Story Behind the Song: Parker Millsap, ‘Fine Line’
On Parker Millsap's fourth studio album, Other Arrangements, the country-blues singer-songwriter focuses on his rock 'n' roll side. Millsap says that decision was a natural extension of his love of the blues, but also that it changed his songwriting style slightly: While he has always been a character-driven songwriter, writing more rock-heavy songs often caused him to start with an idea for a riff or a beat and develop the song's story from there.
The album's first single, "Fine Line," is a prime example of this style of songwriting; however, although the song began from a guitar riff, it still includes the emphasis on character development that has always been a hallmark of Millsap's writing.
"To me, the character [in "Fine Line"] reads like a crazy person ranting," he explains. "If you read the lyrics, it's like, 'This guy's totally insane!' That's kind of the point."
Read on to learn more about how Millsap wrote "Fine Line," and how he came to record it and release it as the album's first single.
It was one of those songs that didn't really have any impetus. It wasn't about anything. I just really liked the guitar riff and wanted to build a song around that, so writing the lyrics pretty much became wordplay for me, which is my default if I don't have a good idea.
I think it started out as a jam with me and my band, and over the next week or two, we did some revisions and came up with a chorus. I wanted it to be the first song on the record because it kind of explodes out the speaker the minute it starts. It wakes you up, and it jumps out at you right from the get-go.