Josh Farro on Paramore departure: 'We've always been treated as less important than Hayley.'

ParamoreImage Credit: RD/Kirkland/Retna LtdSeems being part of Paramore was “Misery Business” for recently departed band members Josh and Zac Farro. A few days after Paramore confirmed that their guitarist and drummer had quit the band via its official site, Josh took to his blog to share why the two members had decided that they belonged to Paramore no more. And they seemed to have settled on a scapegoat: Frontwoman Hayley Williams.

The long post, which chronicles how Williams’ manager and family have controlled the band since its formation, claims Paramore’s band members were always forced to play second banana to the singer. “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,” Farro writes. “We’ve always been treated as less important than Hayley … We toured for two-and-a-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.’”

Farro also shared grievances regarding the band’s songwriting process: “We fought her about how her lyrics misrepresented our band and what we stood for, but in the end, she got her way,” he writes. “Instead of fighting her any longer, we decided to just roll over and let it go.” Soon, according to Farro, Paramore become unable to overcome their differences. “Hayley claimed that this record reunited us as [a] band and made us grow closer together, when in reality, we were all growing further apart,” he writes. “Suddenly the band split into two sides. Touring became difficult since we couldn’t agree on anything. The friendships our band had were no longer existent.”

In addition to their frustration with Williams, the Farros also claim they left Paramore because “touring had really taken its toll on us … [and] our family members as well.” Josh, however, is still optimistic that the band can part amicably: “We are still hoping to work out a friendly way to leave our part of Paramore intact with the remaining band members, including Hayley,” he writes.

Read more:
Paramore confirms departure of guitarist, drummer

Comments (202 total) Add your comment
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  • JoeC

    The more things change in music, the more they stay the same. The singer dominated the band’s agenda? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Really? Wow….

    • James

      That’s what I thought from reading the title. “Seriously, the lead singer is more important than the drummer…no, really?” but after reading the post it seems their grounds for leaving are pretty justified. If Hayley’s parents were managing the band and decided the badn would be a vehicle for her and let her control the whole band, I’d want out too. I wouldn’t want to be in a band where I was treated like the hired help for the princess either.

      • Shawn

        Kinda like that other band that used to be behind Beyonce… Beyonce’s Child, no wait, Beyonce’s Destiny, I feel like I am close just not there…. oh well

      • Dede

        The “princess” writes all the songs. Sometimes a band like the Rolling Stones, Beatles, or Queen are truly collaborative efforts, and sometimes one member is the talent and the rest should be grateful to be there.

      • u

        @Dede:

        There are bands where one member does all the writing, yet there are no issues about power struggles, like Muse for example. And conversely, there are bands where members do share songwriting duties, but egos still clash (Evanescence). I think it all strongly depends on the maturity of the people involved. Some people are good at putting the band’s interests ahead of their own, others aren’t.

      • True Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Blue

        @ Dede:

        John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the primary songwriters of the band, leading to Ringo and George feeling left out and causing tension within the band, Mick and Keith have constantly gone at each other’s throats when they couldn’t agree on something (which happened quite often), and even Queen used to b*tch and moan at each other when they couldn’t see eye-to-eye in the recording studio. Even Freddie Mercury himself has been quoted as saying “We’re the b*tchiest band on earth. We’re constantly at each other’s throats”. He also used to express worry about being treated as the “face” of the band by the media because he didn’t want his bandmates to feel under-appreciated. The point is, band tension will always occur for whatever reason, and like the poster above me said, it is how the members handle that tension that will dictate the success of the band. Paramore got huge when they were still teenagers, and to be that young and experience fame and wealth so quickly is of course bound to create some SERIOUS tension within the band, and these guys don’t have the maturity to handle it properly. I’m sure when they’re older and wiser, they’ll look back on this and feel regret for not being smarter about the situation.

      • psychoanalyzer

        @ Shawn — Read your commented and just busted out laughing! Hilarious!

