Every one keeps talking about the end of the world, and not in the fun, hypothetical way where James Franco, Danny McBride, and the Backstreet Boys become your best friends in the afterlife. It’s been a little more bleak recently here in the real world, but luckily for us, hardcore band Skillet are making the end times seem like good times once again with their new music video for “Back from the Dead.”
Clearly taking inspiration from a host of zombie pop culture (especially The Walking Dead), the music video begins cinematically with PTSD-affected nightmares of a world infected by a virulent strain of zombie-ism. After flashes of emergency military troops and zombified victims running through otherwise abandoned warehouse corridors, lead singer John Cooper awakens to find himself in the same reality of his dreams. And after a mission for supplies goes wrong, the band must flee a swath of brain-feeding corpse dudes.
Of course, since this is a music video, they have to temporarily halt their escape to perform some rock music for an audience of undead inside a fenced-in steel box that is reminiscent of pay-per-view WWF cage matches. Threateningly, he sings “Light it up, light it up; I’m burnin'” as the rock n’ roll walkers slowly make there way closer to the band. But when backed into a corner, the members of Skillet do what any rational person would do in the post-apocalyptic scenario and start punching zombies, one-by-one, with their bare hands. It is a brutally satisfying climax to a scorcher of a track.
We also caught up with Cooper via email to talk to him briefly about the concept for the music video and how deep his love for zombie stories runs. Check out that conversation below.
How did you come up with the concept for this video?
The concept came sort of naturally because of the “Back from the Dead” zombie lyrics in the song. I thought it’d be cool to do something with zombies. I also wanted to do something light hearted and fun, where the band members could play characters. I originally wanted the band members to all double as zombies as well but didn’t have the time.
Did you have the visual in your mind as you were writing the song or did it come after?
When I was writing the song I was definitely inspired by zombie imagery in general. I write in metaphor quite a lot. The idea that there are people out there that want to chase me down and steal away my hope, try to drag me down, try to make me as miserable as they are: that felt a little bit like zombies to me. That thought led to many lyrics in the song. My favorite lyric is, “you took a piece now I’m biting back.”
Are you a fan of zombie movies/tv shows?
Yes, I am a fan of zombie cinema in general. I came into the genre late however. The first zombie film I saw was 28 Days Later, which I loved. The band watches The Walking Dead religiously as well. I am a fan of comics, supernatural stories, and horror in general.
Images: Joseph Cultice; Warner Brothers