A new crowd pleaser entered Paramore’s setlist. The band debuted their single “Thick Skull” live at the Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand on Sunday night. The audience waved their hands in the air as lead singer Hayley Williams said, “Come with your hands up.”
The song is the emotional closing of his latest LP, It is because. Paramore performed the song halfway through their November 19 show.
It is because is Paramore’s sixth studio album and their first since 2017’s Transformer After the laughter. In October, Williams opened up to Rolling Stone about the difficult process of putting together her latest album.
“Doing It is because it wasn’t a comfortable experience for any of us,” Williams said. “There was already anxiety about getting back into the swing of creating things together after some time apart… Thinking, ‘Okay, let’s go to Paramore,’ that caused anxiety. And also the world was still scary and nothing felt right anymore, really.”
“I felt a lot of anxiety about being around people again who weren’t just in my bubble. And knowing that on the other side of finishing the record I was going to enter the world again was really scary,” she continued. “Not because I thought, ‘I’m going to get COVID.’ I didn’t get COVID until we started touring again. It was more about what it did to me in my mind. Part of me has gotten used to only seeing the people I know personally and have all this context for — my family, my bandmates, whatever. And now I have to be around all kinds of people. People who probably don’t think the same way, or we don’t align politically. I just don’t know how I’m going to feel. I don’t know how this will go. I don’t know if people will like this version of me and/or Paramore.”
Paramore recently abandoned their revamping of It is because, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the original album. Before its release, Williams described it as “almost a remix.”
“We have long wanted to recognize the connection we have with some of the artists who have influenced us as a band and/or who have cited our band as an influence,” the band posted on social media. “Re: That’s why It’s almost a remix album. Some of the songs have been classically remixed, while others have been reworked or rewritten. It’s amazing to hear all of our worlds collide.”
The album featured guest appearances from Foals, Linda Lindas, Panda Bear, Zane Lowe, Wet Leg, DOMi & JD Beck, Remi Wolf, Bartees Strange, Romy, Claud and Julien Baker. The additional track is a demo titled “Sanity” that closes the renewed album.
Paramore is scheduled to perform at ALTer EGO 2024 on January 13 at Anaheim’s Honda Center. They will be joined by 1975 and Thirty Seconds to Mars.