      • Cris

        And damn that Huey Lewis, always acting like he was more important than the other guys in the News.

      • Sarah

        While I agree that I wouldn’t want to be in a band where the lead singer gets all of the attention, it’s going to happen. Plus, they stayed for like six years, so it can’t have been all bad.

      • Denise

        @ Shawn -
        Unfortunately, George Bush could not keep those “Child”ren from being “Left Behind”. :(
        (groan, groan….)

      • filmex

        Way to go, lads. You just joined the Big Brother & Hold Co. whinging about why everyone is obsessed with Janis Joplin and how unfair life is. See you at Open Mic night at the local pub.

      • Lori Loves

        great music and BBWMarriage was amazing

      • josie

        @Dede they wrote songs too, but hayleys lyrics were always chosen not because theyre better but because they had to.

      • Rocket Bird

        Tbh man ,, im a drummer in a band thats working its way up, we’re signed up to an independent lable now and things are sound, but in no way should any of the members be more important than the other.
        to me i stand with the farro’s after seeing similar situations in my previous bands, not as severe of course, but still the principal is the same.
        to me they were mainly the real talent so i will stick to them and see what they move in to

    • UGH

      Welcome to Rock-n-Roll. What band doesn’t have problems with LSD (lead singer’s disease)?

      • mrswinchester248920

        McFly :D In most bands the lead is the most important but I’d say all 4 members are NEEDED in that band. Even the drummer and background vocalist :)

      • Rich

        RE: McFly… No LSD when no one cares about any member of the band.

      • Color Me Impressed

        Hahaha thats usually the case, but not always…I’ve was in a band as lead singer and drummer for four years, and the whole time it was the lead guitarist who called all the shots. There are just people with more ego than others.

    • sarah

      exactly. it reminds me of no doubt in the late 90s.

      • *lg*

        You guys should read the full post. Paramore was always marketed as a young band who came about organically and got famous. That’s not how it happened AT ALL. Hayley was signed to Atlantic records and the record company wanted it to look like the band had more of a “grass roots” build so they had them start out on Fueled by Raman to gain cred. The other guys in the band had no say and were often told they were replaceable. No Doubt came about much more organically. Gwen wasn’t even the original lead singer! Completely different stories. I always knew Paramore’s beginnings had to have much more of a “shaping” story then what was out there, and I was right.

    • filmex

      Not only is Hayley the talented one, she appears not caught up in the cult these brothers are. Read the guy’s blogpost–he was upset she was writing “negative” lyrics such as “the truth never set me free”, while he quotes a string of Biblical passages which he believes “proves” this isn’t so. He later infuses his future with a plethora of passages of scripture.
      Looks like Hayley will do better having escaped the American Taliban bandmates.

      • me and everyone typing this right now

        Really? You immediately think that anyone religious is involved in some sort of cult?

      • Josh

        I would pick a Christian over a red-headed bimbo who sold out to the greed and manipulation of corporate America any day; and I’m an athiest.

      • Rachelle

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      • Rachelle

        @ Josh. She didn’t kick them out of the band because she was greedy. She was more popular then the band. Im sure Josh didn’t having a problem banging Haley for two years and following her in the band making tons of cash. Im sure he wasn’t quoting Bible passages then. Give me a break. He got married and his wife most likely had a problem with the whole situation. He should take his sandwich loving brother and go right back into his parents garage and play music where no one will give a rats ass.

      • Jono G

        Are you serious. Thats right have a stab at the Christians…. because thats not new. Because Christianity, its one big cult right. I think its sad to see these two go, good to see christians being radical about their faith in Jesus, yes Jesus, what a scary name! Oh no i mentioned Jesus, deal with it. Fame, Money, Wealth, Power, these do not satisfy the human heart.

