Single by Tantric
from the album Tantric
ReleasedMay 21, 2001
Tantric singles chronology

"Breakdown" is the debut single by post-grunge band Tantric and the lead single from their self-titled debut album. It is the band's most successful song, having reached number one on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks and helped the album achieve gold status in 2001.

Lyrically, "Breakdown" describes a high school student filled with resentment and self-disgust. The music video found substantial airplay on MTV2. In combination with the band's acoustic-heavy sound, "Breakdown" also utilizes a digital effect at the end of the chorus. The tightly produced arrangement makes for a well balanced ratio of hard rock and pop.

Guitarist Todd Whitener came up with the song while sitting in an Amsterdam hotel. He described the meaning behind "Breakdown" in an interview with MTV:

"That song's pretty much about being pooped on and realizing that life is going to move on and you just have to keep your head high. Things will work out in the end, as long as you stay positive."[1]


The song was included on the soundtrack to the 2001 film Driven and The Shield: Music from the Streets in 2005. It was also featured on the Spin This, Monitor This!, and Noize compilations. The song also appears in an episode of The Shield (Partners, Season 2, episode 3).


Chart (2001) Peak
Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles 6
Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 4


  1. ^ 7 Questions With Tantric MTV.com (2001). Retrieved on 12-15-10.