Behind the Trap Door features collaborations with Bono, Bob Neuwirth, and Richard Thompson. In the liner notes, Burnett states: "I was just starting to come out of a dark personal time, and was working these things out of my system. My original title was Beneath The Trap Door. That's how it felt."
Although the EP is out of print, all the songs were reissued on CD by Rhino Handmade on March 27, 2007. The double CD also includes the Trap Door EP and Proof Through the Night. The double CD was issued in a numbered limited edition of 5,000. A cover of the Hank Williams (as Luke the Drifter) song "Be Careful of Stones That You Throw," recorded during an early session for the album, is also included on the CD.