Though they never considered themselves a Christian band, divisions in members' faith reportedly led to the recent break up of Platinum-selling pop band Paramore.
"We were all growing further apart," musicians Josh and Zac Farro wrote last week after deciding to leave the group. "Suddenly the band had split into two sides."
The "sides" the Farro brothers write about were divided by the religious views of some of the Tennessee-based band's members.
The band's music and lyrics resonated with young Christians, creating a significant fan base that has been shaken by the brothers' decision to leave. Christianity Today reports:
"Our faith is very important to us," Josh Farro told the BBC in 2008. "It's obviously going to come out in our music because if someone believes something then their worldview is going to come out in anything they do. But we're not out here to preach to kids, we're out here because we love music."
In 2007, lead singer Hayley Williams agonized in a LiveJournal post about lyrics she wrote which she said used God's name "in vain."
"I'm ashamed to say that, although I'm a believer in Jesus Christ and I claim him as my God, when I wrote those lyrics I wasn't addressing him," Williams wrote. "I might have led some of y'all to believe that I take my saviour lightly, and I don't."
But the Farro brothers say that when they sat down to put together their most recent album, Brand New Eyes, Williams had changed.
"Hayley presented lyrics to us that were really negative and we didn’t agree with. For example, 'the truth never set me free,' which contradicts what the Bible says in John 8:32." ("Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.")
"The truth never set me free / so I did it myself," Williams sings in the Brand New Eyes song "Careful."
The brothers Farro also quoted Amos 3:3 from the New Living Translation: “Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?”
To see the official video of the song "Careful," click the image:
This video tracks the lyrics to "Careful":
Over the last year, however, the brothers claimed that deepening divisions forced them to "roll over" and let the band go. "We fought her about how her lyrics misrepresented our band and what we stood for, but in the end she got her way," they wrote.
The remaining band members posted an online message for their fans, assuring them there were no hard feelings:
"A couple of months ago, Josh and Zac let us know they would be leaving the band after our show in Orlando last Sunday. None of us were really shocked. For the last year it hasn't seemed as if they wanted to be around anymore. We want Josh and Zac to do something that makes them happy and if that isn't here with us, then we support them finding happiness elsewhere. But we never for a second thought about leaving any of this behind." The post also stated that the remaining members had no intention of disbanding.
They also added "As we look back, and now as we look with excitement to the future, in all of this what truly matters are the good times. The pictures of us with our arms around each other, the long van rides, your faces while you sing along as we play. Thank you for getting us right here to this very moment. We look forward to our best times. And we hope you will go there with us."
"What started as natural somehow morphed into a manufactured product of a major label, riding on the coattails of 'Hayley’s dream,'" the brothers fired back last week, adding they were still looking to work out "a friendly way to leave our part of Paramore intact with the remaining band members, including Hayley."