Paramore responds to departing band member's exit statement: 'Yeah, it hurts'

Hayley-WilliamsImage Credit: Michael Buckner/WireImage.comIn music, there are quiet, no-fault divorces, and then there are splits like Paramore’s: the unpretty kind. After remaining members Hayley Williams, Jeremy Davis, and Taylor York announced the departure of brothers Josh and Zac Farro (the group’s guitarist and drummer, respectively) on Dec. 18 in a blog post littered with upbeat phrases like “We look forward to our best times, and we hope you will go there with us,” things quickly devolved.

In a lengthy screed posted to his own personal blog, Josh Farro painted a far less harmonious picture of the split, one instigated by Atlantic Records, Williams’ family, and her management controlling and misusing the band’s other members for her singular benefit.

“Her dad would constantly threaten to ‘pull the plug’ on the whole band if we complained about anything,” he wrote of his ex-bandmate (and also, ex-girlfriend), “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.”

During the recording of Brand New Eyes, he said, “Hayley presented lyrics to us that were really negative and we didn’t agree with. For example, ‘the truth never set me free,’ which contradicts what the Bible says in John 8:32 (‘and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall sat you free’). We fought her about how her lyrics misrepresented our band and what we stood for, but in the end she got her way. Instead of fighting her any longer, we decided to just roll over and let it go.”

Round three now comes courtesy of MTV, which traveled to the Tennessee to speak to the three still-standing members of the band, and have put together an online special, “Paramore: The Last Word,” due to stream live on this Friday, January 7, at 4 p.m. ET.

In a video available now on the site, Williams responds to Farro’s statements carefully, saying, in part,”I don’t know if I got a phone call or an e-mail, but I woke up to it, basically, and that sucked, and I was not happy. And yeah, it hurts, because what we were told was that they weren’t happy, they didn’t want to do this, and you can’t be mad at someone for not feeling something. … But then when it really became about all these other things, I was very surprised and kind of felt led on, almost. We’ve been doing this for six, seven years now. I don’t think any of this has been in vain, for any of us … and I don’t think anyone should discredit it.”

Added York: “It was a drag. … Once we released our statement, we all knew they would probably release something. So I think we were all kind of bracing ourselves. You know, breakups are hard, and there’s a lot of feelings so we kind of, in a way, we expected there to be something weird. So, yeah, it was really hard to read, just because it seemed like a lot of the stuff was pretty irrelevant to what happened. I think that was the weird thing, ’cause it just didn’t seem really necessary.”

“You feel every single type of emotion possible when something like this happens with someone that either was — or is — very close to you, you just feel everything, all at once,” Williams continued. “I’ve never felt so … I don’t know, I couldn’t even figure out how I felt. But after realizing, like Taylor said, that it was kind of going to happen this way, you’ve just got to know that what’s important is the three of us are still here, and that we want to do this, and that’s the positive part about this.”

Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More on Paramore from
Josh Farro on Paramore departure: ‘We’ve always been treated as less important than Hayley.’
Paramore confirms departure of guitarist, drummer

Comments (67 total) Add your comment
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  • Will

    … “which contradicts what the Bible says in John 8:32 …”

    Oh geez.

    • MsSuniDaze

      No kidding! Are they serious?

    • amanda

      yeah, seriously. It’s a line in a song, an emo, quasi-punk, pop/rock and roll song. Those boys need to join a Christian band if they are going to object to such a benign phrase.
      Also, they were in a band fronted by a(n attractive crazy-haired) female. Did they really not expect it to be “all about” her?

      • theBigE

        Originally Paramore was billed as a Christian band in some markets. (Before the lead singer’s topless pix). I respect the former members for their strong convictions.

      • Soonergirl

        I think I had read that they were all Christians, but weren’t officially a “Christian band.” Meaning, they didn’t want to be limited to Christian radio. So, maybe in the past their lyrics complimented their faith…but not recently. I could see how that would cause problems if they didn’t see eye to eye.

      • Will J

        Seriously guys? Its just a line to try and get ppl interested. Thats all. Theres no need to go all Old Testament on her with the wrath of God for expressing a feeling she’s had.

      • Rich

        I used to like them…until I JUST found out they were supposed to be a Christian band….sorry, I am an atheist and christianity is for fools

      • tarzan

        Dude… Rich. I’ve been an atheist since I heard Paramore’s first album and I’ve loved there music from then until now.

        You have to learn not to be a closed-minded bigot and just love great talent. Their Christian side has always been pretty obvious, especially in the earlier music. I didn’t care. I just thought they were great.

        Seriously, get over yourself. People like you make the rest of the atheist community look bad.

    • lee

      good for them!

      • ty

        rich, atheism is for fools. atheism is quite an arrogant, unfounded belief. your ignorance infuriates me.

