This was the second song that Travis Meadows and Steve Moakler wrote together following a tune called "Wide Open." Meadows told Moakler that, this time he wanted to pen a tune titled "Survivor." Moakler recounted to The Boot
the story of how the pair conceived the song that was to become "Riser."
"I was like, that's a big title. Destiny's Child pulled it off
. How do you write a song with that kind of grand title? He started to mumble all this stuff from his deep well of life; he looked at me and goes, 'What do you think, man?' I said, 'Everything you're doing is amazing. I just don't think I'm the right person to write this song with you. You really are a survivor. You've overcome addiction, cancer, you've been in and out of jail, and you turned your life around. I failed algebra a couple times, but I haven't really survived anything. I think someone else could do a better job with you on this.'
He got pretty mad, picked up a notepad and threw it across the room. He said, 'Damn it, Moakler! I was saving this for you because you're so dang optimistic. I've been having a bad day for six years, and I need you on this!' So I sat back down, a little frightened, and we wrote that song together. It was really like, he'd say one line, I'd say the next line, he'd say one line, I'd say the next line. It happened really quickly, and I think that's part of what makes the song so powerful - it has that edge of hell, and it also has the light of Heaven and optimism in it, together."