Story Of The Year’s track-by-track guide to new album Tear Me To Pieces

Two decades on from their million-selling debut Page Avenue, singer Dan Marsala unpacks Story Of The Year’s new album Tear Me To Pieces…

Story Of The Year’s track-by-track guide to new album Tear Me To Pieces
Dan Marsala
Ryan Phillips

From “everyday anxieties” to trips down memory lane, Story Of The Year vocalist Dan Marsala reveals the meanings, messages and music contained within Tear Me To Pieces – the band’s first new album since 2017’s Wolves. Dive right in…

1Tear Me To Pieces

“This sets the tone for the record perfectly. It’s heavy, it’s catchy, it’s upbeat, and it’s the best of everything that SOTY has to offer. That’s one of the reasons why we decided to name the record after it. Lyrically it’s about the everyday anxieties and craziness of life and how sometimes it feels like it would be easier to give up than to battle on.”

2Real Life

“Real Life is a simple relationship song. Every relationship has its ups and downs. No matter how much you love someone, there will always be moments where you absolutely hate each other as well. But true love is always worth fighting for!”


“Afterglow is one of the most meaningful songs on the record for me. It’s basically a letter to my kids. It’s a song about how no matter how dark things might get, they will always be my light. They are the ‘perfect afterglow’. The line ‘I can barely feel the pain when I’m staring at you’ was one of the first lines written for the record. It kind of set the tone for how personal I wanted the lyrics to be on this record. It’s still one of the most meaningful and deepest lyrics I’ve ever written.”

4Dead And Gone

“Dead And Gone is fast, heavy and powerful. Very classic SOTY. Lyrically, it’s about how good it feels to cut something/someone toxic out of your life. Even though you might love this thing/person, you know it’s a sacrifice that you have to make to move on.”


“This starts with a huge riff. As soon as Ryan wrote that riff, we knew this song was going to be something special. It went through a lot of changes vocally, but we eventually landed on something very cool and different for SOTY. Lyrically, it’s very simple. ‘Did you get what you came here for? Did you come to start a war? This game will kill you in your sleep.’ That basically sums it all up!”

6Can’t Save You

“Can’t Save You is another one that starts with a huge riff and takes you on quite the journey from start to finish. It’s about how sometimes you try so hard to help somebody, but no matter how hard you try, that person refuses to accept that help. At some point, you have to say, ‘Sorry, I can’t save you,’ and move on. ‘I’m fucking done.’”


“2005 is a fun nostalgic trip down memory lane. It’s all about the journey of SOTY and how lucky we are to still be doing what we love 20 years later. There are a lot of references to certain milestones from our past. Musically, it’s a lot different for us. We wanted to get outside of our comfort zone and try something that maybe we couldn’t have pulled off 20 years ago. Such a cool vibe to the whole thing.”

8Sorry About Me

“This was one of the last songs that we wrote for the record. We knew we wanted something that felt like classic Page Avenue-era SOTY. It came together fairly quickly just sitting around with acoustic guitars until it magically appeared. Lyrically, it’s pretty self-explanatory again, but basically just an apology to someone for not being the person that they deserve. Always feeling like you should be doing better.”

9Take The Ride

“Take The Ride is a really cool song for us. The chord progression never changes throughout the whole song, but with the dynamics of the different parts, you don’t notice that at all. That’s something we’ve never been able to pull off. It’s about how sometimes it’s okay to be reckless and let go of everything just to be able to feel something. ‘Let go of the wheel and shut my eyes.’ Sometimes you have to just take the ride and see where it takes you.”

10Knives Out

“Knives Out is another awesome, riffy, fun song. This one has a fun guest appearance on the guitar in the bridge. Kevin Skaff from A Day To Remember wrote and played the riff on the bridge with us. We became friends during this recording process while we were in Nashville. He’s awesome and it was fun to be able to collaborate with him. Lyrically, this one was a little experimental. I wanted to explore the weird, psychotic part of the brain that tells you to destroy everything with no regard. We all have these thoughts from time to time… at least, I do.”

11Use Me

“This is the powerful album-closing ballad. It was co-written by Aaron Gillespie from Underoath, and Nick Bailey. They had already written a rough outline of the song and sent it over to us. We immediately loved it and went back through it, rewrote some of it and turned it into a SOTY song. I love singing as hard as possible over a simple acoustic guitar. I think there’s something magical about that. I think it’s the perfect way to close this record and leave you wanting more!”

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