Kittie got what they always wanted when their first album, Spit
, put them on the musical map after it was released in 1999. All group members were teenagers at this time, and they worked on the album when they got out of school, completing it in nine days.
Their next album wasn't so easy to make, and they began feeling the pressures that go along with the acclaim. "All of a sudden, things have exploded and blown up, and now, you're expected to create something that is just as good as all the songs that you wrote for the entirety of your band's career beforehand," Kittie guitarist/vocalist Morgan Lander said in her Songfacts interview
. "You have your entire band's career to write your first album, and then the second album, you're expected to do it a lot quicker. Feeling those pressures of 'be careful what you wish for' is the idea behind 'What I Always Wanted.'"