Paramore: Screaming ‘Hallelujah’

Paramore is a band you want to keep your ears peeled for! Multiplying its fans by the hour, Paramore has continued to blow the minds and musical expectations of fans and critics alike. That’s not all, though. Here’s the best News: Paramore is a band comprised of young, talented and unashamed Christians.

In their thank you notes on the “RIOT!” album, all four band members thanked Jesus Christ. Their lyrics speak of misplaced faith, brokenness and of screaming “hallelujah.” A number of sideline observers of the buzz worthy emo pop “punk” band from Franklin, Tenn., are looking for more information on what the band thinks about the so-called “Jesus issue.”

“I try to talk about struggles and imperfections,” says lead singer Hayley Williams about her Christian faith in a Rolling Stone interview, “and even questioning your faith at times. I don’t have anything figured out that the next kid doesn’t. It’s the people who shove their faith down people’s throats who create the stigma against artists with religious backgrounds.”

Formed in 2004, Paramore has been supported by top notch producers and record gurus. In 2005, Paramore got their first “big break” when they were practically signed “on-the-spot” by John Janick, founder of the record label Fueled by Ramen.

Janick, “… was instantly struck,” the official Paramore website cites, “by their presence and their dedication. He immediately signed the band to the label.”

On the site, Williams adds, “Fueled By Ramen has been amazing to us. So many kids started checking us out because our name is on their roster. It’s like a big family. We all share such a massive unit of fans.”

It seems that current commercial success and touring hasn’t eroded Paramore’s testimony. As musicians, Paramore’s presence, hard work and music is worthy of all the recognition they’ve been duly given.

From a Christian perspective, perhaps many who didn’t know Jesus before may now consider Him as they realize that they “are broken” and in need of being restored as they listen to the lyrics of “We are broken,” written by Williams and fellow bandmember Josh Farro.

This is particularly true when one reads the very personal LiveJournal blog entry written by Williams regarding the controversial use of God’s name and the phrase, “Once a whore, you’re nothing more,” in the song, “Misery Business,” the band’s most popular song.

The song, as Williams explains, “… is a true story … written at a time in my life that I felt very bitter towards a girl, who I still haven’t forgiven, for a lot of things that she did a few years ago.”

In July 2007, as concern grew over the lyrics, Williams decided to write a moving and apologetic LiveJournal blog entry on the story behind the song.

“I’m ashamed to say that, although I’m a believer in Jesus Christ, and I claim him as my God, when I wrote those lyrics I wasn’t addressing him. I was using his name casually. In vain, to be blunt. … [You] probably know that one of the Ten Commandments is ‘Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord your God in vain’ … It goes on to say, ‘… For the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.’

“As a believer in Christ, that last part scares the hell out of me,” Williams continues. “I don’t want to be held accountable for being the cause of so many people using his name in vain. You don’t have to believe in what I believe, and no one in Paramore is ever going to go around forcing our faith into people’s lives. … But, believer or not, I might have led some of y’all to believe that I take my Savior lightly. And I don’t.”

Williams also adds that God brought her through that tough time that resulted in “Misery Business.”

“When I sing those lines that I used to sing in vain, I mean them in a different way,” she says. “… Just know that as for me, when I am singing those lines, I’m telling God that it feels good to stand up for myself and be victorious after long months of confusion and pain. I don’t hurt the same way anymore.”

Paramore will perform in West Palm Beach on Wednesday, June 3, at the Cruzan Amphitheatre, opening up for No Doubt.

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