“Night Stalkers actually started out as a song about the [serial killers] Midnight Rambler and Night Stalker. I hitch-hiked a lot when I was a kid, and going up the Pacific Coast Highway could be scary stuff when they had the Hillside Strangler out there. I thought it could be cool to have a song about that period, and how sketchy it could be for young people who were hitch-hiking up and down the freeway. But when I started looking into the Night Stalker, the crimes that he had committed were so heinous that I couldn’t write about them. There was no reason to give that guy any further [attention] so I abandoned the idea.
“Then, one day, a while after that, a friend of mine was telling me about this helicopter division that’s based in Kentucky, right above where we live in Franklin. When I found out about this special-ops division of helicopter pilots who go in under the cover of darkness to carry out their missions – whether that’s rescuing people or clearing out the bad guys – it was perfect. Ice-T is on the song, too. I’ve known Ice for forever, since back in the Rust In Peace days, and we’ve been friends for a little while – not as close as I’d like us to be, but good friends. Knowing that he was a Special Ops paratrooper made an impression on me and meant he was perfect for this song. That was pretty real!”