The sound of this record was a surprise, to be honest. It’s a lot more pop that your previous ones. Did you intend to shock?
No. We definitely didn’t intend to shock people, ’cause for us the shock happened three years ago when we realised that it wasn’t going to be a five-piece band any more. We sort of woke up one day as a different band, and that took a long time to get used to. The first time we listened back to the demo for Ain’t It Fun, it was like, ‘what is this?’ It didn’t sound like the way we thought, and although it didn’t wholly sound like “Paramore”, we loved it.Dude, we had three records of doing what’s comfortable, so it was just now or never.
Is it important to you to support other young female rock musicans? There are still so few.
Yeah, to me it’s totally important. For the last two years we’ve been bringing out more female-fronted bands and it’s been so inspiring for me. We brought out this band called Kitten on our first US run this year, and Chloe the singer is, like 18, and she’s ten thousand times cooler than me. She’s like a mix of Annie Lennox, Siouxsie Sioux and anyone you’ve ever loved in the punk rock community, just all wailing out of her body.
She sounds amazing. Who were your icons when you were growing up?
Brody Dalle, and I’m freaking out about your last issue with her on the coverright now! It’s amazing. She was always my computer backdrop when I was 14 and I literally wanted to be her. My mom and I were super close when I was a kid, her and I sort of ran off from her ex-husband. It wasn’t such a good time for us and I remember listening to The Distillers with her. One time I actually asked her, ‘Mom, can I shave my head into a mohawk?’
You have an undercut these days though right?
Yeah, I love my undercut, but actually I’m getting really bored with my hair. I haven’t dyed it in about two or three months and it looks so wretched right now.
I just saw this Katy Perry teaser video of her burning her blue wig. Maybe that’s your cue to embrace it.
I just watched it too, how sick was that? I was actually really proud of her. I know that a lot of popstars are women, and sometimes it doesn’t always get viewed as legitimate artistry, but I think she is a true artist. Actually, Taylor, who’s in the band, his family know her so she’s hung out with us a couple of times. She’s so fun and I think she’s a great artist, too. It’s nice to know that that’s out there in the pop world.
She’s a party girl though – can you keep up with her?
I don’t! (Laughs) I totally don’t keep up!
When you did Airplanes with B.o.B. it kind of put you in a different context from the band. Did that feel like a big change for you?
Um, yes and no. I mean, when I was I was really young, before I discovered punk rock and underground music I was really into pop music. I loved people like Aaliyah and Missy Elliot and TLC and I always wanted to be like that. I never expected to turn 12 or 13 and meet the guys, but when I started writing music it came out entirely different. You know, I can’t write an R&B song, but when I did Airplanes it almost felt like a return to form. It was weird and exciting for me, and I loved being able to sing that and turn around the next day and play a show with Paramore.
More of the interview: http://paramore-music.com/index.php/hayley-williams-for-beat-magazine/