This was the second single from American Christian rock band Skillet's eighth studio album, Awake. In a 2014 Songfacts interview, John Cooper said this was inspired by the 2008 movie The Incredible Hulk, starring Ed Norton. After Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) is injected with chemicals to become The Abomination, the Hulk's adversary, a soldier asks him how he feels. "Like a monster," he replies.
Frontman John Cooper explained to StereoTruth: "It's a song about being fake and putting on a face for people that's not the real you. But it's basically about the nature of sin and the nature of the divine, which is the duel nature we have as Christians. Everyday we have to strive to throw away the old and be that new person in Christ."
Cooper expanded on the song to Christianity Today magazine: "In a theological sense, the song is about original sin. You are born into the human race, you're guilty or sinful, no matter what you hope to be. 'Monster' is about the fact that there is somebody we know we don't want to be. Some people call it the old man or the old self. That guy wants to creep out when you're driving and somebody cuts you off. You wonder as a Christian, how do I keep it at bay? I liken it to the idea of a '50s horror film of this beast inside you coming alive."
This song was used as the theme for the 2009 edition WWE pay-per-view "Hell in a Cell." It is also featured in WWE video game Smackdown vs Raw 2010
and was used in the NBC telecast of Wrestlemania 25, highlighting WWE wrestler Randy Orton's quest to become the WWE champion.
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Cooper also told us how the song profoundly affected a security guard he met at one of the band's concerts. "He had been a heroin addict for years and years and he lost his family, he lost his kid. He was kind of going to die, and he heard the song 'Monster.' He said, 'That's exactly how I felt. And it was that song that talked me into going to rehab, basically. I realized that I was living inside somewhere underneath, and I had to get out. And that was several years ago.'"
Some radio stations played an alternate version that cut out Cooper's "I feel like a monster" growl near the end of the song. "For the most part, fans love it," Cooper told jesusfreakhideout.com
. "The growl has sold us more records than the song."
In 2016, this reached 2.6 million sales and was recognized as the biggest digital single in the history of Christian music.
This peaked at #4 on the Mainstream rock chart.
According to Billboard, this was the 10th most-played Halloween song of 2010.