24 February 2010

Miss You Love - an analysis of a beautful Silverchair song

The other day when I was searching for a video of Silverchair's Freak song on YouTube, I came across their song Miss You Love.

Miss You Love is maybe my top favourite Silverchair song, and up there with favourite songs of all time. I adore it.

I also love with equal parts: Ana's Song, Emotion Sickness, Without You, Across The Night, Cemetery and The Greatest View. I pretty much like their old stuff better than their new stuff.

My love for their music is very specific. It starts at Freakshow and stops at Diorama. I think Daniel Johns looked his best in this period (despite his unfortunate illnesses of anorexia and arthritis) and their music was the most imaginative and beautiful.I love the metaphors in the lyrics, the theatrics of the music particularly with the Neon Ballroom and Diorama albums. I am not keen on Young Modern nor Frogstomp apart from Tomorrow.

I think Daniel Johns is so creative and articulate, and damn good looking to boot. His honesty is refreshing. I really admire how he has overcome his adversities. I once met Ben Gillies when he played in Tambalane. I asked Ben how Daniel was. He said 'aren't you going to ask how Chris is too?' - I was very embarrassed.

I digress.

You may recall in this blog entry that Neon Ballroom was one of the albums that influenced me during 1999.

I loved the darkness, and could relate to some of the isolation Daniel Johns wrote and sang about.

Miss You Love was of course my favourite song, The lyrics are beautifully sad. There's a sense of love and despair because of the adoration from others.

Daniel said that at the time of writing Neon Ballroom, he was in a dark place and he hated music.

"I wrote . . . Neon Ballroom in that time where I hated music, really everything about it, I hated it. But I couldn't stop doing it and I felt like a slave to it."

I believe Miss You Love was written about the pressures of stardom Daniel (and probably Chris Joannou and Ben Gillies) felt at such a young age.

'But I'm not too sure
How I'm supposed to feel
Or what I'm supposed to say
But I'm not, not sure,
Not too sure how it feels
To handle every day'

That fame they had, at what, 15 years old? I can't imagine.

On Andrew Denton's Enough Rope in 2004, Daniel spoke of the overwhelming feeling of fame:

'I think having three million people owning the first thing that you've ever recorded makes you kind of have to live up to it, in a way. It kind of puts pressure... It put pressure on me and I was obsessed with spending every second of every day studying music and becoming better and better and... Just because I felt like I wasn't worthy of what had come to me at a really early age. I needed to live up to it, I guess, you know?'

I guess that is where my favourite line of the song comes from - 'I love the way you love, but I hate the way I'm supposed to love you back'. This line is beautiful, and selfishly, I always wanted it to somehow relate to me - where I wanted to be adored by someone but wasn't sure how to feel. I guess it does apply in reverse though - I am always on the unrequited end of unrequited love!

The video clip of Miss You Love is equally compelling.

Many of Silverchair's videos tell a story or are artfully directed, like short films.

Miss You Love tells a few stories of love. The detail is amazing.

It details difference audience members' feelings as they watch a film, and also the feelings of the film's characters, too.

Silverchair enter the cinema theatre via a back entrance. Maybe to avoid the crowds and the attention that goes with fame. Yes. They don't look on comers in the eye.

Daniel sits away from Ben and Chris, tense, wary, hands clenched and teeth gritted. Isolated. Thin. I feel sad for him. Like the song Ana's Song, this video probably reflects his life back then quite truthfully.

I love how immersed in the film and music the audience members are, to the point where Chris catches Ben singing along and they both laugh.

There's the guy who looks reluctant when his girlfriend takes his band in the first 'I love the way you love...' line.

The film's characters are two lovers on the verge of break up. Their subtitled dialogue says:

~'Are you falling asleep?'
~'No I'm falling apart.'


There's the usherette who is reading by torchlight through the film. I can't figure her out. She's emotional.

Sometimes I think she is immersed in the sadness or love story of the book she is reading, imagining herself as a character, trying to escape from he mundane reality of her job as an usherette.

Other times I think just wants to be noticed amongst the crowd because she feels insignificant - being stepped over by audience members. I can't help think she wants to be noticed by the reel operator. But he's being more than just noticed by another girl. And this probably happens every film he reels.

And then, the handsome guy watching the film intently. He sings along with the song. He looks uncomfortable in some parts of the film. Like he's identifying the situation of the lovers on screen. Like he's got a lover he's about to break up with. Is he walking out of the cinema before the film's end to make up or break up with his lover?

I love the way the video to Miss You love shows so much emotion from different characters.

Gosh that was an in depth analysis. I have not analysed something that much since year 12 English. But I love that video clip and have thought about its meaning a lot over these past 11 years.

