In 2002, at age 13, vocalist Hayley Williams moved from her hometown, Meridian, Mississippi, to Franklin, Tennessee, where she met brothers Josh Farro and Zac Farro while she was attending a private school. Shortly after arriving, she began taking vocal lessons with Brett Manning.
Prior to forming Paramore, Williams, and bassist Jeremy Davis, along with friend Kimee Read, took part in a funk cover band called The Factory, while Josh and Zac Farro had practiced together every day after school. The other members of what was soon to be Paramore had been "edgy about the whole female thing" of having Williams as the vocalist, but, because they were really good friends, she started writing for them. The band was officially formed by Josh Farro (lead guitar/backing vocals), Zac Farro (drums), Jeremy Davis (bass guitar) and Hayley Williams (lead vocals) in 2004, with the later addition of Williams' neighbor, Jason Bynum (rhythm guitar).
Jeremy admitted that he didn't think that the band would be taken seriously due to the age of Zac Farro (with him being 12 years old at the time) until he saw him play.
According to Williams, the name "Paramore" came from the maiden name of the mother of one of their first bass players. Once the group learned the meaning of the homophone paramour ("secret lover"), they decided to adopt the name, using the Paramore spelling. The band's first song written together was "Conspiracy", which was later used on their debut album. Over the following years, Paramore performed at venues outside the greater Nashville area, including the concert festivals Purple Door and Warped Tour. John Janick, CEO, and co-founder of the music label Fueled by Ramen got a hold of Paramore's demos and went to a Taste of Chaos performance in Orlando, Florida to see the band perform live. After a smaller private performance at a warehouse, the band was signed to the label in April 2005.
All We Know is Falling
Paramore traveled back to Orlando, Florida, but shortly after arriving, Jeremy Davis left the band, citing personal reasons. The remaining four members of Paramore continued with the album, writing "All We Know" about his departure, and later deciding to base All We Know is Falling around the concept. The album artwork also reflected Paramore's grief as Hayley Williams explains, "The couch on the cover of All We Know is Falling with no one there and the shadow walking away; it's all about Jeremy leaving us and us feeling like there's an empty space". Recording took three weeks, and promotional material for the album only featured the four remaining members.
Before touring, the band added John Hembree (bass guitar) to their line up to replace Jeremy Davis. During that summer, Paramore was featured on the Shira Girl stage of the 2005 Warped Tour. After being asked by the band, Jeremy Davis returned to Paramore after five months apart, replacing Hembree. All We Know is Falling was released on July 24, 2005, and reached #30 on the Billboard's Heatseekers Chart. Paramore released "Pressure" as its first single, with a video directed by Shane Drake, but the song had failed to place in the charts. The video featured the band performing in a warehouse, eventually getting sprayed with water sprinklers as the storyline of a conflicted couple occurs. In July, "Emergency" was released as the second single, the video again reuniting the band with director Shane Drake and featuring Hunter Lamb (rhythm guitar), who replaced Jason Bynum. The video for "Emergency" showcased Paramore in another performance, this time fixing the members bloody costumes. The third single, "All We Know", was released with limited airtime, with the video consisting of a collection of live performances and backstage footage.
Paramore's first United States headlining tour began on August 2, 2006, to a sold-out audience with support from This Providence, Cute Is What We Aim For, and Hit the Lights with the final show in Nashville. That year they were voted "Best New Band", and Hayley Williams was voted as #2 "Sexiest Female", by readers of the British magazine Kerrang!.
In 2007, Hunter Lamb left the group to get married, and Paramore continued onward as a quartet. Paramore was then named by British magazine NME as one of ten bands to watch out for in their "New Noise 2007" feature. In January, the band played an acoustic set for the grand opening of a Warped Tour exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the dress Hayley Williams wore in the video for "Emergency" was also put on display in the exhibit.
Paramore began recording their second album, Riot! in January 2007, ending production in March without rhythm guitarist Hunter Lamb (who left the band early in 2007 after getting married); without Lamb, lead guitarist Josh Farro was required to play both guitar parts on the album. Taylor York, who had been in a band with the Farro brothers before the two met Hayley Williams, joined as a replacement for Lamb. After being courted by producers Neal Avron and Howard Benson, Paramore opted to record Riot! with New Jersey producer David Bendeth, releasing the album on June 12, 2007. Riot! entered the Billboard 200 at number 20, the UK charts at number 24, and sold 44,000 its first week in the United States.
The name Riot! had been chosen because it meant "a sudden outburst of uncontrolled emotion", and it was a word that "summed it all up". The first single from the album, released June 21, 2007, "Misery Business", is, according to Williams, "more honest than anything I've ever written, and the guys matched that emotion musically".
Summer of 2007 saw Paramore participating on their third Warped Tour and posting journals of their experiences on yourhereblog for MTV. In June they were declared by Rolling Stone as "Ones to Watch". Paramore made their live television debut on Fuse Networks daily show, The Sauce. The second single from Riot!, "Hallelujah", was released on July 30, 2007, and is only available online and on UK television. The video, much like "All We Know," features backstage footage and live performances.
On October 11, 2007, the music video for "Crushcrushcrush" debuted on the United States television as the next single from Riot! The video for "Crushcrushcrush" featured the band playing a performance in a barren desert, being spied upon, and later destroying their equipment. The single was released in the United States on November 19 and made available in the United Kingdom on November 12, 2007. Hayley Williams recorded guest vocals for the tracks "The Church Channel" and "Plea" for the Say Anything concept album In Defense of the Genre released on October 23, 2007. The group performed live, acoustic style in Boston on November 29, 2007, for FNX radio. On December 31, 2007, Paramore performed on the MTV New Year's Eve program which ran from 11:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
Paramore was featured on the cover of the February 2008 issue of Alternative Press magazine and voted "Best Band Of 2007" by the readers. The band was nominated for "Best New Artist" at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards presented on February 10, 2008, but lost to Amy Winehouse. Early 2008 saw Paramore touring the United Kingdom, supporting their album Riot!, along with New Found Glory, Kids in Glass Houses, and Conditions. In early February 2008, the band began a tour in Europe, however on February 21, 2008, the band announced that they had canceled six shows due to personal issues. The band, however, returned to their hometown to record the music video for the fourth single "That's What You Get", which was then released on March 24, 2008.
On May 19, 2008, Paramore announced on their website that they will be going on tour again, the tour being named "The Final Riot!", starting July 25 and ending September 1. On this tour, the band performed part of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". On September 2, 2008, Paramore released a collaboration hoodie along with Hurley Clothing based on the album Riot!. All proceeds went to the Love146 foundation.
Paramore's song "Decode" was the lead single for the novel-based Twilight film. Another song called "I Caught Myself" is also featured on the film's soundtrack. "Decode" was released on October 1, 2008, on the Paramore Fan Club site as well as Stephenie Meyer's website. The band began shooting the video on October 13 and it premiered on November 3. Hot Topic hosted listening parties for the soundtrack on October 24, 2008, and the album was released on November 4, 2008. Borders released an exclusive version of the soundtrack that features an acoustic version of "Decode".
The band released a live album named The Final Riot! on November 25, 2008. The album includes a bonus DVD with a full concert recorded in Chicago, as well as a behind the scenes documentary. As of the 9 of April 2009, The Final Riot! is certified gold in the United States.
Brand New Eyes
In January 2009, Josh Farro spoke about the band's upcoming third studio album. Talking to Kerrang!, Farro said: "We're gonna try to [record] it in Nashville. I think writing the album there will inspire us, and then if we record there too it'll be a lot easier since we can sleep in our beds at night rather than in hotels like the other 300 days out of the year! We're not sure who's going to produce the record yet. We did 'Decode' with [producer] Rob Cavallo, which was a good experience, but we're looking around and don't want to make any decisions until we have a lot of songs and we know what we're looking for. We really enjoy our live sound and we want a producer who can really capture that".
