"Otherside" (often styled as EDISREHTO) is a song by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, released in 2000. It was the third single from their album Californication, and confronts the battles ex-junkies have with their prior...

How long how long will I slide
Separate my side I don't
I don't believe it's bad
Slit my throat
It's all I ever

I heard your voice through a photograph
I thought it up and brought up the past
Once you've gone you can never go back
I've got to take it on the other side

Centuries are what it meant to me
A cemetery where I marry the sea
Stranger things could never change my mind
I've got to take it on the other side
Take it on
Take it on

How long how long will I slide
Separate my side I don't
I don't believe it's bad
Slit my throat
It's all I ever

Pour my life into a paper cup
The ashtray's full and I'm spillin' my guts
She wants to know am I still a slut
I've got to take it on the other side

Scarlet starlet and she's in my bed
A candidate for a soul mate bled
Push the trigger and pull the thread I've got to take it on the other side
Take it on the other side
Take it on
Take it on

How long how long will I slide
Separate my side I don't
I don't believe it's bad
Slit my throat
It's all I ever

Turn me on take me for a hard ride
Burn me out leave me on the other side
I yell and tell it that
It's not a friend
I tear it down I tear it down
And then it's born again

How long how long will I slide
Separate my side I don't
I don't believe it's bad
Slit my throat
It's all I ever

How long I don't believe it's bad
Slit my throat
It's all I ever



Lyrics submitted by The Marine, edited by dygrvans

"Otherside" as written by Jason Joel Desrouleaux, Joshua Emanuel Coleman, Martin Johnson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind


Otherside song meanings
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  • +15
    My Interpretation:I believe it's about drug addiction. WARNING - This may contain explicit information about drug use, please don't read if it offends you

    Once you've been a heroin addict, there is no true going back. You can change your life, you can end your addiction. But the desire to use, the things you've experienced, they will never truly go away. Places remind you of fond memories of using, they trigger you. People trigger you. Photographs, anything that reminds you, it brings back memories and a desire to use.

    "I heard your voice through a photograph" - Referring to seeing a photo that reminded him of drugs even if it isn't even particularly related. Maybe the photo was of a person or a place that reminded him of drugs.

    "I thought it up and brought up the past" - It reminded him of his past. Maybe he just thought of heroin or the photo reminded him.

    "Stranger things could never change my mind
    I’ve got to take it on the otherside" - Once you've been to the "other side", ie, you've tried heroin a few times or you've been addicted, there's no going back. You're on the otherside and you're going to have to live there forever. Once you have that desire to use after being triggered it's extremely hard to throw off.

    "The ashtray’s full and I’m spillin’ my guts" - Heroin users smoke a lot because it enhances the high. Spillin my guts could refer to vomiting which happens during withdrawal.

    "She wants to know am I still a slut" - People often refer to heroin as "she" because the drug can be like an abusive relationship. You love it, it shows you a wonderful time then give you hell. By slut, he is referring to abusing "her" and allowing her to abuse him... Enjoying her like a slut enjoys sex then feeling dirty afterward.

    "I Don't believe it's bad" Can be that heroin addicts don't believe it's bad, they know its bad, but well... its hard to explain unless you've been there.

    "I yell and tell it that
    It’s not a friend
    I tear it down I tear it down
    And then it’s born again" - You hate the drug, you know it's wrecked your life. It's not your friend, you defeat it, but it so easily comes back. Someone calls you. You're reminded of it by some little reason... You drive past a place you've used... You see a user and you're tempted to "Befriend" them and get contacts.. the list goes on... So many things out there can give you the urge to bring it back into your life.

