We met up with an excited Hayley Williams and Josh Farro backstage at the Pyramids, Portsmouth.
R13: Welcome back to the UK guys, tonight's the first night of your headlining UK tour, how are you feeling?
HW: Pretty stoked.
JF: We're excited, especially as this room is really big so I think it'll be good, plus the line-up is awesome. We've got Lost Alone and This Providence with us who are two great bands and really good friends of ours so it's going to be a lot of fun.
R13: You've sold out every venue on this tour, how does that make you feel?
HW: It's ridiculous. I don't think I really understood it until we walked in today and I was like "Where are we? This is way to big for us" and then it's sold out, it's weird, it's just amazing.
R13: Would you say you're more successful here than in the States, or is it pretty equal?
JF: I think it's equal, it's weird, it's different because it's so much smaller here.
HW: Before we did Warped tour in the States this year the UK was a lot crazier, but now the new record is out and everything it seems to be a lot more balanced.
R13: What can we expect to see from you at a live show?
HW: Well tonight we're playing a ton of new songs, just trying to get kids into the record and have a great time with it because it's the first time a lot of these kids are seeing the new songs. We're just having fun you know, it's just a big old rock show. There's not a ton of lights, there's not a ton of flashy stuff, it's just us playing music and having a great time with it.
JF: We tried to get some screens and backdrops, we ordered them and the company that did them sent them to us and it looked horrible, it looked like a three year old did them, so we had to order more. So, we've got them for tonight.
HW: Just in time!
R13: You played Reading and Leeds last weekend how did that go?
HW: Oh my gosh, it was so much fun! We were really nervous and obviously everyone has been posting all these articles about how we nearly missed it and that our flight was delayed so many times. The whole weekend was kind of nerve-racking but once we got up on stage and saw all those kids it was amazing. The line-up was ridiculous we stayed to watch, it was so much fun.
R13: And you had good weather for a change!
HW: I know right, everyone was telling us that it always rains, every time, so it was awesome.
R13: You guys just completed a long stint on Warped Tour, how does that compare to playing something like Reading and Leeds?
HW: Warped Tour is the hardest tour you'll do as a band but we make the most memories and have so much fun on that tour. But like, it's a lot different to the festivals over here, there are a couple of festivals in the States that resemble UK festivals a lot more. Warped Tour is a little more spread out obviously, it's like a whole summer long and it's a completely different feel with all the different bands. When you come to Reading and Leeds every band is freaking legendary, every band is huge, we were walking around in awe because there were so many bands there that we love. On Warped Tour it's more of a time where a lot of new bands get to be discovered and heard. It was great, we love both of them.
R13: You guys also played Download back in June
HW: Oh yeah, oh my gosh, that was insane too!
R13: Could you see the difference in people there? Obviously, Download is predominantly metal a festival.
Both: Yeah! (laughs)
HW: Our crowds at Reading and Leeds were different than I expected, I expected it to be a lot more indie and... I don't know the right word for it. It was a lot more laid back and there were a lot more younger people than I thought would be at Reading and Leeds and Download was testosterone city, I freaking loved it though because we like a lot of metal bands.
R13: Did you guys get a good reception at Download.
HW: I don't know how but we did (laughs) it was really cool.
JF: It was crazy.
R13: What crazy antics do you guys get up to on the road?
HW: There's a lot. We do this thing that we started on Warped Tour but we haven't really kept it up the way we should but we get in a huddle, like American footballers in movies, we take on pair of drumsticks and we jump then run on the spot. Whoever is holding the drumsticks plays on the next person's hands and then you jump you pass it and it goes round one whole time and then you're done. I don't know why we started doing that but it's great to pump up the adrenaline.
R13: Do you find it different here because you can drink whereas in the States you're not old enough to?
HW: We don't drink a lot while we're here, it's cool that we're able to because we're not people that make a huge about drinking so it's nice that's it's not a big deal if we want to have a drink. Josh here likes to get wasted on vodka... just kidding!
R13: When you were starting out did you find it hard to break onto the music scene because you're a female fronted band?
