Lead singer Caleb Followill wrote this song at his Tennessee farmhouse after his alcoholism caused the band to cut short their 2011 tour. "I didn't know if it was going to be Kings of Leon or something else, but I got very inspired," he told Entertainment Weekly. "I remember coming up with the guitar part and it feeling throwback like something off of [2004 album] Aha Shake Heartbreak. So I started writing about those times, about one person in particular from another band and how they lost their inspiration."
A Super Soaker is a powerful water gun that revolutionized water fights forever. Traditional squirt guns were no match for these pump-action monsters, and the arms race made it the top selling toy of 1991. In this song, Nathan Followill uses it as a metaphor for the havoc he wreaks in matters of love.
This soulful rocker and "It Don't Matter" were the two Mechanical Bull tracks that Kings Of Leon debuted live earlier in 2013. Nathan Followill explained to MTV News: "We chose these two to play live because they really represent the record, the direction it goes in. 'It Don't Matter' is dirty and gritty, a little two-and-a-half minute pounder, everybody plays as hard as they can, as fast as they can. 'Supersoaker' is a lot more melodic and a little more sing-along-y, if that's even a word."
The song's music video was directed by W.I.Z., who has also helmed clips for the likes of Oasis, Marilyn Manson, and Kasabian. The visual finds Kings Of Leon performing on a 1950s rock 'n' roll set while flanked by a gaggle of beautiful women. "The Kings make serious rock and roll music, with the wisdom and panache not to take themselves too seriously," W.I.Z. told MTV News. "[We wanted] playful, sensual ideas of teen angst, rock and roll and Americana; we wanted to a make a piece that was urgent as well as effortless, precision with abandon."
W.I.Z. ran the footage through a gritty, Super 8 filter, and let the band be themselves. "My inspiration is the hungry beat of Nathan's snare drum and the soul in Caleb's rasping voice," he explained. "The look is an imagined hybrid of pop-art screenprint, hand tinting and Technicolour film."
Speaking to MTV News, drummer Nathan Followill said the Mechanical Bull album title was inspired by John Travolta. He explained: "We were so early in on the process of it, we had narrowed it down to three names, and 'Mechanical Bull' won out. I know we watched a lot of (1980 Travolta movie) Urban Cowboy during the making of this record, so that definitely probably had something to do with it."
The movie has a famous scene where Debra Winger goes for a seductive ride on a mechanical bull.
Me-chan-i-cal Bull carries on the Kings' tradition of five syllable album titles following Youth And Young Man-hood, A-ha Shake Heart-break, Be-cause Of The Times, On-ly By The Night and Come A-round Sun-down.