The Real Meaning Behind 5 Seconds Of Summer’s ‘Not In The Same Way’

CALM, 5 Seconds of Summer’s fourth album (truly a masterpiece, by the way) offers nuanced lyrical insight into the duality of complex relationships (“Easier,” “Teeth”), while simultaneously reflecting on the depth of feeling in a romance (“Wildflower,” “Best Years,” “Lover Of Mine”). One of the record’s strongest tracks is “Not In The Same Way,” which fits perfectly in the category of the former. The standout tune — a juxtaposition of an upbeat melody with lyrics that detail a destructive relationship — is what frontman Luke Hemmings described to Apple Music as “a chaotic love story of the early days in a relationship and trying to figure out your counterpart.”

According to Hemmings, who wrote the track with several co-lyricists, including 5SOS drummer Ashton Irwin, “It was one of the most exciting [songs] in the room to write; it was almost like we couldn’t keep up with how quickly it was going.”

While the guitarist-songwriter told Paper magazine that Irwin could have been “writing about someone else,” Hemmings himself had someone specific in mind. Let’s unpack the lyrics below.

5SOS' 'Not In The Same Way' is about Luke Hemmings' real-life relationship with Sierra Deaton

While lyricists often leave their lyrics up to interpretation — and fans are certainly welcome to relate in their own way — when asked directly, Luke Hemmings revealed his inspiration behind “Not In The Same Way.”

“It’s about me and my current girlfriend [Sierra Deaton], and she’s incredible,” he told Paper magazine in April 2020. Still, it’s undeniable that the song narrates a toxic romance — “We f***, and we fight, then you call me a psycho / I walk out the door, but you won’t let me let go,” Hemmings sings on the pre-chorus — which he openly acknowledged to the outlet.

“It could be painted in such a… when the worst moments are written on paper, it doesn’t look very good,” he admitted. But it was crucial for him to pen the track from both perspectives. “It was very important that it was the other side of it, because a lot of the mistakes are mine.” In fact, he specifically sings: “… I’m waking up to my mistakes again / I know you love to point them out.”

In addition to calling out his partner in the song (“Rip my heart out and leave / On the floor, watch me bleed”), Hemmings revealed that he wanted to “[point] it back at myself and [be] like, ” … What did I actually do to cause this as well?” A much healthier mindset, TBH.

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