Molko explained the song's meaning in a 2006 Rock Mag interview: "It's a song about destructive relationships, violent relationships. After having written it, I realized that it could well have been about family relations as well as between lovers. A lot of songs - mainly Country - talk about women being hit by their husbands. In 'Pierrot the Clown,' the target of the violence is a man. A vulnerable man, trapped in a violent and destructive relationship. The title of the track stems from my obsession with clowns and a passion for the circus. At college, I'd thought about signing up to a school for clowns and becoming one... But fortunately for everyone, I was accepted at university. When I was a kid, I'd go to the circus. It was a party, but one person, Pierrot, would always be sad. I always felt compassion for him. It's also the role that Bowie plays in his video for 'Ashes to Ashes.' It's a very strong image for me, and I wanted to communicate how you can feel alone in a relationship, to the point where you can let yourself be beaten physically and morally by someone. Joyful, isn't it?"