On January 21, 2009, it was announced that Paramore will be the special guest with Bedouin Soundclash, The Sounds and Janelle Monae at the No Doubt Summer Tour 2009, starting in May 2009 in outdoor amphitheaters and arenas across the US and Canada. Paramore wrote and completed their newest record Brand New Eyes in early 2009. The first single off brand new eyes is titled "Ignorance" and was released July 7, 2009. The official music video for "Ignorance" aired on all MTV platforms, networks, and websites on August 13, 2009. Paramore announced on their official site that they will be hitting intimate venues across the USA. The tour started on September 29 (the day that Brand New Eyes was released) and ended November 1 in their home town. The band also announced that they would be doing a European tour starting off in Helsinki Finland, on November 29, 2009, with You Me at Six, Paper Route, and Now, Now, Every Children supporting all UK tour dates.
The deluxe edition is limited to 15,000 copies and includes the full album with two bonus tracks, a 40-page hard-cover journal with Hayley Williams' handwritten lyrics and notes on the album, a yellow-colored vinyl 7" single with two songs ("Ignorance" acoustic and "Where the Lines Overlap" acoustic), a DVD featuring an exclusive making-of documentary (with interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, plus rare band vignettes from www.paramore.net), a 16-page full-color booklet, an exclusive Paramore poster, five limited-edition collectible Paramore photos printed on hardstock paper, and a numbered certificate of authenticity. It is sold out in all webstores.
Departure of Josh and Zac Farro (2010-2011)
On December 18, 2010, a message from Hayley, Jeremy, and Taylor was released through Paramore.net stating that Josh and Zac were leaving the band. In the message, they stated, "A couple of months ago, Josh and Zac let us know they would be leaving the band after our show in Orlando last Sunday. None of us were really shocked. For the last year, it hasn't seemed as if they wanted to be around anymore. We want Josh and Zac to do something that makes them happy and if that isn't here with us, then we support them finding happiness elsewhere. But we never for a second thought about leaving any of this behind". The post also stated that the remaining members had no intention of disbanding. They also added, "As we look back, and now as we look with excitement to the future, in all of this what truly matters are the good times. The pictures of us with our arms around each other, the long van rides, your faces while you sing along as we play. Thank you for getting us right here to this very moment. We look forward to our best times. And we hope you will go there with us". The band also confirmed the scheduled South American tour was still going to happen.
On December 21, Josh and Zac (mainly just Josh) released their own message through Josh's blog, stating they "did not think Hayley’s version told the whole story" of their departure. They characterized Paramore's history as even more turbulent than the band had ever let on publicly, noting that in the early days, "[Hayley's] dad would constantly threaten to 'pull the plug' on the whole band if we complained about anything, suggesting that we were hired guns and Hayley was the real artist when in reality we were also part of the band". Josh claimed that "what started as natural somehow morphed into a manufactured product of a major label, riding on the coattails of 'Hayley’s dream'". In light of this, the band members' fraying friendships, their inability to agree on many things (such as the content of Hayley's lyrics on brand new eyes, which Josh believed "contradict[ed] the Bible" at times), and the toll that constant touring took on their family, Josh and Zac decided to leave the band. The statement ended by saying Josh and Zac were "still hoping to work out a friendly way to leave our part of Paramore intact with the remaining band members, including Hayley".
In late December 2010, Paramore contacted MTV's James Montgomery, stating they wanted to get all of their side of the story out before the end of the year. This extensive interview was recorded and later streamed on MTV in early January. The interview is entitled Paramore: The Last Word.
In March 2011, Paramore embarked on their first tour without the Farros, with two touring members standing in for them. Hayley stated that the band planned to release music in 2011, and in June 2011, a song entitled "Monster" was released for the soundtrack of Transformers 3.
