About The Artist
The Set List
Check out the group's high-energy set and pick up a copy of Paramore's arresting new record 'Riot!' - both online and in Wal-Mart stores nationwide.
- The Crew at Wal-Mart Soundcheck
On Awkward Beginnings
Not all bands begin with natural chemistry. Fittingly, Paramore's first days were formed in the uncomfortable confines of ... high school. Explains Josh: "We started a band when we were very young. Zac was 10 and I was 13. We loved playing music - just guitar and drums. Eventually we formed a band and we needed a lead singer. Halfway through the school year, Hayley joined the school we were going to. I was in the study hall and I met Hayley and it just sort of took off from there. Eventually we asked her to join and we needed a bass player. She was in a band with Jeremy, so she said 'I know the perfect bass player!' One day we all got together in my room. I still remember the day - it was really awkward! But it all started right there in my bedroom."
On Working the Look
If you read the blogs and the music 'zines, you'll discover that Paramore gets a lot of attention for their image. We asked the punk-haired leading lady about the group's venture into fashion: "I think at different times our image means more to us as a band than others," Hayley explains. "When 'Riot!' came out it was huge for us. We spent two-and-a-half years on the road just wearing T-shirts and jeans, and messing around with our clothes. Everything was yellow, red, orange, black and white - we looked like a newspaper! We were really into it. It's really fun for us. It's not something that's ever been forced. I think we all love fashion, and we all love the idea of matching our music and our image."
On Making a Riot
According to Hayley, the title of the new record signifies less an outpouring of anger than it does an outpouring of passion. She explains: "The name of our record is 'Riot!'. We knew we wanted a one-word title because a lot of album titles are really long. It's like reading a novel - we wanted something straight to the point. Josh found the word 'riot' and we looked it up. Its figurative meaning is 'a sudden outburst of uncontrolled emotions' - and I think that represents all the songs on our record perfectly."
- Paramore is Hayley Williams, Jeremy Davis and brothers Josh and Zac Farro
- They formed in Franklin, Tennessee. The three original members met in 2002 when 13-year-old Hayley began attending a Tennessee private school with Zac and Josh.
- Despite their tender years, they already have a Grammy nomination under their belts. The band was nominated for 'Best New Artist' at this year's Grammy Awards - but lost to Amy Winehouse.
- They count the following artists as inspiration for their punk-pop music: U2, Jimmy Eat World, Death Cab for Cutie and No Doubt
- Both Pete Wentz and John Mayer are big fans of Hayley Williams. In reference to her singing chops and unmistakable hair color, Mayer recently blogged that Williams is "The Great Orange Hope."
- Though they credit their name to a former bassist, the band recently claimed inspiration from the Latin word 'Paramour' (meaning "more love")
Launching into a rich new track from 'Riot!,' Paramore has San Jose jumping the moment the band begins. Written by Josh Farro and Hayley Williams, 'Let The Flames Begin' is a fiery torrent that showcases the lead singer's powerful pipes. Resplendent in jeans and a black-and-white-striped shirt, Hayley launches onto the stage and fires out an anthem that is testament to the group's intended longevity: "This is how we'll dance when they try to take us down / This is how we'll sing."
"Cause I've seen love die way too many times / when it deserved to be alive." So sings Hayley during Paramore's second song (and their second single from the band's debut album, 'All We Know Is Falling'). It's empowering to hear a female singer-songwriter deliver such powerful words; although it may sound like a plea to heal her own relationship, Williams has alluded that the song is actually a tune about her parents: "If you thought I'd leave, then you were wrong / 'Cause I won't stop holding on."
That's What You Get
The band's latest single (from 'Riot!') is a song close to the group's heart. Paramore shot the video for the track in Nashville after canceling the last leg of their European tune due to "personal reasons." Written as a collective group effort, 'That's What You Get' offers clues to the band's recent dynamic: "I don't wanna be the blame, not anymore / It's your turn so take a seat / We're settling the final score / Why do we like to hurt so much?"
"You wanna sing this part?!" asks Hayley to Soundcheck's feverish San Jose crowd. 'Pressure' (the band's first-ever single from 'All We Know Is Falling'), is an obvious sentimental fan favorite and it delivers a powerful message to their young following. A song about the struggles of the turbulent teen years, 'Pressure' was also recently featured in an episode of The Hills. Sings Hayley: "Some things I'll never know / And I had to let them go."
For A Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic
"What's the problem? You gotta lot of nerve!" shouts Williams in the attitude-filled leadoff track from 'Riot!' With a title that echoes Fall Out Boy (the band's Fueled by Ramen label is supported by Pete Wentz), Hayley delivers a well-received dose of girl power. As our captivated crowd sings along to the catchy chorus, Paramore wows San Jose State with the evening's most energetic performance yet.
Paramore closes their upbeat Soundcheck set with the third single from 'Riot!'. Unlike the rest of their set, 'crushcrushcrush' is an old-fashioned love song that bestows the virtues of a young crush. San Jose State joins Hayley and the boys for the unforgettable chorus: "Rock and Roll baby / don't you know that we're all alone now / I need something to sing about."