All We Know:
"The song 'All We Know' is about Jeremy leaving us and how we couldn't understand it, and we couldn't grasp it. It wasn't really real to us. And it's almost like a letter to him saying "I'll never forget you."" - Hayley in an interview with Paramorefans back in 2005Emergency:
"This song is about love, and not love in a good way. People have started to abuse love. I mean, it's becoming more and more common and you can see it with the divorce rates, and you can tell it the way people are treated. I see it all around and want to change it"Conspiracy:
"The meaning of 'Conspiracy' is when too many people are making decisions for you and you... I don't know, it's kind of like, I wrote it when I was, I wrote those lyrics when I was twelve or thirteen so obviously, like, you don't really control very much of your life at that age." 8.14 on this webchatFranklin:
"The track is about the town that I live in in Tennessee and how the people in that town sort of didn't even know where the band was. We were recording in Orland and not many people, including some friends, didn't even know where they were"Never Let This Go:
"This is a song about love, gone terribly wrong" - Hayley directly before this performanceThat's What You Get:
"I wrote that music sort of sitting in my bedroom and I was like 'Oh, it's pretty cool.' So I brought it to Hayley (Williams, lead vocalist) and I think we wrote it in Orlando, Florida like Hayley was writing the lyrics. She's like, 'I think I have something to this.' It's a pretty self explanatory song. The lyrics are really simple: that's what you get when you let your heart win and you don't really think with your head. You're more thinking based on a feeling." - Josh in an interview with Ultimate guitarWhen It Rains:
"'When It Rains' is about essentially the same thing that like, for pessimists is about when, like, someone lets you down because they're letting themselves down, or something, or they're not trying." 1.58 on this webcam chatLet the Flames Begin:
"'Let the Flames Begin' is about finding strength in... how do I say this? 'Let the Flames Begin' is about finding strength in your weaknesses." 2.25 on this webcam chatCrushcrushcrush:
Hayley described it as being about "the dark side of having a crush".
“Fences! Well, actually, that song is kinda about the first year and a half of being on the road. It’s, uh, about the end of the first year and a half, and how I felt like, uh, especially for me personally, I was kind of pretending to be totally okay and wasn’t… wasn’t letting, um, y’know, I didn’t want my flaws to show, if I was unhappy about something I didn’t want them to know because I wanted everyone to think that I was ‘perfect’ all the time, I was fine. And um, I don’t know, this song is me talking to myself saying, like, get over it and it’s kind of, “it’s obvious that you’re dying, you’re dying”, you know… it’s… you know. *Audience sees she’s getting a little flustered and starts applauding* It’s just about the struggle of being in the business.” - Paramore interview on MOD, Hayley talking about 'Fences' upon getting asked about its meaning at 5.10
"'Decoy' was about this kid that I dated... actually, two guys that I dated when I was younger and I knew I didn't like them, but I really liked them as friends and I liked hanging out with them. And I kind of liked this other guy a lot better, so I dated these other guys to see if I could, sort of, like someone else... it didn't work out. But, if it weren't for one of those guys, I wouldn't know some of the bands that I really like now, like American Nightmare and, I don't know, even AFI actually." 2.45 on this webcam chatBorn For This:
"It's about our fans. It's due to them that we were in a position to release a second album. This is our way of thanking them and telling them that we still need them to drive us forward." - Josh in an interview with angryape.com (interview lost due to the website being shut down)
"For petty reasons I lived under a rock in a corner for over half my teenage life. I closed myself off in order to sustain relationships with a limited amount of people. I thought I could keep on their good side if I just did this or that. I have since liberated myself to the freedom of following my own heart, instead of chasing others. When I see people I’m close too, living the same prison style life that I forced myself into, it hurts my heart. It makes me wonder why sometimes it’s so hard to clear the glass and look outside your little bubble. Go out and find adventure, live every single second. I have a favourite song for this very idea. “One Life, One Chance” (H20) but now I can sing my own version."
"One line goes, 'The truth never set me free, so I'll do it myself.' We're in a situation where we're still young and it's hard being the ones who are going out and doing something a little different to other people our age. Some friends are going to college and some are at home who are like, I don't know what I'm doing.' It's a case of where people expect things to fall into their lap. You have to take risks to find out what you want."
