This electric-guitar track is the second single from the Goo Goo Dolls' 11th studio album. Despite being musical partners for decades, Goos Johnny Rzeznik and Robby Takac had written a song together for 20 years. The collaboration is a reflection of their evolving relationship, says Rzeznik. "He and I were always the core of the band," he explained in a 2016 radio interview. "It's one of those things when you read about a person who's like 90 years old and you get a divorce… like, why? Over the past year and a half we went through so many changes, and our friendship got tight again. You kinda go your own ways sometimes, but we've gotten a lot closer over time. I call him the brother I never wanted."
Sometimes it's hard to discern where the change occurs in a relationship, which, Rzeznik told Black Velvet magazine, inspired the lyric, "It's hard to be yourself when everyone else is changing." He recalled: "I started to think to myself, 'Wow, are they changing or am I changing?' Really, the answer to it is, we're all changing and we're all following our own paths and we're all doing what we need to do to move our lives forward, but that being said, I know a lot of people who are changing in a… I don't know… taking a turn down. And those are the people I really wanted to escape from."
Speaking of changes, Boxes marked a significant shift for the band as they began experimenting with different sonic styles, including synths and electronic beats. It's also the Goo Goo Dolls' first album since 1995's A Boy Named Goo without drummer Mike Malinin, who was fired from the band in 2013.
The band launched a contest for fans to submit their own music videos for this tune. The winning entry, an animated clip created by Eliezer Castillo, follows a character whose life turns upside down after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. Castillo also won $5,000 and a guitar autographed by the band.
RedOne, the Grammy Award-winning producer behind Lady Gaga's debut album, The Fame, remixed this with producer/songwriter T.I. Jakke in 2016. Rzeznik weighed in on the reissue: "What impressed me the most was RedOne's re-invention of the chorus and the vibe of the song. It took on a whole new dimension and style, which was great!"