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This is a track by American pop singer-songwriter Katy Perry from her second major-label studio album, Teenage Dream. It was produced by Tricky Stewart and released as a promotional single on August 10, 2010.
According to Billboard
's Monica Herrera this break-up anthem is about Perry's former boyfriend, Gym Class Heroes lead singer Travis McCoy, and references his one-time substance-abuse addiction. The couple dated off and on throughout 2008. "It's kind of like my 'You Oughta Know
,' Alanis Morissette moment," Perry said.
The song features the former Contemporary Christian recording artist cussing freely. "It has the F-word in it five times but I don't think it's me shocking people – you always say f--- when it's called for," Perry said at a pre-release beach-themed listening party in LA.
Katy Perry (from Q magazine September 2010): "'Circle The Drain' is about having a boyfriend self-destructing. I have to tell him, 'I'm not your f---ing mother! All of the songs are from my diary but what I was really talking about is that 'Mother Syndrome' women have, thinking that we'll be the one to save the person we love, and that's why we stay with them even while they're circling the drain. And at some point it's time to flush or time to s--t and take care of yourself."
Stewart told Associated Press Music writer Nekesa Mumbi Moody that the song was "a very important subject for her to get off her chest." He added that Perry was interested in showing that she could offer more dance- pop grooves. "More than anything, it was an attitude, a certain type of tone that she wanted to take on her record. We're both fans of Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill," he said. "We were looking for something edgy, something women could get behind."
McCoy told MTV News in an interview on September 30, 2010 that though he's never actually heard this song, he does have some feelings about it. "I heard she put out a song that's about me, or about some old habits or whatever," McCoy said. "[And] I look at it like this: I'm just stoked that she finally has a song with some substance on her record. Good job."
According to a source close to Perry, this song was inspired by the Sons of Anarchy
actor Jonathan Lewis whom Perry dated for approximately 18 months between 2005-06. The source told US Weekly
that Perry enjoyed their times together, however she saw that Lewis was "trouble" and "had to separate from him . . . to get ahead and focus on her career." The source added: "It's really sad. She could never help him and couldn't [let herself] go in that direction."
Lewis was unable to conquer his demons and after spending time in jail for assault with a deadly weapon, he had got himself in more trouble on a burglary charge when he was found dead in the driveway of the home aged 28 on September 27, 2012.
The source claimed that Perry also wrote "The One That Got Away
" about the troubled actor.
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