It wasn’t exactly surprising when, over the weekend, Paramore announced that two members–founding guitarist and drummer Josh and Zac Farro–would be leaving the band; if any act seemed vulnerable to a No Doubt-type split and subsequent frontlady solo career, it was Paramore. Hayley Williams is already a star and, like or not, has more charisma in one leopard-printed leg than the rest of her band could ever collectively hope to have. But though the initial announcement made the change seem reasonably amiable (“We want Josh and Zac to do something that makes them happy and if that isn’t here with us, then we support them finding happiness elsewhere”), a new blog post from the disgruntled brothers makes it clear that their departure was anything but. Here’s just one harrowing passage from the sad revisionist history penned by guitarist Josh Farro:
They then sent us all to Orlando to rehearse and write eight hours a day for our first record. Half -way though this process, Jeremy decided to quit. We were all really upset about it. So we finished the record, replaced Jeremy, and hit the road with Hayley’s father as our tour manager/driver of a twelve-passenger van. Her dad would constantly threaten to “pull the plug” on the whole band if we complained about anything, suggesting that we were hired guns and Hayley was the real artist, when in reality we were also part of the band. We’ve always been treated as less important than Hayley. It’s been obvious how her family views things.
Jeremy ended up rejoining and we toured non-stop for two and half years building our fan base, pretending to be a band that started naturally. In reality, what started as natural somehow morphed into a manufactured product of a major label, riding on the coattails of “Hayley’s dream.”
Domineering stage dad? Check. Major label shenanigans? Check. Arguments over whether Williams’s lyrics were properly Christian enough and the sad demise of Farro and Williams’s romantic relationship? Well, that comes later, but it’s in there too. For the record, we’re team Hayley–it is what it is, and there wouldn’t be a band without her–but anyone inclined to believe the happy grassroots stories put about regarding punk bands who just happen to make it hugely, obscenely big, well, now you know how it really happens.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 22, 2010