Hayley Williams Reflects On Removing Tik Tok Hit From Paramore Setlist
Paramore’s ‘Misery Business’ reached a broad audience soon after its release, but the band members couldn’t enjoy their breakthrough for long since some of its lines stirred controversy. Paramore played in New York after a long time on November 13, and the concert featured emotional moments between the audience and the band members. During these conversations, one of the issues that frontwoman Hayley Williams touched upon was this song.
“[It felt] really right, felt like the right thing to do,” she said, appearing pleased with their decision to re-add ‘Misery Business’ to their setlist. She said, “We retired it for the four years we were off” and went on to call it “the worst self-inflicted lesson that we ever learned.”
She later said, “We are going to play that song, we’re going to play that TikTok hit, but not without this disclaimer. Thank you for growing up with us and learning the tough lessons, and thank you for being good people. We promise to be good people too and to keep learning these lessons.” And when the song launched, she shouted, “This song is about misogyny!”
When ‘Misery Business’ was released in 2007, it became Paramore’s breakthrough hit. However, in the following years, it started being criticized for conveying an ‘anti-feminist’ message. The lines in question were in the second verse: “Once a wh*re, you’re nothing more / I’m sorry that’ll never change.”
This lyrical content stirred controversy and was met with a massive backlash. Talking about these lyrics later, Hayley had said these were just lines from a page of her diary, reflecting her high school experiences. She was only seventeen when she wrote them and was just reflecting on her high school friendships and breakups.
Following these controversies, during a live show in 2018, Paramore announced that they would retire the song. In the retirement announcement, the frontwoman had said that they knew how to learn from their mistakes and embrace the lessons that brought them here. But now they think it’s time to move forward. After four years, on the night of November 13, the song’s retirement ended.