"This was one of the first music demos I got [for Brand New Eyes] from Josh [Farro, guitar]. He recorded the guitars and put some fake drums to it, and I thought it wasn't going to work. Ha! He even wrote the melody for the tag at the end of the chorus - you know, the part where I say 'more' about a billion times. The original lyric was 'Whoa,' of course. (We like 'whoas' a lot.) The chorus came together in about five minutes, only I had no idea what it was about. It was just a bunch of words that came to me. A month later, when I finally got everything together for the verses, it ended up being about how I feel it takes a lot of risk to live fully."
"If there’s anything I have learned from this life, from my parents, God, from experience… It’s that you MUST be open-minded. You have to accept people’s flaws or people’s differences from you. And you have to accept your differences from other people. Who said you are the standard that everyone has to measure up to? Sometimes friends become enemies, but what’s worse is when they become strangers."
“Let’s see, what hasn’t already been said about this song? The guys and I needed this song. We really did. I don’t think any of those words were going to be said had they not been written to music. We were at our practice space and no one was coming up with anything. I could tell Josh was really bummed. He looked up at us and was like, ‘Listen, guys, I’m never gonna write another song like ‘Misery Business’ so get over it.’ Then he turned around and started playing this riff. I thought, “Well, that one will do”. Then I took the demo of it with me and wrote the lyrics on the way home in my car. “Ignorance” is like word-vomit put to guitars and spastic drumming.”Playing God:
"Along with ‘Ignorance’, this song is about feeling judged or looked at through a narrow mindset. Someone just doesn’t get you - so, clearly - you’re in the wrong… I have long passed been over it. There was a point where it was close to controlling me. It’s hard to live under a microscope. Especially when these people are close enough to you, they should see with their naked eyes. This song has much more of a ‘religion’ angle or background to it than any of the other songs dealing with this subject might have. I grew up in a southern baptist church. The whole town is practically southern baptist. That denomination was a reputation for being extremely strict, impersonal and most shocking (yeah right!) hypocritical. I have always been very turned off by that approach to spirituality. Seems very routine, and again so impersonal. If you are a Christian or believe in Christ, you might know what I mean when I say that it’s important to get the log out of your own eye before pointing out a tiny splinter in your brothers! Oh and for the record, the bible is meant to be a weapon against temptation and evil…not against your friends personal choice to live outside your own limits that you set for yourself."
"All five of us met up at Zac and Josh's house and sat around their living room with two acoustic guitars and Jeremy's bass. Josh and Taylor started playing these two picking guitar lines - it felt very Jimmy Eat World-ish. Naturally, we were all into it. I had all kinds of lyrics on my old Sidekick (R.I.P.) and the ones used in this song used to be a completely different song, in my head. I had it all fast and rude sounding. But for some reason, I really wanted to reuse them for the JEW sounding song. I changed the melody around and added more once Josh came up with music for the chorus. What I love about the song is the contrast between the subject matter and the melody. The song, at its core, is very angry. I'm ripping at self-righteous people, ripping at my own bandmates and anyone who ever made me feel not good enough. But the overall tone of the song is completely different. It's laid back and really fun. By the time we'd gotten to the studio, the song still needed a bridge. So I sat down at a piano and wrote the parts. It's one of my favorite bridges on the record - I love the call and response vocal that Josh and I did. I feel like this song is one of those that we've been waiting to write for a long time."
Brick By Boring Brick:
"I believe it’s important to stay young at heart. To have faith in what might seem impossible and to have goals beyond your current abilities or temporary means. However. There is a huge difference, to me anyways, between acknowledging your dreams and never living in reality. Some people are so scared of being boring - so insecure with who they might be - that they build up this huge lie, it’s all one big distraction. For not only the on-lookers, but for their self. To me, it is a selfish way to live. A great means of defense. But selfish none the less. I’ve been hurt by this lifestyle. Hurt by people I barely know. I’ve been guilty of living this way. It’s so common. I’m glad that I’ve found some words to finally speak up about it. A brick is such a traditional, tired and plain boring representation of solidity - I wanted the whole song to have this sort of fairy-tale vibe… only to twist the point I’m trying to make in the song which is “Stop living in a fake fairy-tale”… like, “WAKE UP!” When thinking how I could really get that across in the song I decided I’d use a house, someone’s safe place, even in a fairy-tale… You can’t forge a refuge out of magic and fairy-dust. You gotta build it just as real and as solid as a stupid old brick."
"This song is about people who cover up their reality with frills and make out like they're living a fantasy life. It's one thing to have goals and dreams but it's another thing when you never know where you're standing in the real world. People can be hurt by that."
