Paramore is an American rock band from Franklin, Tennessee, formed in 2004. The band consists of lead vocalist Hayley Williams, bassist Jeremy Davis, and guitarist Taylor York. The group released its debut album All We Know Is Falling in 2005, and its second album Riot! in 2007, which was certified Platinum in the US and The Republic of Ireland and Gold in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK. Brand New Eyes, Paramore's third album, was released in 2009 and is the band's highest charting album to date, going platinum in the UK and the Republic of Ireland and gold in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
In 2002, at age 13, vocalist Hayley Williams moved from her hometown Meridian, Mississippi to Franklin, Tennessee where she met brothers Josh Farro and Zac Farro while she was attending a private school. Shortly after arriving, she began taking vocal lessons with Brett Manning. Prior to forming Paramore, Williams and bassist Jeremy Davis, along with friend Kimee Read, took part in a funk cover band called The Factory, while Josh and Zac Farro had practiced together after school. The other members of what was soon to be Paramore had been "edgy about the whole female thing" of having Williams as vocalist, but, because they were really good friends, she started writing for them. Williams said of the guys when she first met them, "They were the first people I met who were as passionate about music as I was." The band was officially formed by Josh Farro (lead guitar/backing vocals), Zac Farro (drums), Jeremy Davis (bass guitar) and Hayley Williams (lead vocals) in 2004, with the later addition of Williams' neighbor Jason Bynum (rhythm guitar). When Davis showed up, he was stunned to find out the drummer was only twelve years old. He admitted "I had very, very, very, little faith in everyone in the band because of their age. I remember thinking, 'This is not going to work because this kid is way too young,' but that first day of practice was amazing. I knew we were on to something." According to Williams, the name "Paramore" came from the maiden name of the mother of one of their first bass players. Once the group learned the meaning of the homophone "paramour" ("secret lover"), they decided to adopt the name, using the Paramore spelling.
Williams was originally signed to Atlantic Records as a solo artist in 2003. She had been introduced to Atlantic A&R Tom Storms through Kent Marcus and Jim Zumwalt, lawyers of managers Dave Steunebrink and Richard Williams, and then eventually signed to Atlantic by Jason Flom. Steunebrink and Richard Williams had originally discovered and signed her to a production deal that was later bought out by Atlantic. The original plan of the label was to turn her into a pop singer, but Williams resisted, saying that she wanted to play alternative rock music and wanted a band behind her. In an interview with HitQuarters the band's A&R at Atlantic, Steve Robertson, said, "She wanted to make sure that we didn't look at her as some straight to Top 40 pop princess. She wanted to make sure that she and her band got the chance to show what they can do as a rock band writing their own songs." Label president Julie Greenwald and the label staff decided to go with her wishes. The original management team for the band was Dave Steunebrink, Creed manager Jeff Hanson, and Hanson's assistant Mark Mercado.
Paramore were originally supposed to come out on Atlantic Records but the label's marketing department decided it would be better for the image of the band to not have them attached to a major label. They instead released their music through a cooler niche label in Fueled by Ramen. Head of Warner Music Group, Lyor Cohen had already identified Fueled by Ramen as a label they should partner with and it was decided the rock label would make an ideal match for Paramore. According to Robertson, when the band were presented to Fueled by Ramen's CEO John Janick, "he got the vision of the band immediately." Janick went to a Taste of Chaos performance in Orlando, Florida to see the band perform live. In April 2005, after a smaller private performance at a warehouse, the band was signed to Atlantic Records and Fueled By Ramen.
The band's first song written together was "Conspiracy", which was later used on their debut album. In 2004, they were a featured band in Purple Door. At this time, they were touring the southeast, usually being driven by Williams' parents. She commented that "Back then, I guess we were all thinking, after school we'll go to the house and practice. It was what we loved to do for fun, and still do! I don't think any of us really knew this would turn out to be what it's become."