When Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams is asked about her plans after the Sept. 29 release of her new album, "Brand New Eyes," she simply says, "We're going to be on tour-forever."
Williams, 20, isn't being terribly hyperbolic. Since Paramore started in 2004, the band members have risen to the top the old-fashioned way-by touring nonstop and building relationships with fans. They seem preternaturally serious for a group of bona fide rock stars barely out of their teens; they're not fixtures in gossip pages, are rarely sighted drinking or smoking and seem more interested in playing shows than hitting clubs.
The band is still young but its road to success has been long. "We started working with Hayley when she was 14," says one of Paramore's managers, Mark Mercado. "She was 14, Josh [Farro, guitar] was 16, and Zach [Farro, drums] was 13."
Pretty much everyone involved with the band agrees that it wouldn't be where it is today without the benefits of the 360-degree deal the act signed with John Janick's Fueled by Ramen label. The band signed the deal in April 2005, before "360" was an industry buzzword, and attracted a flurry of coverage when it started to sell more records in 2007. And while the band's success will surely not end the debate about the contract model, its long, slow, but ultimately fruitful trajectory does help the case of those who argue that 360 deals allow a band to grow and develop organically.
Janick had a feeling about Paramore. The first time he saw it play the rock festival Taste of Chaos in Florida, he wasn't immediately taken with its music, but he was sold on the band's vision. "The first time I saw them, they had these really poppy songs, but I could tell it wasn't really what they wanted to do," he says. "It's like, you knew where they wanted to go, but they weren't quite sure about how to get there. But even though they were very young, I could see there was something special there, and I could look down the road and see them playing much bigger venues."