“Misery Business” was the lead single from Paramore’s massively successful second LP Riot! In the past few years, the song has grown notorious for its problematic lyrics and Hayley Williams even stopped playing it in 2018.
Hayley Williams had a blog post in 2015, where she wrote wrote: “Misery Business is not a set of lyrics that I relate to as a 26-year-old woman. I haven’t related to it in a very long time. those words were written when I was 17… admittedly, from a very narrow-minded perspective. It wasn’t really meant to be this big philosophical statement about anything. It was quite literally a page in my diary about a singular moment I experienced as a high schooler.”
In 2017, she reiterated the fact in an interview with Track 7.
“The thing that annoyed me was that I had already done so much soul-searching about it ["Misery Business”], years before anyone else had decided there was an issue,” Williams says. “When the article began circulating, I sort of had to go and rehash everything in front of everybody. It was important, however, for me to show humility in that moment. I was a 17 year old kid when I wrote the lyrics in question and if I can somehow exemplify what it means to grow up, get information, and become any shade of ‘woke’, then that’s a-okay with me.”
As recently as March of 2020, Williams discussed the point on her Instagram story saying the track had no place in 2020.
Now, in an interview with Vulture, Hayley Williams divulged who the track is about and it’s rather close to home.
Paramore’s “Misery Business” is actually about former Paramore member Josh Farro and a girlfriend he had at the time.
“When I was 13 or 14 and I had a crush on Josh, he didn’t like me back,” Williams said. “He would go hang out with his girlfriend, who I wrote ‘Misery Business’ about because I was a dick.”
Celebrate the Petals For Armor release day and stream Hayley Williams’ first solo album below.
Do you still jam to Paramore’s “Misery Business?” Sound off in the comment below!