The first single from The All-American Rejects third album, frontman Tyson Ritter said in a track-by-track interview before the album was released that the song was about a single person, but he later explained to MTV News: "It's kind of this tongue-in-cheek way of looking at someone you hate, whether it's your mom, for some reason, or it's your teacher at school, or it's your boss at work. It's just someone who makes you struggle, and it's giving them the finger."
Ritter and Rejects guitarist Nick Wheeler write all of their songs, and when they wrote this one, they each had a steady girlfriend, so the lyrics were not personal. The song became a huge hit, but Tyson went into a downward spiral - both he and Nick lost their girlfriends and it was a while before they were productive again. Talking about getting it together to write for their next album, Kids In The Street
, Wheeler told us
: "Ty was still coming down off the whole 'Gives You Hell' ride, and we both moved to Los Angeles. He got mixed in with the bad crowd and kind of thought he was on top of the world - thought he was bulletproof and all that."
Their song "Beekeeper's Daughter
" finds Ritter reflecting on this time when he was a jackass but didn't care.