This was the first single from American pop punk band Paramore's third studio album, Brand New Eyes.
Frontwoman Hayley Williams told Kerrang! May 9,2009: "In my eyes, this song is a huge turning point for the band. The truth of it is, growing up is not easy. We're five different people who have to work towards the same goal on a daily basis. There were a lot of times when I felt really alone or angry or insecure. I don't always feel good at confronting people, especially people that I love, like these guys. Sometimes it takes songs to get the point across. The song is from one person's perspective. It's unfair that I'm the one who gets to talk about it but it helped me a lot. The line 'ignorance is your new best friend' is about how I felt I was losing people, and I think the band did too. But it's okay, we're growing up. I love that song."
Williams explained to MTV News the meaning behind the album title: "It was meant to be a song on the record. It was one of the first songs we put together, and it just didn't work out... the lyric was originally really sad and negative. It was, 'I lost all my friends since they got brand-new eyes.' But we didn't use the song, [and we] stole the lyric because we liked the sound of it. Basically, the concept is, 'In order for our band to move on to whatever's next - and also us personally, as individuals, in order to grow up - [we needed to start] seeing each other, seeing everything, in a whole new perspective. Just trying to let go of whatever we might have struggled with the past and just see each other in a new way." Bassist Jeremy Davis added: "We had tossed around a bunch of other ideas and talked about it. But in the same discussion, 'Brand New Eyes' came up, and we all thought about it for a second, and then we didn't think about it again. It just felt so right, right away."
Hayley Williams told Alternative Press about this song: "The guys and I needed this song. We really did. I don't think any of those words were going to be said had they not been written to music. We were at our practice space and no one was coming up with anything. I could tell Josh was really bummed. He looked up at us and was like, 'Listen, guys, I'm never gonna write another song like 'Misery Business' so get over it.' Then he turned around and started playing this riff. I thought, 'Well, that one will do.' Then I took the demo of it with me and wrote the lyrics on the way home in my car. 'Ignorance' is like word-vomit put to guitars and spastic drumming."
Hayley Williams explained in an interview with The Guardian how this song saved the band from splitting up "I tried to mumble all the way through," she said about the first time she sung the lyrics to her Paramore bandmates. "But Taylor [York, guitarist] was right next to the speaker and heard every word. He gave me this fierce look – I thought he was going to kill me – and said, 'So do you want to tell me about those lyrics?' I ran into the bathroom, I was so nervous. But we talked for two hours and reconciled a lot of tough, heavy things. That song saved our band."
It was announced on December 18, 2010 that Josh and Zac Farro were leaving the band. The departure was acrimonious with Josh, whom Hayley dated for a time, claiming there was a lot more going on behind the scenes than most fans were aware of. Hayley responded in a MTV interview with the revelation that the majority of the songs on Brand New Eyes were about him. "It was really hard, because we were all friends, and then going through a breakup and going through any kind of tension as a band really affected all the lyrics," she said. "There are a lot of specifics that I pulled from my experience with just feeling like my face was underneath a boot all the time."
This cast a fresh light on such lyrics as this song's, "Where's your gavel, your jury/ What's my offense this time?"