HW: I don't think so, we were tarred as a band for being what we were but we didn't ever think that we wanted to be good as a female fronted band, we've always wanted to be thought of as great band. I think that that mindset has bought us a lot further than we would have gotten if we had relied on my sexuality.
R13: Did you find it hard adjusting to life on the road where you guys were so young when you started touring?
HW: We're like a big family so it felt kind of natural, even when we're at home we're always together. So, the touring life is hectic and busy, you miss home a lot but it's such a gift, for sure.
R13: Were your parents really supportive as well?
JF: Yeah they were, it's funny because when we first went out we did really, really well and it was just like "Cool, this is awesome!". As you go on it starts to take a toll on your body and everything, so when you go out on a tour it takes a while to get adjusted and you want a break, but it's still a blast, you've just got to keep yourself happy and positive. It's hard not to get down on the road because you're in a bus with the same people all the time, not that that's a bad thing we love everyone who's with us, but you start to feel a bit jerky.
R13: I guess a bit of tension must start building up as well.
HW: Sometimes, I mean we love each other like brothers and sisters and we fight like brothers and sisters sometimes. We try to understand that this is a big family and we have to work together at it.
R13: You released 'Riot!' Earlier this year, were you pleased with the reaction it got?
JF: Yes, it's been a lot better than we expected. We were hoping it would do well but hoping for something and expecting is totally different, so now it's doing well we feel really blessed, a little scared but it's fun. It's cool to sell records. Our last album we toured with for two years and in the States it took us right before 'Riot!' came out, or maybe even the week 'Riot!' came out for 'Falling' to hit 100,000 records sold, which is huge for us. Then, 'Riot!' passed that up in a few weeks, it's just cool. Two years for 100,000 then less then two weeks, it's cool but it's a little weird, that's a lot of records.
R13: The sophomore album is often the making or breaking point for a lot of bands, did you feel more pressure with 'Riot!'?
HW: Yeah, but Josh writes a lot of the music and is really, really good at writing under pressure and he was cranking out music left and right. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself and I think that hindered the beginning of writing the second record. Once it started rolling the songs were just coming out non stop and they were all songs that we felt represented us perfectly and I think that gave us the confidence we needed to make it through without feeling like the world was on our shoulders. We had a lot of fun with it and I think that that is why it turned out the way it did and why we love it so much, because we just did what we wanted and had a fun time with it.
R13: How important is Paramore to you?
HW: It's like all we have.
JF: It's like the most important thing to everyone of us.
HW: This is our hearts and our happiness. It's so much fun because you put so much work into something and we were perfectly content with 'All We Know Is Falling' working really hard and obviously by the end of it we were doing sold out shows which was amazing and we were perfectly content with that and nothing more. Now to have all this craziness going on is like a big bonus, this is everything we could have ever wanted and way more.
R13: How important are you to the band?
JF: Everyone in the band is just as important, obviously, if we didn't have Hayley and Hayley's voice we wouldn't be set apart from everyone else. I don't feel like she could write the way she does or sing the way she does or be the same person she is without Zac, Jeremy or me. I don't think I could do this without Hayley, it wouldn't be the same with another lead singer. It's the same thing for each one of us, I feel that we all fit our roles the right way and that's what makes this band work.
HW: Well spoken!
JF: So basically, the band needs me, if the don't have me they're going down (laughs).
R13: What's your overall view on the music industry at the moment? So many people think it's going down the tubes.
HW: It is a little bit sad to watch people squirming. It's just different now to what it has ever been but I don't think that's necessarily a terrible thing, I think it's leaving room for growth in other areas. It's pushing people to be more creative after a while labels were just manufacturing companies that would mould something and put a sticker on it.
HW: I think now a lot of labels are getting smarter and realising that they have to go back to how it started, they've got to develop bands and be there to listen to what they want. I guess it's pushing people to be more creative about the business and I love that.
JF: It's not so easy to sell records now. You can't just have some guy come in and write a song for a band and then sell five million records, it doesn't work like that anymore, it's rare that you find that. It's cool because bands actually have to work now, it's a blessing in disguise.
