Song of the Week
“Freakin’ Out On the Interstate” is an impassioned love song written by singer and guitarist Briston Maroney. The overzealous yearning in these lyrics is what prompted me to chose this song for song of the week. The fiery melody is a single released in 2018. Maroney explains with his music that he feels like he’s messing up his relationship and doesn’t know how to stop it. He’s clearly in love and that can make us all crazy for better or worse.
The opening scene is an inescapable whirlpool of vivid memories. “I’m freakin’ out on the interstate / Rolling down the windows, baby, I can’t hear a thing you say / I’m walking back to my favorite place / And I can feel them staring at me / Baby, do you think I’m doing something wrong?” Rolling the windows down, he feels the refreshing air hit his face. He needs a break from this ongoing fight he can’t resolve. When couples fight in public it typically draws attention. The them staring is most likely strangers noticing their comotion. The fighting feels normal to him because most couples fight occasionally but the looks he’s getting makes him rethink this logic. This could also be the looks he gets from his partner’s friends because they don’t agree with how he treats them. It’s a hard thing realizing you might be the bad guy but everyone is the villain in someone’s story. Everyone makes mistakes, all we can do is our best to mend them but dealing with the guilt is no easy thing.
I think when he says favorite place he is referring to his partner. He’s looking for comfort in this bumpy part of his relationship but has only one person he wants to turn to for support. It’s also possible that he’s going to a physical spot for comfort as well but I figure the partner is more likely. He needs a clear head to make sense of his own actions and relationship.
The internal struggle in the pre chorus leaves him being drawn to his partner and wanting to push away. The demanding drum backs up his lyrics laced with a yearning sadness. “And you got a lot on your mind / And your heart, it looks just like mine / There’s no use in wasting your time anymore.” In these few lines he commits to the value of their connection. He’s worried his partner is going to leave him and wonders if that’s what’s on their mind. He is so lost. Maybe, his partner is only wasting their time on him and they could be happier with someone else. He loves his partner so much he truly wants them to be happy with or without him. If you love something set it free, right? His desperate tone allows us to feel his pain in the overwhelming despair hiding behind every word.
The distressing chorus leaves the listener wandering with Maroney trying to grasp at any link to his past happiness. “I’m sorry I haven’t been myself / And something’s got me down / What it is, I cannot tell / I won’t be satisfied with anything I’ve earned.” The striking guitar chords behind Mahoney’s words let the meaning bleed out in the passionate way he desires. How can you put a feeling into words? He knows he’s angry and sad but doesn’t know what to do about it. He’s wrongfully taking it out on his partner. You can hear his sincerity in the tenderness of his words when he apologizes. There are worse apologies then a love song for the whole world to hear. He’s worried it will never end and no matter how good his relationship gets he will always want more. It’s unfair to ask for but the feelings he has convinces him it’s his reality.
The chorus continues with lines dripping with compassion and devotion despite his partner probably thinking the opposite. Like honey his sweet words travel slow and leave him stuck. “Fear is just a part of love / And one thing i’ve found / Is love is what your deserve.” With the last line you can hear his clawing words project a fading hope to the future. He let’s the drums crash in immediately after his words letting them carry the meaningful line to a new dramatised height. He wants so badly to make his partner happy but thinks they deserve more then he has to offer. Experiencing the breakup with his partner before it happens is his way of trying to do what is best for them. Falling in love is always a frightening risk. Once your in the thick of it the initial fear doesn’t dissipate because showing vulnerability isn’t easy for anyone. He is so overwhelmed with this feeling he is ready to throw everything away even though his love for them still burns bright.
The final verse continues his tearful tone as he makes his way through this romantic minefield. “Driving home and call my father on the telephone / I hope you know I missed you, man / Let’s put it all behind us if we can.” The self-doubt from his relationship starts seeping into other aspects of his life like his relationship with his dad. He’s endlessly searching for comfort to allow a small breath of air from this unrelenting drowning he feels. With his relationship dwindling, he realizes that maybe he has been to hard on other relationships as well and is looking to mend them. Not only is it stalling him from having to face his bigger problems but it’s a sufficient distraction from his villainous feelings.
Drifting inside, he’s trying to understand why he feels so lost with these final longing lines. “Never feeling like I’m all the way home / Stones inside my raincoat pocket I gotta keep / Oh, won’t you hold them for me?” Stones symbolize strength and stability. The fact that they’re in a raincoat implies a certain amount of despair around whatever strength he has left. He wants his partner to help him stay strong despite condemning himself throughout the song.
Home can mean a lot of different things to different people. In this case he’s referring to the feeling of home or being at peace rather than a physical place. It’s easy to make a home in a person but when your away from them you feel adrift. Since fighting is the new norm, he can’t go home and he’s noticing that that’s why he’s feeling so astray. If he stays in the relationship he could be hurting himself and his partner. If he leaves it could do more damage abandoning this love and he worries he won’t find his way home again. Your damned if you do, your damned if you don’t. All he can do is talk to his partner about what would be the best for the both of them and come to a solution together. That is unfortunately made difficult by their uncooperative communication skills. Is love enough?
That’s what I think but leave a comment if you have any ideas on what Maroney was trying to say!