Bad Wolves Release 'Zombie' Cover, Promise Proceeds to Late Cranberries Singer Dolores O'Riordan's Children: Listen

Bad Wolves
Courtesy Photo

Bad Wolves

Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan was slated to go into a London studio on Monday (Jan. 15) to record her vocals for a cover of her band's iconic 1994 hit "Zombie" by the hard rock act Bad Wolves.

The group, which features former members of God Forbid, DevilDriver and In This Moment, were psyched that the 46 year-old Irish star liked their grungy, metal-tinged remake so much that she wanted to add her own magic to the track slated for their upcoming debut album.

But of course, O'Riordan was found dead on Monday in her London hotel room, and never made it to the studio that day. So, on Friday (Jan. 19), the group released their cover -- which adds a growly Disturbed/Bush vibe to the already serious track about the deadly Irish fight for independence -- and said they plan to donate all proceeds to O'Riordan's three children.

“It was the greatest honor to know she liked our version and wanted to sing on it,” Bad Wolves singer Tommy Vext said in a statement. “We’re deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Dolores and by the fact that she’s leaving behind three children so we are donating the proceeds from the song to her kids. It’s such a powerful song and the themes are still so relevant, we wanted to release it in her memory.

“The original lyrics include the line ‘It’s the same old theme since nineteen-sixteen. In your head, in your head, they’re still fighting,'" he continued. "It’s a reference to the IRA bombings during the Irish Rebellion. We changed that lyric to say ‘2018’ and she was really excited about that because the nations may have changed but we’re still fighting the same battles today. Humanity is still fighting to assert itself despite all the conflicts.”

According to Rolling Stone, the band recorded a version of the song a few months ago and planned to include it on their debut when a friend of O'Riordan's who works at their label sent it to the singer to get her comments on it. "She loved it and she wants to sing on it," Vext told the magazine he was informed. "It made my year just to have that kind of validation."

The band set up a session with O'Riordan in London not sure if she would add a lead or backup vocals to their grinding version, and in the wake of her death they still don't know what her plans were. "You never know if that's going to help," Vext said of the decision to funnel proceeds to O'Riordan's children. "But hopefully it does some good." 

The 2018 version is an update of sorts of the track written in response to an Irish Republican Army attack that killed two children in 1993, subbing in lyrics about drones and updating a line about the 1916 Easter Rising insurrection in Ireland to a lyric that laments "it's the same old theme in 2018." Vext said O'Riordan's lyrics about social unrest, political turmoil and humanity's persistence are still relevant. "The reasons might change, but there's still collateral damage with people's struggle for power and freedom," he said. "When you watch her perform live or listen to her recordings, there's so much honesty, transparency and vulnerability. That's something every artist should strive for."

The London coroner's office has carried out tests on O'Riordan body in an effort to determine what killed the singer. An inquest has found that the "Linger" singer was found unresponsive in a hotel room in Park Lane, London, on Monday and coroner's office officer Stephen Earl revealed at the opening of the inquest at Westminster coroner's court on Friday that a final determination could take several months.