    ***EXPLICIT CONTENT ABOUT DRUG USE WARNING***

    "Scarlet starlet and she’s in my bed
    A candidate for a soul mate bled
    Push the trigger and pull the thread I’ve got to take it on the otherside" - When you inject, if you use a tourniquet, you tie something around your arm to make the vein show. Then you put the needle in and pull the plunger out to register blood. Before you push it in you "pull the thread" (untie the tourniquet) then push in. Then once you've used once after being clean for a while you're back on that "other side", craving, fighting the drug, all over again. SORRY for being so descriptive and explicit but this is what I understand the lyrics to be in relation to.

    ***END EXPLICIT CONTENT***

    Also the tune of the song is very... reminiscent of the sad and hopeless feeling that haunts your life once you're on that "other side"
    anonduseron March 15, 2013   Link
  • +3
    Song Meaning:The song is about drug use plain and simple. Push the trigger and pull the thread is shooting up. Its the terms anyone who has shot up would know. Push the trigger is pushing the plunger. Pulling the thread is pulling the tourniquet to get the rush. Doesn't anyone who reads song lyrics have a drug history?

    Pour my life into a paper cup the ashtrays full and I'm spilling my guts... Pour my life into a cup is someone loaded on alcohol talking about his past. Obviously, for a long time or the ashtray wouldn't be full and he is talking about bad things he's done or he wouldn't be spilling his guts. Doesn't anyone who reads song lyrics have a drinking history?

    A lot of musicians aren't that deep so it is good that like a painter their work is in the eye of the beholder. It's the musician's job to expose their pain and glory to the world.

    Pepper (and yes that is my name)

    Oh ps scarlet scarlet and she's in my bed... He is talking about pulling up the blood into the syringe, then pushing the plunger etc (see above). Remember, you normally pull a trigger not push it. The only time I have heard someone say push the trigger is when they are talking about shooting up.

    The otherside is where the drugs and booze take him after he has done them. I guess that is where I am going tomorrow to start to celebrate Labor Day.

    pepperjon September 01, 2011   Link
  • +3
    My Interpretation:I believe the term "other side" in this song has a double meaning. The song is primarily about drugs and the band members' (particularly Kiedis) struggles with addiction, but it could also be the "afterlife", a metaphor for death (slit my throat its all I ever had), and I think it focuses on the relation between the two (the line "once you go you can never go back" would then be appropriate for both getting high and death). The music video shows a young man going through a series of trials: the first and most literal is being taken to a hospital and getting relief, after which he is attacked by a monster in a cave, but is given a ladder and climbs out. Once he is "safe", however, his shadow (inner demons?) attacks him and they engage in something like a sword fight. After being disarmed by the shadow, he flies away, only to be attacked by a crow, who pushes him off a cliff where he appears to die. Notice how in every scenario, the protagonist does not kill or vanquish his attacker, but instead flees and runs away. These attackers are the addiction, and the message is that they cannot be killed (I yell and tell it that its not a friend I tear it down I tear it down and then its born again). Ultimately, the only definitive escape from an addiction you could possibly have is death, which is what the protagonist appears to suffer in the end, either by overdose (Hillel Slovak) or by suicide, depending on your interpretation. However, there is some degree of hope that I think is often overlooked; the man allegedly dies in the exact same position that the music video starts off in, where he suddenly opens his eyes before being taken to a hospital. Not only does this show that addiction can be a cycle of sober and relapse, but also gives the idea that it is possible to break out completely, as Kiedis appears to have done since 2000, ironically right in the realm the album Californication and this song was released. Oh, and just as a side note, Frusciante does a breathtaking backing vocal that fits beautifully with Kiedis not only because it just sounds wonderful but also considering both of them have had rough struggles with addiction. This is probably my favorite Chili Peppers song as well. Just outstanding.
    HammerFloydon May 27, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:To everyone who is getting it horribly wrong:


    In the book "Scar Tissue," Anthony explicitly states that Otherside is about drug addiction.

