Paramore fans everywhere are getting out their paint and brushes to apply a full face of clown makeup. At the end of 2023, the band’s social media were wiped clean, and their website was deemed inaccessible, stirring up rumors that they had called it quits for the umpteenth time. But behind the scenes, Paramore were recalibrating following the conclusion of their 20-year recording contract with Atlantic Records and preparing to launch their next chapter.
On Wednesday, Paramore returned to social media and shared the first official teaser trailer for A24 Music’s forthcoming Stop Making Sense tribute album. It’s the only post on their Instagram account. Honoring Talking Heads, the record will feature 16 artists performing songs from the band’s pivotal 1984 live album Stop Making Sense. In the clip, directed by AJ Gibboney and Paramore’s Zac Farro, frontwoman Hayley Williams receives a massive package in the mail. Inside the box, she finds an oversized suit jacket replicating the one David Byrne wears in the original album artwork.
“I’ve got a tape I’d like to play you,” Williams tells Farro and Taylor York, popping in the Stop Making Sense cassette. The trailer closes out with a snippet previewing Paramore’s cover of “Burning Down the House.”
Paramore first teased a collaboration with Talking Heads during an appearance at the New Yorker Festival in October 2023. “All I’m going to say is it’s fucking insane. It’s incredible. It’s unreal,” she told the audience. She revealed that Paramore had originally sought to include Byrne on their recently released remix album Re: This Is Why, but decided they would be better off “saving” it for something.
Williams added: “And hopefully, it won’t be too long before we get to share it. But we decided it was too special, and we needed to wait, and there’s more to that story, and you’ll know all about it as soon as we’re able to share.”
Re: This Is Why marked Paramore’s final release in their contract with Atlantic Records, who signed Williams as a technical solo artist when she was around 14 or 15 years old. Before their slate was even entirely wiped clean, the trio were looking forward to the future.
“To have people who obviously knew music and knew the business and knew how to take advantage, we kind of got in a situation where I was carted around to labels. And it’s a very long story that I promised to put in like a book or something one day, but because it’s so layered — especially when I realized how young we actually were,” she explained at the New Yorker Festival event. “I think we were playing checkers, and everyone else was playing chess. But it is one of the most heartbreaking things about our story is we were such a unit and I kind of got pulled away from it. And at the same time, we’re grateful because maybe that was our chance and that’s how we can still be here.”
This Is Why, released around this time last year, marked the first album in Paramore’s discography to have been made with the same lineup as its predecessor. After years of building the band up just to have to effectively start over from scratch not long after, they’re more stable than ever. Later this year, they will join Taylor Swift on the European leg of the Eras tour, and Williams has already hinted at Paramore getting back into the studio.
In an October 2023 interview with Rolling Stone, Williams shared: “I was talking to Zac and Taylor about this recently. Sometime in the middle of this tour, we all started getting really excited about making new music again. We’re just ready to be back in the studio. And we still have plenty of shows — we’re going to do the Eras tour next summer, we have the New Zealand/Australia run, there’s a couple of dates happening early next year. But there’s something that we all are metabolizing finally, about the last few years of the band, but also existing.”