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Hayley Williams on Depression: ‘My Dog Is the Reason I’m Alive’

Singer talks upcoming solo debut, suicidal thoughts and adoration for Billie Eilish in new interview

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In a new interview with Zane Lowe, Paramore’s Hayley Williams discussed her upcoming solo debut, depression and her adoration for Billie Eilish.

Williams teared up while discussing having suicidal thoughts during the making of Paramore’s 2017 album After Laughter. “My dog is the reason I’m alive, because he would’ve been waiting on me to get home, no matter what,” she admitted. “You know how little sweet little puppies sit and they wait? I couldn’t think about it…whoa, I’ve never cried in an interview before.”

“Because life is still hard,” she added. “It didn’t become a breeze overnight or anything and it’s been years and it’s still not a breeze, but it’s so rich and now that I’m taking account of all these feelings and I’m feeling all of them, there’s this beautiful rainbow versus just the deep end.”

The singer also discussed her respect for Billie Eilish. “We got a head start on the culture that is the internet now, and the fast-paced life that artists and people are living,” she says of Paramore, which she formed in 2004. “If I were Billie Eilish today — and granted she’s on a rocket that’s going so much higher than I would have ever even dreamed for Paramore — if that were me I would be insane and [struggle]. I am so happy there’s someone like her who has great, really cool family around her.”

Williams recently announced her debut solo LP, Petals For Armor, out May 8th. She dropped two singles — “Simmer” and “Leave It Alone” — both accompanied by videos directed by Warren Fu. “It’s the idea that being vulnerable is a shield,” she told Lowe of the LP. “Because how else can you be a human that’s inevitably gonna fuck up and trip in front of the world a million times? Are we scared of being canceled, or are we just scared of looking stupid?”