Troy Glessner, who mastered Extremist, told Ryan Clark that this song was his favorite on the record. The Demon Hunter vocalist explained to Decibel magazine: "He thought that he had the song figured out until it came to the chorus, and he was pleasantly surprised at the turn it takes. He dug that it kind of threw him off."
"'I Play Dead' from Summer Of Darkness has always been a favorite song of ours," continued Clark. "Like 'Gasoline,' it almost tricks you into thinking it's a standard ballad until the chorus kicks in, and you find yourself into territory that's just as heavy as anything else we do. It's almost a flipped version of our standard structure, where the heavy screaming usually resides in the verses. Since 'I Play Dead' I've always wanted to revisit that concept. It just took five records to get back to it."
Clark said regarding the song's meaning: "The lyrics are obviously very sarcastic, but I didn't want them to come off tongue-in-cheek. The idea of putting out a fire with gasoline is something that came to me very early in the writing process for this record. I think the concept behind the lyrics actually meshes well with — and possibly informed the writing behind — the almost bipolar nature of the song."