The "Reptilia" is a scientific term meaning the part of the brain we share with reptiles. It relates to higher-level base instincts and emotions. The title is not in the lyrics, implying that the singer is thinking with this part of his brain and acting on emotion rather than reason.
Room On Fire took its name from a line in this song, "The room is on fire as she's fixing her hair."
The Room On Fire album cover is a section of a 1961 painting by the English pop-artist Peter Phillips entitled War/Game. The artwork depicts opposing American Civil War forces through typical emblems of combat – flags, guns and uniforms. According to Phillips it is a depiction of "peace and war, love and hate, truth and lies." The Strokes felt his moody piece matched with some of the record's lyrical concerns, most notably the theme of relationship politics.
Peter Phillips (born May 21, 1939) is an English artist and pioneer of the Pop Art movement. His work has been exhibited in The Strokes home city of New York, alongside such American counterparts as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.
Room on Fire
started as a production by Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, but The Strokes dismissed his work on the album and handed the job to This Is It
producer Gordon Raphael.
Bertrand - Paris, France
Upon its release, the album was largely criticized for sounding too much like the band's debut, Is This It. In a 2014 Rolling Stone interview, Casablancas admitted he still had that album in mind while creating Room On Fire. "I wanted to finish the Is This It thought; even when we were doing it, I always thought it was part two. I remember when we started 'Reptilia' and 'The End Has No End,' I was like, 'This is the new vibe.' I think we always felt like we were in jeopardy. When we did Room on Fire, things were established, but things were internally, at least from my perspective, not healthy."
Nick Valensi, the band's lead guitarist, thinks that the hype surrounding the band made it impossible to live up to people's expectations with their second album. "There were going to be a bunch of people who loved that record no matter what, and a bunch of people who hated that record no matter what," he told Rolling Stone Australia. "But it didn't completely feel like we were walking into our own execution."
The single's cover art features an alien from the 1981 Atari arcade game Centipede.
This was used on Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares in the 2006 episode "The Fenwick Arms."