When bands lose members…

The news was released yesterday (December 18th), though an official press release on the bands website that Josh and Zac Farro (guitarist and drummer respectively) of Paramore have decided to leave the band, leaving Hayley Williams as the only original member of the line up (since Jeremy Davies joined the band on their second album and Taylor York became an official band member before their third). According to their press release, this has been a decision that the band knew was coming since the Farro brothers said that they would be departing from the band at the end of the year a while ago, and the band have kept it to themselves up until now. That was, until a fake blog post revealed the information without the bands consent and they have now come clean about it. I’m not going to blub and say that the world is over because Paramore have lost a couple of members, but it is always a shame when one of the bands you listen to a lot lose a member.

Obviously there have been worse tragedies – 2010 saw us lose Ronnie James Dio to cancer, and Slipknot bassist Paul Gray passed away as well, so there are always worse things that can happen, and I’m not saying this entirely exclusively about Paramore, but it does raise an interesting subject.

I’ve got to say, I’m a bit upset but I’m also a little curious as well. Don’t get me wrong, its sad that they feel the need to leave the band to go about things differently, but in fairness to them Josh is married now and is probably starting a family and can’t be on the road, and Zac is probably starting down the same road because he doesnt want to lose contact with his brother. Paramore obviously won’t be the same without them, no band ever is when they lose members, but after this I think a series of things could happen:

1) It’s likely that Josh and Zac will realise that Paramore actually IS where they’re happiest and there will be a big reform splattered over the music press and they’ll sell loads more of their new album they are to start writing soon because of it.

2) Because there’s only 3 members of the previous line-up left, they’ll probably form some kind of new band (as they should if nearly half of the original line-up isnt there anymore) and go in a new direction which will be fresh, different and interesting.

3) It will take the eye off of Hayley for a bit. Don’t get me wrong (again) I think Hayley is brilliant and sings really well, but no matter how much she tries to deny it Paramore will always be about her. It’s mostly not even her fault –  it’s the way press works, as they need a face to put to the name and its normally the front-person. So it just stands to reason that the bigger Paramore got, that would mean Hayley would always be that much bigger until she became what the band was about in some peoples eyes. So perhaps this will allow them to take a sabaticle and rework their image in the press a little.

4) I know Josh and Zac are obviously very good at what they do, but perhaps whoever they get in to play for them will be even better and it will almost be like starting over again, so Paramore will go back to playing some smaller venues and re-discover themselves all over again. Which will make it better for the fans as they will be able to see them playing in the kinds of venues they started out in.

5) They’ll break everything off entirely and Hayley will accept the persona shes now become in the press and embark on Solo projects of her own. Personally, I really liked the song she did for the Jennifer’s Body soundtrack as it was acoustic and also pretty punk as welll – like Hayley was doing Frank Turner songs. More of that would be very welcome!

So, why am I posting this exclusively about Paramore when bands split or members move on all the time? Because it struck me that no matter how much a band means to people or an individual, there is life after a line-up change. And sometimes its for the better. Coheed And Cambria changed their drummer after there was problems in the band and now Chris Pennie has added a new dynamic to their whole technical sound. Taking Back Sunday seem to change their guitarist each album they release, and they still keep selling records.

For those incredibly dedicated to a band such as Paramore, it’s easy to understand how they can become so much more than just a band. For the loyal fans, they’re not just a band, they’re all individuals that are playing music, and it’s all about who they are and what they do. They become so much more than a name, they actually become people you know intimately, and when one or more of those people leave that band that you love it’s like a friend moving away. But ultimately, it doesn’t mean that their music no longer exists – the records you have will always be there as a reminder of what they gave you, and they’re not going anywhere unless you sell them!

Ultimately, this is more than about Paramore really. I’ll openly admit that I love the band, but this happens all the time and it affects people differently, but bands will always make music as long as its what they love doing.

Whatever happens, its a shame they felt the need to split, but I’m dubious and interested as to what will come next.

The End.

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1 Comment

  1. I hope hayley will do solo projects or change the name and be a new band maybe?? I’m sorry for your loss Drew, I know how much the band ment to you.


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