Skillet frontman John Cooper says this dark track is about "the fact that intimacy is really hard." He told Cryptic Rock
: "We all want to be known and we all want to know someone in an intimate way, but what we're not always prepared for is that intimacy hurts."
Cooper wrote the chorus melody first and almost decided to reserve the song for his heavy metal side project, Fight the Fury, thinking it was too ultra-metal for Skillet. When he decided to include it on Victorious, he shifted the tone towards sad and romantic to make it more fitting for the Christian rock band, but didn't want to lose its original vibe. "When we started recording it and working on the parts, I was like, you know what? It can be sad and Metal at the same time," he explained.
To get the heavy sound he wanted, Cooper took inspiration from the metal band Five Finger Death Punch: "I literally thought, 'If this was a Five Finger chorus, what would they do on the drums?' I know it doesn't sound like Five Finger it sounds like Skillet, but for a musician if they really picked apart the guitar and the drum parts and the chorus, you can hear that being a Death Punch chorus with his voice - if Ivan [Moody] was singing it."
Cooper explained the meaning of the lyrics, "Peel back the skin, exposed to you, Take pleasure in the pain": "What that's saying is that it's really wonderful to be known, but it also hurts because we have a lot of ugly crap inside of us. It's not always wonderful when somebody finds out how selfish of a person you can be, or what a jerk you can be in the mornings when you're in a bad mood, the way you respond to someone you love when you're exhausted and they find out how bad you are. But it's still wonderful to be known, and to still be loved is a really wonderful thing to me, and that is what 'Save Me' is about."
This is the second single from Victorious
. Cooper initially wanted it to be the lead single instead of "Legendary
," but thought its aggressiveness might mislead fans about the tone of the rest of the album.