Many of the tracks on Gutterflower
, such as "What A Scene
," were inspired by lead singer Johnny Rzeznik's culture shock upon moving to Los Angeles. "Smash," however, was inspired by bassist Robby Takac's experience visiting the band's hometown of Buffalo, New York, and encountering a troubled old friend. He recalled to Billboard
: "I ran into a friend of mine in Buffalo who had been getting the shit get kicked out of her for as long as I'd known her. She'd had a baby, and even though her life seemed absolutely fucked still, the second she talked about that, it was like everything else went away."