Paramore brings ‘punk-rock act’ to Agora

Ben Breier

Paramore promises not to look so bored tonight at the Agora Ballroom.

Credit: Ben Breier



Playing with Acceptance, The Receiving End of Sirens, Cartel and Augustana

Where? Agora Ballroom

When? Tonight at 6:30 p.m.

How much? $12 at the door


How many 16-year-old girls get the chance to sing their hearts out at Warped Tour without a hint of anxiety or stage fright?

Truth be told, not many of these girls exist. In fact, there currently may be only one: Hayley Williams of the band Paramore.

“We loved Warped Tour,” Williams said in a recent phone interview. “It was a great experience.”

Whether Williams likes it or not, age is a stigma that has been following her around throughout her musical career. She is currently in the middle of high school and has been progressing through school without attending a single schoolhouse. Williams is a student of the Jubilee Academy, an online school of learning.

“It’s one of the few internet schools that we are able to do on the road that lets us go at our own pace,” Williams said.

Before the members of Paramore found themselves in a land of internet schooling and constant touring, they were busy being kids. Williams had just moved to Franklin, Tenn., in eighth grade, when she met brothers Zach (drums) and Josh Farro (guitarist), who were working on the beginnings of Paramore.

“I had never met kids my age that were creating music and doing it well,” Williams said. “They eventually asked me to start playing with them and start listening to them, and after a while, it turned into me singing for them.”

Shortly after coming together, Paramore was solicited by several record labels who were anxious to cash in on the punk-rock act. It was apparent to Williams that Fueled by Ramen was the label for Paramore.

“There were a lot of labels that found out about our band. We had recorded demos in Nashville with producers who had done some pretty popular stuff,” Williams said. “Our management was really good friends with John Janik (Fueled by Ramen’s owner), and our group hooked us up. We just knew that this was a label that we wanted to work with.”

Fans of Paramore and of punk music in general have occasionally compared Hayley Williams’ vocals with those of Avril Lavigne.

“I know it’s inevitable: I’m a girl, I’m little and people are used to girls being one sort of thing,” Williams said. “It sucks because I don’t want people to think that’s what our band is like. We all knew that going into it that people were going to say things like that. Hopefully when they see us play or buy the record, they’ll see something completely different.”

With the release of All We Know Is Falling, in addition to its performance at Warped Tour, Paramore has recently been thrust into the limelight.

As far as thinking of future albums, Paramore hasn’t given it a whole lot of thought.

“We’re really focusing on this record right now,” Williams said. “We’re really proud of it. Josh and I are always writing, and we’ve written more songs since the record but nothing that we could say, ‘Oh, that’s the next single.'”

Contact ALL correspondent Ben Breier at [email protected].