For millions of people currently locked home amid strict social distancing measures, walking down the street to catch hopeful musicians busking in public seems like a distant memory. For many budding artists, however, this is a medium of expression where it all began.
Paramore, the rock back fronted by lead vocalist Hayley Williams and currently backed up by guitarist Taylor York and drummer Zac Farro, followed the same journey from street busking to sold out arenas. The band, which was originally formed by Williams and brothers Josh Farro and Zac Farro in 2004, managed to tap into a market of dissiullionsed young teens and built a cult following.
“They were the first people I met who were as passionate about music as I was,” Williams once commented about her songwriting partners in the Farro brothers. However, after the two founding members departed the band, Williams has continued to be the driving force she was from the very beginning. After record labels came swarming around the group following their breakthrough, the singer was never shy about insisting on the direction of the band’s output.
Having signed to Atlantic Records when she was just 13, Williams resisted all attempts to shoehorn her sound into one of generic pop music. In an interview with HitQuarters the band’s A&R at Atlantic, Steve Robertson, said: “She wanted to make sure that we didn’t look at her as some straight to Top 40 pop princess. She wanted to make sure that she and her band got the chance to show what they can do as a rock band writing their own songs.”
With a clear viewpoint, Paramore continued to do things their own way. While the revolving door of members has continued to swing over the years, Williams has remained the ever-present across their five studio albums. With a new record on the way, and a recently released debut solo record, a renewed vigour in Williams’ work is clear for all to see.
While her work is undoubtedly showing obvious signs of maturity, we’re stepping back to 2005 to see where it all began. Here, sat alongside her Paramore co-founders, Williams displays all the raw sensibility and talent that would go on to lead her and the band to critical and commercial success.
Enjoy the clip, below.