by Sofie Karlsson
It’s been six years since Josh Farro left world-famous band Paramore and soon after, jumped straight into his solo career. Brig’s Sofie Karlsson had the pleasure of interviewing FARRO, where he talks about life after Paramore, his debut album ‘Walkways’ and the importance of taking risks.
It’s been a while since you independently launched as FARRO, how has it been going solo?
It’s been going really well. It feels great to play in shows again, it’s one of the best parts of it all. So I’m really enjoying it.
What have you done these six years, from leaving Paramore to going solo?
I have filled in and played with some other bands but it was never something permanent.
‘Cliffs’ is your most played song on Spotify, what personal meaning does this song have for you?
I wrote that song about taking a jump, that leap in life when you’re kind of scared to make that decision. In my case, I was quite hesitant to be a lead singer of a band. I wasn’t really sure if it would work, if I would like it or if I would be any good.
So I wrote that song to encourage myself to take the risk because at some point we all have to make that decision to take that jump. We can’t just live life, standing at the edge wondering what it would’ve been like. I think there is a lot of freedom in taking risks and not playing it big all the time. So I wrote ‘Cliffs’ for myself.
What artists have inspired your new sound?
I love all music genres but my main influences are The National, Coldplay and Radiohead. They are the ones I like to listen to myself so I’m sure the influences can be heard here and there.
When did you start writing the album ‘Walkaways’? Did you work on it for a while?
It took quite a bit but when I started recording, it took about two and a half months to really record everything. Then I decided to add three more songs, which were ‘Walkaways’, ‘Cliffs’ and ‘Dear Love’. So I went back into the studio and recorded and it took a month and a half to do those three. So it probably took four and a half months in total to do it all, it is quite a long process. But I think it was worth it.
Did you have any help writing this album or did you do it all on your own?
I wrote about half of it on my own and the other half, I wrote with friends. I just love to collaborate with other writers sometimes, especially with friends of mine.
It’s a little more enjoyable since I used to be in a band and write with other people. So now when it’s just me and I don’t have that, I kind of miss it, so I meet up with some of my friends and it feels like I’m in a band again but even though I’m not.
Is there a song on your album that you like the most?
I love all of them but I would say, the song ‘Home’. It’s really mellow and I like songs like that. It’s more my style which might sound weird, but it mostly depends on what mood I’m in that day. I would say though that ‘Walkaways’ are the most fun to play live. It’s fun and energetic so I really do love ‘Walkaways’.
Did your past experience with Paramore help you in writing ‘Walkaways’?
I know I definitely learned a lot being in Paramore. I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without it so I’m very thankful for that opportunity and that I got to experience that. So I would definitely say that ‘Walkaways’ would not be what it is without my past experience with Paramore.
When creating this album, did you ever feel like your sound sometimes reminded you of Paramore?
The goal was to be different. I didn’t want FARRO to be Paramore with my voice. I wanted to do something completely different. I really feel like ‘Walkaways’ definitely represents me as an individual but in some moments my music might sound a bit like Paramore cause my brother Zac played the drums in the beginning of making this album and I played the guitar so that might have made it sound like Paramore in some ways.
I did find it, though, that other people expected my music to sound more like Paramore but then thought it sounded way different.
How would you describe your change in music and style?
Well, when I look back at pictures from when I was like 16 or 17 and what I was wearing, I’m like ‘Oh my god [laughs], I can’t believe I thought that was cool’, so I think that our musical taste are much like our style in clothes.
In that young state of life, we like a specific kind of music and then we either grow out of it or we gain a new interest. In my Paramore days, I was into a lot of heavy rock music and now that the years have gone by, I feel like I have crossed over to a more Coldplay kind of feel. It´s still high energy but it’s not as much rock.
You’re doing a UK tour throughout November, what’s to come from FARRO in 2017?
There is a lot going on at the moment. But if the UK tour goes well then I can guarantee that I will be back over, early next year. Right now, we are just doing a lot of touring and I’m also writing new music. I´m really excited about the new music I have. Maybe I’ll go to the studio and record when I have time. So the goal is to continue to tour and to come out with new music.
FARRO’s latest album ‘Walkways’ is available now. You can also listen to the Deluxe Edition on Spotify.