When the band was formed in 1994, they still performed in various formations. Their initial sound was more like hardcore punk, the lyrics of their songs were mostly in Russian. The group made their debut at an event called “10 Years After Chernobyl” in Chisinau. In November 1994 they recorded their first demo tape and played at a festival in Moscow, where they performed for the first time under the name “Zdob și Zdub”. In July 1996 they opened for Rage Against the Machine at the same festival with songs in Russian and Romanian. The song “Hardcore Moldovenesc” became a hit. In the same year Zdob și Zdub signed a contract with the Russian record company FeeLee and released their debut album “Hardcore Moldovenesc”.
Around 1998 their sound began to change, the songs were provided with elements of local folklore, the lyrics were mainly in Romanian. In May 1999 their second album was released with the title “Tabăra Noastră” In august of the same year, Zdob și Zdub played at the Russian MTV party held on Red Square in Moscow, along with Russian bands such as Gorky Park and I.F.K and the American Red Hot Chili Peppers. In October 2000, the group recorded a cover version of the song “Videli still” by the Russian band Kino. With this song they took part in the tribute album “Kinoproby” for the late poet, actor and frontman of the band Kino, Viktor Tsoi. The cover became a hit across the Commonwealth of Independent States and topped the charts in many CIS countries throughout the year. About half a million of the tribute albums have been sold. The band was awarded the best live band of the year 2000 in Russia by the St. Petersburg music magazine Fuzz. The band has toured extensively and continues to do so, mainly in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Romania, but also in Germany (1998), the Netherlands (2000) and more recently Serbia, Hungary and Italy.
In 2001, the album “Agroromantica”, which roughly means “country romance”, was presented. The following year, the group won the equivalent MTV Romania Video Music Award. In 2003, her song “Everybody in the Casa Mare” was played in the opening and closing credits of the short film Călătorie la oraș (A Trip to the City). In November of the same year, a new album was released. The album reached number 12 in the World Music Charts Europe. In October 2004, the group was working on a new album in their studio, which would be dedicated to the band’s 10th anniversary. The album included the 10 best songs of the last 10 years, according to Zdob și Zdub, and 5 new tracks.
In 2005, Zdob și Zdub was chosen to be the very first representatives of Moldova in the Eurovision Song Contest. The band reached a 7th place. In 2007, the band appeared in the BBC travel documentary series Michael Palin’s New Europe. Also in 2007, a mashup music video called “Black Eyed Peace ft Zdob şi Zdub – Don’t Mess with Inima Mea” surfaced on the internet, featuring a mix of the Black Eyed Peas’ song “Don’t Phunk with My Heart”. In 2009, the group released the song “Na rechke, na rechke”, for the project “Solj” on Russian Radio. In December 2009, Zdob și Zdub recorded the track “Telega” for the tribute album “Maschinopisj”, dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the Russian band Maschina Vremeni.
In 2012 the album Basta Mafia!, partly produced in Germany, was released, followed by a tour. For the 20th anniversary in 2015 an album with songs accompanied by an orchestra was released. In 2018 they released the single “Balkana Mama” together with singer Loredana Groza and in 2019 the new album Bestiarium.
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