Today Frank Viele tells us the story behind "Broken Love Song" (featuring a guest appearance from Joe Bonamassa), which comes from his brand new album "Fall Your Way". Here is the story:
While a lot of my songs start with a theme or idea, this track started simply with a guitar riff. The main riff of the song was something I had developed being stuck in traffic all day listening to the Muddy Waters "Folk Singer" record in route to a show in Virginia. I was so enthralled with the whole acoustic blues approach he had on that record that when i got back to the hotel that night, i just felt like playing blues licks on my acoustic guitar. I stumbled into this riff as part of my goal to try and combine that acoustic blues swagger and soul with the constant strum rhythm technique I customarily play. Then I kind of kept the riff in my back pocket for a while waiting for the right story to tell with it.
Months later, I'm on a date with a girl who tells me she really likes my music but that I don't write enough happy songs about love and relationships. My response was that "my songs, or at least my stories, usually start happy. But they just end up sad in the end. It's almost as if they're broken". Thats when the idea of a "Broken Love Song" and the bluesy yet percussively insistent guitar riff I had been carrying in my back pocket seemed to come together.
I went home that night and began to pen the story of a misguided relationship I had fallen into and eventually out of. A relationship where because of situations outside of my control, life got in the way of two people's best intentions to build a life together.
The song starts out in the first verse with lines like "she's been running from every move I make". The first verse ends with the line "found it hard so she held on tight, wrapped her arms and held me all night. Now I'm singing love songs". This verse describes conquering the early obstacles of modern dating leading into the early part of the relationship when you find two essentially "love drunk" people enjoying all of the little things life and love have to offer.
The second verse starts off with discussing how "her world has gone astray". And then goes into the line where I'm "playing the role of her distraction". This is the verse that talks about the outside world getting in the way. Be it other people's opinions, confusion on one's personal path in life, geographical distance, or even the stereotypical resurfacing of an ex…in my case, all of those things were woven into the story that inspired this song.
Then the bridge comes in which has some of my favorite lyrics of the song.
With the realization that the person on the other side of this relationship knows she's hurting less than I am and is almost ashamed of her actions as she's the one making the decision to end the relationship, the bridge starts with the line "You're staring at the ground, so I fall to your feet".
The second line in the bridge goes into the whole power struggle that seems to exist in modern dating and relationships when it says "I wish I never knew your love, cause it made me weak".
The last line in the bridge is probably my favorite though. Playing guitar has been my comfort zone since I was a teenager. It was what I did when I needed to separate myself from the world around me. No matter where my journey brought me or what troubles I came across, playing my guitar always seemed to help me find my center again. So ending the bridge with this line just seemed to make sense "Now I'm stuck here, six strings strung along, with nothing but this broken love song". I also really felt I got the point across from the second verse here where I talk about "playing the role of her distraction" when I used the phrase "6 strings strung along" as part of the ending of the bridge.
So while there is a particular story to the song, there is indeed an overall theme to it as well.
I grew up hearing stories about how things were supposed to happen in regards to Relationships, Love, and Happiness. But for my generation, it seems like things have changed. Love and relationships seem at times almost plastic or like they have become a commodity in this world with the massive popularity of online dating and society's increasingly growing inability to communicate outside of our cell phones. With the advent of online dating and full blown text conversations acting as the major form of communication, dating to me has become as informal, "efficient", and streamlined as ordering something off of Amazon.com.
But to me, that just seems to cheapen the journey and whimsy of it all. It makes us use more of our brains and less of our hearts when approaching the world and who we decide to spend our precious time on it with. It almost makes us subconsciously devalue our relationships as if the next person is just a few clicks away.
It's almost as if the whole thing is broken… a "Broken Love Song"!
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!