JF: Labels are like "Oh no, it's going down!" but it needs to happen I think.
HW: Totally, and Myspace obviously is there to help a lot of younger bands that can't get a label to listen to them, it doesn't always mean they're the greatest band in the world but they've got to be heard too. I think there's just all kinds of opportunities in the business right now but they're just hidden like Josh said.
R13: How do you feel about the switch to the digital era where more & more artists are releasing download only material?
HW: I love CDs, I mean I still go to the record store and buy tons of them whenever I go home. We became really good friends with New Found Glory and I just went home and bought all their CDs for my little sisters, like the real thing, and that is so much better to me than downloading. That's not for everyone, some people like downloading.
JF: Downloading from Live Wire is completely boring, iTunes is a little better because there's some form of art that comes with it, but for me I like the art bands come out with. I like to look at the CD booklet and read the lyrics and read credits, thank you's and all of that, for me that's the best part about buying an album.
R13: Have you ever spotted kids with Paramore tattoos?
JF: One girl has lyrics up her side and some guy has 'All I know Is Falling' and 'Riot!' it's weird.
HW: We've seen those two in person but kids will send pictures and it's crazy because those wont go away, they're stuck on those people forever. It's kind of cool, I kind of like it. It's a little bit freaky but just to think that once upon a time wasn't a thought in our heads and all of a sudden it was and now it's permanent.
JF: I would never get a band's name tattooed on me.
HW: Me either
JF: Lyrics is another story though, maybe if they meant something to me.
HW: I might get some Sunny Day Real Estate tatts... just kidding!
R13: What is your proudest career moment to date?
HW: Any of my favourite moments would probably come from Warped Tour because anytime we play Warped Tour it always takes us to another level. Whether it's personally or as a band, it always boosts us to the next thing. I think as far as the actual band goes we played main stage at Warped for the first time in our hometown and that was because of Kevin Lineman feeling nice that day. Then there's also really personal stuff like when Kevin Lineman took us fishing in Tampa, that was the first time we actually got to hang out with him and it showed us how much he cared about our band as people. So, things like that I can't really replace.
JF: A lot of cool things have happened to us, like the being up MTV Times Square windows, that was cool. What's cooler to me is going home and in the mall I've been going to in the 14 years I've lived in Tennessee is seeing stores with our band name and pictures up.
HW: It's crazy, I forgot about that.
JF: I heard our song on the radio once, that was cool, that was crazy. They don't play it in Tennessee yet because we're only on alternative radio and we don't have an alternative station, so I'm waiting for that something to start so I can hear my song, just once, while driving.
R13: What do you still have left to achieve?
HW: Everything, as a band we want to be boundless. This year we've done a lot, we've taken a lot of opportunities, probably a lot of opportunities that last year we might have thought were dumb or too commercial for us. I can honestly say there's not one thing we did, not even all the MTV exposure, that we're not proud of and we felt that it represented us really well. Just knowing that a year ago we probably would have passed on some of that stuff and MTV has given us everything this year and it goes to show that people grow. It's just awesome to not have any limits and know that anything we're part of it going to be a blast and going to be fun.
R13: What can we expect to see from you over the next year?
HW: I don't even know.
JF: We're just going to be touring, we're going to Japan and Australia after this then we have a US tour until the beginning of December. We have December and half of January off just to be with our families for Christmas and stuff. Then I think we're coming back over here to do some sort of Europe tour, after that I don't know, probably more touring.
HW: We love touring, it's nice to be home for that time but I'm sure that we're going to tour on this record for as long as we can.
JF: If we have time I want to record a Christmas song.
HW: That would be so much fun we should do that.
JF: It would be cool to do a whole Christmas EP, sort of like Hanson did, they did a whole album, I love that Christmas stuff.
HW: I bought that, I was ten years old and it made me feel good so we should probably do that too.
R13: Awesome, that's all I need so thank you for you're time and I'll see you at the show tonight.
We met up with an excited Hayley Williams and Josh Farro backstage at the Pyramids, Portsmouth.