The Professor shares the backstory of how the Snakes & Arrows instrumental cut came to be.
“The opening drum pattern of ‘Malignant Narcissism’ came about in some interesting ways,” said Peart during a 2009 video lesson for Drumchannel.com. “As we were working through the arrangement, this song was maybe played three or four times before it was recorded. So it was definitely an on-the-fly, seat-of-the-pants situation. I was just tapping out time to the click track, and the producer, Nick Raskulinecz, said, ‘I think you should start the song like that.’
“Then the sequence goes up to the verse pattern, where the bass riff shifts and the syncopation goes much more to a downbeat-oriented time,” Peart continued. “ There are three progressive treatments that all are based on tapping out the clicks and then responding to the bass player’s interplay. ”