Zane Lowe is back with another edition of our favorite Apple Music interviews and for this round, we get to hear from the legendary Hayley Williams! She lays down everything from her surprise album, FLOWERS for VASES/descansos; how it is a “picture of heartbreak,” why she considers it a “songwriters album,” how it developed out of 2020, the inspiration from selected songs, and on playing drums for it! So, stick around, we’ve got the highlights just for you!
Hayley Williams Tells Apple Music About Being Proud of Her New Album:
“All that, …I’m going to put out the whole record at one time. We toyed with like maybe going off of what we did with Petals For Armor. But I think there’s a lot that we could talk about. I think I’m really, really proud that I played everything on it. And I’m also really, really proud that this album is what I have to show for surviving a year that was tough for everyone. No matter if real and very personal things kept happening to everyone and global things happen to the collective.
I lived it. And also, at the same time, it is so raw and so of the moment, but it also is such a culmination of all the lessons I’ve learned throughout multiple relationships that just felt like my own body was eating itself, you know? I just haven’t had a good enough relationship with myself to receive pure and simple stuff, like romantic relationships. I’ve been in therapy now since we got home from After Laughter, and I still go every week. I’m very fortunate that I can do that, but writing all of this stuff was kind of my … I didn’t know I was writing songs. I know that probably seems hard to believe, but a lot of them before we got into the studio were just half songs. Things that I would just turn on my voice memo on my phone and barely mumble through some stuff, and then I was able to sort of make sure that I was crafting it right once we were in the studio.”
Hayley Williams Tells Apple Music How Her New Album Is A Product of 2020:
“Yeah, at first, I will say there was a comfort in knowing that for millions of reasons, everyone was just low. And then it got to the point where it was like I don’t want to ask anyone how they’re doing, and I don’t want anyone to ask me how they’re doing and it’s not because I don’t care, but it’s just… I don’t know. There got to be a point where it was like, oh, like everything feels like it could be, could not be a trauma. I mean, number one, I wasn’t seeing anyone really. I stayed really isolated. I forget how lonely some of those days were. As I realized I had written a bunch of songs, I really didn’t even think… Because I was doing those self-serenades all the time, just like playing covers on Instagram and posting those up for people to have. A lot of them weren’t popular songs, it was just things that were bringing me comfort. And then sort of a few months went by and I realized like, oh, I’ve been writing my own stuff. I thought I’d be on tour right now in another country probably so bored of room service and-In a lot of ways, it was still about diving deeper into being okay with taking something into my own hands, which you know I’ve had problems with in the past. Just like really owning something and not deflecting or being all about the other, but really being proud that I can house myself and I can do things within myself and with my own hands. I mean, I feel like I got better at guitar, which was cool. I haven’t had this much time to play guitar since I was a teenager before we started touring, and that was also just really therapeutic.”
Hayley Williams Tells Apple Music The Album Is “A Picture of Heartbreak”:
“Well, the album is obviously as good of a picture of heartbreak as I could do. And also, I realized as I was untangling a lot of knots in myself that there are just so many ways that I learned how to love that were not right. And unlearning something that you’re 31 years in on is really tough. And so some of the stuff that I talk about on Petals for Armor, it’s like I’m still in those processes. And honestly, if we had toured Petals for Armor, I probably wouldn’t have gotten to get to the underbelly. I probably thought I was there, and I wasn’t even close. Because being out there and being so busy all the time, and having people… Even though there are times you feel naked because there’s a lot of eyes on you, it’s the most insulated that I ever feel is being on tour.”
Hayley Williams Tells Apple Music Why Her New Album is a “Songwriters Album”:
“I always reference back to my seventh-grade year when mom and I moved to Nashville, we did run away, like quite literally. And we came here to seek refuge, and we also had some family friends in town, and that’s how we got on our feet here. But that’s when everything in my life opened up. That’s when I met the guys, that’s when music became within reach for me. Like, right? I learned to play the guitar. And I’m really proud of this album because it’s as much of a songwriter’s album is, I’ve ever made. I mean, at the end of the day, I wrote these songs just on my acoustic guitar by myself and had voice memos of them. And then it turned into an album.”
Hayley Williams Tells Apple Music About Her Song ‘Inordinary’:
“One of my favorite songs on the record is called ‘Inordinary.’ And the reason that I have such a reaction to it is that I think I started talking about something small, and an incident in my life, and then it blooms into… It goes from wanting to belong to someone, and then belonging to a lot of people, and then belonging with somebody. And then realizing, oh man, I can barely remember what it feels like to just belong to myself. And I got to experience of a long period of time in this, however many minutes this song is. And I’m really, really proud of that.”
Hayley Williams Tells Apple Music About Playing Drums on the Album:
“I’m really hard to please with it too because I’m in a band with my favorite drummer in the world. So it’s like, I really… Yeah. I was always going to be hard on myself, but I also, with all of the instruments, I was easy enough on myself to understand, look, this actually… Like, doing all this sh*t is just fun for me. And I don’t have to play it perfectly. And I recorded this with my friend, Dan, who wrote ‘Dead Horse‘ with me, and ‘Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris‘ with me and Taylor, that he produced this. And we did this in this room that I’m sitting in right now in my house. And I just told him, I was like, “Look, be as hard as you need to be on me when I’m playing. But also, I’m not going to be pissed if you nudge something because I just f**king couldn’t get something right.” I just tried not to agonize over it, and really let myself play. Because I think that is real healing is when you are a grown adult and you can still remember how to play like a child and enjoy something for what it is.”
Hayley continued to share in the interview about being grateful for her mom, finding resilience, reflecting on her persona on and off the stage, reminiscing on moving to Nashville as a kid, and meeting Hanson while on the road. If you loved reading through the highlights but want to hear it in Hayley Williams’ voice, you can check out the full interview with Apple Music below!
What was your favorite thing you learned from this interview? What did you like most about FLOWERS for VASES/descansos? Let’s keep the conversation going by tweeting us @TheHoneyPOP or commenting below! Want the inside buzz? Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for the sweetest pop culture news!
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Featured Image Source: Courtesy of Zane Lowe on Apple Music