I would love to chat to Silverchair about the thought process behind the making of the clip.

What are your thoughts on this remarkable song and video?

Here is the video and the lyrics.

'Millionaire say
Got a big shot deal
And thrown it all away but
But I'm not too sure
How I'm supposed to feel
Or what I'm supposed to say
But I'm not, not sure,
Not too sure how it feels
To handle every day
And I miss you love

Make room for the pray
'Cause I'm coming in
With what I wanna say but
It's gonna hurt
And I love the pain
A breeding ground for hate but...

I'm not, not sure,
Not too sure how it feels
To handle everyday
Like the one that just past
In the crowds of all the people

Remember today
I've no respect for you
And I miss you love
And I miss you love

I love the way you love
But I hate the way
I'm supposed to love you back

It's just a fad
Part of the teen, teenage angst brigade and
I'm not, not sure,
Not too sure how it feels
To handle everyday
Like the one that just past
In the crowds of all the people

Remember today
I've no respect for you
And I miss you love
And I miss you love

Remember today
I've no respect for you
And I miss you love
And I miss you love

I love the way you love
But I hate the way
I'm supposed to love you back'

(Miss You Love - written by Daniel Johns, performed by Silverchair)


  1. Hi Carly:)
    I absolutely LOVED what you wrote...
    I think we are moved in many of the same ways, when it comes to their music.

    Personally i think Rock is the only type of music that can really move you to the chore...no other type of music does it for me...

    My favorite songs will have to be:
    1. the door
    2. The lever
    3 Tune in a brine
    4. The whole Young Modern album - and so many more...:)
    It is hard to pick....)

    I am a follower...
    Have a good day, SP

  2. This is beautiful Carly, and you have written about one of my old school favourites too.

  3. Thank you for writing about this song. It was one of my favourite Silverchair songs, and I forgot how much I loved them. I'm off to buy their albums on ITunes (Freakshow and Neon Ballroom are my favourites).

    I remember going to one of their concerts in Year 10. This was a big day for me, as that day after school I first spoke to my first ever real crush. He ended up coming to the concert to see me. I remember feeling so special and loved that night. By the boy. By Silverchair. It's a very fond memory.

    I remember hiring out a Silverchair documentary from the video store just about every week and watching them talk. This would've been in around 1998. I was in love with Chris, he has a gorgeous smile.

    Sorry my rambling on your blog. I know you'll understand :)

  4. If I could favourite this post I would :)

    I'm a massive silverchair fan (see I still even use the lowercase s they started with!)

    They are and always will be my favourite band of all time. The merchandise and rare stuff I have of theirs is kinda insane

    Neon Ballroom is absolutely my favourite album, without question. It came out when I was in high school and helped me through a lot in that time Black Tangled Heart is probabaly my favourite song of all time because of this.

    Miss You Love is amazing, but so often wrongly interpreted... so many people see it as a love song but it's very very far from that at all.

    I remember when they were filming this, I knew the location so kinda stalked it out (see massive fan...kinda obsessive at times but i've grown up now haha) I didn't see them however but the cinema they filmed this in was on Pitt St in Sydney and had been unused for quite some time (it's now some dodgy market type place)

    Okay I better stop now because get me on the topic of silverchair and we could be here for days... :)

  5. Oh and I have to add if I ever meet Daniel Johns I think my life will be complete!

  6. I have to say I feel a little uneducated to comment on this post as I was never a massive fan so was unaware of this song. Having said that, thanks for introducing it to me, I really enjoyed it.

  7. Thankyou for the comment! Silverchair are the one band I don't think I'll ever stop loving-- Miss You Love is also one of my favourites. I love your blog (:

  8. We are music twins because this is one of my all time fave songs- absolutely love it Carly. Thanks for the analysis was great to read!

  9. Great analysis Carly!
    Very detailed and great point of view


  10. This song is one of my alltime favs too although I never became a fan of it (or Silverchair for that matter) until I heard it on in the movie 'Looking For Alibrandi'. It is so beautifully haunting. I also love your little anecdote about meeting Ben as well (:

  11. Hey everyone
    thanks so much for your comments - glad you love Miss You Love as much as me!
    Maybe I should find other songs to critique...

    Misskitty - I am so glad I became a fan of Silverchair when Neon Ballroom came out. I loved Ana's song and Miss You Love, and then went back to listen to Freakshow. I don't recall Miss You Love in Looking for Alibrandi, but I will watch and check. I love that movie. As for when I met Ben - I was so embarrassed!

    Reino - thanks for stopping by my blog - I replied to your comment on the Chairpage Forum. I was worried that Silverchair fans wouldn't like it :/

    Aneets - Silverchair AND Bob Evans! DO you happen to love Savage Garden/Darren Hayes and Genevieve Maynard too? We sure are music twins!

