paramore 2017 hayley williams petals for armor
[Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Ralph PH]

Hayley Williams is ready to make her solo debut with her new record Petals For Armor releasing this Friday, May 8. She’s been keeping busy, pumping out 10 songs from the first two parts of the record thus far. 

In a recent interview, the Paramore singer talks about the intimacy of the record, how it came about and what’s the future for her and Paramore as a whole might hold. 

Read More: Here are the songs Hayley Williams says inspired Paramore’s beginnings

Hayley Williams has been keeping very busy during the coronavirus pandemic. To date, she’s dropped 10 songs from Petals For Armor. 

Her solo journey started back in January with “Simmer.” Since then, through rain, snow, sleet or hail, Williams has been consistently dropping new music. 

Williams followed up “Simmer” with “Leave It Alone” and “Cinnamon,” all of which continued to build upon a connected plot. The three tracks appeared on an EP, PETALS FOR ARMOR I, which is available here now.

Following that, Hayley Williams started digging into PETALS FOR ARMOR II and released “Dead Horse,” “Why We Ever,” “My Friend,” “Over Yet” and her highly-hyped boygenius collaboration “Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris.”

Read More: Hear the vulnerable ballad that inspired Hayley Williams’ solo project

When asked why she didn’t delay Petals For Armor given all of the circumstances regarding the coronavirus, Williams said she needed to let it all go and keep busy. 

I wondered when all this started if I should delay the album, but I just thought, ‘What am I really going to do this next month or two without working?’ I feel like I’ve been pregnant with it for so long that I’m just ready to release all this stuff,” Williams told USA Today

The album itself has been a journey for Williams as she navigates growing up and dealing with things that she might have suppressed or navigated unhealthily in the past. 

“I needed these songs to help me get to a place where I could name my shame, take inventory of emotional scars, true friends, awful coping mechanisms, and discover what I desire for my life,” she says.

Read More: A new Paramore record and Parahoy are in Hayley Williams’ future

The song “Dead Horse,” is an example of just how intimate the record is. Hayley Williams addresses being the ‘other woman’ in a past relationship with Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory

Williams elaborated on how it was a relief to release the song. It was her way of standing up for herself and learning how to address the way she’s feeling. 

“It feels like someone removed a tumor from my side – I had been really nervous about putting this ["Dead Horse”] out,” Williams tells USA Today. “I know you can’t control people’s perceptions, but for me, I knew with my side of my heartbreak, I felt a lot of shame about it rather than being able to own it and move on. This feels like my 30-year-old self finally spoke for my 22-year-old self who couldn’t say some of these things. She didn’t have the words or the courage to stand up for herself. This is just me clumsily learning how to take care of myself in new ways.”

Read More: Hayley Williams shows why she takes social media breaks with one tweet

Interestingly enough, Hayley Williams never intended to make a record. She says “Leave It Alone” started out as a poem and “was just scribbles in [h[her]ournal that turned into a melody.” 

“It took a little bit of time, Williams elaborates. “I had momentary fantasies where I’d be like, ‘Oh, man, it would sound so beautiful with people singing along to this.’ And then, three or four months into the process, it was like, ‘Oh I’m making a record right now.’ And that’s probably the only way I was ever going to make it. I got tricked into making a solo album.”

Hayley Williams has spoken about Paramore definitely having a record in the future. But, she further explained that she’s already spoken with Taylor York about a potential sound. However, that it doesn’t mean much when they and drummer Zac Farro actually start working on it. 

Read More: Iconic venue the Troubadour says it needs help surviving gig cancelations

“We’ve talked about it for sure. We’ve talked about who might be a cool producer, because both Taylor and Zac produce now. 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.”

As stated, Hayley Williams solo debut Petals For Armor drops May 8. Preorder the album here and listen to her recent track “Dead Horse” below. 

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