Sometimes fast change can be pretty wonderful. Just look at Hayley Williams of Paramore. The pop-punk goddess is but 27 and only rose through the ranks as a lead singer last decade, but already her influence as a positive role model and statesperson is showing.
As she told Rock Sound magazine in a recent issue, the totally humble Williams is looking around at the scene and seeing an industry transformed thanks to her and fellow women in rock such as Gwen Stefani and others. “It’s only in the last few years that people have stopped viewing the notion of a female onstage in a rock band as some sort of novelty,” she said about the growing acceptance of women in bands…It’s amazing to see…and it’s also incredible to watch those people really thrive at the same time. There are so many women doing well, making great art and getting recognition, which is fully deserved.” Dang straight!
Speaking about her own journey she said, “When I was starting out in a band I had to take parts of my inspiration from males, because there weren’t enough women to really go around. I had to look at male musicians that I admired or looked up to and go, ‘I think I can do this just as well as they can,’ but I had to find my own way of relating to them.” Luckily, she had a few guiding lights along the way. “I remember seeing bands like No Doubt and Garbage when I was growing up,” she continued, “bands with strong, confident women at the forefront – and feeling like these were people I had more in common with than anybody I’d ever met in school. I looked at them and went, ‘I can do that, I have that in me.’”
Now, the tables have turned—and so quickly, too. Williams is running into women rockers who looked up to her the way she did to Stefani. “I remember reading an interview with Lynn [Gunn] from PVRIS where she was talking about going to a Paramore show as a kid, about how afterwards she knew that being in a band was what she wanted to do, and that seeing me made her feel like she actually could. That’s an incredible compliment, and an incredible feeling because it’s something I fully relate to.”
She finishes out the interview by noting, “What is even more amazing is that there’s now going to be another generation of young women who are looking up to people like Lynn and Jenna [McDougal of Tonight Alive]… that there’s so much more to be inspired by can only be a positive thing.”
Read more of the interview over at Rock Sound for more big, bright, loud inspiration.