" 'Ain't It Fun' is very different from songs we've written in the past," says Williams, noting its gospel-choir bridge and happy xylophone melody. "I grew up on pop, funk and soul. We really got to show off our roots in this song. I hope that our fans, especially the ones from our early days, can see how much we connect with the art we make today."
Paramore's live show assures fans that the group is still very much a rock band, but its current album cycle has been full of crossover firsts. After "Paramore," released April 5, 2013 on Fueled by Ramen/Atlantic, became the act's first LP to top the Billboard 200, lead single "Now" peaked at No. 13 on Alternative Songs. But "Still Into You" and "Ain't It Fun" became Hot 100 hits with support from mainstream pop and adult pop radio, without charting on — or even being serviced to — alternative stations.
"At their core, they're a rock band who made a pop record," says Fueled by Ramen and Roadrunner GM Mike Easterlin. "They could come back and make a rock record or album."
Williams paved the way for Paramore's crossover with two hit guest hooks: on rapper B.o.B's "Airplanes," which peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 in 2010, and EDM artist Zedd's "Stay the Night," which hit No. 18 last year. Fueled by Ramen even scheduled its single release around the latter, says Easterlin: "We planned to go from 'Still Into You' to 'Stay the Night' and then into 'Ain't It Fun.' "
The label will push the single through the summer (with an expected peak in June/July), during Paramore's amphitheater tour with Fall Out Boy from June 19 to Aug. 31.
As for Williams' Jingle Ball prediction, she says she was just trying to keep fans engaged: "We were one of few rock bands at Jingle Ball, so you're looking to keep the crowd pumped — and not just shouting, 'We want Miley!' "