Paramore are retiring their breakthrough single “Misery Business” from their live shows, AltPress reports. The band made the announcement during a performance at the inaugural Paramore Art + Friends festival in their Nashville hometown yesterday. “Tonight we’re playing this song for the last time for a really long time,” frontwoman Hayley Williams explained to the audience. “This is a choice that we’ve made because we feel that we should. We feel like it’s time to move away from it for a little.”
The hit, which originally appeared on their 2007 album Riot!, has been criticized as “anti-feminist” for the lines “Once a whore, you’re nothing more/ I’m sorry that’ll never change.” Williams has opted not to sing those lines at some shows in the past, and she addressed the controversy directly in an interview with Track 7 last year to commemorate the album’s 10th anniversary.”
The thing that annoyed me was that I had already done so much soul-searching about it, years before anyone else had decided there was an issue. When the article began circulating, I sort of had to go and rehash everything in front of everybody,” Williams said. “It was important, however, for me to show humility in that moment. I was a 17 year old kid when I wrote the lyrics in question and if I can somehow exemplify what it means to grow up, get information, and become any shade of ‘woke,’ then that’s a-okay with me.”
Williams went on to explain that the lyrics were ripped directly from a page in her high school diary. “The problem with the lyrics is not that I had an issue with someone I went to school with. That’s just high school and friendships and breakups,” she continued. “It’s the way I tried to call her out using words that didn’t belong in the conversation. It’s the fact that the story was setup inside the context of a competition that didn’t exist over some fantasy romance.”
“I believe I was supposed to have written those backwards words and I was supposed to learn something from them … years later,” she concluded. “It’s made me more compassionate toward other women, who maybe have social anxieties … and toward younger girls who are at this very moment learning to cope and to relate and to connect. We’re all just trying our damnedest. It’s a lot easier when we have support and community with each other. Vulnerability helps lay the foundation for all that.”
Watch Williams announce the retirement of the song and the band’s final (for now) performance of it below.
At the Paramore concert in Nashville and they just announced that they won’t be performing Misery Business again for a long time after this show. Omg. pic.twitter.com/wARvoYGz76
— Tyler Matl (@TylerMatl) September 8, 2018
amazing how much ppl *can* change. (mostly within). happy 10 years Miz Biz, u backward-minded lil rascal! & thank you for the life lessons. pic.twitter.com/wyqqc7SPpY
— hayley from Paramore (@yelyahwilliams) May 15, 2017
for the record, folks- this whole miz biz conversation was yrs ago. literally. tired of sensationalism around what’s “good”/”bad” feminism.
— hayley from Paramore (@yelyahwilliams) August 1, 2017
This article originally appeared on Stereogum.