Ground Zero

Album: Scream (2008)
Play Video


  • This September 11th-inspired track was played over the opening sequence of the TV series Life on Mars in the 2008 pilot episode "Out Here In The Fields."
  • Cornell explained the song to MTV News: "To me, it's sort of about the lingering aspect of [9/11] that is used to kind of create support for things that haven't been very good for our country or the citizens of our country. I've felt like, with the Bush administration, whenever they're in crisis, they'll suddenly pull out a terror alert - a code orange scenario, which I run into constantly, because I'm in airports so often. They don't ever have to say why, just that it's a matter of national security. And with the conservative right, part of the platform right now in the election is 'Be afraid of terror, be afraid of terrorists. Look at 9/11 - we need an administration and a president who knows how to go out, kick ass, take names and keep us safe.' That's what got us into Iraq in the first place. [That tactic] certainly helped, and I think [9/11 was] a key factor in Bush winning a second term. To me, the song is about how awful 9/11 was, but stresses that we've got to let go of that to move on peacefully."
  • The music video was shot in Brooklyn, New York, and incorporates footage from Life on Mars. Cornell told MTV News: "We shot it on the street there, and we didn't have any extras or anything. It was really just a small crew and me, and a lot of it's just me on the streets of Brooklyn, intercut with footage from Life on Mars. So it's kind of like I'm in the same neighborhood, and the footage was shot in a way so it can be intercut with footage from the show, which will have a vintage '70s feel to it. And I interacted with people on the street during the shoot, unbeknownst to them, so it was pretty funny. I'd just walk up to people and shake their hand or start talking to them. Everyone was really polite and didn't know what to do. Most of them were just trying to figure out what the hell we were doing down there."

Comments: 1

  • Bailey from MinnesotaI have only one question. when was it actually written? I understand when it was released but when was it written?
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Amanda Palmer

Amanda PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Call us crazy, but we like it when an artist comes around who doesn't mesh with the status quo.

Laura Nyro

Laura NyroSongwriting Legends

Laura Nyro talks about her complex, emotionally rich songwriting and how she supports women's culture through her art.

Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)

Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)Songwriter Interviews

The co-writer/guitarist on many Alice Cooper hits, Dick was also Lou Reed's axeman on the Rock n' Roll Animal album.

Don Felder

Don FelderSongwriter Interviews

Don breaks down "Hotel California" and other songs he wrote as a member of the Eagles. Now we know where the "warm smell of colitas" came from.

Bands Named After Real People (Who Aren't In The Band)

Bands Named After Real People (Who Aren't In The Band)Song Writing

How a gym teacher, a janitor, and a junkie became part of some very famous band names.


MelanieSongwriter Interviews

The singer-songwriter Melanie talks about her spiritual awakening at Woodstock, "Brand New Key," and why songwriting is an art, not a craft.