Now, in 2020, Zac Farro is back to the band, and the "tension" between Hayley and Josh is long gone. In an interview for Vulture, Hayley states her feelings towards Josh "I barely feel anything. No part of me is triggered.", and she also talks about how the narrative that showed her as a "tyrannical leader nobody could work with" can now be interpreted as sexist. "You never think, Oh, Thom Yorke must be the f*****g Hitler of Radiohead. He can be an a**hole. I wonder if it’s simply because I’m a woman? I could have had a d*** and the story wouldn’t have gotten any traction.". She says Josh's leaving was necessary, "There needed to be infections cut out".
Self-Titled Fourth Album and New Projects (June 2011 - 2016)
On June 9, 2011, Hayley Williams announced that the band is starting to write their fourth album, which they hope to start recording at the end of the year, hoping for a release in early 2012. On September 5, 2011, Hayley Williams has confirmed that the band is getting ready to release another new song, entitled "Renegade", which was recorded in the same sessions as the band's latest single "Monster", that took place last March with producer Rob Cavallo. The song is the first of three songs that are left to be released from these sessions, except "Monster".
On October 11, 2011, Paramore announced that they will be releasing three new singles over the next three months until the end of 2011, with a single per month. The band has set up the "Singles Club" on their website which gives fans the chance to purchase the new singles when they're released, as they're released exclusively through the Singles Club and will not be sold on iTunes or in stores. A song called "Renegade" premiered the day of the announcement, with "Hello Cold World" to follow on November 7 and "In the Mourning" on December 5.
On January 29th, via a blog post on Paramore.net, the band announced they would be heading to Los Angeles the following week to meet with potential producers for the upcoming fourth album, stating their excitement at beginning the album cycle anew. It was later confirmed that Paramore will be working with Justin Meldal-Johnsen on their fourth studio album, beginning recording in late May. They later announced that the title of their fourth album would be Paramore, to be released on April 8, 2013, and the first single is titled "Now", and it was released on January 22, 2013. They later released a lyric from the first single "if there is a future, we want it now".
On April 18, 2012, Williams announced on the band's site that the producer for their new album will be Meldal-Johnsen On July 2, 2012, it was announced on the band's Twitter feed that former Lostprophets and current Angels & Airwaves and Nine Inch Nails drummer Ilan Rubin will be recording drums for the band's upcoming fourth studio album. On December 6, 2012, Paramore announced that their self-titled fourth album. The self-titled fourth album released on April 9th, 2013. The first single from the album, titled "Now", was released online on January 22, 2013.
The album had featured many other singles, such as Still Into You. Still Into You was one of Paramore's most successful American songs. The song had reached #1 on the UK Rock chart, and #6 on the US Rock chart. The song was classified as both pop and rock, so it had gained popularity on different charts worldwide. This song had been one of Paramore's only pop songs, as "Now" was said to be a rock song.
Paramore had also created another EP, though only 700 copies were made. The EP was called "The Holiday Sessions", and the copies were given in their hometown, Nashville, Tennessee. This was given out on April 20, 2013 (a few weeks after the release of the 'Still Into You' music video), during National Record Day. This EP had featured three songs from the album, which wereInterlude: Moving On, Interlude: Holiday & Interlude: I'm Not Angry Anymore.
The next single after Still Into You was 'Daydreaming'. The music video for Daydreaming was not supposed to air until after the song Ain't It Fun... but the band did not like where the video was heading, and they had come to the conclusion to scrap the video. As they were on tour, a quick video was released for Daydreaming, with the band being shown in their room before their performance, and the band playing during the performance. Daydreaming had earned #33 on the UK rock chart.
'Ain't It Fun' had released 2 months after Daydreaming had. It had featured the band beating 10 world records, one of them which was based on having the most records in a music video. The video had originally had been done on December 2, but it had not aired until more than a month and a half. 'Ain't It Fun' had reached #3 on UK Rock and had reached #19 on US rock. During National Record Day in 2014, Paramore will hand out an official vinyl which will feature the 'Ain't It Fun' track. The design of the vinyl is a 'broken record', instead of a flower.
