The song's concept of constraint and tension is particularly evident in the line, "I'll wrap my hands around your neck so tight. With love, love, love." Leto said that as well as the idea of erotic asphyxiation, the lyric has a parallel meaning. "It does play on two different levels; there's an obvious sexual connotation to the line... But it's also about power, it's about control, and the song is about that," he explained to MTV News. "It's about getting to a point in your life where you're ready to let go and move on and become the better version of yourself, the self-actualized version of yourself. So I'm curious to see what responses to that are going to be; it's interesting to be asked about it.
"Music is weird, you write it and sometimes it comes from a very conscious place, other times it comes from a subconscious place, and sometimes you don't know what the f--- you're doing and you do it anyway, you make a lot of bad choices," he added. "I say a lot in the studio 'Let's try and fail,' because through the failure you learn, and it can lead you to the next solution."
Leto concluded: "I think that lyric is really important for us as a band, because it's a conversation that started with 'Hurricane
' a song that had a very strong sexual component to it. I think that's a very worthy conversation to have. Songs don't just have to be about your dad or your girlfriend; there are other avenues to explore, and we certainly did that with 'Up In The Air.'"