Williams appears on one of the covers of the July/August 2017 issue of The Fader, in which she speaks about her mental health and how it has affected her life and work in Paramore in recent years — including a decision to “quit the band for a brief period of time in the summer of 2015.”
“For the first time in my life, there wasn’t a pinhole of light at the end of the tunnel. I thought, I just wish everything would stop. It wasn’t in the sense of, I’m going to take my life. It was just hopelessness,” she said. “I don’t think I understood how dangerous hopelessness is. Everything hurts.”
Because Williams has been dealing with depression in the past several years and felt as if she had nothing more to contribute to Paramore, she quit the band to focus on her mental health and found help from a therapist. “I just was done,” she said. “I thought, There’s gotta be something else that I’m good at in my life. Maybe it’s time for me to go find that.”
With time, though, Paramore member Taylor York said he continued to send her new music and Williams came around to collaborating on what became the band’s latest record After Laughter, which deals a great deal with depression, death, and mental health. The album clearly resonated with fans, too, as the LP has topped both the Alternative Albums and Top Rock Albums charts.