It has one of the most unique metres of any song to enjoy popular radio play, alternating three measures of 7/8 time with one measure of 4/4 time in the verses (in effect, a 29/8 time signature). The chorus is in the common 4/4 time signature. As a result, with eighth notes getting the count, the song has a BPM rate of 269. The chorus of this song shares its chord progression with the bridge of “Wish.”
Lyrically, the song could be about society or NIN’s fans, but Trent Reznor has stated in the interview titled Disturbed that the “pigs” in this song refer mainly to “anywhere from the media to people he thought were friends around him.” Furthermore, he said, “The issue I was addressing was… when we attained a certain level of success, it was surprising to see the legion of people starting to fuck with you, can’t wait to see you fail, hoping that you’ll fuck up, ripping you off, trying to use you… The fact that American media, in ‘underground world,’ you go from being the darling to ‘well, we accidentally started selling some records,’ so they have to turn their backs on us.” He also occasionally referred to fans as ‘pigs’ at live performances.
According to the Filter biography on their official website, former live guitarist Richard Patrick reportedly received the nickname “Piggy” while in Nine Inch Nails. As well, “Piggies” is a song on The Beatles’ 1968 self-titled (or ‘white’) album, a noted influence on Charles Manson, who scrawled the word “pig” in blood on the front door of the Sharon Tate mansion wherein he and his ‘Family’ killed Tate and several others on August 8, 1969. The mansion was also where Reznor recorded The Downward Spiral in 1993-4. Whether or not Patrick or the Tate murders are directly related to this song is unknown, though Reznor kept the Tate door when he moved to Nothing Studios in New Orleans.
This is the original album version. Like much of the album, this song is structured around contrast: the loud and fast, oddly-metered and screamed verses are juxtaposed with the moodier, quieter bridge and piano-led chorus.
So I had originally planned to release something today. April was my goal. Unfortunately my life has been pretty hectic and chaotic lately. Though I’ve always enjoyed thriving off the chaos. It’s frustrating at the moment, but very rewarding. I surprise myself sometimes how much I can accomplish.