A group of boys play in a rocky desert and bang a drum in the video for Smashing Pumpkins‘ “Drum + Fife” – a cut off their recent Monuments to an Elegy – but the fun ends when land mines start exploding around them. Frontman Billy Corgan’s wistful chorus, “I will bang this drum to my dying day,” eventually becomes narration for the action in the clip, which the singer has said was a statement on the after-effects of war.
“I asked, albeit in an allegorical way, for the video to represent what our returning soldiers are going through with PTSD, and I feel that the directors [Ahlander/Antiga] captured that with poignancy,” he said in a statement. “I couldn’t be more proud of the message we’re sending that we care what happens to those that are out there hurting.”
“Our aim was to create a film which was poetic and yet made a very direct statement about war, conflict and how we acclimatize ourselves from an early age to this course of action,” the directors said in their own joint statement.
The group will perform the tune, which pairs New Wave keyboards with Corgan’s restrained riffing, during their April 2nd appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. That performance will feature the group’s touring lineup – Corgan, guitarist Jeff Schroeder, the Killers’ bassist Mark Stoermer and Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk – which has been playing songs from the album on short tours around the world. Corgan and Schroeder will also perform “Drum + Fife” on acoustic guitars for Good Morning America on April 3rd.