The lyrics in this song seem to speak to a specific person, so in 2012, we asked The Dandy Warhols who the tune was about. Guitarist Pete Holmstrom said that it was indeed about a specific person, but added, "let's just leave it at that."
In 2003, lead singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor admitted to UK magazine Mojo that this song was written about one of his ex-girlfriends who actually became a heroin addict over the course of just one week while he was on tour with The Dandys. Taylor-Taylor went on to explain that the two had been together for four years and that at one time, she was "the coolest, smartest, hottest chick" in Portland.
After discovering that his longtime girlfriend had become a heroin addict, Courtney was determined not to write a sad song about it. The singer claimed he "didn't have enough respect for that s--t" to be saddened by it. Instead, he wrote this song as an upbeat rock number and mocked his girlfriend in the chorus, saying "heroin is so passé."
At the time, "Heroin Chic" was in fashion, so there was plenty of work for skinny models who could pull off a strung-out, vacant look. This song seemed to mock that trend - the video shows dancing syringes and overdose victims.
Ariana Grande's collaboration with Zedd, "Break Free" came about after the Russian-German producer overheard Grande performing at a label showcase while he was backstage, and he mentioned to his team that he wanted to work with her.