“You can run on the fumes of being a teenager for as long as you want, but eventually life hits you really hard,” Hayley Williams tells the news source. “I didn’t even know if we were going to make another record.
“There was a moment when I didn’t even want it to happen. Then it was like, I want it to happen, but I don’t know how we’re going to do it.”
Looking back at the beginning of the band, Williams talks about finding her footing in a male-dominated scene. “If we were booked on a bill with all dudes that were twice as old as us I wanted to be better than any of them,” Williams told the New York Times. “I didn’t care if they had a penis or not. I had to be great at my job.”
And through their multitude of successes, while putting together After Laughter, she went through her own personal struggle as an artist and member of the band, where she started questioning "everything."
“We were down another member—same old story almost from Day 1,” she continues. “It made me question everything—am I doing something wrong? You read things that people say about you and eventually you just think, ‘Oh, I must be some kind of diva bitch.’ I know that’s not me, but it caused a lot of self-doubt.”
Honing in on this inner-questioning, the band released “Hard Times,” marking a new era for the band. Williams explains she’s been inspired by acts like Cherry Glazerr, Tacocat and Bleached, and with the band’s sonic direction, Taylor York explains, “We’ve gotten to a point with our new music where we don’t really want to headbang anymore.”
They pulled from their experiences and created a record that exposes every feeling in the realest way—as they always do.
“A lot of life happened,” Williams explains, stemming from both her personal life and the events surrounding Paramore. “I couldn’t imagine putting something on an album that says ‘life’s great, everything’s cool, party with me.”
Yet, with Zac Farro back and citing their many own “inside jokes,” Williams explains to the New York Times that they're content with where they are now. “This is what you go through hard times for, so you can have these moments where you’re proud of yourself, proud of your choices and your friends.”
What are your thoughts on the bands brand new "Hard Times," and how excited are you for After Laughter? Let us know in the comments below!
Watch more: The AP Sessions—Paramore (2011)