Today Paramore will take the stage at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, AZ. The local Az Central talked with Taylor York about the self-titled, departure of Farro brothers, and friendship with Hayley and Jeremy. “I had kind of sunken into a really comfortable role in the band in prior years. So the idea of having to write for a record totally terrified me,” recalls Taylor.
He admits the band is in the best moment of artistic life with a great passion fowards writing, recording new music and touring: “We’re all just happy to be here.” York was the one Josh and Zac Farro firstly informed about leaving the band. “I was thinking, “I don’t know. Is this thing over?” But I felt like it just wasn’t.” The full interview is pasted below.
Question: One of the cooler things about this album is how stylistically diverse it is. Was that intentional or is that just the way the songs turned out?
Answer: It’s honestly just the way the songs turned out. On our last three full-lengths, we had evolved, but they were also stylistically similar. So we felt like we’ve kind of developed a fan base through that style and we thought, “Well, all right, let’s keep it going.”
But I think when we went down that path, we realized that that’s just not where we’re at anymore. I mean, we’re so proud of everything we’ve done but we’ve already made three records of that. We tried and tried to write those kind of songs, but then we wrote a song called “Ain’t It Fun” that for us was just so left-field. It was like, “What are we doing? What is this?”
But that’s what we were passionate about and excited about. And I think at that point, we were less concerned about a direction and more concerned about just good art and making something we believed in. And it kind of seemed like every song was turning out very different, but somehow, it all came together in the end.
Q: You mentioned not wanting to make another variation on the first three albums, but wasn’t it going to be different anyway after the lineup change?
A: Yeah, absolutely. That’s something we learned. Logistically, obviously, things don’t work the same. But I think we definitely wanted to try. We felt this responsibility to at least go for it.
Q: You obviously had to step forward a bit as a writer on this album. What was that experience like for you?
A: Uh. It was terrifying, man. Yeah. I had kind of sunken into a really comfortable role in the band in prior years. I just played rhythm guitar. That was pretty much all I did. And I loved it. So the idea of having to write for a record totally terrified me. But I think in a way, that was a good thing.
At this point, I haven’t really developed any patterns. I don’t have too many boxes as of yet. So that was an advantage where I wasn’t kind of going to a default in my head. But it was so exciting and such an honor to get to write with Hayley. We’ve written a little in the past but not to this extent. So it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done but also at the same time, so rewarding. And I’m really proud of it.
Q: Could you talk about why you decided to call the album “Paramore?”
A: Putting a word or a few words on a full body of art is really difficult, trying to somehow sum up all of these different things into one thought. So every time we go in to name an album, it’s really overwhelming and scary, and everyone’s embarrassed to throw out ideas.
But when it came to that time, Hayley was like, “It’s probably time to talk about naming the album, but before we get into this, I just had this weird idea. After all we’ve been through, it kind of seems we’ve discovered a new Paramore and I feel like this might be the time to do a self-titled.” And it just immediately felt so right. This is kind of like a new band. And we’re so proud of it. This is how we want to move forward in showing who Paramore is.
Q: Hayley has said that going into this album, she felt more optimistic than ever about the future of the band. Is that because the energy is more positive since the departure of the Farro brothers?
A: Yeah, I think that’s a big part of it. We all didn’t want to be here when the other two guys were in the band. It’s hard to all get on the same page when obviously you’re just not. It causes a lot of division, and it’s really difficult. So I think for the first time, we all really want to be here, and we want to communicate and work through things together. And we all actually like each other and enjoy each other.
We’re at a place now where even if this record doesn’t do as well as we would hope, we’re gonna have more fun being a band and touring together and writing songs and making records than we ever have before. We’re all just happy to be here.
Q: What was your initial reaction when you heard those guys were leaving?
A: They came to me actually before anyone. It’s one those things where we were at a point where something had to give. It was such an unhealthy environment. Something had to happen, but I think we all refused to give it that much thought. It was a surprise to all of us, but at the same time it was like, “Duh.” This was a long time coming. It was definitely scary. I was thinking, “I don’t know. Is this thing over?” But I felt like it just wasn’t. There was a lot of fear, but there was this weird peace and this weird confidence. So we tried not to give those doubts the forefront of our attention. We just focused on moving forward.
Q: Do you feel like it brought the three of you closer together?
A: Oh yeah. Absolutely. I mean, we had to communicate. I think most bands, you kind of create teams. And when the two brothers left, those divides left with them and we became truly best friends.
Q: Are there songs that feel different now or songs that you threw out and just don’t do anymore?
A: Thankfully, everything is still pretty natural. It’s a little bit different, but everyone on stage loves being there and loves playing music together. We love our old music and we don’t feel like we’re ever gonna remove ourselves from that. The old songs are, honestly, probably more fun to play live than ever.