      • Nick

        @ty. Er…what? are you sure you ment to write “atheism is quite an arrogant, unfounded belief”? thats kind of Christianity’s thing.

    • filmex

      Hayley should remind these American Taliban wannabes of the old Texas proverb, “Lord, help me to seek the truth but spare me the company of those who claim to have found It.”

      Oh yeah, the guy who murdered John Lennon was also quite adept at quoting scripture.

  • Sarah

    Interesting how the remaining members of Paramore don’t refute the statements made by the Farro brothers.

    • mickey

      Perhaps they will verbally refute it in the full special that is supposed to air. However, the fact that York and Davis are still part of the band kind of refutes it, in my opinion. If the guys were made to feel like nothing more than hired hands who are there to support Haley, then it would seem that Taylor and Jeremy would want out too. I have always sensed that Josh was not happy with Haley being the focal point of the band. The sad part is, it isn’t really Haley’s fault. That is just what the media does with lead singers, especially one who is the only female and that vocally talented. I think Josh’s frustration at the attention Haley has been given is skewing things a bit and making Haley into a villain.

      • Daw Johnson

        Or Taylor York and Jeremy Davis realize that no one has any real clue who they are (or would even recognize them on the street) and that being part of “The Hayley Williams Project” is their only real opportunity to continue touring the globe and making money?

        Regarding a lot of what else you said, the point here is that Hayley Williams herself puts on this front that essentially implies, “Even though I could be a big deal as a solo artist, I’m a team player and only care about the band.” The Farros’ statement basically said, “She isn’t sacrificing everything–the band operates like a solo rock project in the vein of Avril Lavigne’s setup.”

        There’s a difference between realizing Hayley is the “star” and feeling as if it’s acceptable for Hayley’s DAD to be calling the shots for a band that she didn’t even start.

  • AAA

    The thing about band breakups that make me laugh is that they whine about the lead singer getting all the star treatment. But in truth the singer is the most important part of the band, without a good lead you wouldn’t have made it in the first place. Big babies, any small band would give anything to have been in the same position as the Farro brothers.

    • hc

      Doesn’t the song writer play a pretty big part in the success of the band? And doesn’t having musicians that are good count for something? And, no, some bands would rather produce good music than be Paramore. Your entire comment reflects a really juvenile and shallow perspective on the world.

      • AAA

        actually i think any musician would love to have a small bit of success and a small following of fans. that’s the point of music to make a connection with an audience and to make people happy. sorry if that seems shallow to you.

      • just saying….

        you just contradicted yourself. a “small bit of success” and a a “connection with an audience” can be had even if you are just a local band in the burbs and not a nationally known act. i personally don’t care about whether music fits bible verses or not. but if that’s important to them and if the band didn’t represent them anymore, then it’s great that they all parted ways. especially with something that’s supposed to be an art form, noone should feel compelled to create something that feels dishonest to them.

    • AAA

      now they can get back to their calling in the exciting food service industry

      • BBB

        Many a great band has come and gone without ever wanting anykind of an audience and whose aim was not to make anybody happy. Ex: Throbbing Gristle, Big Black, etc.
        Some of the most influential bands of all time.

      • Will J

        LMAO, there’s a band called Throbbing Gristle? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    • Color Me Impressed

      Hahaha, “in truth the lead singer is the most important part of the band”! That is by far the most shallow, ignorant statement I’ve heard this week!

      • AAA

        why? take any of your favorite bands, remove the lead singer and see how good they are without them.

      • matterlyb

        I won’t say that the singer is the “most important” part of a band but the singer is most definitely the most recognized component of a band. If the rest of the band doesn’t have the emotional maturity or security in themselves as players to deal with that, then there will be trouble. This same scenario almost destroyed No Doubt, and it definitely destroyed the original lineup of Van Halen. Eddie and Alex had such huge egos and couldn’t stand all the attention Roth was getting, so they booted him.

      • Daw Johnson

        AC/DC did just fine with a new lead singer (Back in Black).

        What about when Phil Collins took over vocals for Genesis?

    • Lola

      They should at least be happy that they were featured on the album covers, unlike Kim Hill of the Black Eyed Peas, and that other guy from Green Day.

  • Spencer

    I agree with Sarah. They didn’t even refute what was said, which means its probably all true. In that case, F*** this chick. Paramore was a 6 year fake.

    • *lg*

      took the words right out of my mouth dude

    • Skip182

      um, it’s called not wanting to start more s***. it’s something grown-ups practice.

      • *lg*

        So telling the truth is something grown up’s don’t practice? Warped world you live in

  • Kalie

    Sounds a little like a crybaby to me. I find it interesting that this guy felt the need to blog about his reasons for leaving the band and complain about everything before they had a chance to release any kind of statement. Plus, he’s complaining about her lyric ‘The truth never set me free’? Come on, dude. It’s very unprofessional to air your dirty laundry like that. The public does not need to know every single problem you had w/ your band mates.

