For this week’s episode of “How It Went Down,” Billboard set out to learn how trio AJR created their song “100 Bad Days,” which they reveal cured their writer’s block and was designed to make listeners “feel happy.”
Ryan Met tells Billboard that he and his brothers were studying at Columbia University while also working on their album Neotheater, but they were having a terrible bout of writer’s block. “100 Bad Days,” they confess, was the song that solved that creativity drought.
The first step in writing “100 Bad Days,” Jack Met explains, was going through both the good and the bad stories of their year at Columbia. The first bad story they reflected upon was from a night out when Jack’s girlfriend broke both of her thumbs, which inspired the opening lyrics, “Remember when we all got drunk? I ended up with two broke thumbs.”
The trio state that when people listen to “100 Bad Days,” they want it to serve as the last song of the night. At that point, having been in college, they knew what a party song was. They had written both pre-game songs and mid-party songs for when everyone is comfortable and having a great time, but they had never written a song for the party comedown.
“With ‘100 Bad Days,’ we said to each other, ‘Let’s make this the finale, let’s make this the last song that people play of the night,’” says Jack. “And so that’s why we had this huge sweeping, horn filled, anthemic chorus.”
Jack adds that he wants people to feel happy when they listen to “100 Bad Days,” noting that while it might sound “extremely boring and cliché,” the song is about enjoying life and remembering to stay positive.
You can watch the video above to hear the full story of how AJR created “100 Bad Days,” and check out the song below.