"Imagine me walking into this tiny little room where we practiced, not knowing what we were going to accomplish that day and then hearing this song within the first five minutes. I fell in love with the music to these verses from the first snare hit. It reminded me of (Pennsylvania based experimental rock band) mewithoutYou and had this darkness to it that I was crazy about. I knew that I had to write something that I thought was just as electrifying as the music or I wouldn't be happy. I didn't sleep that night. I finished the verses and the bridge and came up with several different choruses, even though I didn't like any of them. I was writing a story about a girl who escaped reality through pictures and fairy tales and anything that wasn't the real story. This way, she'd look perfect to everyone else and we'd all think that she's got it together. But being that it was all for show, it couldn't last. The lyrics in the chorus finally happened when I pictured her finally doing away with it all - burying everything she'd made up in her mind so she could face the real world for once. For the record, this song isn't autobiographical."
Turn It Off:
"In accordance with ‘Playing God’, this song is the emotional result. How I feel when I think about the stupidity displayed by so called Christians and it seems that people who don’t fall back on faith seem to have life figured out. Or at least it works fairly smoothly on the surface. What I’ve found is there is beauty in the “figuring out”… I hope I never have life figured out for myself. I want to be in a content state of learning and growing up and I hope God can always show me from the bottom there are more ways to look up."
"Everyone knows what we believe in and our personal choice to believe in Jesus. It's a struggle in the real world to do that. Sometimes you want to give up. Some of the things we've been through - things I've been through personally - in the last few years, I've felt it would be easier to not have faith in anything and see myself as alone and work at it that way. It sounds like a good idea and I don't think it's anything anyone gets over. I also think it's a hopeful lyric, too. If you find yourself at the bottom, the only way you have is to look up. It can't get any worse if you're at the bottom."
"Another bunch of lyrics from my trusty Sidekick. I wrote all the verses with no melody on the tour with did last spring with Jimmy Eat World. We were going through so much as a band - a lot of negative vibes. I felt hopeless and even faithless a lot of the time. Funny it had to be on a tour with some of our heroes. Nearly a year later, we're at our practice space and the guys are jamming this song. I just started singing these lyrics, reading them right out of my phone and making up the melodies as we all went along. It worked! I memorized the chorus progression and went home to write the chorus with my guitar in hand. Does anyone beside me think the last line in the chorus sounds like, 'When I hit the bottle?' Well, it's not. Okay?"
The Only Exception:
"Despite having no faith in love with no reservations… I have found it. I hardly believe it. You know those dreams you can barely remember when you wake up? Or the ones that feel so real? I have to say sorry to mom and dad if the first verse is embarrassing. You guys are the best parents in the world. Thanks for being selfless enough to get over the past and work together to raise me. EVERYTHING DOESN’T HAVE TO WORK OUT FOR IT TO WORK OUT."
"The first time I've been able to write a song about that. Josh brought me the music and I thought it was so beautiful. I don't know where my head was at when I heard it, but it really hit me. Josh and I wanted to write a two-minute interlude, just guitar and vocals. It's such a departure from our other songs. When I wrote the lyrics and sang them to the band, we decided to make it into a full song. I've never written lyrics like this before. The first verse is about where I think the fear to be open or vulnerable started. Ever since the first story in Kerrang!, everyone has known about my family issues and domestic whatever, it's something that's kinda stayed with me and I've learned from. I played this song to my mom and there were tears. It was kind of embarrassing."
"Before I get started on this one, let me just point out the fact that the acronym for this song is 'TOE.' All right. Josh and I wanted something short and sweet that would break up the record. He sent me some music and I was immediately inspired. After showing the guys, everyone loved it so much that they told us we had to finish it. So we did. This is the first love song I've ever written. And even if I've tried in the past, this is the first one that I'm really proud of. I like that I was able to express the fact that I have always been really afraid of love - and I still am at times - but the excitement and the hope that it exists is still very evident in the lyrics. So it's not like I'm a total cynic! Love is a good thing, kids."
"This song is about people who would rather hole up inside their box of a world than go out and see what real life has to offer. I guess it’s easier to customise your menu when you have less options to choose from. At 20 years old, I see a lot of kids my age living to sit around on the couch, smoke a bowl and watch entourages or some shit. I’m not saying everyone should go out and start a band and start to make some sort of impossible difference in the world. But it’d be nice to see our generation do something more than start a V-log."
