This track was influenced by Claude Debussy's 1905 work of the same title. Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor explained how the French composer inspired him in a 1999 Yahoo chat:
"I was sitting in Big Sur, losing my mind. His contribution was that you need to be regimented, with whatever you decide to do. When I was sitting there, Debussy and I had a mind meld for a second. I felt the need to plagiarize the title, 'La Mer.' He revolutionized the Mozart bulls--t world of everything was rigid and stabilized."