Earlier this month, the video for The Cranberries’ 1994 hit, ‘Zombie’, hit one billion views on YouTube. To celebrate that incredible milestone, punk rock outfit 93Punx have released a poignant music video for their incendiary cover of the seminal track, along with a short documentary.
In January, 93Punx released their cover of ‘Zombie’ as a tribute to The Cranberries’ late frontwoman, Dolores O’Riordan, on the first anniversary of her death. The band offered their own interpretation of the protest song, embracing the universality of the song’s message while adapting it to reflect the current strife of race relations within the US.
The Irish band originally wrote ‘Zombie’ as a response to the 1993 Warrington IRA bombings in England, which killed two children and injured 56 others. The video for the politically-charged song was directed by Samuel Bayer – whose credits also include Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ – and features footage of Northern Irish children playing war games amid The Troubles. The scenes are intercut with shots the band performing, as well as of O’Riordan standing in front of a giant cross, wearing a crown of thorns.
93Punx’s video reflects their modern-day take on the song’s lyrics and draws parallels between America’s racial prejudice and the political violence that ensued in the UK during the late 20th Century. The group paid tribute to The Cranberries, intercutting excerpts from the original video with their own live footage, while also splicing in recent news coverage of such tragic events as the shootings of Tamir Rice and Philandro Castile by police.
In a short documentary, also released today, the members of 98Punx discussed how the song reverberates with them, and the importance of music as a protest tool. The Chicago-born Vic Mensa shared that he connected with the song, “Because of its commentary on violence…I can relate to that message of another mother’s heart breaking over her lost child…It really resonates just the same way today.” He added that, “For me, it’s important…to make music for the things I believe in.”
Guitarist Dru DeCaro called O’Riordan “An inspiration”, adding that, “The mission is, how do we speak to the young people and how do we educate them and fill in the blanks so we are led by love and not fear?”
Released in September 1994, ‘Zombie’, was the lead single off The Cranberries’ second album, No Need To Argue. The track would become the band’s most commercially successful single, topping the singles charts across Europe and Australia, and hitting No.1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart in the US.
When the video for the single surpassed one billion views this month, The Cranberries not only joined an elite club of artists (including Queen, Guns N’ Roses and Nirvana) but they also became the first Irish band to hit the YouTube milestone.