Departure of Jeremy Davis (2015 - 2017)
On December 15, 2015, it was announced on Paramore's Facebook page that Davis once again left the band making Paramore a duo consisting of only Hayley and Taylor.
In February 2016, Davis became embroiled in a legal battle with Williams, claiming songwriting credits and a portion of the royalties from Paramore's self-titled album, as well as a share of the band's touring revenue and other income. Williams later claimed that Davis was merely an employee of Varoom Whoa, the business entity that operates Paramore, of which she claims to be the sole owner.
In May 2017, the lawsuit officially reached a settlement.
After Laughter and Zac Farro's return (2016 - 2020)
On January 19, 2016, Williams announced over Twitter that the band was in the process of writing their fifth album.
On June 8, 2016, the band posted a short video of themselves in a studio to their social media. This was preceded by a number of images which all included both former drummer Zac Farro and producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen, leading fans and various media outlets to speculate Farro returning to Paramore. On June 17, Farro was featured yet again in a picture uploaded to social media, this time behind a drum set, confirming that he would be recording drums for the album, although he claimed he was only recording drums for the album and had not rejoined as a full member.
Later on February 2nd, 2017, despite his claims, Paramore made an announcement on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram confirming Zac Farro's fulltime return to the band, officially making Paramore a trio again.
On April 19th, 2017, Paramore released a new single titled 'Hard Times', announced the title of their new album as 'After Laughter', and the release date would be on the 12th of May 2017.
Paramore stopped touring in 2018 for personal reasons and announced that they will no longer perform the fan-favorite song "Misery Business".
On May 8, 2020, Hayley Williams released her first solo album "Petals for Armor".
Upcoming Sixth Album (2020 - present)
Hayley announced that after her solo album is finished and released, she and the rest of the band will start to work on their sixth album; it was speculated that it could go back to their rock/pop-punk routes, but Hayley denied it claiming that she never said that, and that [the band] never labeled themselves as "pop-punk", which made the fans consider 'Paramore' an official musical genre.
As of in 2022, the band has announced they are officially back in the studio, recording their long awaited 6th album. “We wrote and tracked something we loved and it actually surprised us,” Williams tells Rolling Stone in an email. “We kept joking it was all downhill from that point, but thank God we’ve been surprised a lot throughout this whole thing. I’m always waiting for the moment for us to know we’re onto something new and we’re not just rehashing the same shit. It was ‘Ain’t It Fun’ for our self-titled record, and ‘Hard Times’ or ‘Told You So’ for After Laughter. It’s not about it feeling like a hit so much as it’s a scary, exciting feeling that you’re treading uncharted waters. It keeps you curious. We got to feel that feeling early on this time”. Williams also teased a possible collaboration with SZA in the same interview.
In March, 2022 will mark 20 years since Hayley, Zac, and Taylor first met and became friends.
Musical Style and Influences
Paramore's music has generally been regarded as emo and pop-punk. Joshua Martin had written after an interview with Hayley Williams, "The band isn't just a short pop-punk girl with red hair and a spunky attitude. Their music is like them, it's aged differently. It's sped up and slowed down. It's emo without being whiny, or bratty. Almost a very literal anti-Avril Lavigne". Alternative Press magazine had commented that the band was "young-sounding", while consistently being "honest". Paramore's first album All We Know is Falling had an arguably more "formulaic pop-punk" sound that was "delivered particularly well" and the combination of the two had created a "refined rock-infused pop/punk album." The band's second release, Riot! was said to explore a 'diverse range of styles', however, not straying far from 'their signature sound'.
