This was the second single to be taken from American alternative rock band The Dead Weather's debut album, Horehound.
Vocalist Alison Mosshart and drummer Jack White explained to Billboard magazine that the origins of Dead Weather originated with a lost voice and a missing tour bus. During the fall of 2008, Mosshart's band, The Kills, were opening for the Raconteurs, when White lost his voice. Meanwhile the Kills' tour bus driver had disappeared with the group's bus. Mosshart remembered: "I was wearing the same clothes I'd been in for a week, because the bus still hadn't been found." (It turned up a few days later). To get their minds off their misfortunes, White suggested an impromptu end-of-tour jam session at his new Third Man studio-label complex in Nashville. He explained: "We had one day left with her before she had to go to New York and we were in Nashville together so we said, 'Why don't we record a 7-inch?' We had absolutely no energy left and were completely burned out." Raconteur bassist Jack Lawrence and guitarist Dean Fertita, a member of Queens of the Stone Age who tours with the Raconteurs, made up the jam quartet. Mosshart recalled: "We burned the candle at three ends, and all of a sudden we had four songs done. And then we just kept going and going, and all of a sudden, we were this new band with this new record. I couldn't believe how kind of natural it felt."
All four members of the band have writing credits on this song. Mosshart told Mojo magazine July 2009 about the writing process: "Everybody just did what they wanted. I wrote most of the lyrics because that's my favorite thing, and everybody wrote different parts to the music- someone would lead with something and I'd be writing furiously, and within an hour we'd have something good enough to record or work on. It was super-easy and super-quick."
The song‘s music video was directed by Jonathon Glazer, who has previously directed iconic promos like Radiohead's "Karma Police." It features White and Mosshart firing automatic weapons at each other. White told MTV News about the clip: "Jonathan Glazer met with blondie over here, and I think she told him that we wanted to walk and we wanted to fire machine guns, and for the rest of it to be his idea," he said, referring to Mosshart. "The location was the best part, it ended up being the childhood home of Captain Beefheart - Lancaster, California - and Frank Zappa, they're both from that small town. So it was great to have an excuse to finally go there. We actually went to his home and left a little present there, it was really nice. It was where he grew up. A family of about 20 people live there now... they came out and wondered what we were doing on their front lawn." Mosshart added: "We were in this strange patch of land that was by row housing and a women's prison. So we had to call the women's prison every morning and tell them we were going to start firing guns so they didn't think bad things were happening."