One of the most popular songs by the Michigan electro-metal band I See Stars, "Murder Mitten" is about the mother, Debra, of the band's lead singer Devin Oliver and his brother, drummer Andrew Oliver. An alcoholic who lost her job because of her drinking, she made life miserable for her family, which fueled their ambition:
Any risk, I'll take it Or fade away in this suburban wasteland And watch all your plans sink right under your feet
In our interview with Devin Oliver, he said: "She's had an alcohol problem her whole life, but at this moment, she went through her first stage of rehab, and she was in recovery. So as sad a song as it is, it's talking about the darkness, because we were at the light at the end of the tunnel - we were able to channel that darkness into song."
A specific event that inspired this song was when the Oliver family lost their home because their mother could no longer afford to keep it. "Our house was foreclosed because she wasn't working," Devin explained in his Songfacts interview. "She lost her job because she was going through all these problems with alcohol. It was kind of tearing our family apart. So it was a really sad moment in our life. It's probably the saddest moment. But I was able to write 'Murder Mittens' with these guys through all that, and I was able to write it in a time when all of that was in the past."
Devin and Andrew Oliver's parents split up when they were young, and this song expresses their frustrations in the broken home. They channeled their energy into the band in an attempt to turn the unfortunate events into something positive.
The video contains home movies of the Oliver brothers, including a shot where Devin sings into a toy microphone when he is one year old.
The title is not mentioned in the lyrics; "Murder Mitten" is a disparaging nickname for the state of Michigan, where the band is from. The state is shaped like a mitten, and has a high murder rate, especially in the Detroit area where the band members lived.