Snakes

Songfacts®:

  • The Pixies came up with this song in the studio whilst recording EP2. "I'm not a jammer," said guitarist Joey Santiago, "but Black Francis and I started jamming it out. I had this little idea and I did that sliding guitar just to emulate a snake."

    Vocalist Black Francis added, "This one was totally written in the studio session. It proved to be a little bit difficult to play and a little bit difficult to record, sonically, but we stuck with it and I like the result."
  • In this song, Black Francis warns of snakes who are coming to your town. It's an ominous warning: there will be nothing we can do when the rattle shakes.

    Like many Pixes songs, it's wide open for interpretation. In the music video, people with giant, Papier-mâché heads go on the run, but when their car runs out of gas in the desert, the bad guys catch up to them and smash their heads. We find out their craniums are, in fact, piñatas, as candy comes pouring out of them.
  • Black Francis cites "Snakes" as the best Pixies deep cut. "It wasn't planned," he said in a 2019 Songfacts interview. "It came off at the last minute in the recording session. I like to play it, and I do notice that when we play it, it gets a really good reaction. So, it has some quality to it that seems to maintain over time. I'm just aware that every time we play it, there is a response."

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