When Paramore first formed in 2004, guitarist Josh Farro says he didn’t even know what a platinum album was.
And he certainly never expected to get one.
But that’s just one of the many good things that have happened to the modern rock quartet from Franklin, Tenn., in the 14 months since the release of its sophomore album, “Riot!” There have been hit singles (“Crushcrushcrush,” “Misery Business,” “That’s What You Get”), sold-out concerts and a Grammy Award nomination in the Best New Artist category.
The platinum certification, for sales of a million copies of “Riot!,” is a kind of icing in the cake — but undeniably sweet, according to Farro.
“People were talking about it online before I got an e-mail from our manager,” Farro, 23, recalls. “It’s an awesome feeling. Like I said, when we first started the band, I didn’t know what a platinum record was. I didn’t know what gold was. I didn’t know the statistics. I just wanted to make music.
“But once I found out what (platinum) was, I was kind of eager. I wanted our band to reach that. I didn’t have any high hopes; I didn’t think there was a chance we would even come close. But we did, and it’s an awesome feeling.”
Singer Hayley Williams, meanwhile, says she had a feeling “Riot!” was going to be special when the band finished recording it.
“The songs meant a lot to me and the rest of the dudes,” says Williams, 19. “Even though it’s our second record, it feels like our first record that we made actually knowing what we were doing in the studio. The first time around (2005’s ‘All We Know is Falling’) it was kind of on a whim, and luckily we caught a few people’s attention with it.
“But with (‘Riot!’) I didn’t feel like, ‘Oh, we’re gonna be huge with this record. This is gonna be the big one!’ I just knew that I loved the songs and I wanted other people to love ’em that much.”
The “Riot!” is winding down for Paramore, however. The group has named its current tour The Final Riot!, and during sound checks began working on new material. Farro says that so far Paramore has “anywhere from seven to 10 song ideas we think we have a good chance of using,” and he expects the band to start working on them in the fall, getting into the studio again by January with a release scheduled for the summer of 2009.
And while it’s too early to determine a direction, Farro says he’s excited by the scope of the new material so far.
“I can just see it having a lot more dynamics,” he explains. “The first record and ‘Riot!’ seemed to stay at the same level, but now we’ve got some really, really mellow songs that you’d never expect to hear out of our
band, and then we’ve got even heavier songs than we’ve ever had. It’s gonna be a little different.”
In the wake of the success of “Riot!”, it’s also going to come out to high expectations, which Farro says Paramore is braced for.
“There’s gonna be tons of pressure,” he acknowledges. “This next record is huge for us and our band’s career. (‘Riot!’) went platinum, which means we’ve got to beat that or at least match it, and that’s a hard thing to do these days. So we want to make sure we make the right record.
“But our band, if we don’t make platinum on the next record, we’re not gonna be all upset or anything. We’re just gonna make a record we love. If it doesn’t do well, there’s not much we can do. We’re just here to make music we love.”
Paramore, Phantom Planet, Paper Route and Jack’s Mannequin perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday (Aug. 13) at the Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway at Schoenherr Road, Sterling Heights. Tickets are $23.50 and $42 pavilion, $17 and $8.08 lawn. Call (586) 268-5100 or visit www.freedomhill.net.
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