An interview with tourmates Tegan Quin and Hayley Williams of Paramore

 
 

AE: Hayley, were you worried that people would be unsupportive of you asking another female fronted act to be direct support? 
HW:
See, this is what is important about Tegan and Sara to me. They are women. They write their own music and they play it better than any guy could. People who see T&S as "the lesbian sisters" are totally missing the point. I wasn’t worried one bit about bringing female artists onto the tour. They can hold their own and with ease!

It’s nice to have other women in music to look up to. And I’m really proud to have them out with us.

AE: How do you feel that has Paramore’s crowd responded to your band? Have you experienced any backlash from their audience?
TQ:
The audience has been amazing. Every night when our names come up on the screen they freak out and cheer. The big songs like "Back In You Head" and "Walking With A Ghost" seem very recognizable and people sing along. We’ve been selling so many T-shirts and CDs. It’s been great. No backlash to speak of yet.

AE: The tour wraps up in California at the Honda Arena in Anaheim, are you nervous to play to such a big audience? How will you prepare?
HW:
I get nervous quite a lot actually. It makes it fun anyways. I never want to feel like a total pro because I enjoy being the underdog too much. We’re going to do what we’ve done all along, which is play as hard as we can and maybe work a little, too.

AE: I found a quote from Chart Magazine where you said Tegan was your celebrity crush. After a month on tour, AfterEllen.com readers are dying to know if Tegan is still your celebrity crush or is Sara your favorite now?
HW:
Sara’s new haircut is really cute. I think it’s causing me to stray. I might love her. But she thinks I love Tegan’s songs more and I don’t think she could be with anyone who loves Tegan’s songs more.

Have you ever met Sara? She’s so egocentric. So wait — I still don’t know which one I like more.

AE: I heard Paramore is performing at the MTV VMA’s this year right after your tour. That is huge! What excites you the most about that?
HW:
Thanks! I’m excited to dress up a bit. You had some great ideas for what I should wear and I actually applied them to what my friend [stylist/designer] Jen Johnson of Dainty June and I are designing. Designing and wearing clothes that at one point only existed in my mind is a whole new high for me. I’m really into it.

AE: Aw, that’s awesome! Jen is so talented. I can’t wait to see what you both come up with. I will definitely be tuning in for that show!

Tegan, Paramore has had massive success in North America and world wide, as an indie band what do you feel you can learn from their success? Have you picked anything up while on tour with them this summer?
TQ:
Sara and I really do think our band can be bigger and touch more people. With record sales down and radio being so difficult to crack into we’ve struggled to reach a more mainstream audience and this tour has helped greatly with that. Watching Paramore this past month and getting to know them I realized we aren’t that much different from each other. They love their music as much as we do, we all listen to a lot of the same music and ultimately we love our fans and have the same culture in our business.

I definitely think this tour has proven to me that have a "hit" or a "radio single" or a song on a sound track could really help us get our music out there and unlike 10 years ago when I was really against that kind of exposure I feel more prepared for it and would welcome that sort of success.

AE: Tegan and Sara have collaborated with Tiesto, The Reason, Margaret Cho as well as many other types of artists. After a summer dominated by B.o.B and Hayley Williams’ collaboration, "Airplanes," are you interested in doing more mainstream collaborations to propel the band forward?
TQ:
 Definitely. Working with Tiesto was like a dream come true. Our music is being heard all over the world now because of him. The show includes our song and a video we did for it and I get photos and messages from people all over the world who have seen it and it makes me so happy.

Collaborations, like touring, allow you to get your music to different people than you would just doing your own thing. Sara and I are working on more collaborations right now. Having a single like "Airplanes" would be amazing! So impressed with Hayley’s work ethic and her ability to get into so many different places with her music.

AE: OK, one last question, for you both: What do you think you’ll miss most about the Honda Civic Tour?
HW:
Do we have to discuss this? It really breaks my heart that we’re already half way through the tour. I’m gonna miss how perfectly everyone got along. You don’t always get that on tour. The energy at these shows — on the stage and off — is going to be hard to match.

TQ: Leaving home and my friends and family is the part of touring that I dislike. There is no way I could live without doing what I do. The passion I feel for our music, our fans, this business and our music drives me to continue doing what I do even though I miss my family and friends and my normal life back home.

But this tour has lessoned those pangs of homesickness because we actually have friends on tour with us. All the guys in Paramore and Hayley have been generous and open and welcoming. The crew is amazing. All the other bands are so nice on this tour. I am feeling very happy and content to keep touring like this forever. I will miss that feeling. I will miss seeing everyone’s faces and I’ll really miss seeing all the bands backstage every morning. Seeing everyone perform every night has been really fun, too. I think I’ll miss everything.

AE: Oh and Hayley, did you know that you made AfterEllen’s Hot 100 list this year?
HW:
Um, no! Really? That’s gonna put a hop in my step today. Thanks AfterEllen.com readers!

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