Hayley for USA Today: doing something by myself is challenging

USA TODAY caught up with Hayley Williams by phone to talk about Petals for Armor, both the sound and the promo during a pandemic, therapy and what’s next for Paramore. Click here to read it.

On Petals for Armor: I wrote a poem that turned out to be “Leave It Alone.” And that was just scribbles in my journal that turned into a melody and I put it to something that Joey had written on his bass. But even when I was using my words musically, I still didn’t think, “Oh, I’m making a record.” It took a little bit of time. I had momentary fantasies where I’d be like, “Oh, man, it would sound so beautiful with people singing along to this.” And then, three or four months into the process, it was like, “Oh, (expletive), I’m making a record right now.” And that’s probably the only way I was ever going to make it. I got tricked into making a solo album. 

On Dead Horse: It feels like someone removed a tumor from my side – I had been really nervous about putting this out. I know you can’t control people’s perceptions, but for me, I knew with my side of my heartbreak, I felt a lot of shame about it rather than being able to own it and move on. This feels like my 30-year-old self finally spoke for my 22-year-old self who couldn’t say some of these things. She didn’t have the words or the courage to stand up for herself. This is just me clumsily learning how to take care of myself in new ways. 

On a new Paramore album: We’ve talked about who might be a cool producer, because both Taylor and Zac produce now. And we’ve talked about what styles of music we might want to (expletive) with. It’s funny, though, because we always do this and then we get in the car and take a complete left turn. It makes me excited because we literally just follow our whims and who knows where we’ll go? I think that’s what kept Paramore going all this time.