Frontwoman Emily Haines explained to Drowned in Sound that after guitarist/producer James Shaw sent her a basic demo of this track, the lyrics were inspired by the 1983 gangster movie Scarface. Said Haines: "When Jimmy sent me this song as a rough sketch I listened to it over and over while watching Scarface, dreaming up ideas. The lyrics I wrote look at greed in all its forms, and the fact that we seem programmed to be insatiable. If we could do a million dollar video for this song it would be a remake of that montage scene from Scarface - including the tiger!"
Emily Haines explained the band's name to Spin magazine: "It came from a song that [bandmate] Jimmy [Shaw] and I were working on back in Toronto in the early days, like '97 or '98. Jimmy had a song that involved a sound he'd programmed into his keyboard and called 'Metric.' When we saw that word on the keyboard's LED screen it looked so electro. It had a no bulls--t vibe. It was a little cold and standoffish and we're down with that. It works for us. Some people think it has something to do with the fact that we're from Canada -- which uses the metric system. That was coincidental, though at the time we were into arty electronic stuff that was coming out of European countries that also use the metric system. But if we'd wanted to use a name that evoked Canada, we would've called ourselves the Toques or something."