IG­NO­RANCE

PARAMORE THRASH OUT THEIR DIF­FER­ENCES FOR ALL TO SEE ON THIS BRAND NEW EYES STORMER

Kerrang! (UK) - - News - WORDS: SIMON YOUNG PHOTO: DAVE WIL­LIS

y Hay­ley Wil­liams’ own ad­mis­sion, Ig­no­rance was the song that saved Paramore from split­ting up.

In the early months of 2009, some 18 months af­ter the re­lease of their sec­ond al­bum Riot!, ten­sions were run­ning high as they worked on its fol­low-up al­bum at Green Day and My Chem­i­cal Romance pro­ducer Rob Cavallo’s Light­ning Sound Stu­dios at his home in Hid­den Hills, California.

The song was writ­ten af­ter a par­tic­u­larly stress­ful day in their prac­tise space in Franklin, Ten­nessee. Feel­ing the pres­sure from de­liv­er­ing a worthy fol­low-up to their break­through al­bum, the five mem­bers were not see­ing eye-to-eye.

“No-one was com­ing up with any­thing,” ex­plained Hay­ley. “I could tell Josh [Farro, gui­tarist] 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,’ and wrote the lyrics on the way home in my car. Ig­no­rance is like word-vomit put to guitars.” In the fol­low­ing days, Hay­ley felt as though her knee­jerk lyrics may have been a lit­tle too close for com­fort and tried to mum­ble her words as the song took shape. “Tay­lor [York, gui­tarist] was right next to the speaker and heard ev­ery word,” she ex­plained. “He gave me this fierce look and said, ‘So, do you want to tell me about those lyrics?’ I ran into the bath­room, I was so ner­vous. But we talked for two hours and rec­on­ciled a lot of tough, heavy things. That song saved our band.”

In­deed, Hay­ley is at her most con­fronta­tional in this pep-packed song built around a riff, which hints at ska, all pinned down with Zac Farro’s mus­cu­lar, off-kil­ter drum­ming.

Her sassy de­liv­ery of the lyrics – ‘Where’s your gavel? / Your jury? / What’s my of­fense this time?’ in par­tic­u­lar – ap­pear to face the un­set­tled band’s prob­lems head-on with a de­gree of feisti­ness and a hint of vitriol. “The truth of it is, grow­ing up is not easy,” she told Ker­rang! while the band were putting the fin­ish­ing touches to the al­bum. “There were a lot of

times when I felt re­ally alone or an­gry or in­se­cure. I don’t al­ways feel good at con­fronting peo­ple, es­pe­cially peo­ple that I love, like these guys. Some­times it takes songs to get the point across.”

But de­spite crit­i­cal ac­claim, the song – which was re­leased as the first sin­gle from the al­bum Brand New Eyes – merely pa­pered over the cracks in the band. On De­cem­ber 18, 2010, 14 months af­ter the al­bum’s re­lease, Josh and Zac left the band. Josh aired his griev­ances in a par­tic­u­larly vin­dic­tive state­ment.

“Hay­ley claimed that this record re­united us as a band and made us grow closer, when in re­al­ity we were all grow­ing fur­ther apart,” he wrote, adding, “The friend­ships our band once had were no longer ex­is­tent.”

The re­main­ing mem­bers, how­ever, were quick to re­spond, and in a lengthy in­ter­view with MTV News, Hay­ley ad­mit­ted that much of the al­bum was about the con­flict within the band: “It was re­ally hard, be­cause we were all friends, and then go­ing through a break-up and go­ing through any kind of ten­sion as a band re­ally af­fected all the lyrics.”

Thank­fully, with those friend­ships re­cently healed (see p10), Ig­no­rance’s lasting le­gacy is merely one of a bril­liant song that re­mains a sta­ple of Paramore’s live show.

“THAT SONG SAVED OUR BAND” HAY­LEY WIL­LIAMS

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