Electronic music producer Dan the Automator (Gorillaz, Mike Patton, Kasbian) crafted the industrial sound bed for this song's intro. "[Dan and I] ran into each other a couple times," shared Exodus guitarist and songwriter Gary Holt. "I knew what I wanted to hear and I knew he could do it, and could do it that day. So we sent him a file with the drums and guitars we already had there and just told him to go crazy with it."
"It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" was inspired by a dream where Michael Stipe conjured up images of people with the initials L.B.: Lester Bangs, Leonid Breshnev, Lenny Bruce and Leonard Bernstein.