Kerry King told the Illinois Entertainer that he wrote the song in part in an effort to save his fellow Slayer co-founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman from alcoholism. "There were some wake-up calls in there," King said. "You know, we were trying to get Jeff on board. And he had literally cheated death when he had that arm injury. I don't think people know it was as bad as it was, but the doctor told him when he went in to work on him, 'First, I'm going to try to save your life.' We didn't know if he was going to live. And Jeff, he just... he got out of the hospital, and he lived clean for a while. I'm, like, 'Dude, you just cheated death. You got another shot at doing this all over again. Let's f--king get you back on board, playing some shows.'"
"I knew when [Jeff] went into the hospital that last time, I knew it was bad, but I didn't know it was that bad," he continued. "Nobody expected that call ... I didn't know if he was ever going to come out of that particular episode, but I didn't think it was going to be that quick."
"You can't make an addicted person get better if they don't want to," King concluded. "We did everything we were supposed to do, but that kind of personality, man. If they're not strong enough to outwit it, then it's gonna happen how it happened."
Hanneman eventually died in May 2013 from alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver.