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Content marketing and SEO are often seen as separate tactics that are independent of one another. This couldn't be further from the truth. In order to execute content marketing strategy, you need to incorporate SEO. To do SEO well in today's landscape
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Paramore: ‘I’ve wanted to quit this band so many times’

A revolving door of members, bitter legal disputes and public spats will the rock sensations be able to keep it together as they release their biggest album yet?

Southern hospitality is no joke. Arriving in Nashville, its as though Ive stepped into the animated portion of a previously live-action existence. Everyone I meet whirs with a rootin-tootin-how-ya-dootin folksiness that makes me feel both cared for and slightly car sick. In the taxi from the airport I say: The weather is nice, and the cab driver says, Well thank you, we aim to please, as if the locals had conferred and agreed to make it clear skies and 24 degrees. On my first night at a honky-tonk bar, a wasted hockey fan throws both hands on my shoulders and leans right in so my nose brushes against his. I feel certain hes going to punch me in the face until he whispers: Listen, I can tell youre not from around here so I just gotta say, you have to try the fried bologna sandwich, you wont have tasted nothing like it.

Hayley Williams, Paramores lead singer and only continuous member, moved here when she was 13 after her mum and stepfather divorced. During the bands early pop-punk phases she was known for her ever-changing hair colour and Hot Topic get-ups but today she bounds into the bouji brunch place shes chosen with platinum blond hair and a fitted leather jacket. She could easily be mistaken for one of the modern country stars that flock to the city each year to record in its famed studios.

Paramore formed when Williams was 15. Shes now 28 and, basically, those intervening years have never been smooth sailing. Oddly, for a mainstream-focused rock band with a wholesome Christian background whose musical output is relatively uncontroversial, the band seem constantly embroiled in some huge internal fracas; it would be impossible to recount Paramores various bust-ups and reconfigured lineups in the Guides tiny pages.

Their eponymous fourth album, released in 2013, was an unprecedented success: it went to No 1 in the US and UK, secured them a co-headline slot at the Reading and Leeds festivals, and won them a Grammy for the single Aint It Fun. They had become one of the biggest bands in the world, yet it was hard to get past a bitter open letter that Williamss guitarist ex-boyfriend Josh Farro and his younger brother, drummer Zac, had released on his blog in 2010. Both left the band citing Williams and the labels controlling behaviour. One of the most stinging accusations was that her dad would constantly threaten to pull the plug on the whole band if we complained about anything, suggesting that we were hired guns riding on the coattails of Hayleys dream.

The remaining members Williams, bassist Jeremy Davis and guitarist Taylor York were struggling but told the Guardian at the time that the new lineup was the best thing that could have possibly happened and that they were now happy and settled as a band. It seemed as if their sagas were finally coming to an end and a new era as a triumphant triumvirate had begun.

But things didnt work out that way. Two years ago, Davis quit the band and is currently suing them in federal court for a greater share of royalties and touring revenue. He claims that Williams agreed that the three of them would share authorship for all 17 songs on the last record. When it came down to it, Williams and York were credited as songwriters on every track with Davis only getting a credit on Interlude: Holiday, a 70-second banjo ditty.

Taylor York has stuck by the band and, seven years after quitting, Zac Farro is now back in the fold. Both follow Williams into the restaurant, and as we sit around eating omelettes and comparing caffeine addictions, you wouldnt ever know there had been any animosity among them.

At one point, Farros youngest brother, Jonathan, FaceTimes him to say hes having another baby. Farro cant believe it. Hes screaming. He passes the phone to me. Mazel tov, I say. He passes the phone to Williams. APRIL FOOLS! screams Jonathan and everyone falls about laughing. Thats the vibe here: people who are so comfortable with each other that their siblings can punk them with fake news.

Hunter
Famous five … Hunter Lamb, Josh Farro, Haley Williams, Jeremy Davis and Zac Farro in 2006. Photograph: Ralph Notaro/Getty

But how? How can you be so chummy with people you publicly insulted after a huge bust up? The Farros open letter accused Williamss father of bullying members of the band and slammed Williams for writing ungodly lyrics. Was that all a lie? Or does Zac Farro think it was all true at the time but that things have changed?

He brushes that all away by insinuating he had less to do with the letter than it might have seemed. Farro was only 20 at the time and somewhat blames his older brother for the way things went down. Im a very loyal person to my family and I love them to death, he says. I stuck with Josh in a lot of things that I didnt necessarily have as much of a say in as he did some would say I lived in his shadow a bit and around that time [the open letter] came out I was realising that. How we were approaching leaving the band came across very differently.

The other two members nod supportively, suggesting that it was Josh rather than his little brother who had the biggest problem (they also hasten to add that Josh has been very supportive of Zac rejoining). And Farro says it also feels as if the furore happened in another lifetime. Its like that podcast Serial. You know the first one with Adnan [Syed]? he asks. It opens up and its like: try to remember what you did when you were a teenager, try to remember what happened at 10:30 in the morning on a Thursday. Its impossible. Within a week, you forget what happens.

So maybe the bad blood with Farro is a distant memory, but the absence of former bassist Davis still looms large. However, because of the ongoing legal proceedings, the band say they cant discuss why he left, or the royalties dispute, in interviews.

What I will say is that its such bullshit that were in a lawsuit, sighs Williams. I wasnt OK for a while; maybe Im still not.

Taylor York says that he didnt even feel Daviss leaving because he was so used to the pain of Paramore. I was just numb, he says. It was just another drama and another example of being in a band and it being really difficult, and feeling bad about that.We have the coolest job ever but why does it have to be so hard?

Obviously, I say, it doesnt have to be so hard. If being in Paramore is so stressful, why not just pack it in for good?

Oh yeah, says Williams, assuredly. Two years ago I asked Taylor if we could start a new band. I was so sick of this crap.I said we should just try something new, give it a new name.

York nods: Ive wanted to quit this band so many times. Going through all this conflict and drama over the years I was just like: Man, I feel like we can keep going, but this is not worth it if we dont want to be here.

So, if the only two remaining members wanted the band to end, why didnt it?No one can give me a straight answer as to why Paramore ended up deciding to make another record.

Honestly, I dont know, says Williams when I say there must be something,before making an attempt to explain. We, for some reason, kept showing up and kept writing and, little by little, the songs got better and we got a little more inspired to do it.

The songs they wrote together didnt sound anything like the earlier emo iterations of the band. There are some you could see as an evolution of the poppier stuff on the previous album but, if anything, they owe more to the 80s rock of Paul Simon and Dire Straits. Its not cheap 80s pastiche, though; the tracks are rich, smart pop that any megastar would kill for. In particular, first single Hard Times, with its Lionel Richie drums, heavily layered vocals and Daft Punk-style breakdown, you could easily imagine being their biggest hit to date.

Still, even with their old friend back and a fertile creative period, Im frustrated by the bands lack of explanation around what actually keeps going wrong. Even the song titles on the new record After Laughter: Forgiveness, Fake Happy, and Rose-Coloured Boy, with its refrain of just let me cry a little bit a longer, point to a band whose every day is a struggle.

Hayley
Reading matter … Hayley Williams on stage at Reading festival in 2014. Photograph: Isaac/LNP/Rex/Shutterstock

I push them on what infected their relationships. Their reticence to spill is partly, I think, the fact that they are all from this city, which, in public at least, seems like a place where if you dont have anything nice to say you shouldnt say it at all. Sometimes, that southern kindness can be a barrier to discussions about whats really going on, something they admit has been an issue in the past.

We grew up in a very conservative environment, explains York, where you always give people space because you dont want conflict. So, if something pissed you off, you dont talk about it. But the biggest change in their lives is the most obvious one: age. The first 10 or 12 times Paramore had a bust-up, they were teenagers. When someone was unhappy they sulked or, worse, took to their personal social media channels to let their feelings be known. That open angst played a big role in the bands success with their teenage fanbase but was also a sign that they didnt have the wherewithal to handle things going wrong.

If there is something intangible that none of us can place thats different about this record, I sense that theres a lot of acceptance of things not being shiny, says Williams. Weve all lost that teenage thing of trying to hold on so tight to someone, not realising youre choking them. [When] you become an adult, you hold each other loosely, so everyone can show up as themselves. Weve spent more time hanging out and laughing doing this record and equally crying together over things that happened that we never dealt with.

Thats definitely a process theyre still living through, even in this interview: by this point, the brunch place has filled with bachelorette parties and weve moved to a more insular private room. It starts to feel like that bit in Mean Girls where everyone talks about their feelings.

Sometimes, the trio will revert back to empty platitudes about how good everything is. At one point, Farro says: I used to be, like, Wow, the future looks so far away, now Im, like, I hope I can keep up because its right around the corner. But at other times, a kind of darkness boils over. I ask whether they think about what theyll do when theyre, say, in their 50s, considering the band is all that theyve known. That seems to throw them.

Taylor
Lesprit descalier … (left to right) Taylor York, Hayley Williams and Zac Farro. Photograph: Lindsey Byrnes

If I envision my future, its really dark, says York. I just cant even go there in my head. I know it sounds weird but I think I get enough anxiety and fear about tomorrow or this afternoon.

Three hours after we first meet, its kind of tense in the room. They are really lovely and kind and say thank you for the interview, but it is apparent that for the band to work in the long run they cant just pretend to be OK; they have to say what they actually feel.

In the past, weve made it our mission to shove down peoples throats what we want them to see. You know: Its us three now, were doing so good! says Williams. And I think we dont really have that agenda any more. Oddly, I think were actually in a better place as a band than weve ever been. I think in the past this would have pissed us off. Not you, but this drudging through it; but I think now its, like, cool. It almost makes it less of a big deal because were not resisting it so much.

Suddenly, they have to run off. They jump into Williamss car and drive four hours to Atlanta where theyve managed to snag Radiohead tickets. Theyre not taking meetings or anything while theyre there. Just mates going to see a band. Williams emails the next day, telling me about their road-trip playlist and how hyped they were. No Surprises was so rad to hear live, she writes because I remember listening to it, sitting on the back of Joshs car with Zac and Taylor and a few other friends while we watched fireworks on the fourth of July in 2003.

Thats when I understand why they are still plugging away with Paramore. Because the people still in the band, the ones willing to sit through interviews and work through problems, are the ones whose friendship withstood everything it was put through.

Paramores new album After Laughter is out on 12 May; their new single, Hard Times, is out now

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Louis Vuitton’s newest fashion model is a character from Final Fantasy

French fashion house Louis Vuitton has recruited a new model to feature in its spring/summer 2016 campaign, but it’s not someone you’ll recognize from the usual fashion magazines or even from Hollywood.

The character Lightning from the Final Fantasy series stars in new images and a video shared by Louis Vuitton’s creative director Nicolas Ghesquiere on Instagram. In the caption, Ghesquiere introduces the video with the description “reality and fantasy become one” and describes Lightning as “a genuine heroine.”

Reality and fantasy become one : lightning a genuine heroine in the new @louisvuitton series 4 ad campaign

A video posted by (@nicolasghesquiere) on Dec 25, 2015 at 1:38pm PST

The campaign isn’t just Louis Vuitton shoving the character into its outfits either. Video game developer Square Enix‘s Visual Works studio and Square Enix character designer Tetsuya Nomura worked on the imagery for the campaign. As IGN points out, the clothes worn by Lightning featured in Louis Vuitton’s spring/summer 2016 show at Paris Fashion Week this fall. The first model even bears a resemblance to the video game character.

Lightning for @louisvuitton #lvss16

A photo posted by (@nicolasghesquiere) on Dec 28, 2015 at 5:19am PST

Lightning by tetsuya nomura and visual works of square enix for the new @louisvuitton ad campaign #LVSS16

A photo posted by (@nicolasghesquiere) on Dec 26, 2015 at 10:47am PST

Gamers might not be used to seeing Lightning wield a purse instead of her gunblades, but the images are stunning and we have no doubt Lightning is still prepared to handle anything in her high-fashion wardrobe. While fan reaction on social media was mixed, overall many seem pleased with the campaign.

It’s true those outside the video game world might find themselves asking “Who is this?” when looking at the images. But this is not the first time characters fromFinal Fantasyhave collided with fashion:Final Fantasy XIII-2charactersmodeledItalian fashion house Pradas collection in 2012 and Square Enix previouslycollaboratingwith Japanese brand ROEN.

With the campaign gaining attention in both the entertainment and fashion press, however, Lightning and the broader idea of combining video games and fashion are being introduced to a whole new audience.

H/T IGN | Image via nicolasghesquiere/Instagram

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3 Career Benefits You Can Only Get From Working With Other Interns

Internships have become vital forms of work experience for people trying to get their foot in the door of competitiveindustries.

I recently finished a three-month internship with a successful media publication. When asked for program feedback on my last day, I told themthere were times whentherewas nothing for me to do because each day, they had multiple interns available for tasks.

I thought Id be the only intern there, but I definitely wasnt. During my internship, I constantly saw this as a negative. When you go to an office each day expecting to be given a days work and youre left twiddling your thumbs, its easy to feel frustrated.

As I look back now, I realize working alongside other interns actually had some benefits.

Here are three of them:

1. You learn to kill comparison.

During my internship, some of the interns got their stories published. I was not one of them.

At first, I was extremely jealous of my peers. I desperately wanted to get published by that popular publication, but sadly, my creative juices simply refused to flow.

The jealousy I felt soon turned into the ugly comparison monster: Why cant I get published, too? Am I not good enough for this line of work? Does my boss regret giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity?

Thankfully, I quicklyrealized that jealousy, and the act of comparing, were to assist me in no way.

Rather than turning into a Regina George type of gal, I learned how to be genuinely happy for my fellow interns: They had created impressive original work, and that deserved my congratulations.

I also learned how to stop comparing and truly listen to this quote I found on Tumblr:

Stop comparing where youre at with where everyone else is. It doesnt move you farther ahead, improve your situation or help you find peace. It just feeds your shame, fuels your feelings of inadequacy and ultimately, it keeps you stuck. The reality is that there is no one correct path in life. Everyone has their own unique journey.

