Scooby Snacks

Album: Come Find Yourself (1996)
Charted: 12
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • On the second single from their debut album, Come Find Yourself, the Fun Lovin' Criminals introduce themselves as dapper felons who are "running around robbing banks, all whacked off of Scooby Snacks." While the term Scooby Snacks originated as the fictional treat given to the title Great Dane in the classic '60s cartoon Scooby-Doo, the band uses it as slang for the prescription drug diazepam, aka Valium.
  • This contains several samples from the Quentin Tarantino films Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, which respectively feature a diner hold-up and a bank heist. Brian "Fast" Leiser, who plays horns and keyboards in the band, has a habit of playing movies in the background while he's songwriting, which led to the Tarantino-inspired rap song.

    "I remember having the Reservoir Dogs LaserDisc playing while I was messing with this groove that was just drumbeats and that simple bassline," Leiser recalled in a "How I Wrote" feature for the British magazine Songwriting in 2021. "It sounded cool having this dialogue from Tim Roth, Harvey Keitel and Steve Buscemi. The original song had nothing but dialogue from Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. When I sent it to Huey [Morgan, lead singer] he was like, 'That's the hit! But you need to lose some of the dialogue so I can put lyrics on it.'"
  • Building on Leiser's Tarantino concept, Huey Morgan came up with lyrics about drug-addled bank robbers, an idea inspired by a security guard who handed out Valium to rowdy patrons at a New York City club called The Tunnel.

    "On Sunday nights they had this crazy hip-hop party called Mecca," Leiser explained. "There were fights and people trying to sneak weapons in, guns and knives, so the security guards were always on edge. One of the guards was a crazy dude and he'd be giving everyone Valiums so at least they were all chilled out. He'd hand them around and say, 'Does anyone want a scooby snack?' That's where got the idea for the chorus from: what if this dude and some of his meathead friends were robbing banks, all high on these scooby snacks?"
  • This also features a tremolo guitar sample from "Movement Of Fear" by the British post-punk band Tones On Tail. According to Leiser, the sample influenced the verses being in minor chords and the chorus going to major chords.
  • When "Scooby Snacks" was first released, it went to #22 on the UK chart, but a 1997 reissue (a double-A side with a cover of 10cc's "I'm Not In Love") reached a new peak at #12.

    According to Leiser, their early success that portrayed them as cartoonish gangsters was a double-edged sword because fans were disappointed to find out they weren't really the fun lovin' criminals they claimed to be. "We never said we were!" he insisted. "Yeah, we wear suits on stage so we look sharp, but that's out of respect for our mothers."
  • At his lawyers' insistence, Tarantino received a songwriting credit (and 37% of the royalties), but he was never actually in the studio with the band.
  • Leiser said the band's approach to sampling is similar to Tarantino's method of borrowing from other movies. He elaborated: "For us, when you sample something you should make it your own, in the same way as when Tarantino takes influences from other movies, he makes them his own. That's why our sound hasn't changed and it never will as long as we make music, because we have a formula that we like and that we think our fans have come to expect."
  • Two music videos were made. In the 1996 clip, directed by Evan Bernard (Green Day, Violent Femmes), the band pulls off a gambling con. In 1999 clip, directed by Gavin Bowden (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Live), they suit up to commit a bank robbery.
  • This was used in the TV shows Daria ("Too Cute" - 1997), Mongrels ("Vince And The Helpful Horse" - 2011), and My Mad Fat Diary ("Touched" - 2013).
  • The Fun Lovin' Criminals are based in New York City, and many of their songs deal with living in the Big Apple. Despite this, most of the band's fanbase exists outside of the US. Their debut album was the only one to crack the US albums chart (peaking at #144), but it went to #7 in the UK.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

David Sancious

David SanciousSongwriter Interviews

Keyboard great David Sancious talks about his work with Sting, Seal, Springsteen, Clapton and Aretha, and explains what quantum physics has to do with making music.

Melanie

MelanieSongwriter Interviews

The singer-songwriter Melanie talks about her spiritual awakening at Woodstock, "Brand New Key," and why songwriting is an art, not a craft.

Hardy

HardySongwriter Interviews

The country hitmaker talks about his debut album, A Rock, and how a nursery rhyme inspired his hit single "One Beer."

Richard Marx

Richard MarxSongwriter Interviews

Richard explains how Joe Walsh kickstarted his career, and why he chose Hazard, Nebraska for a hit.

Stand By Me: The Perfect Song-Movie Combination

Stand By Me: The Perfect Song-Movie CombinationSong Writing

In 1986, a Stephen King novella was made into a movie, with a classic song serving as title, soundtrack and tone.

00s Music Quiz 1

00s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

Do you know the girl singer on Eminem's "Stan"? If so, this quiz is for you.