    • BW

      Actually he blogged after the rest of the band released a statement.

  • matterlyb

    Oh, boo hoo. Your cute, talented frontwoman gets more attention than you. Instead of complaining about it, how about you thank your lucky stars for the millions of CDs and concert tickets you’ve sold? Jeez. What a couple of babies.

    In ANY band, the singer gets all the attention. That’s the way it is. If your poor little ago can’t take it then the music industry isn’t for you.

  • Confused

    Paramore is a sh!t band and that Hayley chick always seemed like a b!tch to me.

    • Emma

      Shut the f**ck up. If you don’t like the band, then don’t F**cking look stuff up about them!!1

      • @Emma


      • ???


  • savonarola

    I like how the article says “remaining trio” but the only picture is of Hayley. That pretty much says it all.

    • rose

      yep…i agree

    • dayhere

      hayley didn’t tell them to post only her picture. It’s the publisher who did it. Once again, let us not all forget how media plays a major role in this scene. It’s not hayley’s fault the media or their audiences put greater attention on her. It’s not hayley herself who made everything seem as is ‘it’s all about hayley’.

  • tabata

    so, once more, religion divide people. and fanatics create hate. it’s strange that farros brothers didn’t try to burn the pagan who don’t think like them.

  • Wut?

    why cant we all just agree that Paramore is awful….. but to be fair, if they hired asthetically similar band members to replace them… would anyone notice?

  • Zach

    So they’re religious Christians, but they’re the ones acting immaturely, in poor taste. Hmm.

    • Jenn

      Well, to be fair, I think they are simply being honest about it. The remaining band members have PR-damage control .. they are trying to retain fans, etc. Those brothers are don’t have to worry about losing fans/money – they already did that when they walked away from the band. So, of the two groups, I’m inclined to believe the brothers.

      • rose

        me too..i dont believe what taylor said now cos hes obviously there for his own good now..knowing that he was closer to zac that anyone in the band and the fact that he met the farros before he met hayley so..thats not a good friend.. i dont understand why people are saying the farro bros statement was any less professional/diplomatic than the one from the band. probably because they were telling the whole truth and not sugar-coating ****

  • Yassi

    Hi everyone. It sucks, Paramore is my favorite band and Josh and Zac were so cool. I respect their decision to quit, but their statement (it was written by both of them) changed everything. Now, i don’t know, i kinda feel betrayed by them, especially by Hayley, cause they weren’t as perfect as i saw them before, they didn’t start in a very happy way like Hayley told people. And it’s true that she had a lot more attention, cause you know, she has personnality, she’s talented, she’s funny and sweet and she’s the singer (and yes, the media just judges the singer of a band like the most important component and it’s stupid), but i hate it when i see posters of them and Hayley is ALWAYS in the front or making other faces, you know, just standing out from the guys. And i hate it when in interviews, she’s the only one who talks or almost, and the guys are always standing silently in the back. She always had so much attention, that yeah, i understand them for leaving.
    And you know, for the lyrics, it’s a little too much, but as a Christian, Hayley should’ve understand the guys to don’t accept this line.

    • Katie

      Umm… thanks for the tween take on the situation. Now, go brush your teeth and kiss your Bieber poster before bedtime.

    • Tor

      Josh & Co. seemed to prefer having Hayley be the spokesman for the band, at least in the beginning. In the few Farro interviews I’ve seen, he comes off as uncomfortable.

  • Emma

    Josh Farro is a jerk. He should have flipping realised that the lead singer of ANY band is usually the one who is focussed on!!! Also, about the lyrics of the song “Playing God” being “contradictory to the bible”, HAYLEY WAS JUST WRITING WHAT SHE, ALONG WITH THE REST OF THE BAND, WAS FEELING AT THE TIME!!!! It’s also about time that Zac gives out HIS side of the story.

    • Sean

      It’s interesting though, because, in my opinion, New Found Glory is one of the bands that has done the best job of NOT drawing all the focus to the lead singer, and Hayley dated NFG guitarist Chad Gilbert, so…. maybe she could have learned a bit from them.

    • wasabi

      Obviously two members of the band weren’t feeling that way at the time.

  • fgsg

    Google in the input: ( )you can find many brand names, even more surprising is that he will sell you the unexpected o(∩_∩)o

  • D

    Guess these guys realized too late they’re just industry roadkill in someone’s path to make Hayley Williams the “capital S” star of the show. If they want to know what’s next for them, maybe they can talk to Tamar Davis, Nikki and Nina Taylor, LaTavia Roberson, LaToya Luckett, Farrah Franklin and Michelle Williams – the revolving door of disposable backups Matthew Knowles screwed over in his starmaking quest to build the machine we now know as Beyonce. When Williams went solo this past summer with her feature on “Airplanes,” they should have all seen the writing on the wall.

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