Elizabeth Sankey (Summer Camp) Talks Paramore’s Paramore

claire: Hey, you see this? It's a statement one of the brothers made when he left the band. He paints a very dark picture. He...
claire: Hey, you see this? It’s a statement one of the brothers made when he left the band.
He paints a very dark picture.  He claims the band was “all about Hayley.” And that the brothers were actually just brought in to play her songs.  They’re just, like, her backing band.
They’re not even signed to the label.
claire: He’s just upset because they used to date and now she’s with the lead singer of New Found Glory.
me: I.  Love. New. Found. Glory.
Sent at 11.29 on Monday
me: It does seem strange that they’re portrayed as a “real band” when in reality it’s basically her project.  They’re just posing, surely?
claire: Um.  No.  She wrote most of the lyrics, Josh Farro wrote most of the music.  They used outside writers a couple of times, but that’s pretty common.
me: Yeah, I hear the Beatles wrote most of their songs with Linda Perry.
claire: All I’m saying is that it’s not that unusual.
Sent at 11.34 on Monday
me: CHRISTIAN BAND ALERT.  “Hayley presented lyrics to us that were really negative and we didn’t agree with. For example, “The truth never set me free,” which contradicts what the Bible says in John 8:32. (“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall sat you free”)
claire: You’re being ridiculous.  Why does a band’s faith matter?
me: It does to some people.
Are you listening yet?
Sent at 11.36 on Monday
claire: Yes, and it’s incredible.
This first song, “Fast in My Car” has to be about Josh.
Sent at 11.46 on Monday
claire: Her lyrics are always so personal.  She’s not afraid of being open with her audience — that’s so admirable.  “The three of us are initiates/We had to learn how to deal.”  “Hollowed/Outed/Filled up with hate/All we want is you to give us a break.”
me: I would hate to be Josh.
To be out of the band, and have to hear songs written about you played on the radio.
What’s he even doing now?
claire: He’s started a new band called Novel American.
Sent at 11.52 on Monday
me: Novel American last tweeted on the 24th of January, saying, “Been way too long. Thank you guys for sticking with us. We will get music to you all very soon.”
claire: Wait, are all the songs about Josh and Zac??
me: No, there is one called “Grow Up” which seems to be about…
Oh no wait, I think that’s a dig at the brothers too!
Sent at 11.58 on Monday
claire: Yeah totally! “Some of us have to grow up sometimes/If I have to I’m gonna leave you behind”
me: Why do you write the lyrics/Like that?
claire: That’s how you’re supposed to write them/Dumbass.
Sent at 12.06 on Monday
claire: I don’t know how you can’t love this band.
The music is so full of power, and particularly on this album it sounds crispy and fresh, the injection of electric elements leave it dripping with energy.
And her vocals are a combination of soul — rich and warm — and the raw emotion of a young woman brimming to the eyeballs with passion.
me: You are cuckoo for Paramore.
Sent at 12.14 on Monday
me: I actually don’t mind most of it.  But some songs stylistically sound dated.  And I know this is something you like, but it’s so drenched in feelings.  It gets difficult to absorb that much angst, especially now that I’m not a teenager any more.  “Daydreaming” could be by Taking Back Sunday or Saves the Day.  I love those bands but is it supposed to be a call-back, an homage?  Because it doesn’t feel like enough time has passed for that to work.
claire: I think to a lot of people that music never went away.  It’s not, like, retro.  To them it’s very current.
Sent at 12.25 on Monday
me: OK the first interlude, with a ukulele.  What is that about?  Oh, and surprise!  It’s about the evil Siblings Who Must Not Be Named.
They shouldn’t have called that track “Moving On,” as she definitely hasn’t.  How hard can it really be for her?  She’s still in this insanely successful band.  She won, surely?
I don’t have that much sympathy for her pain, to be honest.
Sent at 12.36 on Monday
me: This album has SEVENTEEN TRACKS.
claire: I do.
And the quality doesn’t diminish.
I would argue for the inclusion of every single track.
Except maybe “Hate to See Your Heart Break.”  I don’t feel like their slow ballads show off their collective talents to the best effect.  They’re at their best when they’re playing driving womb-rock.
OK, I would also take of “(One of Those) Crazy Girls.”  It’s a good song but the production is sickly sweet. She’s been hanging with Taylor Swift too much.
Sent at 12.39 on Monday
claire: Speaking of Swift, it’s a relief to (so far) hear the absence of slut-shaming on this album *feminist face*.  Paramore’s first big hit, “Misery Business,” was a fantastic song where Hayley sings to the girl who stole her boyfriend, but it contains the line, “Once a whore, you’re nothing more/I’m sorry, that’ll never change.” Which always made me feel so uncomfortable.  I hate that some female artists play up to the virgin/whore stereotype.  I think as one of the few women in the emo punk scene, it is awesome if she’s moving away from that.  Even if, sadly, it is a common feeling women feel about each other.
me: Who did she write the songs with this time?  Now she’s lost her creative partner?
Sent at 12.42 on Monday
claire: Taylor from the band! HA!  In your face!  Oh, and I think the producer wrote a bit with them.  That guy is serious, he has played bass with Beck and Nine Inch Nails.
me: Justin Meldal-Johnsen?? He has produced M83.  I am crazy about M83.  It must have been his idea to put a gospel choir at the end of “Ain’t It Fun.”
Sent at 12.54 on Monday
claire: No!  Wrong again!
That was the band. “Taylor recalls. “This is the first time we’ve been able to throw out an idea like, “Dude, it’d be cool to have a gospel choir,” and it wouldn’t get shot down.”
Sent at 13.07 on Monday
me: Did you hear that Williams slammed Rolling Stone for their review of Paramore?
claire: She didn’t slam them.
Sent at 13.09 on Monday
claire: She pointed out that their review called the album a great solo record, and at their show in London she shot down that idea.  Right in its whiny face: “This is the only time I’m going to rant about this and I promised myself not to write about this online. But I wouldn’t be here — nor would I WANT to be here, if it weren’t for these two guys to my right and to my left.”
Sent at 13.13 on Monday
me: I’m sure her saying things like that really makes up for the fact they’re not signed to the label and earn less money that her.
Sent at 13.15 on Monday
me: OK, I have to say something important. 
You are now off the record.
claire: lol off the record?  It must be important.
me: I am actually starting to think, that in spite of all the worrying string-pulling that may be going on, this is a really great album.  Big glossy pop, and disgustingly self-indulgent.  But they pull it off.
claire: Finally.
This chat is no longer off the record

Talkhouse Contributing Writer Elizabeth Sankey is a writer and actress from London.  She is also 50% of the band Summer Camp. The  Summer Camp that wasn’t featured on Buffy. You can follow her on Twitter here.