America (You're Freaking Me Out)

Album: Hello Exile (2019)


  • The first song on Hello Exile features a sack load of observational social commentary and political comment. Frontman Greg Barnett told Kerrang the lyrics were inspired by seeing a lot of America firsthand as the band tours the country. "It's even in little things, like getting an hour outside of Philadelphia and suddenly seeing the billboards change and the bumper stickers on people's cars getting more angry," he said." I hear politicians on the TV and think, 'There's no way anyone actually believes this stuff.' And then you're in a coffee shop in Alabama and you hear people talking and realize, 'Oh, people do believe this kind of madness.'"
  • Barnett sings about the disconnect between the youth and their parents.

    Oh, ain't it a shame what we choose to ignore
    What kind of monsters did our parents vote for?

    He explained to Kerrang: "We're constantly having to have these difficult conversations, with the people that you love, of, 'How could you vote against the interests of your own children about the environment, and about everything?' It's really difficult when you love somebody so much, but they don't really see that your future is being jeopardized."
  • Every song on Hello Exile went through three or four different versions; for this track, Barnett wrote around 50 verses before it was finished.
  • The song's music video was directed by Rob "Whitey" McConnaughy (Band of Horses, ZZ Top) from a concept that the four band members had come up with. Barnett explained to Kerrang they had the idea "of an alien crash-landing in America and being completely freaked out by what they see."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

How The Beatles Crafted Killer Choruses

How The Beatles Crafted Killer ChorusesSong Writing

The author of Help! 100 Songwriting, Recording And Career Tips Used By The Beatles, explains how the group crafted their choruses so effectively.

Loudon Wainwright III

Loudon Wainwright IIISongwriter Interviews

"Dead Skunk" became a stinker for Loudon when he felt pressure to make another hit - his latest songs deal with mortality, his son Rufus, and picking up poop.

Chris Rea

Chris ReaSongwriter Interviews

It took him seven years to recover from his American hit "Fool (If You Think It's Over)," but Chris Rea became one of the top singer-songwriters in his native UK.

Mike Rutherford (Genesis, Mike + The Mechanics)

Mike Rutherford (Genesis, Mike + The Mechanics)Songwriter Interviews

Mike Rutherford talks about the "Silent Running" storyline and "Land Of Confusion" in the age of Trump.

Susanna Hoffs - "Eternal Flame"

Susanna Hoffs - "Eternal Flame"They're Playing My Song

The Prince-penned "Manic Monday" was the first song The Bangles heard coming from a car radio, but "Eternal Flame" is closest to Susanna's heart, perhaps because she sang it in "various states of undress."

Al Jourgensen of Ministry

Al Jourgensen of MinistrySongwriter Interviews

In the name of song explanation, Al talks about scoring heroin for William Burroughs, and that's not even the most shocking story in this one.