Hayley Williams: 'I Don't Need to Swear to Be Cool'

Paramore singer comments on her "talking about normal life problems."

Ultimate Guitar

Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams has stated in a recent interview with NPR that she doesn't need to write about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll to be cool. And, as NME notes, you won't find her swearing in a Paramore song any time soon either:

"I don't really feel like I need to say anything about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. I don't need to swear. And I'm not saying that I'm a perfect angel, but I think it would feel very disingenuous - like, 'This is me trying to be cool. Maybe we'll grab a couple older fans if I just put this swear word in'. I want to talk about normal life problems."

The singer also commented on how, in spite of the Paramore's recent troubles, she had decided not to dissolve the band because she thought about how others would feel in her position:

"There were definitely days that I was like, 'Am I doing the right thing?'", she said. "But then you kind of look over at your friends and realise there's probably a million kids that are sitting at school, wishing they were doing what you're doing."

Paramore's latest, self-titled album is released today (April 8th).

64 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I'm not having a go, but I'm genuinely curious if anyone on this site is a fan of her or her band.
    Im fan of her looks. Hate her music tho
    I wouldn't say that I dislike her or her music. mainly that my opinion of her music is similar to my opinion on hamburgers. I like hamburgers, and I admit that they taste pretty good, but I wouldn't call them my favourite food.
    Yea. Well tbh i said it wrong. I dont hate paramore. Just not for me. I dont mind someone else liking it. And besides im commenting on paramore related article anyway. Silly JuteJute
    I like their first 2 albums. Don't really care about their recent efforts.
    I get some weird looks when I have my music on shuffle for poker night or whatever and my usual rotation of prog metal is followed up without apology or irony by crushcrushcrush or something. I do like some of their music, it's fun to listen to.
    well I hate pointing fingers out but there is a guy on this site called paramore_fans.
    Probably not. Generally, a lot of the site cherishes music that breaks boundaries and challenges the norm (me included). There's not a lot that has ever felt 'fresh' about this group.
    Judging by the comments and general direction of most articles on this site I heartily disagree with the thought that people here listen to music "that breaks boundaries and challenges the norm."
    I'm not a huge fan, but I do listen on occasion. But I like alot of different types of music, so I can't say I'm embarrassed about it.
    Not a fan of paramore but, I don't mind their music. Wouldn't buy their album or anything.
    matteo cubano
    i didn't even notice they didn't sing about sex drugs and swear until she said this like a douche. I respect bands for being who they are and their lyrics reflecting their character but this has a lot of arrogance to say "I don't need to ____ to be cool."
    This is why rock n roll is dying, everybody wants to be safe. I'm not saying she needs to drop 1300 ****s into a song but the last thing Paramore do is challenge ideas and piss people off (at least not in a good way). But whatever, I guess some people like it
    "I don't really feel like I need to say anything about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. I don't need to swear." Hardly unique. If this were the 80's LA glam scene, that might be seen as different, but "talking about real life problems" is hardly a distinguishing characteristic in a time where the vast majority of lyrics in the alternative music world (exceptions withstanding) are of an introspective, down to Earth nature
    Maximus Rogue
    I don't care if people swear in songs or not as long as they don't make a big deal about it. And censoring certain words in a song only amplifies them. Ban all censorship, we know whats being said, we know what titties, ****, ass and dick looks like. No need to cover them up. (specially the titties)
    I'm sorry but was there an outcry for more cursing or something? I doubt any fan was like "We want more curse words in your songs, and while you're at it talk more about sex and drugs!"
    I don't see the big issue here. She likes to sing about safe topics. OK. It's not some big news but it's also doesn't have to be some weakness or something. She didn't say it's out of some anti-swearing thing, it's just something she doesn't feel needs to be in her lyrics. I don't think they would magically get better if she reversed that anyways. Funny I see the same community constantly criticizing hip-hop for mainly talking about sex and drugs.
    I'm a fan, and I think Hayley is a really good singer based on Paramore's performance on Jimmy Kimmel:
    That said, I haven't really listened to any new stuff.
    And what happens when we intentionally don't write about "sex and drugs and intentionally steer away from swearing because god forbid there is any kind of angst or feeling in our music??" This, of course: Whoa, I never meant to brag But I got him where I want him now Whoa, it was never my intention to brag To steal it all away from you now But God, does it feel so good 'Cause I got him where I want him now And if you could then you know you would 'Cause God, it just feels so It just feels so good So so terrible.
    The funniest thing about that song is that Paramore is a variation of the word Paramour, which means "A lover. esp the illicit partner of a married person" A+ Hayley.
    But she doesn't mind singing about relationship problems how ever many times. Yawn.
    Like 90% of popular acts out there now and before sing about relationship problems. I guess it's sort of the universal topic since everyone likes to over-dramatize it.
    This is Hayley Williams, not Taylor Swift.
    So only the only female to ever sing about relationship problems is Taylor Swift?
    Crushcrushcrush, misery business, the only exception, ignorance... The list goes on and on
    as much as I agree with this I have to say that the only exception was a song I actually liked from them
    Yeah, but the difference is Taylor Swift knows she's that person.
    hmm, on that note I can honestly say your new single stinks! sorry
    Maybe her words could be more interesting if their latest album had even a touch of coolness.
    Not a fan of Paramore at all, but as for her statement about not feeling the need to swear or talk about sex, drugs, etc., I really do respect her for that...songs dont need to follow that rock and roll trend, and it sure as hell doesnt make you "cooler" to add irrelevant swears with no meaning at all...that's like whose rappers who rap only about being "gangsta", bitches and hoes, cars and drugs...I mean really? Music is an art, not something that should be used to try and be "cool" with immature rebellious teens who think it's so cool to hear the 'F word'..pfft!
    What's with all the hate? Yes their recent stuff isn't all that great, but Riot! and Brand New Eyes are both very good albums. I enjoy their music, and I love her lyrics. I'm not a big fan of swearing in music because I feel like it's a wasted word the can be replaced by another word with more meaning. There are songs that it works in, and some songs that need it, but if you don't write that type of music, why waste a word in a song with garbage?
    I loved Riot, and my favourite Paramore release is The Final Riot live album. Since then, I just can't get into anything they've done.
    I don't know much about the band, just that her writing is terrible. She has been accused of trying to be like Gwen Stefani in the past, right? Even the cover of the Riot! album looks just like the cover of the No Doubt Hey Baby album. What's lamer than having to swear in your lyrics to "be cool"??? - Talking about how you don't have to swear in your lyrics to be cool.
    Nero Galon
    The last part got me a little. It doesn't sound like shes 100% happy with what shes doing. Like shes just doing what shes doing because many others would jump at the chance. Whether thats a good or bad thing I don't really know.