"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Serj Tankian

Formed: 2007
From: United States
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Serj Tankian News

Below is our complete Serj Tankian news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

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Serj Tankian Will Not Play SOAD Songs On Tour

Serj Tankian has announced that he won't be doing any System Of A Down songs on his upcoming tour, to promote debut solo album 'Elect The Dead'.

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SOAD Frontman Discusses New Album

SYSTEM OF A DOWN frontman Serj Tankian recently spoke to Kerrang! magazine about his forthcoming solo album, "Elect the Dead", due out October 23 via Serjical Strike/Reprise Records.

Serj: "It's definitely a rock record," explained Tankian. "It's a moving album with lots of up's and down, starts and stops and tempo changes. It's depressing but it's uplifting, it's jazzy but it rocks. Making it felt similar to making the first SYSTEM record — I felt the exact same energy, that sense of open experimentation, the idea that 'Wow, I'm actually doing this…' I was living, eating and shitting this music every day. I'd wake up in the morning and the thought of working on a song was so powerful I couldn't focus on anything else."

Kerrang!: What can listeners expect from the album?

Serj: "Well, it doesn't sound like anything I've heard before, even SYSTEM. Maybe there are the odd similarities on the heavier moments, which are inevitable because of my voice, or maybe within the politics of the lyrics of a song such as 'The Unthinking Majority'. But even then, the music is more trippy. I originally wanted to call the album 'The Flying Cunts of Chaos' but strangely everyone discouraged me…"

Kerrang!: Have you always wanted to do a solo record?

Serj: "Yes. But it's funny though because I came to music late, so I never expected to have a career in music. My parents tried to convince to take up an instrument as a kid and my Dad is a beautiful, beautiful singer — my voice is shit compared to his. They bought me a guitar that I never played because I was always more into my studies. Then in college something switched inside of me, I took up the keyboard and I went at it like someone who has never eaten before who has suddenly been presented with unlimited food. I went nuts for music. And now here I am making a solo record…"

Kerrang!: Have you found working alone to be a liberating experience?

Serj: "Absolutely. With SYSTEM you're working towards a common shared goal and you're utilizing four different energies that you wouldn't by yourself. For example, Daron (Malakian, guitarist) would want to bring in his own songs and have a certain amount of control and all of that stuff. So there are always varying opinions, tastes and decision-making capabilities to consider and we have done that with five albums over ten years, but now I'm able to do something that I don't have to compromise on at all. Not that SYSTEM OF A DOWN have ever been a compromising band of course, it's just that there are four opinions to consider, whereas I feel now that the sky is the limit. I feel this album has no barriers between the listener and me. It's more direct."

Kerrang!: Is it also true you have recently legally become a citizen of new zealand?

Serj: "Yes, after recording the album I withdrew and took off there for three months, which I had to do to gain citizenship. I'm such a crazy workaholic that it was hard stepping away from my work in L.A., but it was great because it allowed me to reflect. It made me think 'Wow man, I have this amazing life'. To be able to have made a lot of my dreams come true is amazing and from here on in it's all gravy. I get to do what I want to do my way without compromise or negotiation. It's a greater position of strength than I've ever had and listening to the record now it feels like a fun trip!"

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SOAD Frontman Selects First Single From Solo Album

Launch Radio Networks reports: SYSTEM OF A DOWN frontman Serj Tankian has set "Empty Walls" as the first rock radio single from his debut solo album, "Elect The Dead". The track will make its way to stations on September 10. Another song, called "The Unthinking Majority", will surface a little earlier on college radio and metal specialty shows. The album itself will arrive on October 23 through Tankian's Serjical Strike label.

Tankian told Launch why it was the right time for him to step out on his own with a solo project. "We've been a band for 11 years, put out five records, and myself personally, I felt I needed to do other things," he said. "I've been wanting to put out a solo record for many, many years and it's not about just the vanity of putting out your own record kind of thing. It's more about having songs and having a vision and having a place to voice that. So I've been looking forward to doing that and it's making me really happy doing that right now."

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Serj Tankian Readies Solo Album For October

Billboard.com reports: System Of A Down frontman Serj Tankian steps center stage this fall with a new solo album, "Elect the Dead," due Oct. 23 via Serjical Strike/Warner Bros. The 12-track set features contributions from SOAD drummer John Dolmayan and former Primus stickman Bryan "Brain" Mantia, along with guitarist/bassist Dan Monti, opera singer Ani Maldjian and some string players.

The album is ripe with outrage both political and personal, including references to "bodies burning" on the shred-fest "Empty Walls" and how "antidepressants make life more tolerable" on "The Unthinking Majority." Tankian later declares, "We are the cause of a world that's gone wrong" on the eerie "Honking Antelope."

Other tracks blend the stop-on-a-dime rhythmic changes of System Of A Down with acoustic guitar strumming and Eastern European-tinged melodies, often in the course of one song.

"Saving Us" begins softly before exploding into a heavy, impassioned chorus and later, a double-time beat and a detuned guitar riff, while "Lie Lie Lie" matches its lyrical themes of incest and murder with appropriately ominous music.

"There's romantic songs, love songs, pain songs... a gamut of what I was feeling in the last year-and-a-half," Tankian told Billboard.com in April. "The whole album is this deep, human pain that kind of is looking for redemption."

Here is the track list for "Elect the Dead":

"Empty Walls"
"The Unthinking Majority"
"Feed Us"
"Saving Us"
"Sky Is Over"
"Honking Antelope"
"Lie Lie Lie"
"Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition"
"Beethoven's C*nt"
"Elect the Dead"

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