The seeds of what would become Living The Dream were first planted back on Slash's 2014-15 World On Fire world tour, when the axeman began bringing in material for his Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators backing band to work on at soundchecks. This song originated from a riff that Slash played with his bandmates for the first time at a venue in New Hampshire. He said:
"It's a cool guitar part we ran though, and from that point forward the rest of the song started to come together in my mind while on the road. We put it all together this year and Myles came up with a great melody for it."
Vocalist Myles Kennedy explained the song's meaning: "Lyrically, it's a story about somebody who works on the road - it could be a musician, and it could be a traveling salesman. What makes it interesting is this guy has an addict girlfriend or spouse who continues to relapse, and she ends up getting him to come home. She's miserable and falls back into bad old habits, and that compels him to head back to her to save the day."
The video is a lo-tech affair with no humans, only rag dolls. Most treatments that came in reflected the dark subject matter of the song, but the band thought it would be fun to keep the video light, so they went with Stoopid Buddy animation studios. "I wanted to create something that could be tongue-in-cheek and yet still be dark with live-action animation," Slash said. "No puppets were harmed during the making of this video."
The clip was created by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, who are one of the producers of the Adult Swim animated television series Robot Chicken and Hot Streets as well as Buddy Thunderstruck on Netflix.
Myles Kennedy commented in a track by track breakdown
that the riff reminded him "of vintage Aerosmith." He added: "It's got a certain funk to it that is really compelling."
The album title is a tongue-in-cheek political statement referencing what's been going on both globally and in the US. "'Living The Dream' seemed like a funny title,' Slash explained to Scuzz TV.
"All things considered, it could [also] be applied to what we do, and just being able to have the wherewithal to be able to make records and tour and do all those great things that we dreamed about doing when we were 15 years old,' he added, "so it doesn't necessarily have to be about [politics]."