    Ali - thanks for visiting me and loving my blog :)

    Daughter of the Stars - so glad I could introduce you to this song.

    Mez - I love old school 90s music.

    Princess of Many Sorts - thanks for following my blog! I think there is lots of music that can get into my blood, not just rock. I am glad to have 'met' another Silverchair fan from across the world.

    Polly - what a lovely memory. I love associating fave bands with boys :) I have a few Silverchair DVDs, I must watch them. Ramble all you like about Silverchair - I am happy to hear stories.

    Anita - you sound so passionate! As for the lower S - I remember reading a Savage Garden review of a concert I went to in 2000, and the reviewer wrote 'Daniel Johns' instead od 'Daniel Jones' and I wrote back to the newspaper saying 'there wasn't any Frogstomping going on at the Savage Garden concert' and mentioned silverchair not being comparable in music sounds to Savage Garden. My Dad asked me why silverchair was written with a lower case S... I want to see if I still have that article and letter to the editor that I wrote.... I agree, Miss You Love is wrongly interpreted, I guess people think it's a love song but it's a song about dealing with fame. Glad to hear you ramble too, I want more Silverchair stories!

    Thanks again all :)

  12. I can't believe I've never heard this song before. I do love daniel johns adn think he goes to a dark place beautifully and eloquently if that makes sense! :D

  13. Lorraine - I am so glad you've finally heard it! I agree, Daniel Johns does do dark eloquently and beautifully. His is a lyrical genius.

  14. Such a gorgeous song - I have always loved it although have of course related it to more personal matters.
    I think it is awful these days how young people are swept into stardom and aren't allowed to grow up properly. Children are growing up faster and faster. (God I sound like I am 60 or something!!!)
    Beautifully written post I love how you analyse.

  15. Music has gotten me through allot of hard times.

    Such a beautiful and thoughtful post xox

  16. FatGirl (I really need to know your name as I feel TERRIBLE referring to you as your blogname!) - thanks for your praise. Music is a true saviour for many, I believe. So many people get through difficult times just listening to song lyrics they can relate to, and that reassure them that someone has been through that difficult time before.

    Pepper and Baxter - thank you for your praise too. I was so worried my post would look OTT and like I have too much time on my hands. I really did think about the song a lot! I agree - kids these days are swept into fame and grow up quickly, but maybe it's not different to previous eras (I think of Hayley Mills, Michael Jackson, Macaulay Culkin...) I guess these days it's just more widely publicised. Until Daniel Johns mentioned he bullying he faced and the difficulties in coping with fame, it never occurred to me that his life could have been bad because of being in Silverchair at such a young age.

  17. Carly! I love this song. It is my all time favourite 'chair track.

    That scene in Looking For Alibrandi where this is played... awwww... I love it.

    Thanks for visiting my blog as well. It was great!

  18. Lol, Carly you can call me KC if it makes you feel better xox

  19. Kirsty - I have to watch Alibrandi because I just can't recall when Miss You Love was played. I do remember when they played the Stella One Eleven song through the headphones though. I love Looking for Alibrandi.

    KC - thanks!

    Hahah I just checked my Statcounter and saw that someone googled 'parent concerns about Silverchair lyrics' and reached my blog. I find it hilarious that parents are more concerned about Silverchair's lyrics yet will let their kids listen to Britney Spears and watch soft porn on MTV.

  20. Hey Carly, heard about you girls having blogs and decided to pop in out of curiosity. :P

    Miss You Love used to be one of my favorite songs for getting through hard times as well and so I read this entry with interest.

    Excellent analysis of the lyrics and video... I can't really say anything more to it other than that I relate to it in terms of the feelings of confusion and inability to show affection/love.

    Oh and about your later entry regarding staring... I'm surprised you bump into these issues (often?) because when I met you I thought you were a very happy and confident person. Now after reading your blog I learn that you have battles going on and a lot emotional depth. I personally feel that when a person is beautiful within it will radiate to the outside and influence others' perceptions about his/her appearance. Beauty is subjective, imo.


  21. By far my favourite Silverchair song too :)

    The only one to make it to my iphone! Always resonated with me as a teen and still does.

    Thanks for the lovely look at a forgotten treasure xx

  22. Caf - I recall you like Silverchair. Miss You Love is a beautiful song.

    Hey Profanity - thanks for stopping by and commenting. It was great meeting you. Your kind words about my appearance meant a lot. I am a very outgoing positive person and I do try to remain positive despite the challenges.

    I cant believe what an impact this post has had on people!

  23. What was the title of the movie that they was featured in the music video?


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