"Everyone’s just trying to remember better days, and I’m sitting there like, ‘They weren’t that much better...'"
(Paramore by Zachary Gray, NOFX by Susan Moss)
Paramore talked about This Is Why - their first album in over five years, the next chapter of the band, and the pop-punk/emo resurgence they've become a part of in a new Billboard cover story. In the interview, she alleged that NOFX vocalist Fat Mike made sexualised comments about her during the Warped Tour days - when she was a teenager.
As always, the members of Paramore - vocalist Hayley Williams, drummer Zac Farro and guitarist Taylor York - are unflinching in their honesty and perspectives. When the resurrection of pop-punk and emo began in 2021, Paramore were shocked. They found out that their music, notably their 2007 hit, Misery Business, was striking a new chord with a younger generation through TikTok and suddenly, music with guitars was popular again.
When Paramore performed at the inaugural When We Were Young festival last year (where fans witnessed All I Wanted's live debut), they had mixed emotions about the event.
"Everyone’s just trying to remember better days, and I’m sitting there like, ‘They weren’t that much better,’" Williams said. During the band's When We Were Young set, she addressed the audience and told them that the emo/pop-punk scene wasn't a safe space "if you were different, if you were a young woman, if you were a person of colour, if you were queer, and that’s really fucked up if you think about it because this was supposed to be the safe place, wasn’t it?"
She discussed the vindication and anger she felt and continued, "I was really surprised that I had so much anger well up in me because I was like, ‘Wait a minute. They’re treating us like a prize now,’ but like, Fat Mike [of NOFX] used to tell people that I gave good rim jobs onstage when I was 19 years old.
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"I do not think that that’s punk. I don’t think that’s the essence of punk. And I feel strongly that without young women, people of colour and also the queer community, I just think we would still be where we were then."
Williams brought up fellow headliners, My Chemical Romance, who also had various emotions about the headlining slot of a "throwback" festival. "We hung out with My Chem a few minutes before we went on [on] the last weekend, and I think they feel very similarly about how they were received," she said. "And what it comes down to is that the fans are the ones with the power because otherwise, us and My Chem wouldn’t have been headlining that thing. And I think that’s beautiful."
This Is Why, Paramore's sixth album, will be released via Atlantic Records on Friday, 10 February 2023. Pre-order the album here.