Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams has long been a beacon of light for women in the music scene. With her debut solo album, Petals for Armor, dropping today, she’s spoken out about her imperfect experiences, including the culture that she was met with in the Warped tour world. In an interview with Vulture, Williams describes the pop-punk and emo scene of the early 2000s as “brutally misogynistic.”
“A lot of internalized sexism, and even when you were lucky enough to meet other bands who were kind and respectful, there was other shit that wasn’t”, Williams added. She discussed being frustrated at being asked to play a female-only stage instead of a main stage, and receptions to her resulting in her writing “without pronouns for years.”
“In 2006, I was a little more comfortable. I’d wear a tank top. But my chest was exposed. We were in San Diego or San Francisco, and a condom flew at me, and it stuck to my chest while I performed.” At the time, Williams was 16 years old. On that same tour, she was on a tour bus with the band Straylight Run when one of them made an inappropriate comment about her. “I can’t remember what this guy said because I saw red so fast”, Williams noted, “but he referred to my pussy. I was literally 16, about to turn 17. Everyone was laughing. No one paid fucking attention.” She mentions that John Nolan from Taking Back Sunday and his sister supported her when it happened, but it wasn’t the end of her feeling silenced.
Williams suffers from depression and PTSD, and admitted herself to an intense therapy clinic in 2018 after her divorce from Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory, who is in, in his own right, a piece of shit.