"At 20 years old, it's the time when you're either working hard at figuring it out or you don't care at all. I'm talking about life here. The same holds true no matter what age you are, I guess. It's frustrating whenever I see people with so much potential just throw away their dreams because they seem out of reach. Working hard is a good thing. I realize that the guys and I are extremely blessed to be where we are. It probably seems a bit like I'm talking down to anyone who isn't on tour or selling records. But it's not like that at all. It took a lot of sacrifice and years of touring and working our way from the ground up to get to this point. And even if it was all taken away from us tomorrow, every bit of it was worth it."Looking Up:
"Last year when we cancelled our ‘U.K. Riot’ tour and went home, I didn’t know if we’d ever get back on the road. I sort of though we’d run the course and it was over. All because of failed relationships… friendships. We stopped caring about each other and started playing music for a living instead of living for playing music. I also reached outside my circle of friends (the band) for acceptance and the hope I could find people to really relate to. I needed real bonds - not forced ones. That’s when it became really hard. NO one understood each other anymore. Somehow between then and now, we’ve grown up a little bit. I’ve realized it’s not bad that I’m an individual. We all have our own thing and now that we go it, “I can’t believe we almost hung it up, we’re just getting started."
“Taylor and I kept bugging Josh to write a feel-good, fast-paced song. You know the kind of song that makes you roll your windows down and sing really loud even in dead-stop traffic (for those of you in L.A.)? I drove over to Josh’s one day. It was starting to get warmer outside and the sky was so clear. I didn’t get out much during this time, so it was an exceptionally good day for me. When I got there, he handed me a demo and I took off with it. While I was driving away, the sun was in my rearview mirror. I rolled my windows down. Then I realized we had that song! All the lyrics are pretty self explanatory. By the end of the writing process for brand new eyes, we were in such a different place than we’d started. I felt lucky that we’d made it through our differences and the last year. And I thought how dumb we would’ve been to give up on everything we built. This is my favorite song on the record because it’s the most honest that I could’ve been about how proud I am of Paramore.”
Where The Lines Overlap:
"Song is about long distance relationships: positive outlook. Josh and I wrote this the same day we recorded it at Rob’s. So much fun. This song will always bring the good vibes."
“Josh and I wrote this a week before we left the studio. It’s the first song we ever wrote together from start to finish. He had this guitar line that really reminded me of some old Get Up Kids song or something. It didn’t really sound like anything else we’d written before. It’s a simple song. It feels good. And that’s pretty much all there is to it.”Misguided Ghosts:
"I feel like this song explains so much of how I feel at the most random times. Finally a song that puts it all into words. Life is hard and I find it very dizzying to try and navigate. Every once in a while it’s just a bit much. Then I have to wonder who’s out there that feels just like me. If we were all put in separate categories who would I be thrown in the box with? Sometimes I wonder why every one in their right OR wrong mind would need to know me, want to be like me or even care ‘cause I’m the one that knows how confused I really am. Then there’s the YOU VS ME thing where I truly believe it’s me and just a couple of others that “really know what it’s like” and we’re just on guard constantly. This whole page is just a mess of bullshit but at least I get it!"
"Some people might think that I actually know what I'm doing but I'm just 20 years old and figuring myself out on a daily basis. The greatest thing about it is that I know now that I don't have to live up to someone else's expectations of me. It's freeing when you finally realise that you don't have to have all the answers."
“This is the redheaded stepchild of the record. No offense to any actual redheaded stepchildren—I was one. Taylor wrote the music for this while we were on tour in England. It was after we’d ‘come back’ from the break. But I think, mentally, we were all still pretty checked out. All of 2008 was pretty hard, and even though there were a lot of amazing things happening, life felt really complicated for the first time ever for me. So I wrote about that. I like it because it sort of embodies every random, confusing emotion that I’ve ever had about living in this crazy world.”
All I Wanted:
"This was one of those random lyrics that I never really pulled from any specific incident. Chad was going on tour for the first time in a while and I was loud with writing and living in Franklin. It was an ‘emo’ kind of day. I’m proud of the obscurity in the lyrics while still remaining pretty personal."
"I wish there was an actual story for this song. The whole time we were writing and rehearsing at home, I was in this state where I wouldn't come out or go out unless it was to write with the guys. I spent so much time alone in my apartment that I think it started to mess with me and just make me really sad. One day, I went to practice and Taylor [York, rhythm guitar] was playing this song. It was another one of his. It hit me and I just started writing whatever came to mind. 'All I Wanted' almost didn't make the record. I can't remember why we didn't think it would work. We would've been pissed right now if it wasn't there."
