Paramore’s Josh Farro on the Making of the New Album

EMO-POPSTERS PARAMORE HAVE BEEN making plenty of good noise in the music biz lately with their second record going platinum, a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, and a spot on the No Doubt summer tour. They also placed two songs on the Twilight soundtrack, and are currently in the studio working on their third album, which is set for a September 2009 release. Lead guitarist Josh Farro took a break from tracking to speak with GP about the new record. —Stephen Ordonez
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Did you go into the studio with a different mindset for this record?

I really wanted to experiment with different sounds as far as amps and guitars go. I wanted a wider variety of tones on this record.

Can you give a specific example of a guitar/amp combination you tried for the first time?

I played a Burns London Double Six 12-string through a Marshall JTM 45 in the bridge of “Brick by Boring Brick,” and it sounded really crisp and chimey. It was very different for me, because I’m not usually a fan of 12-strings, but it definitely added cool element to the song.

Is there a song where you went in with one idea about guitar tones but then totally changed direction?

For the intro of “Looking Up,” I saw it being just the usual Paramore guitar tone, which is pretty bright with lots of gain, but [producer] Rob Cavallo didn’t think it fit the part. He suggested I use a slightly cleaner, more lo-fi tone, which made the impact of the band coming in way more exciting. It’s easy to settle for any guitar tone for any song, but if you really dig in and listen, I’ve found that each song holds its own identity, therefore needing its own guitar tone.

What advice would you give to other guitarists or songwriters?

It’s pretty basic but I believe strongly in it: Write and perform what moves you.