In an interview with Under The Radar
, Matt Berninger spoke about the title, saying: "It's funny, because people have assumed things about that. One person thought it was 'Don't Swallow the Cat,' and they thought it was an Alice in Wonderland
reference. Some people thought it was a druggy reference. And some people have interpreted it as 'don't swallow the cap on a mushroom,' like LSD. I honestly don't know. It sounded good. Some people think I was referencing Tennessee Williams, because there's something about how he died drinking a cap of something. I'm not sure. It might be because I have a 4-year-old, and they're always sticking things in their mouths, like the cap on toothpaste. I don't actually know what that title is about. I was just singing along and free associating with the ways words sounded, and weird little phrases ended up in there, and you don't know where it comes from. You forget, and it evolves into other meanings.
I mean, R.E.M. - Michael Stipe also wrote lyrics because they sounded good, just these weird, mumbly lyrics. It was more about how they sounded than having some sort of message in the lyrics. I always loved R.E.M. for that, because listening to it, you could almost make it about yourself. I could interpret it in ways that pulled me into their music. It wasn't like I was being told a message or told a story. It sucked me into it because it was so blurry, and I could make their songs about whatever I was dealing with. Maybe I do a bit of that."
Bertrand - Paris, France