Bitter Rivals

Album: Bitter Rivals (2013)

Songfacts®:

  • Guitarist Derek Miller told NME about this song with the subject matter of moving on. "It's celebrating coming out of a situation that I didn't think I would be ever able to come out of," he explained. "I had been in the darkest, nastiest situation. I came to terms with my father's death finally, that didn't happen until February (2013). My mom has been in remission for two years now so she's in a great place. I'm in the best place of my life. I'm not going to boo-hoo about it now, but that shattered me for years. When you're in it, you just can't see out of it. But when I cam out of it, I was like 'Oh my god.'"
  • Vocalist Alexis Krauss told NME about the recording of this dog-barking, finger-snapping two chord noise-pop banger: "I had my dog in the studio, and they were setting up to do guitars, and I was like "OK this will be a good time. I'll take my dog out to go pee and I'll be back up by the time they start tracking' and this was literally five minutes, and in one take, it was just like the scrappiest, gnarliest sound. You know? There was no tweaking, there was no fu--ing around with it. We knew it was good and we just left it."
  • The song's music video ends with the message "Be good to each other." Krauss explained to Stereogum: "We thought it would be great to end something that had an aggressive or violent imagery with something kind of humorous and sweet. You know, I was a teacher before I was in Sleigh Bells so being positive and having that kind of energy has always been a part of Sleigh Bells. We're also constantly using the phrase, 'Work hard. Be nice.' It was the phrase I constantly used as my mantra for my kids when I was teaching."
  • Q magazine asked Derek Miller the meaning of the lyrics "You are my bitter rival, but I need you for survival." He replied: "I'd rather leave that lyric open. It could be anything, it could be a war with yourself, an enemy, a girlfriend or boyfriend – it's about being forced to step your game up. That's definitely a big theme. I've got a lot of demons, and making records is one way to deal with them."

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