      • Josh Ecco

        No, your religion is not a cult… UNLESS you use it to righteously shove your pious opinions down the throats of other people… then it’s a cult :)

  • Catlin

    :/

  • Jen

    Rule #1 of music: If your band is a couple of dudes and one attractive female, she’s going to get all the attention. ALL OF IT.

    • James

      Yes, its the same with any band. The lead singer is typically the face of the band (unless he’s ugly like in Fall Out Boy’s case). I don’t think that’s what they’re complaining about though. They didn’t want media attention, they wanted input in the direction of the band. According to them, her dad treated the band like the Hayley Williams Band instead of a group of people and only gave her a voice. They had no say in which songs they played or how they played it. That’s pretty crappy and I’d be pissed too.

    • J

      Agreed.

      A lead singer is the front person of the band. They are going to get the most attention. I can not think of any band, with a female lead singer or a male lead signer, that is different.

      I’ve never read any interview about Paramore where Hayley was anything less than supportive and encouraging of her band as a whole.

      I just think the attention thing is a weak argument–if it is the real cause.

      • Trig

        roger Daltrey might have been the lead singer of the Who, but everyone knows Pete Towsend was really the driving force of the band

      • P

        if you read josh’s blog again. you will find that josh never mentioned anything about attention, but rather he emphasized on their importance to the band.

    • N

      @Jen – Hallelujah.

    • HC

      exactly! Grace Potter & The Nocturnals are an awesome band all together for sure but guess what, Grace Potter is crazy hot and she’s marketable as hell. This goes for Paramore just the same.

    • Stephen

      No kidding, they should have known with a female lead vocalist that she would be the one to get all the attention. I mean even the male lead singers get all the attention, that’s just how the industry is. The general listening public doesn’t know or care who is playing guitar or drums for most of these bands. If you want that kind of recognition for your instrumentals then you’re not finding it in the mainstream music biz unless you’re on a Beatles level. They can have fun playing crappy venues for 10 emo kids in whatever band they end up in next.

    • MsSuniDaze

      This is totally true. Another example is ‘Blondie’. Most people automatically think Debbie Harry. Sadly most don’t think of the rest of the band, including Chris Stein who was a co-found it with Debbie.
      No Doubt is another band where the lead singer is the main focus. I can see how they would be upset… but complaining about it on a blog sounds more like sour grapes.

      • Alessandra

        I think the main reason he wrote the blog was because the remaining members put that press statement out about him an his brother leaving and he’s just telling people why since that’s been the question on their fans’ minds.

  • john t.

    No Doubt, Evanescence, Garbage, Flyleaf, the list goes on and on. it’s always the same story. do they not know what a frontwoman means? just sayin’…

    • Andrea

      Agreed. PS not just when the back-up players are guys, either — look at some of the challenges all-female groups have had over the years.

      • Kev

        The Bangles are a great all-female example of this problem.

      • D’s Advocate

        As were The Go-Gos for a time.

    • Javabooknut

      It’s true of most bands. There are few bands where the members other than the lead singer are known well. And it’s bound to be even more so with a female lead. I wouldn’t recognize anyone from Garbage except Shirley Manson and I saw them live at Irving Plaza in 1995. In the 90′s I knew more about Kurt Cobain, Scott Weiland, Eddie Vedder, David Pyrner etc than anyone ese in Nirvana, STP, Pearl Jam or Soul Asylum.

      • SafisKusai

        i can only think of one band… red hot chili peppers. Anthony is known because he is the frontman but everyone knows Flea as the bands talented bassist and John Frusciante is, although he left the band this year, one of the most talented guitarists of his time… and every one knows the drummer is will ferrell haha.

      • Rich

        RE: Garbage… Ironically the 3 guys in Garbage (the ones you don’t know) produced EVERY other band on your list. Those guys were more than content to let Shirley take the spotlight there.

