Add in their rocketing out of obscurity to success over the last year and the fact they have a frontwoman that teen girls everywhere would envy to the point of catty animosity, and it may seem like the odds are not stacked in the Tennessee natives’ favor.
The boys and girl of Paramore, however, couldn’t be more stoked on life right now. With the release of its sophomore album, Riot!, the band is eager to show off what it can do and prove itself worthy of its ever-increasing fan base.
“It was a lot of fun,” says Josh, the elder of the two Farros, of working on the album. “It was stressful at times, but the end result was really worth it, we had a great time writing it.”
Though its debut album, All We Know Is Falling, earned the band its share of praise and a more than respectable following, Farro admits the album was rushed and didn’t quite reflect his band’s full capabilities at the time.
“Last album, we had about three weeks to write and record it, it was way more stressful. For this one, we had a few months to write. It was more laid back, more of an experience,” he says.
“It was a lot smoother this time,” Farro adds. “Hayley and I still wrote most of it, with me covering the music and her covering the lyrics and us both bouncing ideas off each other.” Though the band members did take some outside input, Farro is also proud that the vast majority of the material is their own creation. “We like to write as a band, collaborating is fun, but we like to keep it in the band,” he says.
Davis is confident that in addition to showing off their growth as songwriters, Riot! will show off a marked leap in their musicianship as well.
“I think on this new album, you can tell everyone has improved on their instruments, with the vocals and melodies, you can tell there was a lot more time put into it,” he says. “I feel like these songs are a lot more put together than the last record. It still sounds like us, you can tell there’s a lot more emotion put into it though.”
Proud as they may be of their work, Davis and Farro are both keenly aware that it still has to ultimately pass the test of the fans. “We were so proud of what turned out in the studio, we just hoped everyone else would see it too, and it wasn’t just us,” says Davis, admitting he and his band mates were more than a little nervous the day before lead single “Misery Business” was released.
Well, they didn’t quite get the response they hoped for.
“At first, people weren’t too happy about ‘Misery Business,’ they were sort of skeptical, saying ‘Born for This’ was better, so we were kind of nervous,” says Farro, though most of the band’s fans gradually warmed to the track. “I think it’s one of those songs you can’t listen to once, you’ve got to give it some time,” he adds.
“I think it’s a song that grew on us too, though,” Davis admits. “There were times in the studio when each song poked its head out as our favorite, but now ‘Misery Business’ always gets us pumped up to play.”
Though it may not have gotten the desired response initially, the song did have fans and critics buzzing all the same, serving as a different means to the same end, if nothing else.
Farro and Davis believe that one thing to the band’s credit is its ability to be self-critical, while having faith in each other’s judgment. “It’s funny because whenever Josh really likes something, it’s like, ‘It’s good, Josh liked it, we’re set!’,” Davis says. “He has good judgment, and at first, it was so hard to trust that, but now we know it’s not like he’s going to steer us wrong. Everyone in the band cares so much about the band, no one would push us the wrong way.”
Certainly, that’s a faith no one could argue against.
Riot! is currently available. Paramore will perform at Vans Warped Tour June 29 in Pomona & June 30 in Ventura. For more information, visit www.paramore.net.