Rodrigo was discussing some of the influences behind her new album ‘Guts’ in a cover story for Rolling Stone, and cited the ’90s political rap-rockers, as well as Babes In Toyland, as inspirations for its opening track ‘All-American Bitch’.
Rodrigo recalled sleeping with a turntable next to her bed at the age of 14 and being awoken by her mother putting on Babes In Toyland’s second album, ‘Fontanelle’, which she would listen to while getting dressed. “Rock in that feminine way, that’s just the coolest thing in the world to me,” she said.
Meanwhile, Rage Against The Machine were a greater influence on the song’s chorus. “I have been listening to so much Rage Against the Machine this year,” she said. “That’s my favorite band right now. I would just play it over and over again on my way to and from the studio.”
Rodrigo also said that she wished to attend their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in Brooklyn later this year, but is unable to as there’s an “immovable schedule conflict” getting in the way.
Rodrigo found the song’s title in Joan Didion’s essay collection Slouching Towards Bethlehem. “I think everyone can relate to being put in a box in some sense,” she said about the track. “Something I always grappled with, especially when I was younger, is feeling like I couldn’t be angry or express dissatisfaction or complain for fear of being ungrateful. It was drilled into me, and it caused a lot of problems.”
She continued: “I had all this anger bubbling up inside me — especially when you’re a teenager and you’re confused and you feel like the world is out to get you and you’re so insecure — and I’d have dreams where I was going crazy. I felt like I could never be like that in real life.”
Rodrigo has also suggested that some songs that didn’t make the final tracklist for ‘Guts’ might eventually see the light of day.