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Paramore is (still) a band – and we need them to be

None of us expected to wake up to the news that Paramore was down to a core two piece, but that’s what happened overnight, as it was announced bassist Jeremy Davis had parted ways with the band. We don’t know why – a statement merely explains the process “has been really painful” – but really, that’s not the part to focus on. “We really do believe Paramore can and should continue on,” they defiantly exclaim. “And so we will.”

Too right too, because really, we all need Paramore – even if you don’t think you do.

“There’s a time and a place to die, but this ain’t it.”

On their self-titled album, they blew up from scene-leaders to genuine mainstream giants. With that, comes the ability to be more than just a band – and if there’s anyone you want to give that power to, it’s P-more. Few others are as aware of their influence and use it so deftly.

Yeah, sure, when that’s said most of the time, it’s referring to Hayley Williams. And – let’s be absolutely clear – you’d go a long way to find a better front person. It’s not just the fearsomely great performance and stage craft; in an industry that has a serious sexism problem but consistently refuses to confront it, few others with her platform talk such sense so regularly. And not just that, but in a way that hits home so perfectly – never preachy, never uncommitted, Noisey’s Emma Garland put it best: “For the most part, Hayley has managed to navigate the industry in a way where she is the one pulling the strings”. You can’t help but feel if we had to elect a leader to stand for everything we wish we were, Hayley would win by a landslide.

“We are Paramore.”

But that’s not it. If you’ve ever been to a show, you’ll know the mantra. “We are Paramore.” This band isn’t a two piece. Right now, the Paramore crew is bigger, not smaller, than ever before – and that’s not just about selling records. This is a gang where everyone is welcome, and one that knows how to look out for the next person. Music has that unique power to give a group of very different people a shared focus, and, if directed, confront and change things for the better. Nothing else can overcome the things that set us apart better than the absolute and unconditional love of a song. Anyone who has had even the smallest dealings with Hayley and Taylor know they understand the responsibility that comes with the scale of devotion they receive. They’re not just custodians of a remarkable level of faith from their fans; they’re also more than willing to use it for good.

Doing that as solo projects is so much harder than as a band. Together, Paramore is a family. Apart, we’re all just fans. And even if you’re not, you’d be a dark soul to suggest that we’re not all better off for a fanbase like Paramore’s – positive, engaged and, as much as any can be, focused on making things better.

“We’re really thankful for the people who have helped see us through hard times before and what we’ve discovered is that those people are just as much a part of this as we will ever be,” the band say. “We’re hopeful for Paramore’s future and we’re also excited for what Jeremy’s going to do next. Thank you all for your support and your belief in us. It’s kept us going. We will see some of you really soon on Parahoy. If you’re not coming on the cruise, we will still see you in 2016.”

Paramore is (still) a band. Let’s hope that stays the case for a long time to come.