    • u

      Male lead singers can be attention-hogging a-holes too (Billy Corgan, Axl Rose, David Lee Roth), let’s not act like this is a problem confined only to female fronted bands. Doing so will only encourage sexism in the rock genre. I think it’s the media who always treats bands lead by an attractive female singer as an anomaly, and as a result they end up showering all the attention on the lead singer and treat her like eye candy. That needs to change

      • Gigi Young

        Amen sister (or brother)!

      • Rush

        Yes, but it’s almost always a given that chick singers will turn into divas.

    • CB

      Pretenders too.

  • mulan

    I agree 100 percent with Jhon comment, nuff said

  • wahhh

    boooo hooooo. cry about it some more you millionaire babies. why would common folk like us feel sorry for you and your gold leafed toilet paper???

    • James

      Do you really think Paramore use gold leaf toiler paper? Paramore? They aren’t Brangelina or anything. Just cause you’re famous doesn’t mean you’re immediately rolling in obscene cash. Ke$ha didn’t get a dime for her song with Flo Rida, famous people aren’t all incredibly wealthy. Yes, I’m sure they have a good chunk of change from their time with Paramore but I hardly think they’re multi-millionaires.

      • James

        Actually, I take my statement back. I just read an article that says Josh Farro drives a Lamborghini and lives in a $5 million home. I guess they are millionaires.

      • wahhh

        Told you James! We shouldn’t cry over some hurt feelings. These guys have diamond encrusted tissues to wipe away their tears! All I have is my lousy tattered sleeve.

      • john t.

        $5 million?! hot damn!

      • anya

        $5 million home?? Geeeez. What is this douche whining about? Also it was super tacky to call out Hayley Williams who sure didn’t call them out for ditching the band.

    • Anonymous

      Oh gosh whine whine whine you people are so annoying. “hey hey look at me I’m gonna whine about how celebrities are richer than me boo hoo

  • Andrea

    This does not shock me at all — one cool and compelling frontperson and a bunch of guys = the singer gets the attention. I think in general in bands doesn’t the lead singer get most of the press, etc. not just b/c in this situation the lead singer is a woman.

  • Gaz

    Read the full statement you morons. They’re not asking for your sympathy or complaining that Hayley is getting more attention because she is the front woman.

    • James

      Agreed. Some people are so dense. They read a misleading headline and go “oh, I know what this is about” instead of actually reading the story.

    • wahhh

      Right, they are just airing their grievances and dirty laundry because they are great guys and just want to inform the fans of why they departed. If you use your brain a little, you would realize they are making a vaporous attempt to passive aggressively inform everyone of Hayley’s domineering ways. But you should go on thinking that they aren’t complaining in any way or reaching for sympathy.

      • ger

        Bingo

      • Jess

        Agreed. If the blog was truly written with the best intentions, it wouldn’t have included digs at each of the remaining members.

        1. The digs at Hayley were obvious and spiteful.
        2. The digs at Taylor insinuate that he is not talented (as he was “kicked out” of the band in the beginning for lacking skill).
        3. The digs at Jeremy for doing things the band did not agree with (i.e. insinuating he was doing something immoral or illegal – drugs) and he does not have a strong work ethic.

        I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – if they hated being in the band that much, if they hated touring that much, if they hated the image of their band that much, why didn’t the just leave? Why waste seven years doing something you hate?

  • BW

    THis too me sounded slightly different then the No Doubt situation. It seemed that the media made things the issue with no doubt. This to me actually sounds a bit more like Destiny’s Child. The different members have different management, and the lead singer’s family is involved. I just think these things are unfortunate when friendships end because of fame and success

  • Jpx

    Dummies. They are ruining good careers over stupidness.

  • Cyn522

    Don’t Speak…

    • wahhh

      …I KNOW JUST WHAT YOUR SAYING…

      • Turd Cutter

        ..SO PLEASE JUST STOP COMPLAINING..

      • u

        DON’T TELL ME CAUSE IT HURTS.

