Paramore's Hayley Williams Talks Battling Depression, Hopelessness

By Victoria Kim 07/06/17

"I don’t think I understood how dangerous hopelessness is. Everything hurts.”

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Hayley Williams of Paramore

Hayley Williams, the lead singer of Paramore and her generation’s “icon of angst,” spoke about dealing with depression in a new interview with Fader.

“I don’t feel as hopeful as I did as a teenager,” she said. “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. Like, what’s the point? I don’t think I understood how dangerous hopelessness is. Everything hurts.”

It got to the point where Williams made the decision to seek help for her depression with a therapist. She said the feelings crept up on her in the “past couple of years,” according to Fader.

Williams, now 28 years old, rose to fame as the neon-haired pop-punk vocalist of Paramore after signing with Atlantic Records at the age of 15. The band enjoyed a slew of hits including “Still Into You” and “Decode” but had to deal with media scrutinization over alleged infighting whenever the young band’s lineup would change. 

The singer now prefers to stay quiet about her personal life after all the controversy. “I’ve had a lot of betrayals in my life,” she tells Fader. “I don’t ever want to paint myself as the victim, but I think it scares me to spill all the tea. I really don’t want to erase any more people from my life. I’ve done it enough.”

Williams spent some time away from making music in the summer of 2015, effectively quitting the band because she felt like she had nothing left to say through her music. But with the help of her musical collaborators, she was able to find her voice and create music again—writing songs for what would become After Laughter, the band’s latest album that was released in May.

The singer says she’s tired of the business end of music, and is trying to focus more on creating and performing with her bandmates. As a lonely child, she dreamed of having friends to make music with. “I was an only child, and I want to be a part of something really bad,” she said.

She even tried renegotiating her contract with Atlantic to cut down the number of albums she’s obligated to create—but they apparently weren’t interested. “I didn’t want [the contract] over my head anymore, and I want to be done with the business side of it,” she said. 

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr

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