Recorded in a small house in Van Nuys shared by the band members, Grassroots was the second album released by 311. It was certified Gold in 1999 by the RIAA, having sold over 500,000 copies.
This was the lead single from Grassroots. Drummer Chad Sexton explained on the band's website: "It ended up leading off the album because the band felt it was a strong rock song."
The song's refrain had its origins in a track from one of vocalist Nick Hexum and Sexton's old bands. "It was titled 'Independence Day,' " Sexton said. "That was written probably in '89, and so we had liked that chorus."
16-tear-old Lorde wrote the lyrics to "Royals" at home in just half an hour. She was inspired by the "ridiculous, unrelatable, unattainable opulence" that runs through such albums as Kanye West and Jay-Z's Watch the Throne and Lana Del Rey's Born To Die.