"I’m really proud that I overcame the insecurities that I once had."
Paramore's Hayley Williams talks influence, growing up in a band, her new company goodDYEyoung and so, so much more in the latest Rock Sound magazine.
AWAY FROM MUSIC, YOU’VE ALSO BEEN HUGELY INFLUENTIAL IN TERMS OF YOUR FASHION AND STYLE, COMBINED WITH A STRONG SENSE OF INDIVIDUALITY…
“Absolutely, and I’m really proud that I overcame the insecurities that I once had. Part of growing up surrounded by so many guys meant that – certainly in the earliest days of Paramore – I was almost afraid to be a girl.
"I would wear the same shirts as the guys would wear, or the same style of shoes… I was uncomfortable with the notion of sticking out. I felt as though any attempt to look like a girl would result in people not taking me seriously, and it was such a flawed and warped perspective – really bad practice for a young person.
"I remember having a conversation with Josh [Farro, ex-Paramore guitarist] on Warped Tour in 2006 and he was like, ‘Why don’t you wear any of those crazy outfits you used to wear at youth group when we were kids?’ I remember being really defensive and dismissive, but when I got home I started thinking and decided that actually, it was a fair question.
"I made a decision at that point to start being more expressive, and a year later by the time ‘Riot!’ came out I was wearing crazy makeup, I had three different colours in my hair, I was wearing insane tights that I’d picked up in Japan… it was totally different. This was nearly 10 years ago now – people need to remember that this was before Katy Perry and Lady Gaga and all these larger than life, colourful pop stars. When I went on MTV looking like that it was a weird thing, but I really needed to express myself at that point.
"When I started seeing girls at shows who had dyed their hair and stuff like that, it meant an awful lot to me. It made me feel so much better about just being me, and not worrying whether or not anybody would take me seriously for looking like myself. I’m so glad that I overcame that. I wouldn’t ever want anybody else to feel like they can’t be who they are, and that’s why doing something like [Hayley’s recently-launched hair dye company] goodDYEyoung was so important.”
WITH THAT IN MIND, THE RESPONSE TO THE COMPANY MUST BE EXTRA SPECIAL FOR YOU?
“It really has been, and I honestly never would have thought that it would be so warmly received so quickly. When I was younger I would have to go to the pharmacy and hope that they had a red that might look kind of pink, or have a bit of an orange vibe, but it never really played out like that. It’s been great, though.
"Right now my grandmother has lavender hair, and I’m seeing kids who are barely old enough to dress themselves pointing at hair dye in stores, so it’s cool to see that type of impression becoming so much more accepted.
"goodDYEyoung is about building a community. I want to have a conversation with people the same as I’ve always done with Paramore. I want goodDYEyoung to represent positivity and confidence. I want it to be about empowering people to be who they are and to express themselves in a healthy way, but at the same time accepting people for who they are and the way that they want to be.”
You can read Hayley's full interview and meet the rest of the Rock Sound 50 in this month's Rock Sound magazine.
Zac Farro On Paramore: “I’m So Thankful That I’m Playing On The Album”
Meet A Powerful, Straight-Up Interesting New British Rock Band
Hayley Williams Talks Finding Her Identity, goodDYEyoung + More
Touché Amoré Have Unveiled A Gripping New Song
There’s A Metal Version Of The Stranger Things Theme
The New I Prevail Song Will Get Stuck In Your Head
Twenty One Pilots, Panic! & Friends Top The Charts