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"Hammerhead" was the first single from The Offspring's eighth studio album Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace. The song was first played at the Summer Sonic Festival in 2007.

Song meaning

According to singer Dexter Holland, the song is about school shootings. This is supported by the closing lyrics "and you can all hide behind your desks now/and you can cry teacher come help me". Lead guitarist Kevin 'Noodles' Wasserman elaborated on this, stating that the initial lyrics are from the perspective of a soldier who believes that everything he does is for the greater good - "take a life that others may live". He is affected by a huge force (Hammerhead - "it hammers in my head") in his mind that makes him deluded. The true nature of the song - that the narrator is actually a school shooter - is only revealed towards the end.

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