Paramore’s Hayley Williams has responded to vulgar comments she says NOFX’s Fat Mike made about her when she was just a teenager.
In reflection of Paramore’s co-headlining performance for last year’s pop-punk When We Were Young festival, Williams opened up to Billboard about the mixed feelings she had regarding her band’s return to the emo scene.
The nostalgia-based Las Vegas festival was described as “an epic line-up of emo and rock bands from the past two decades,” but Williams said her memories of the emo heydays were skewed. “Everyone’s just trying to remember better days, and I’m sitting there like, ‘They weren’t that much better,'” she said.
“I was really surprised that I had so much anger well up in me because I was like, ‘Wait a minute. They’re treating us like a prize now, but like, Fat Mike used to tell people that I gave good rim jobs onstage when I was 19 years old,’” she said.
“I don’t think that’s punk. I don’t think that’s the essence of punk,” she continued. “And I feel strongly that without young women, people of color and also the queer community, I just think we would still be where we were then.”
This was a sentiment Williams also voiced onstage at When We Were Young, telling the crowd: “When Paramore came onto the scene, roughly around 2005, the scene was not always a safe place to be if you were different — if you were a young woman, if you were a person of color, if you were queer — and that’s really fucked up if you think about it. I’ve had my fill of letting older people — especially older men — tell me what punk rock is and tell me what punk rock is not. Just today, there was a crusty old fuck on the internet saying that punk was supposed to be anti-establishment. Well it is. And actually, I can think of nothing more anti-establishment than young women, than people of color and the queer community.”
A representative for Fat Mike did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.