Paramore’s Hayley Williams says the band is ready to hit the big time — or at least the big venues — on the European and North American legs of its Self-Titled Tour.
“We’ve been planning this tour for awhile,” Williams tells Billboard. “We just put a lot of forethought and a lot of elbow grease into this. We want to show the longtime fans how far they’ve brought us, and we want to show all the new fans what they might have missed out on had they not caught on. So bigger production, bigger stages, obviously. We want to be a band that puts on a larger than life show. I’ve sort of rediscovered Freddie Mercury as a 24-year-old; I first fell in love with him as a kid, through ‘Wayne’s World.’ I want to put on a show like that, that people can’t stop talking about, and we’ve just been working really, really hard to make sure that’s what it is. It’s going to be massive, I think, for Paramore. I’m really, really excited about it.”
Williams says the tour will also convey the combination of relief and triumph she and bandmates Taylor York and Jeremy Davis feel after not only surviving the schism with brothers Josh and Zac Farro in 2010 but also producing a No. 1 album with this year’s “Paramore,” which has spawned the hits “Now and “Still Into You.”
“When we were in the process and started to gain our confidence back as writers and musicians, and even our friendship, it was a huge relief,” Williams notes. “And it felt like a triumph when it was all said and done and we listened back to (the album)… and to then have fans accept it and support it and be proud of it as well. It’s been a huge blessing and really just a lot of fun, and there’s still so much more we feel like we want to do and have to do. I think knowing that we got through the hard time and made this record showed us there is a future and there are even brighter spots to get to and more exciting opportunities and more fun to be had. So now we’re just really open to whatever’s next.”
Williams says she and York are already writing new songs, and there’s also material that didn’t make it onto “Paramore” that the group might “revisit.” But it’s also looking at a long stretch of touring ahead; with the iTunes Festival on Sept. 4 in London behind them, Paramore wraps up in Europe with two nights at Wembley Arena Sept. 27-28 before starting its North American jaunt on Oct. 15 in Seattle. Australia and New Zealand are scheduled for January, and the group hits the high seas for the Parahoy! cruise with Tegan & Sara and others in March.
“Half of me is ecstatic and half of me is terrified,” Williams says with a laugh. “But I’m really, really happy that we’re doing it, and I feel like it’s going to be a really cool opportunity to meet a lot of fans and connect with people and enjoy a lot of music. There’s a lot of bands that do these cruises and a lot of them are much older than Paramore, so it definitely feels like we’re kind of going out on a limb [with] this idea, but I think it’s gonna be rad. And if it turns out to be a really positive experience I wouldn’t doubt we’d do it again and again.”