This single from American alternative rock band Jane's Addiction's fourth album The Great Escape Artist highlights the influence of Dave Sitek. The TV on the Radio multi-instrumentalist played bass and co-produced the record and in doing so helped the Los Angeles quartet embrace synths and other digital technology for the first time. "We are taking great risks and writing in ways that we have never written before," vocalist Perry Farrell told Spin magazine. "[The Great Escape Artist] is a really amazing piece of art, an amazing piece of music. It will make people say, 'This is strangely beautiful.'"
Farrell told Q magazine October 2011 he still keeps in touch with the Jane, who inspired the band's name. He said: "Every once in a while I get an email. She was just a gal I met when she was looking for a roommate. Her addiction was heroin."
Farrell explained in a behind the scenes clip for the video that the song is his take on the Big Bang theory. "The Big Bang was actually sexual intercourse, like cosmic sexual intercourse," he said.
Drummer Stephen Perkins told Billboard magazine the song harks back to classic Jane's tracks like their 1990 tune, "Then She Did..." "Its lyric and emotion [is] connected and completely tied [to that song]," he said. "No one's faking it; no one's trying too hard."
Farrell explained The Great Escape Artist album title to Spin magazine: "I love being able to escape my past, even though my past was great. I just love the future even more. I can personally not give a s--t about what I've done in the past; I don't want it to handicap me from doing something even better in the future. The only way to do that is to have courage to escape the past -- both the mistakes and the remarkable things. You have to take risks. When it comes to being a musician and especially a live musician, I've thought long and hard about what type of music I've wanted to make. There have been people that have made protest or social commentary music, then there's music made to escape. Jimi Hendrix's music was escapism. Ziggy Stardust is escapism. Iggy Pop. They're not hung up on making people bummed out or angry. Their intent is to have people escape, like they have amnesia as to what their life is really about. It's about going to a place where they can be happy and wild and loose and sexual."
Perry Farrell explained the song's meaning on the Jane's Addiction website. Here's what he said: "The song is really a love story, and a theory on creation. Combining the science of the big bang, and the theology of the Old Testament. Adding the notion that it was in fact a conscious male-to-female act of cosmic love. I know of no life that was ever created without male-female union. A sexual explosion caused the creation of our galaxy, and all earthly life. We- in both his and hers image- continue this process. The line 'We've become a big business' has nothing to do with Jane's Addiction- but speaks about God and his bride. 'A galaxy merger. Two of us a big bang!' A true romance in the cosmos..."