring it back over to our side, so I can be like, ‘try this shit, it’s not too bad.’”
In fact, Williams has openly talked about Paramore’s future in a number of Petals For Armor interviews. More recently, she spoke with NME about what is in store next for her “favorite band” and where they plan to begin following 2017’s After Laughter.
“After making After Laughter it’s like, ‘okay, we’ve tried this on and it actually fits and feels great. Now let’s see what else we can do to fuck this up.’”
As well, Williams elaborated on Paramore’s possible future sound in a recent interview with USA Today.
“We’ve talked about who might be a cool producer because both Taylor and Zac produce now,” she says. “And we’ve talked about what styles of music we might want to fuck with. It’s funny, though, because we always do this and then we get in the car and take a complete left turn. It makes me excited because we literally just follow our whims and who knows where we’ll go? I think that’s what kept Paramore going all this time.”
You can stream Petals For Armor here or below.
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