"We are starting from point zero. And this time, we’re reading the fine print": Hayley Williams is ready to lead Paramore into a bright new tomorrow

Paramore press shot
(Image credit: Zachary Gray / Press)

At the end of 2023, Paramore caused their fans no little concern when they wiped their social media accounts and took their website off-line. This, coupled with the fact that the Tennessee pop-punks have fulfilled their contractual obligations to Atlantic Records and admitted to a "level of uncertainty" surrounding their future, sparked fears that Hayley Williams was ready to call time on the band, having enjoyed some of the biggest successes of their career with their sixth album, This Is Why.

Those concerns were allayed when the group shared a video for their punk-funk cover of Talking Heads anthem Burning Down The House in January. Now the group have shared a video for their This Is Why album track Thick Skull, directed by Turnstile vocalist Brendan Yates, in which a road trip goes badly wrong. And Williams has additionally shared a lengthy reflection on the band's own journey to this point. 

“I can’t remember a time I didn’t want to be in a band,” she begins. “I knew not joining forces with similarly crazed people might mean I’d never be brave enough to create things and even if I did, I may never risk sharing them. Selfish? Maybe. Or lonely? Maybe to ‘leave the house’ is a metaphor for risking true vulnerability.

“This job includes being a mirror or a blank screen for people to project onto and find themselves in. Being perceived in broad strokes will make you feel like a clown. Goofy and/or terrifying, depending on the day.

“But as I’ve grown up,” she continues, “I’ve felt myself, little by little, let go of the tireless need for people to see me as ‘good’. Indeed, everyday I learn there is no such box to fit neatly into. It’s taken a lot of hard looks in the mirror, over many seasons of adulthood… but no longer do I question my ability to lead Paramore with integrity (and a healthy dose of dark and self-deprecating humor).

“And just like a house can be a metaphor, so can a band. Paramore has been the vehicle by which me and my friends have learned our toughest lessons. It has kept us close and it has nearly killed us. You also have these metaphors in your life: What holds you back— what gives you courage— what force compels you to grow even when it’s uncomfortable or embarrassing.”

Concluding her statement, Williams suggests that the band are ready to embark upon a whole new chapter.

“(As for Paramore, the band, not the metaphor: We have crashed the van,” she declares. “We’re finding new ways. We have new maps. We are starting from point zero. And this time, we’re reading the fine print.)

“Love to the ones who’ve needed our band the way we’ve needed it. Just know we are grateful.”

Watch the video for Thick Skull below.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.