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19 December: About Bruise Me

Next up is Bruise Me. Hopefully, you've already heard this one. We even made a nice video to entice you!

I've blogged about this video twice, which has included some tidbits about the song meaning. But there was a little more I thought I'd say.


  • This was the first song we finished creating. Of course, even after we called it done, Jason had a last minute idea that changed the feel of the song. It brought the anger more clearly into focus.
  • The anger was a really good thing. I'm not usually a big fan of anger (there's a whole essay I could write on that), but the anger here did two things. One, it let me access and process some anger I'd not admitted to in regards to what inspired this song. Two, it more clearly brought out what I feel like the hope in this song is. Because it was anger that helped motivate me to move on from the situation that first inspired Bruise Me. If anger is what frees you from abuse, rock that anger as long as it takes to get out the door and not turn back.
  • Now, a little something I promised in a blog post on my personal blog. Those of you who pay close attention know that I don't talk about the meaning behind my lyrics. In fact, what you're getting in the tidbits I'm writing for this release is about 100% more than I've given or planned to give (and that blog post explains why). But one thing I promised in that post is that I had more to say about Bruise Me, particularly in regards to how the meaning of a song can evolve.
    As I mentioned in the first blog about the video, Bruise Me deals with abuse. One of my intentions with the video was to balance out making a statement against abuse with enough ambiguity to not pin down the type of abuse. Because whilst I originally thought of this in terms of physical abuse I've dealt with in relationships, it soon widened in my mind to include other sorts of abuse Iíve experienced in relationships. And I cannot state enough times that no abuse is okay. You don't deserve it. You shouldn't stick around for it, whether it's physical or mental or emotional or sexual. You shouldn't feel like someone else's more obvious and clear-cut abuse means that you don't have a right to seek an end to or healing from whatever abuse you experience.
    But even if you've never been abused, there's still room in this song for you. Because, as I got farther from the abuse and the abusers, my own sense of this song expanded. Please don't misunderstand me; I'm not saying that anyone who hurts you is abusing you. But if you listen and what you hear in Bruise Me is the relationship that you thought was finally going to be your answer but left you aching and wanting...Where you felt trapped, even if just because you couldn't stand to let yourself give up on the dream even after you'd woken to find it was, at best, the sort of bleak dream that would cause you to wake up crying...Where you couldn't pin down exactly how they weren't treating you as you deserved, but you were suffocating and just needed an out...Well, you wouldn't be the first to hear that in this song. And, hey, even if it's not abuse...Whilst I believe in doing the work to maintain a healthy relationship, some relationships aren't worth saving. You know that anger you have in your situation? At that partner who isn't treating you as you deserve and who feels more like a sullen and soul-eating trap? Follow that anger out the door. Every one of us deserves a relationship where we can breathe, where our hearts don't feel battered. (So follow the anger out, then drop it and inhale all the shininess of life.)
  • And so we don't end on my life advice: we had a second guitarist who tried jamming with us a while, and he heard this song as being about a woman whose husband had buried her alive. So, y'know, whatever helps you connect....

(Same invitation as on the previous songs: Hear something else in this song? Find us online and tell us what you hear. I'm always curious. And you've got every right to find your own meaning in the song. It's not done until other people find themselves in it.)