This was released as the lead single from Linkin Park's fifth studio album. The song was written by the band and produced by co-lead vocalist Mike Shinoda and Rick Rubin, who also worked with the band on their Minutes to Midnight and A Thousand Suns sets. The song was released to radio on April 16, 2012.
Speaking with Kerrang! magazine, Linkin Park's Chester Bennington stated that on the album, "we've incorporated a lot of guitar work with big choruses and the heavier electronic stuff to give it that really big wall of sound feeling without getting too metal." In a separate interview with MTV News he explained that the band chose this as the first single mostly because it showcases everything they're hoping to accomplish on the new record.
"All of our songs take these really big creative turns and twists throughout the process, so sometimes songs will start out as a melody or some musical chord progressions," he said. "Other times, they'll start out as beats, and the next thing you know they kind of evolve over the course of the making of the album," he said. "But what's interesting about this track is the really high energy and the really strong electronic melodies and hooks kind of set this song apart, which is why we chose it as our first single."
Mike Shinoda was asked to explain the song's meaning during an interview with KROQ's Kevin & Bean. He replied by directing it back at the band saying, "Kinda like what we do in pop culture, we build somebody up to be the next great thing then we like to destroy them at the end of the day. And, we've lived through that so I think there's a lot of personal energy that went into the connection of that story."
The song's bass line is played on a synth. Shinoda told KROQ's Kevin & Bean, "With a lot of things on this record, we just got more comfortable, more so than in the last few years, dipping back into some of the stuff that we used to do in the earlier days of our career."
The music video was first seen on TNT's promotional teaser for the 2012 NBA Playoffs, which featured previews of the clip.