All We Know Is Falling, the debut release from Paramore on Fueled By Ramen, marks the arrival of a truly enthralling new rock band. Powered by buoyant melodies and powerful hooks, the Tennessee-based outfit's debut is made indelible by the irresistible force of singer Hayley Williams. The 16-year-old vocalist's earnest emotion and strikingly confident range and phrasing set Paramore apart from the pack, with the joyous noise of songs such as "My Heart" and "Here We Go Again" evincing a passionate positivism that can't help move every listener in its path.
Raised in Meridian, Mississippi, Hayley has been raising her voice for as long as she can remember - singing and writing songs for talent contests and local commercials. At 13, her family moved to Franklin, Tennessee, where she made friends with two brothers - guitarist Josh and drummer Zac Farro. It wasn't long before the two teenaged musicians invited Hayley to sing in their fledgling band.
The Farros helped open up Hayley's musical horizons, introducing the talented young singer to a new world of music, from classic rock bands such as U2 and the Cure to such modern outfits as Sparta and Failure.
"It was all so new for me," she says. "It really challenged me to use my voice in different ways. It was also good for me as a writer because I realized that lyrics didn't have to be simple pop stuff; they could be harder and deeper."
The band, which also now featured Hayley's next door neighbor Jason Bynum on rhythm guitar, adopted the moniker Paramore and started performing and recording almost immediately. They played at local gatherings and their school talent show, then quickly began performing at rock venues in and around Franklin. The combination of musical energy between brothers, Jason and Hayley's bold charisma earned them instant attention.
Paramore concentrated on the next phase of their musical journey, spending the summer and early fall in a Nashville studio cutting their first real demos. "It was great," Hayley says. "We've learned a lot since then. I think we'd probably do a lot of things very differently now. But it was a great experience and I'm grateful we had the opportunity."
With many labels anxious to sign them, the band decided to release their debut album through Fueled By Ramen. Huge fans of many of the label's artists like Fall Out Boy and The Academy Is..., Paramore felt there was no better label to release All We Know Is Falling. "Fueled By Ramen is an amazing label," Hayley says. "Some of our favorite bands are on Fueled by Ramen. We knew that they would know exactly how to carry out the vision for our band and music."
After having seen Paramore perform only once, Fueled By Ramen's founder John Janick knew he had to sign the band. "I seldom find a band that I feel compelled to work with after just one encounter" John says. "I knew that I had to put out the Paramore record after I met the band. Their talent, sincerity and dedication exceed that of many bands."
In March 2005, Paramore temporarily relocated to sunny Orlando, Florida for a couple of months. With extensive touring obligations in their immediate future, the band felt they needed to fully hone in on all aspects of their musical life before recording All We Know Is Falling.
"We wanted to get away from the distractions of home and just practice, write songs, record and do shows - all the things that a band does," Hayley says.
Josh adds, "We missed home a lot. But it was awesome to be able to wake up and devote ourselves one hundred percent to playing our music."
While in Florida, Paramore began sessions for their much-anticipated first full-length collection, working with producers James Wisner (Dashboard Confessional, Further Seems Forever, Underoath) and Mike Green (Yellowcard, The Black Maria). The band also enlisted bassist John Hembree to fill in a deserted position and round out the line-up. They recorded new tracks such as "Emergency" and "Pressure" which display a musical enthusiasm and lyrical depth well beyond the band's relatively young ages. In addition to her open-hearted vocal style, Williams has worked hard to expose her life and emotions in her songs.
"I always try to write from personal experience," she says. "At first what I was writing was kind of metaphorical, but now I've been trying to be more straightforward. It's all about things that have happened to me or to the people that I love."
Paramore has won praise for their live performances, which have included dates alongside Less Than Jake, Anberlin and Copeland, as well as high profile performances on The Fueled By Ramen & Friends Tour, the Taste of Chaos Tour and the Bamboozle Festival. With this summer's Vans Warped Tour on the horizon, more enthralled Paramore fans will most certainly follow.
Says Josh, "We love making music together. We have the best time on stage, we feel so alive when we're playing. We're excited to have the world hear our songs and we hope they like what they hear. We can't wait to get out there more and have people see what this band is all about."