When I was 17, I started writing lyrics to a song that would later be called “Let The Flames Begin”. It was on our sophomore album, RIOT! I never felt like it really sounded as meaningful on record as it seemed when we played it live. Over the years, we added on and added on to it. Not only is it one of our favorites to play at shows but one of the most highly requested live songs by… ahem… you guys. Maybe it’s just because the song is heavier than most our other songs or maybe it’s cause it feels really emotional to sing some of those words. Either way, it means a lot to all of us.
The lyrics touched on the way I saw us (people who were around my same age at the time) and how we fit in to society… and sort of lightly dusted the topic of the human condition. How broken we must seem from the outside, to whoever happens to be looking in. I have always had that deep sort of hurting feeling that happens when you hear a tragic story of someone young who is diagnosed with a terminal sickness, or when you see someone homeless and begging on the side of the road who you could give a couple dollars to but could never really help… but I get it all the time… just about the world at large. Because I feel, truly and deeply, that we are all searching for some kind of cure or some kind of quick fix, all the time. Always filling a void. I do this every day even when I’m not aware. The condition of being alive and breathing. “How can I please me?” It’s not with pessimistic eyes that I see all these things, I just believe it’s realistic. For some people, there is faith that more is at work than just the brokenness of all of us. For others, it’s enough just to know that we try to be the best human we can be and make whatever difference we can. Whatever your pleasure, belief, sorrow or triumph… we are all human and we are all constantly facing some sort of brokenness. Of the heart, of finances, of family, of dreams… it is real pain and it can’t be ignored.
Sometimes the only thing that gets me through a hard time is knowing that we are all (somewhat) in the fight together. Even as we might feel like we’re fighting alone, there billions of other humans doing exactly the same thing. In whatever their respective fights may be. I don’t know how it helps but really, it does. To know that no one has it figured out. It’s a bit of a drag but it’s just good comfort.
Seeing as even a good 6 years later I still feel all these things about life and being human, it probably should’ve been obvious that we’d write another song with a similar message for the new album. This time around I feel like it comes across a bit more hopeless… but actually that’s what excites me the most about it. To me, it’s getting to the bottom of what you thought was a bottomless pit… and that’s where you surrender yourself to whatever is next. That’s what billions of other people are doing right now. Hitting the bottom only to lift their gaze up and figure out how to get off of the ground again. Yeah, knowing that definitely helps.
It’s strange that a song about all this could go on what is about to be the most positive and most intoxicatingly fun Paramore album we have ever written… but somehow it works. And anyways, anyone who knows me knows I can only write so many happy lyrics til I have to start venting about something else again.
This is long and it’s late and I hope it makes sense to anyone if not all of you who actually read it.
Hayley also posted this on the band's livejournal, along with some replies to fans. Here's some of the more informing replies she gave:
Dav_dump's comment: Great post, love reading all the full meanings of your songs.
LTFB is one of my favourite live songs, I love that it's a little bit darker and heavier. I have a feeling this new song will be a new fave! :)
Not long till Leeds fest now! Are you excited!? Will we hear any new songs there??
Paramoreband's reply: We haven't written a set list yet but we've been working on production and I'm really really excited for Leeds!! Think it's going to be a huge deal for us just to come back to one of the biggest venues we could play in England and show people what we've got after all this time away.
howhighvoices comment: The "oh father" part of LTFB gives me chills, that all i have to contribute to this. is there a deadline as to when the album is released?
Paramoreband's reply: There are alllllways deadlines in the music industry. We don't talk about em though ;) like to keep things free and creative.
heartssopure comment: nobody will ever understand anything in the world, as hard as we try. lately, because of a friend, i've thought of how careless people can be about certain things. you know those posts around tumblr like "reblog if you hate cancer" or the ones on fb that's for women to post the color of their underwear or relationship status as a fruit and it's a chain letter to all the women you're friends with to spread awareness of cancer? i sent one out and a friend of mine mocked it, i usually hold things in but her being snarky sparked something in me. the internet is such a powerful tool to spread the word of anything, and my mom has had breast cancer 4 times, so as little as it is or "stupid" as it is to spread something like that on the internet, it's a huge thing, but also being a female it's important. i just never get how people could be so careless. or when people wish cancer or something else terrible on someone else as if its a huge joke. we all work hard and fight different battles, i hate dealing with rude people at work because they tend to take their bad days out on us, i don't know what's making them so upset about life, but who's to say something bad isn't happening in mine either?
because of my mom i've had a different outlook on life. in fact, i've had a cousin fight leukemia, my cousin passed away the day after his 10th birthday from brain cancer, and my grandma just passed away from cancer. every experience i've had because of a family member dealing with this has made me look at the world differently. i try to be sensitive to other people, i try to smile at people whenever i can. i try to be a good person overall, sometimes it's really hard, but you really never know who is going through what. i don't know if any of this really matters in relation, to what you're feeling, but i guess we should all be nice to anybody we come by in our lives or in passing on the internet.
Paramoreband's reply: you seem like a really strong person. it's important to not let anyone push you around and it's important to speak out truth. what matters to you is important even if your friends don't understand. even if no one understands. hold tight to your convictions!
thoughtswasted's comment: Thanks for this this post. I am in recovery from drug addiction and this is perfect for my situation. What you said reminds me a lot of Turn It Off. For me to get better I gotta hit my rock bottom to realize my potential and that I have so much to live for. Also! I just got a tattoo I wanted to share with you! Thanks for the inspiration! *picture of 'Beware of you' tattoo*
Paramoreband's reply: love it. honored.
and yeah, the whole theme of all the songs being mentioned in this thread is extremely close to my heart and always has been. even as a young teenager it was something i felt aware of. it's important to stay reminded that no physical thing or material gain will ever satisfy our souls need for something much purer than "stuff". what fulfills us is a certain faith (and this goes whether you believe in God or not, in my opinion) or it's a certain hope. And above all those things, a certain love.
Imnotccy's comment: LTFB is probably my favorite song live, all the passion in it has always been so inspiring. Can't wait to see what you guys came up with :)
How's it been working with Ilan Rubin?
Paramoreband's reply: ilan is absolutely incredible. we are blessed to have him be a part of this album.
Beautiful post. Hayley's writing never fails to make me think.