Paramore - Redefining Pop Punk
Places outside the US, UK and Australia probably saw the monumental increase in Paramore merchandise after the movie release of Twilight. The songs Decode and I Caught Myself became prominently featured in the film’s soundtrack. Undoubtedly though, with the band member’s intense passion for music, they would probably take offense at being known only as the band that sang for Twilight.
The band’s music is mainly categorized as pop punk and emo. Unlike other famous punk acts like Avril Lavigne however, the band is almost decidedly moving against the grain of traditional punk. There is nothing of the formulaic, whiny, grating attitude that characterizes typical punk. The band’s music is altogether enthusiastic, deeply emotional and upfront.
The level of maturity of the group’s music is surprising considering that they can perhaps be regarded as kids on stage. Although the members have aged in the six years that they have been around, they started when they were barely teens. Before there were Paramore albums that sold like hotcakes, there were only these kids practicing in a garage. Lead vocalist Hayley Williams was only 14 and drummer Zac Farro was only 12 when the group first came together. They were joined by Josh Farro on lead guitars, Jeremy Davis on bass guitar and Jason Bynum on rhythm guitar. Although there was an initial hesitation over Williams’ gender, she has stayed on consistently as lead vocals.
The band first gave the public a taste of their own brand of music through their debut release All We Know is Falling in 2005. This was inspired by the emotional experience of Jeremy Davis leaving the group. Although this album is perhaps the closest to formulaic pop punk, it did not immediately lead to astounding success for the group. Davis eventually rejoined his band members after only a few months of being away. Jason Bynum was replaced by Hunter Lamb who also soon left to get married.
Things started to pick up in 2007 when the band opened the year with the release of Riot!. Between the two Paramore albums, this one saw better reception, entering the Billboard 200 at the number 20 slot. The album eventually went platinum in the US. Taylor York took on rhythm guitar duties from Hunter Lamb. From here onward, there was no other way but up for the band.
The group saw greater visibility and recognition in 2008 when they hit the February cover of Alternative Press after having been voted by readers as Best Band of 2007. On the same month, they received a nomination for Best New Artist in the Grammy Awards. By May 2008, the group had embarked on a tour called The Final Riot. Shortly after the end of the tour in September, two of their songs were released for Twilight. In September 2009, the group released Brand New Eyes which to date is the band’s most chart topping release.
There is no stopping the deluge of Paramore merchandise. This is despite the rift rumors that have haunted and continue to haunt the group. Past rumored conflict revolved around the media’s focus on Hayley Williams. By all current appearances though, the group is as solid as platinum.