It took Paramore’s guitarist and drummer Josh and Zac Farro 1,442 words to explain their reasons for leaving the band they founded in 2004, and they paint a dramatically different picture than the one remaining members Hayley Williams, Jeremy Davis and Taylor York put out to the world three days earlier.
The official Paramore announcement read, in part: “For the last year it hasn’t seemed as if they wanted to be around anymore. We want Josh and Zac to do something that makes them happy and if that isn’t here with us, then we support them finding happiness elsewhere… What truly matters are the good times. The pictures of us with our arms around each other, the long van rides…”
But according to a blog post published on Tuesday (Dec. 21), attributed to the brothers and apparently written by Josh Farro, how Paramore came to be and the lengths to which the label and management kept its members in the dark was simply unbearable. Among the allegations laid out in this missive: that it was Williams alone who was actually signed to Atlantic, while her bandmates were hired guns and an afterthought, ignored and pushed aside despite playing a key role in writing the songs.
“The band was in the dark the whole time,” reads the post. “After many meetings between Hayley, her manager and the labels they decided to sign her to Atlantic records. We didn’t understand why Hayley was the only one signing the contract since we were told this was a ‘band’, but we were too young to grasp all of this. So far, Zac and I haven’t signed with another label, although I guess our part of Paramore sure could. Next thing we knew we were having a signing party for Hayley.”
A rep for Paramore says, “We have no further comment other than the announcement that has been posted to paramore.net.” Meanwhile, a blog apparently belonging to Farro’s wife Jenna reposts the link to the guitarist’s statement, and a follow-up post published today reads, “I assure you that my blog and joshs blog are real. I’m not sure how I’d prove that? Clearly my blog is real by reading my stories and personal photos that are posted. So, why would I post a fake link to Josh’s blog?
“Paramore is continuing on and maybe someday the Farro’s will have more music too,” the post continues. “Everyone is happier this way and that’s the bottom line.”
Band tensions hit a fever pitch just before work started on 2009’s “Brand New Eyes,” which, ironically but not atypically, has spawned the band’s biggest single, “The Only Exception,” recently nominated for a Grammy Award for best pop vocal performance by a duo or group. In fact, it was at the nominations ceremony in December that Williams herself alluded to strife within Paramore’s ranks, telling reporters “Our band’s been through some rough patches… we could have thrown in the towel any day but we’re still here.”
Or are they? Many reacted to the Farros’ exit as a sign the band was headed for a break-up, and if you believe half of what’s laid out in the Blogspot manifesto (not to mention her recent guest spot on B.o.B.’s “Airplanes”), Williams is well on her way to a solo career.
You can read the original Paramore statement here and check out the full “Farro” text here. Then let us know what you think: hoax instigated by a vindictive fan or just a classic example of a bitter end?
(Additional reporting by Monica Herrera, Billboard.com)