This song is a blend of two different styles: Mariachi and reggae. It started as a reggae riff, and vocalist Dexter Holland told Spinner that after "a little drum" was added to it, "we were bopping our heads, and we let the thing roll." The band kept going back to the song and eventually decided, "it would be really interesting to have Mariachi in there."
Guitarist Noodles added: "It was really hard to get those two musical styles to blend, but once we figured out how to get them to fit right with each other, it was great. Reggae is usually sitting on the beach kind of vibe. This song has some menace to it."
Holland explained the track's meaning to Spinner: "The song talks about how Orange County can be a dangerous place. I've lived here my whole life, and I've commuted up to LA so I've definitely been through the bad neighborhoods daily. It's dangerous, but it's fun at the same time."
Kacey Musgraves originally offered "Follow Your Arrow" to her friend Katy Perry. However, Perry thought Musgraves should record the song herself as it seemed, "like something that you would totally say."