Metro Station frontman Trace Cyrus told MTV News: "It's a very meaningful song for us. It's the first song me, [co-frontman] Mason [Musso] and [synth guy/ bassist] Blake [Healy] made. Me and Mason had been going over to Blake's house for a few months and all three of us were like, 'Why are all three of us getting together? We should be friends but I don't know if we're a band.' But then finally one day Blake had the lyrics to 'Seventeen Forever,' and we went over and recorded the song. And after the weekend was over, Blake edited it and put it on MySpace, and it was kind of like an overnight success.
When I heard the song, that was the first time I thought maybe something could happen. I know when my parents heard it, it was the first time they were like, 'This blows our mind. We didn't realize the kind of music you were making!' We finally found the sound we wanted, and we established the sound for Metro Station. We were so happy for it."
Trace Cyrus' sister, Miley, and father, Billy Ray, appeared in the song's video, which was shot near Santa Clarita, California. Trace Cyrus told MTV News: "We kind of based it on the story of The Lost Boys. We just took the vampires out of it. Just the whole carnival idea of, like, kids coming together. They come in and take over this park, and we're gonna perform for them. There's definitely going to be some stunt guys here who are going to be doing jumps and stuff. It's gonna be wild."
Cyrus told Kerrang! magazine April 18, 2009 that though a lot of people think this song is about being a kid forever, "it's actually about wanting to be in a relationship with a girl who's underage so bad and how age limitations don't let you do that. We like to shock people."