Hayley Williams on Being Compared to Gwen

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From The Boston Herald:

Hayley Williams is a near-perfect Gwen Stefani understudy.

She’s yet to ditch her massively popular, vaguely punk band Paramore for a solo career. But Williams has fast developed into a Stefani-like brand: gracing magazine covers, setting Hot Topic-approved fashion trends and guesting on blockbuster singles (most notably B.o.B’s everywhere-hit “Airplanes”).

The 21-year-old emo-sweetheart is flattered to be thought of as heir to Stefani’s crown: Big No Doubt fans, Paramore opened for the band on their ’09 summer tour. But she doesn’t entirely buy the comparison.

“Gwen is like, what, twice my age? And she’s still got a lot of music and more left in her,” Williams said while driving around Nashville and trying (somewhat unsuccessfully) not to run red lights. The singer was rushing around town preparing for Paramore’s biggest North American headlining tour to date. It comes to the Comcast Center in Mansfield on Wednesday.

“I want to be the first Hayley from Paramore,” she said. “Not the second Gwen Stefani.”

Williams, 21, says record execs aren’t yet clamoring for a solo record from her, which seems a little surprising. But she says she’s not about to ditch her Paramore boys: guitarist Taylor York, bassist Jeremy Davis, drummer Zac Farro and ex-boyfriend and guitarist Josh Farro (like Stefani, Williams’ ex is still her bandmate and songwriting partner).

She says her guests spots on other people’s records are about having fun, not an exit strategy.

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