Daniell Koepke


2. You learn to be a team-player.

Co-workers are part of a team, and within that, interns are their own mini (unpaid) team. If you go about your dayalongside other interns, you learn about what it means to have someone elses back at work.

When everyone else in the office is too busy to hold a proper conversation with you or go grab a meal with you at lunchtime, your fellow interns are there for you.

You help them understand how WordPress works when theyre too embarrassed to ask a staff member, and in return, they give you golden advice based on their own experiences like who you should CC in an email if you want to make sure your pitches actually get read.

How To Boost Your Confidence In The Workplace [LABS]


3. You make like-minded friends.

Before startingmy internship, I had an awesome group of friends (and I still do). But none of them studied the same thing as me in college, had a similar passion for writing or obsessed over the same publications I did.

During my internship, I befriended people who studied similar things to what I studied, were also pursuing careers in the media industry and genuinely enjoyed reading from the same publications as me. It was new, and it was awesome.

We read each others articles and blog posts, and we became one when we complained about our internship experiences inour secret interns only Facebook group.

When youre not the only intern at a company, you get the chance to meet and befriend like-minded people.

Despite your differing backgrounds, you have things in common: You obviously all love the company you intern for (why else would you work for free?), and youre all desperately trying to kick-start your dream career.

Who knows? Your intern peers today could be your co-workers tomorrow.

They could also be your pathway toward a real job, or even your support system as you continue to try and make a name for yourself.

And thats pretty priceless.


This article was originally published on the authors personal blog.

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No Lights, no Lorde: impersonator dupes Auckland partygoers

Convincing impersonator found to be behind surprise live performance by super ultra special guest at lights-off New Zealand dance party

New Zealand has been sent in a tailspin after a surprise performance by Lorde at an Auckland public library was found to have been by a convincing impersonator.

The pop star was widely reported by attendees of the weekly No Lights No Lycra dance party to have made a guest appearance to perform her new single, Green Light, on Monday night.

A super ultra special guest had been teased in the lead-up to the event, billed as a weekly hour of dance freedom in total darkness at the Grey Lynn library for a door charge of NZ$7.

Total darkness apparently worked in the impersonators favour, with many of those in attendance excitedly posting on social media about Lordes surprise appearance.

You know you are in Auckland City when Lorde casually rocks out as the surprise guest at your local No Lights No Lycra hosted at the community library, posted one attendee on Facebook. Those are some pretty stoked faces right there!

Another thanked Ella Yelich OConnor, a.k.a. #Lorde you secret ninja you, surprising us like that and your voice was amazing live in the little hall in the dark!

the prij (@theprij)

When you go to No Lights No Lycra and the last track is Lorde performing Green Light LIVE

March 27, 2017

But she wasnt there, as the New Zealand Herald reported on Tuesday.

In fact, shes currently thousands of kilometres away eating Creme Eggs with her mum in London.

The pop stars mother, Sonia Yelich-OConnor, had responded to an excited report on Twitter, calling it weird: We are in London [right now] me n @lorde, adding the Union Jack emoji.

Sonja Yelich (@sonjayelich1)

@theprij weird – we are in London rn – me n @lorde

March 27, 2017

We in London, confirmed Lorde on Instagram, with a photo of herself eating a Creme Egg.

She later tweeted of the furore that it was deeply fake news but quite cute.

Lorde (@lorde)

@chelseajade @crobker this is deeply fake news but quite cute lol

March 27, 2017

The No Lights No Lycra crowd had been primed to expect a super ultra special guest by organiser Craig Neilson.

He posted on Facebook on Tuesday morning that the cat was out of the bag, naming the Lorde impersonator as Hannah Horsfield, a music student at Auckland University.

He told the Guardian that, of the crowd of approximately 100 people, nearly everyone went away convinced that it was the real deal.

I really expected that people would be leaving the hall a bit uncertain, but I guess I really shouldnt have underestimated Hannah.

Neilson had told New Zealands Newshub that the prank was an early celebration of April Fools Day, to which Newshub drily added: The April Fools prank was played … almost a week before April 1.

Asked by the Guardian whether Monday 27 March was not a bit premature, he said: We celebrate Christmas from the start of October, so …

New Zealanders responded to the prank with bemusement on social media.

Eddy Dever (@EddyDever)

Name a more iconic Auckland hoax than @lorde performing (not performing) at No Lights No Lycra

March 27, 2017

Eli Matthewson (@EliMatthewson)

More like No Lights No Lorde lololol

March 27, 2017

Joseph Moore (@josephmoore1)

Incredible! @lorde was the surprise adjudicator at my junior certificate debate last night!

March 27, 2017

The Guardian, and Lorde, and Lordes mum, and everyone who follows either of them on Twitter can confirm that Lorde is still in London.

Her second album, Melodrama, is due to be released on 16 June.

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