Paramore has expressed appreciation for Blink-182, Death Cab for Cutie, Jimmy Eat World, MewithoutYou, and Sunny Day Real Estate, as well as Thrice and New Found Glory; Hayley Williams citing her personal influences as Robert Smith of The Cure and Etta James. Williams also explained that bands such as U2, "who are massive, and do whatever they want, write whatever they want and they stand for something," Jimmy Eat World, "who I don’t think ever disappoint their fans," and No Doubt, who "have done amazing things", act as a pattern for the path in which Paramore would like to take their career.
All members of the band are Christian. In an interview with the BBC, Josh Farro stated "Our faith is very important to us. It's obviously going to come out in our music because if someone believes something, then their world view is going to come out in anything they do. But we're not out here to preach to kids, we're out here because we love music".
- Hayley Williams – vocals, piano, keyboards, percussion (2004 - 2016, 2016 - Present)
- Zac Farro - drums, percussion, keyboards, backing vocals (2004-2010, 2017 - Present)
- Taylor York – rhythm guitar, lead guitar, backing vocals, drums, percussion, production (2009 - Present)
- Josh Farro - lead guitar, backing vocals (2004-2010)
- Jeremy Davis - bass guitar (2004-2015)
- John Hembree – bass, backing vocals (2005)
- Jason Bynum – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2005)
- Hunter Lamb – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2005–2007)
- Justin York - rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2010 - Present)
- Joey Howard – bass guitar (2016 - Present)
- Logan MacKenzie - rhythm guitar, keyboard (2017 - Present)
- Joey Mullen - percussion, drums (2017 - Present)
Former Touring Members
- Jon Howard - rhythm guitar, keyboard, backing vocals (2010 - 2016)
- Jason Pierce – drums, percussion (2011 - 2012)
- Hayden Scott – drums, percussion (2012)
- Miles McPherson – drums, percussion (2013)
- Aaron Gillespie – drums, percussion (2013 - 2016)
- Josh Freese – drums, percussion (2010 - 2011)
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions||
Certification (Sales thresholds)
|2005||All We Know is Falling
|2009||brand new eyes
- "—" denotes albums that did not chart or were not released in that territory.
- All studio albums were released under the formats CD, LP, and digital download.
|Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|2008||Live in the UK 2008
|The Final Riot!
- "—" denotes albums that did not chart or was not released in that territory.
- The Final Riot is considered a DVD in regards to sales thresholds
|2006||The Summer Tic EP
|2010||2010 Summer Tour EP
|2010||The Only Exception EP
|2013||The Holiday Sessions
|2014||Ain't It Fun Remixes
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
||All We Know Is Falling|
|"All We Know"||2006||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"That's What You Get"||2008||66||36||—||—||—||92||—||—||35||55||
||Brand New Eyes|
|"Brick By Boring Brick"||—||9||20||85||—||—||—||—||29||85|
|"The Only Exception"||2010||24||—||—||17||—||25||—||28||13||31||
Dark of the Moon
|"Still Into You"||24||—||6||5||—||58||—||6||14||15||
|"Ain't It Fun"||2014||10||—||1||32||—||27||—||55||—||113||
|"Told You So"||—||—||16||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Caught in the Middle"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
- "—" denotes singles that did not chart or were not released in that territory.
- "Hallelujah" was released as a promotional single in the United Kingdom and peaked at number 139.
- "Now" did not go into the Billboard Hot 100, though it had peaked number 3 at the Bubbling Hot Under 100 Singles chart. This was counted as an extension to the Billboard Hot 100.
- "Anklebiters" was only released as a promotion, and never a single. It was never charted, but the band thought of it as a 'special' song.
- "Daydreaming" was only released as a single in the UK... and was only put on the UK Rock chart and peaked at number 33 instead of the UK singles chart.
- The Final Riot! Tour (2008)
- Brand New Eyes World Tour (2009-2012)
- The Self-Titled Tour (2013-2015)
- After Laughter Tour (2017-2018)
- Honda Civic Tour (2010)
- Monumentour (2014)
- Summer Tour 2009 (2009)
- 21st Century Breakdown World Tour (2010)