      • DON’T SPEAK

        I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING

      • psychoanalyzer

        I DON’T NEED YOUR REASONS

      • Miranda

        SO PLEASE STOP EXPLAINING

      • Josie

        DON’T TELL ME CAUSE IT HURTS

      • Maureen

        ^All of you just made my night^ ;)

  • John

    It’s about the band’s vision. While other bands may have the lead singer who dominates the headline or cover mags, it’ still a band. Sure Bono is the face of U2, but all four have equal imput on the direction and vision. No Doubt may have Gwen’s good looks, but the band writes the music and co-produces a lot of their stuff. Shirley Manson may sing for Garbage, but Butch Vig (drummer) is an at-large producer who creates the sound that made them famous. Eddie Vedder may be the concious of Pearl Jam, but all members co-write and share the same goal. The truly successful bands have always had members that bring different strengths to group. Sure the singer gets the aclaim, but the bands who stop sharing the input are the ones who split.

    • kas

      Agreed

    • Julian P

      Good point with U2, I was going to use that same example. I’ve read their autobiography “U2 y U2″ and they all get equal number of lines in the interviews that compose the book and each one has his own voice and opinion on every matter. Don’t know about the other bands you mentioned. In the end, each band manages things on it’s own way, depending on what kind of people they are.

  • musicbooks

    WHO CARES if they depart or not..
    paramore = Hayley
    what dummies..

    • not true

      Actually, Josh and Zac are really important to the band as well. Look back through Paramore’s catalog, and there’s a good chance that any song you pick will have been written by Hayley Williams and Josh Farro. Plus, Zac’s drumming is AMAZING… That being said, Hayley is the focal point of the band (as the technically accomplished and riveting lead singer), so it’s natural that she gets more attention than the guys.

    • Aimee

      paramore = Hayley?
      You know Hayley and Josh write all the songs together, right? The band is going to sound different without them.

    • Alessandra

      I believe Josh and Zac started the band and as the other poster said Josh wrote and co-wrote a lot of their songs. I haven’t heard any songs Hayley wrote all by herself but they won’t be as good as when they were a team.

  • Cry Me A River

    Boohoo. Just shut up and cash the checks while the gettin’s good. These people kill me thinking they’ve got equal input. Paramore’s teenage fan base will grow up and get sick of them soon enough, why get off the gravy train now? If it was me, I’d be trailing behind Hayley like a puppy as long as the checks cleared. Ask once-hot guys from the early 00s like Sum 41 and Good Charlotte how they’re doing now.

    • just saying….

      then it makes more sense to do something where they can feel fulfilled now moreso than later, doesn’t it? why wait until you’re fifty and have that much harder of a time trying to get a fan base when they could try and find another group of musicians to work with now ? i am curious to know what they meant by “about how her lyrics misrepresented our band and what we stood for” ?

      • Alessandra

        Idk but I know in his replies to the comments he named the songs “Playing God” and I think “Ignorance” saying that the lyrics in those two were hurtful and unnessecary to him. I still think it haf something to do with Hayley and Josh breaking up.

    • Alessandra

      GC has a new album

  • Kat76

    Paramore is a great band primarily because of Hayley’s voice & presence…this little blog tantrum of Josh Farro’s sounds like plain ol’ sour grapes to me.

    • Rush

      Really? She’s got horrible vocal technique. She belts practically every song and is horribly off key on the soft ones.

    • Voice of Reason

      Her voice grates and she ruined B.o.B.’s Airplanes. If it werent for the fact that she was an orange haired pretty front woman she wouldnt have made it. She is getting by on her looks because she couldnt sing with range if her life depended on it.

      • CB

        Ruined Airplanes?

        Jeez, she makes that record. If it weren’t for her vocals, it would be garbage. Just B.o.B. and his horrible rapping.

      • Summer

        Dumbbutt. She’s recognizable on the radio, pretty much anywhere, without us having to see her hair. Paramore haters, stop trollin’.

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