The Music interviews Taylor York

The Australian tour keeps glowing but before Paramore launched this tour performing in Brisbane, Taylor York spent a while talking to Justine Keating from The Music about “strongest than ever” Paramore. “I think at the beginning of the writing process, we realised that our fanbase at that point had connected with a certain sound and how it was made but we needed to grow and we had new things to say,” said Taylor. Read the article in “read more” section.

Looking at Paramore now, it’s hard to believe that only a year or so ago, the former five-piece (now three-piece) were racked with uncertainty regarding the future of the band. The departure of Josh Farro (former lead guitarist and backing vocalist) and Zac Farro (former drummer) had left the outfit in a state of limbo with each remaining member questioning their own commitment to the outfit. Together, they’d built a strong connection with their fanbase – the concern the Farro brothers’ departure left Hayley Williams, Jeremy Davis and Taylor York with was whether or not the three would be able to push forward with Paramore without them.

Guitarist Taylor York had a particularly strong connection with the brothers, which is what made this period so difficult for him – they’d been near inseparable. “I was confused when they left. I grew up with them and I was unsure of how it was going to go without them.” Williams had mentioned in a number of interviews that she was greatly concerned that after the brothers had made the decision to leave, York would soon follow suit. Throughout York’s confusion, however, the guitarist felt there was still too much promise in the future of the outfit, even as things looked bleak.

“When it went down, it was hard for me to make a decision. I just wasn’t ready. I broke down and started crying at one point and I just knew that I wasn’t done and that I loved being in a band with Jeremy and Hayley so much. I still had a lot more to do with the band, so I just looked forward and did it.” York’s decision to remain part of the outfit, albeit not an immediate or easy one, was one he felt positive about – both at the time and thereafter. It took Paramore a while to get back on their feet, but once they did, they were met with a great deal of success both from fans and critics alike. Their self-titled release evidenced a formidable change, one that could easily be declared as being for the better.

In only the first week of the album’s release, it accumulated a whopping 1.25 million streams with 106,422 copies sold in the US, earning itself a solid and well deserved #1 slot in both the Australian Music Charts as well as the Billboard Top 200 albums charts. Even for a band already accustomed to success, the news was met with astonishment. “I think that we were definitely surprised in a good way. It’s not that we doubted ourselves, but I think we were very pleasantly surprised that it came out as well as it did and that we came out as strong as we did. I was so proud of our record and the shows we’re putting on.”

The decision for the most recent album to share the same name as the outfit was “very much a statement”, York goes on to explain. “A lot of bands do that on their first record and the statement is ‘here we are, here’s an introduction to our band’, and I think we really just wanted to reintroduce ourselves.” The decision, he says, made perfect sense. Their entire sound was subject to a fairly substantial shift as a result of the events following their brief hiatus, but according to York, the decision to move in this direction wasn’t entirely a conscious one.

“I think at the beginning of the writing process, we realised that our fanbase at that point had connected with a certain sound and how it was made, so we tried to write kind of like it could’ve been on Brand New Eyes or Riot! – we kind of just adhered to these old ways of doing things. We love all of those records, but we just didn’t want to be doing that. We needed to grow and we had new things to say.” York explains his ideas for new material during the blueprint stage as being quite derivative of their earlier work, suggestions of which were met with dissatisfaction by Williams. It wasn’t until the outfit began to venture out of their comfort zone that things began to take on the right shape. “The way everything came about was really weird but at the same time, it was really organic and so natural. I think we were kind of at the mercy of something beyond us because it wasn’t like anything we’d ever done before.”