When Paramore played the nostalgia-driven music festival When We Were Young this past October, as Billboard pointed out, Williams told the crowd that the scene had not always been a safe place “if you were different, if you were a young woman, if you were a person of color, if you were queer. And that’s really fucked up if you think about it, because this was supposed to be the safe place, wasn’t it?”
“We don’t want to be a nostalgia band,” William tells Billboard now. “But I think what I felt was a mixture of vindication and also a lot of anger. I was really surprised that I had so much anger well up in me because I was like, ‘Wait a minute. They’re treating us like a prize now.'”
She adds, “But like, Fat Mike used to tell people that I gave good rim jobs onstage when I was 19 years old. I do not think that that’s punk. I don’t think that’s the essence of punk. And I feel strongly that without young women, people of color and also the queer community, I just think we would still be where we were then.”
Here in the present, the Paramore figurehead explained how she feels the scene’s importance lies in the fans that made the music such movement in the first place.
“Everyone’s just trying to remember better days, and I’m sitting there like, ‘They weren’t that much better,'” Williams says. “It felt like justification to be able to have the mic and to be one of the last bands that played.”
She continues, “We hung out with My Chem[ical Romance] a few minutes before we went on the last weekend, and I think they feel very similarly about how they were received. What it comes down to is that the fans are the ones with the power because otherwise, us and My Chem wouldn’t have been headlining that thing. And I think that’s beautiful.”
You can read the full in-depth Billboard feature on Paramore, which delves into the bands process making their new album, growing up together in the spotlight and more.
When We Were Young 2023 takes place this October. Paramore sixth album, This Is Why, arrives on Feb. 10. Get Paramore concert tickets here. NOFX recently released Double Album and will start their “Final Tour” later this year. Hear both bands’ latest singles below.