"Hayley told Rolling Stone that the rest of the band initially thought they were "harsh" until she explained the premise of the novel. "Then, I think everyone just really locked on the whole vibe of the song, and did a great job getting the whole picture of the book.
I Caught Myself:
"'I Caught Myself' is about not being able to decide between moving forward and going backwards." 3.55 on this webcam chatHello Cold World:
"Hello Cold World, I think... after we went through some crazy stuff last year and the beginning of this year, it was like... I just felt, and sometimes I still feel, like I just kinda don't know... you know, when things are so familiar for so long and then all of a sudden it's not that way anymore you kind of have to figure out "What is life?" all over again, so that's what it's about. It's also just about realising that the world is sometimes crap. Not that that's very helpful!"Fast In My Car
"'Fast in My Car' is actually more about people who can't let go of our past, and the people who can't see outside of the big, fat shadow of Paramore's soap opera. It's about just wanting to be left alone enough to grow and move forward and just enjoy where we are."
"We were living in LA when we made the record," she said, "and we were writing it out there too, and one night, I had, like, a Honda Hybrid car, and we pile into it, and there's only two seats, and so Taylor [York's] laid out in the back of it; we're all trying to fit into it to go get sushi. And it felt like one of those nights, back in 2004, when were headed to our first shows, and we all just piled in to a station wagon with all our stuff. It felt like that again, and it felt so good, so I wanted to write a song about us getting away together. Piling up in a car and getting gone."Now
"Not really sure what else to say except for we love this song. It just feels like the perfect way to start this new journey we are embarking on not only as a band but as a movement. To show people that you can lose battles but come back and win full on wars. You can rise from ashes. You can make something out of even less than nothing. The only thing you have to do is keep moving forward!"
"The idea of the song is reaching forward, moving forward towards something more positive, and I feel like we did come from a tumultuous time as a band, and we're really trying to move forward,"Grow Up
"There seemed to be this thread in my brain about people who just really need to grow up and maybe open up their mind a little bit. And for me, as a girl, I've always sort of done things the way that I wanted to do them, and sometimes you get backlash for that. And I think it's really important just to love who you are. I mean, I learn it every day; anyone who says they don't have self-esteem issues is a bold-faced liar. It's really about self-empowerment and learning to leave those negative opinions behind and sort of look at those people right now and say 'Grow Up.'"Daydreaming
"I had this kind of Tony-in-West-Side-Story-moment when he sings about how something is coming. He doesn't know what it is, but it's going to be great. A lot of the new songs came out of that. They're about needing to find whatever's next."Anklebiters
"To me there was this thread throughout the album of wanting to be able to grow up and move forward. And when you do that in your life, there's always people that are going to try to hold you back. Or they're going to try to tell you, 'You don't need to do this, because this is the right way to go.' Or you don't need to grow up, because this or that. And it's about those people, and it's about not listening to that but listening to your heart, and what do you want out of life? Who do you want to be? Versus all this outside influence that I think we get so caught up in, especially in the age of the Internet and all the different opinions that we hear so loudly every day."
"['Anklebiters' is about] embracing who you are, your differences and quirks. Some people wanna pull you down and say you're wrong, but you keep fighting and say, 'No, this is who I am.'"Last Hope
"There were moments over the last year and a half that I really was just hanging by a thread. I felt like my purpose was gone. The song is about how I crawled out of it."Still Into You
"'Still Into You' is definitely a love song. It's definitely happy. But to me anyway - and obviously I wrote it so maybe I'm biased, but - it's not a sappy love song. We wrote 'The Only Exception' a while ago, and that song is definitely like a slow love ballad, and this is totally not that song. I'm excited for that! We've never done that before, and honestly I don't have a whole lot of experience writing love songs, or anyways lyrics that are like this."Proof
"Seeing one of my best friends [bassist Jeremy Davis] so happily married does inspire me in a great way to keep believing in love. It's hard, man! I really have to fight the realist in me at times. Nonetheless, there are a couple of really fun love songs on this album."Hate To See Your Heart Break
Hayley on writing the song for Taylor: "There's a helpless feeling when your friend's going through life and they're sad. We've all been friends for so long and it's really strange to think about all the things we've been going through things together as I do now. So I think it was a new vulnerability we were all willing to show each other. That took me by surprise."