Let’s take it back to 2005. I was a teenager full of angst, who thrived on rebellion and standing against the man. Every little problem turned into a big deal. Quite honestly, it was a year that I’m not that proud of. It was a year of me selfishly thinking about myself and my own problems. Shortly after, I turned my attention to helping the environment, but it took a year or so before I got over that self-indulged “woe is me” phase. I remember it being an era where colored skinny jeans and fluorescent hair reigned supreme. Being trendy wasn’t the goal, standing out was the goal. It was the year I gauged my ears for the first time. The year I started dying my hair on my own because my parent’s didn’t want me changing my natural color. The year I started blaring loud music in my room. The year I found myself musically and most importantly, the year that I started listening to Paramore.

I was a little lost in terms of my identity, as many teenagers are. You are still learning who you are, what you like, and you struggle against strong outside influences, such as your peers. Luckily, I had an even greater, positive influence: Hayley Williams. I’m not one of those extreme feminists, so I didn’t love Hayley simply because she was a strong female lead in a male dominated genre, I loved her because she was a strong individual. She embodied the mantra, “Be yourself.” She was full of fun energy and always ran around the stage like a feisty fireball. Why wouldn’t anyone look up to that? I admired her drive, spirit, passion and knew that she was someone I could personally look up to.

Looking back on the Paramore from 2005 to the Paramore of now, it’s crazy the amount of growth they’ve went through. Paramore always had something so unique and undeniable about them. The saying, “Don’t fix it if it isn’t broken,” really resonates well here. Paramore already had something special about them ever since the release of their first album, All We Know Is Falling. Over the years, they experimented with their sound and slightly modernized a few things, but they didn’t lose themselves. They are proof that you can transition into the mainstream and still keep your identity as a band. They change their music ever so delicately every year. From All We Know Is Falling with it’s pop punk, angsty sound, to Riot! which had a similar sound but a more upbeat energy, to Brand New Eyes which took them down a more pop route, to their self-titled, which took them even further down down that road with songs like “Ain’t It Fun” and “Still Into You.” They’ve always been pop rock/punk, but Hayley’s raspy goodness and clean vocals and their bubbly, audacious personality transcended them to a whole new level.

Sure, Hayley is a big part of Paramore’s appeal, but it’s their music that captured my heart. Their music has always been highly relatable to me from “My Heart,” with it’s focus on love and deep affection to “Misery Business,” with it’s angry beats and ferocity. Then, there was “When It Rains,” with it’s somber feel, almost like a gloomy rainy day, and “crushcrushcrush” with it’s electronic intro and high energy that would jolt me instantaneously into a good mood. Paramore’s music has always had a high singability rate. If that’s a word? If not, I’m creating it. You can ask my boyfriend; I’m always signing Paramore. Driving… Paramore. Shower… Paramore. Cooking… Paramore. Cleaning… Paramore. Every time he asks me, “What do you want to listen to?” My answer is, “Paramore.” Maybe it’s because my voice seems to suit Hayley’s vocal style, but it’s even more so because they have been my go to since I was 15.

Time and time again I’m asked how I’m not tired of Paramore by now. I’ve replayed their songs over and over again, like a broken record. But, everyone has that one band; The band who gave them a musical identity and the band who served as a soundtrack to their life. Paramore got me through breakups, helped me warm up for every soccer game, amped me up for every track meet, got me from point A to point B. Let’s be honest, they helped get me through the messed up construct we call high school and then later helped me get through an even more messed up place: the real world. And, most of all, they helped me find myself as an individual. As a result, they hold a very special place in my heart as that one band I’ll never, ever get tired of. Finally, to Paramore: I can’t count the years on one hand that we’ve been together (Seriously, it’s been 11 years). But, I don’t care how long it’s been, ’cause after all this time I’m still into you.