Lyrically, the themes of This Addiction were influenced by the band 's personal lives. Singer and guitarist Matt Skiba explained to Spinner UK: "A couple of us have gone through some pretty serious life changes. We had a good friend of ours pass away since the last record." He added that in the case of this song, "that was really influenced by the film Blue Velvet but it's a metaphor for someone and something else. Everything on the record is stuff that definitely hits close to home for us and we tried to communicate that in the songs."
George Harrison's 1971 song "Bangla Desh" was the first major charity single. It was part of a concert held to bring relief to the people of Bangladesh, who were fighting for independence and suffering from a famine.