    There you have it! amazing! Crazy! Wow! Who knew? Who could know?
    halobreakon January 22, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:Amazing song. From the first time I've heard it, I never had any doubts that it was about drug addiction, although there are probably other themes and subjects woven in there as well.
    "How long how long will I slide
    Separate my side I don't
    I don't believe it's bad
    Slit my throat
    It's all I ever"
    For me, this verse is about him questioning how much longer he can go on like this and how much deeper he will sink ("How long how long will I slide"). He tries to justify his drug use to himself ("I don't believe it's bad") but this just causes self-loathing and suicidal thoughts ("Slit my throat").
    I heard your voice through a photograph
    I thought it up and brought up the past
    Once you've gone you can never go back
    I've got to take it on the otherside
    In this verse, he mentions someone who was clearly important to him in the past but is no longer a part of his life ("I thought it up and brought up the past"). It seems that he misses this person, as he is looking at their photograph while thinking about them ("I heard your voice through a photograph"). Then he dismisses thoughts of this person and returns to speaking about his drug abuse. He says that it is impossible to stop taking drugs once you have started ("Once you've gone you can never go back") and must continue taking drugs to cope with your life ("I've got to take it on the otherside"). cont.




    marchingbandsofmanhattanon January 04, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:yep
    soodamncoldon January 05, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:I think it's a justification for the use of drugs. When you're fucked up and your life is a mess, you want to go to the "otherside", that means the other reality induced by the drugs.
    Deadon May 08, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:Yep, this is a pretty kikazz song. As I was reading the lyrics though, I think it might be about suicide, or just death in general. "Slit my throat" Otherside could be relating to the afterlife. "Once you've gone you can never go back"

    Also, I think it may be relating to drug use because of the line, "Burn me out leave me on the otherside" Burn is a term for smoking marijuana, so "Burn me out" would be like, "get me stoned" and "leave me on the otherside" could mean that he likes being in that other state of mind, or being stoned, the drug world is the otherside and he wants to stay there.

    Just my two cents though.
    Resistanceon May 27, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:Its about a person's depression. Anthony's singing about how he thinks so little of himself..... hence the lines

    Pour my life into a paper cup
    The ashtray’s full and I’m spillin’ my guts
    She wants to know am I still a slut
    I’ve got to take it on the other side

    Scarlet starlet and she’s in my bed
    A candidate for a soul mate bled
    Push the trigger and pull the thread I’ve got to take it on the

    someone wants to know about whether or not he's as abusive as he was. Slut is meant in a figurative sense i think, as is the line about the scarlet starlet.... they could mean anything from drugs to just low self esteem. The question is does the person in the song still bring this bad thing on himself?

    The singer realizes that he is still bringing it on himself, and has been for awhile (how long will i slide) and through this realization slips back into depression and comes to the realization that whatever it is he's been doing will kill him in the end no matter what, so why not kill himself now?
    lahdeefriggindaon June 14, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:have any of you read the lyrics???? im usally the first to say interpret a song for yourself, let it mean what ever you want it to. but some of you are just stupid. this song as nothing to do with drug use, and i hate how people always go right to drugs. it just means they are too stupid to interpret a song. this song is deffently not about suicide or death.
    this song is about the guilt of a man cheating on his girlfriend or having an affair. first verse he sees a picture, and it bring up a past memory. the second verse explains how it has plaqued him for so long, "Centuriees". "cemetery were i marry the sea" he explains where he commited the affair. the chorus is asking "how long will i slide", in other words, how long until i get caught or have to admit it. "slit my throat" because it's like suicide to his relationship when he admits it. the third verse he admits it. "pouring is life into a paper cup", "the ashtray's full and im spillin my guts", the ashtray is way of expressing how long and stressfull it is for him. she then asks "am i still a slut", she is asking if he is still like that. the next verse he is talking to his girlfriend/wife, in details, "she's in my bed....". and then out with the chorus.
    so there you have it... thats what the song is about, broken down for the retards that dont know how to intrepret lyrics. not everything is about drugs and death.
    acryczekon August 27, 2002   Link

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