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 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
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 MTV.com 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.”
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