Paramore reflect on 10th anniversary of self-titled album: “Thank you for allowing us the room for creative risk”

Paramore reflect on 10th anniversary of self-titled album: “Thank you for allowing us the room for creative risk”

Paramore have shared a touching message for their longstanding fandom, reflecting on the decade that’s passed since they released their pivotal self-titled album.

Their fourth full-length effort, ‘Paramore’ was released on April 5, 2013 via Fueled By Ramen. It was their first album a three-piece following the (rather messy) departure of brothers Josh and Zac Farro – who played guitars and drums, respectively – some three years earlier, and in the lead-up to its release, they described it often as a “statement” on that split.

Looking back in a new statement shared on social media, frontwoman Hayley Williams emphasised that making ‘Paramore’ took “a lot of guts and self-determination”, particularly amid rabid fan (and critic) speculation over whether the band could thrive without the Farros (Josh had been an integral part of Paramore’s songwriting dynamic on their first three albums). She added that there “was so much discourse around whether or not the band could make anything worthwhile,” Williams continued – let alone stay together”.

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Noting that Paramore’s first decade was “rife with reality show-style drama”, the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist went on to reflect fondly on the otherwise tumultuous story behind ‘Paramore’: “It’s really great to be able to look back from where we are now, knowing the story didn’t end when some said it would.

“If all that led to our Self-Titled album hadn’t happened, we’d be the most boring band of all time. If we hadn’t been forced out of our trauma-bonded comfort zones, we would’ve never known what we might be capable of.”

Thanks were shared to the album’s producer, Justin Meldal-Johnsen (with whom Paramore also worked on 2017’s ‘After Laughter’ album), with Williams citing him for “expanding our musical vocabulary and believing we could be more than a band from one specific scene”. She also thanked Carlos de la Garza (who produced the band’s latest album, ‘This Is Why’) for “engineering the shit out of the album”, and dubbed mixer Ken Andrews (of Failure fame) “a musical hero to us”.

In closing, Williams said that she and longstanding guitarist (and ‘Paramore’ co-producer) Taylor York “wrote these songs having no idea if people would accept a reformed, more liberated version of Paramore. Our fans not only accepted but championed our rebirth. Thank you for allowing us the room for creative risk and for keeping this story going. We love you. Paramore forever.”

Though divisive in some factions of the band’s fanbase, ‘Paramore’ was a critical and commercial darling, spawning two of their all-time most successful singles (‘Still Into You’ and ‘Ain’t It Fun’, which have cumulatively racked up 10 Platinum certifications and three Gold) and earning stellar reviews from most reputable outlets.

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NME gave the album 3.5 stars in its review, with writer David Renshaw opining that it “feels like a transitional step to something gigantic”. In a retrospective published this week, too, NME’s Erica Campbell wrote that ‘Paramore’ “does an excellent job of masking those fraught emotions that were taking place behind the scenes”.

Meanwhile, Paramore are currently touring on the back of ‘This Is Why’, which arrived back in February and was even more heavily acclaimed than the self-titled album (scoring five stars from NME’s Sophie Williams). They’ve also been a support act on Taylor Swift‘s ‘Eras’ tour, where on the opening night, Williams spoke about her first time interacting with the iconic pop star.

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