Serj Tankian – Wikipedia

Armenian-American musician, manufacturer, and militant

musical artist
Serj Tankian ( armenian : Սերժ Թանգեան, [ ˈsɛɾʒ tʰɑnˈkjɑn ] ; born August 21, 1967 ) is an Armenian-American singer, musician, songwriter, criminal record producer, and political militant. He is dependable known as the lead singer, primary lyricist, keyboardist, and casual rhythm guitarist of heavy metallic band System of a Down, which was formed in 1994. [ 1 ]

Tankian has released five albums with System of a Down ( System of a Down, Toxicity, Steal This Album!, Mezmerize, and Hypnotize ) and five alone albums ( Elect the Dead, Imperfect Harmonies, Harakiri, Orca, Jazz-Iz-Christ ), and Elasticity, arsenic well as collaborating with musicians such as knocker Tech N9ne and family singer Arto Tunçboyacıyan. He besides released Elect the Dead Symphony, a live orchestral version of Elect the Dead featuring the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. He is the founder of the record label Serjical strike Records, and is presently represented by Velvet Hammer Music and Management Group. Tankian is regarded as one of the best vocalists in arduous metallic, with praise given to his strange delivery and his wide song rate. In 2006, he was ranked No. 26 on the Hit Parader number of “ top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists ”. [ 2 ] A study conducted by VVN Music found that Tankian possesses a gamey and divers outspoken range of 4.2 octaves. [ 3 ] In 2002, he co-founded the non-profit political activism constitution Axis of Justice, aboard guitarist and fellow activist Tom Morello. In 2011, he was awarded the armenian Prime Minister ‘s Medal for his contributions to the recognition of the armenian genocide and the progress of music. [ 4 ]

early life [edit ]

Tankian was born in Beirut, Lebanon on August 21, 1967. [ 5 ] [ 6 ] He traces his ancestry to the cities of Dörtyol, Kayseri, Tokat, and Urfa, all of which are in contemporary Turkey. [ 7 ] His four grandparents were survivors of the armenian genocide. [ 7 ] At old age seven, he moved to the U.S. with his parents, and the family settled in Los Angeles. [ 6 ] In his young person, he attended the bilingual Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School, [ 8 ] which was besides attended by his future System of a Down bandmates Daron Malakian and Shavo Odadjian. [ 9 ] Tankian was accepted into California State University, Northridge, graduating with a selling degree in 1989. [ 10 ] During his sophomore class, he inaugural began to play instruments, particularly the keyboard, and write songs. [ 6 ] [ 10 ] He besides started his activism during his college years, attempting to draw attention to the recognition of the armenian genocide during his time as president of the university ‘s armenian Students Association. [ 10 ]

career [edit ]

Tankian in 2006

arrangement of a Down ( 1994–present ) [edit ]

The beginnings of System of a Down lie down in a band named Soil ( not to be confused with the Chicago-based set SOiL ) with Tankian on vocals & keyboards, Daron Malakian on vocals & lead guitar, Dave Hakopyan on bass, and Domingo Laranio on drums. The band initially hired Shavo Odadjian as their director before he was to transition into their rhythm guitarist. Laranio and Hakopyan late left the band feel that it was not going anywhere, leading to Soil splitting up. After the burst, Tankian, Odadjian and Malakian formed System of a Down, named after a poem Malakian wrote called Victims of a Down. The set recruited drummer Ontronik “ Andy ” Khachaturian, an old school acquaintance of Malakian, and Odadjian who had played with Malakian in a band called Snowblind during their teens. In mid-1997, khachaturian left the ring because of a handwriting wound ( he subsequently co-founded The Apex Theory, which included erstwhile Soil bassist Dave Hakopyan ). Khachaturian was replaced by John Dolmayan. Dolmayan is besides the drummer for the band Indicator and erstwhile drummer for Scars on Broadway. The set began touring the Southern California rock clubs, building a solid follow. The band achieved commercial success with the free of five studio albums, three of which debuted at act one on the Billboard 200. system of a Down has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, and their sung “ B.Y.O.B. “ won the Best difficult Rock Performance of 2006. In May 2006, the band announced they were going on suspension. [ 11 ] On November 29, 2010, following several weeks of internet rumors, System of a Down officially announced that they would play shows in Europe during Festivals and in North America, largely in the U.S., [ 12 ] embarking on a enlistment for the comply three years. The band was in limbo of not releasing any new tracks until November 2020, when they released “ Protect the Land “ and “ Genocidal Humanoidz “, which were songs that were made to help the cause of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war. The song ‘s profits went to the Armenia Fund. [ 13 ]

Elect the Dead, side projects, and guest appearances ( 2007–2009 ) [edit ]

Tankian ‘s breakthrough as a solo artist came with the release of his introduction record Elect the Dead. The first singles from Elect the Dead are “ The Unthinking Majority “ and “ Empty Walls “. The music video “ Feed Us ” was released on the swedish [ 14 ] and UK [ 15 ] MTV. Tankian appeared on MTV ‘s You Rock the Deuce to promote Elect the Dead. [ citation needed ] A music video was directed and filmed for every song on the record, each by unique directors. Tankian explained, “ I asked each of the directors for their ocular interpretation of my work. They were asked not to write treatments and that they could make whatever they liked. The results have been overwhelmingly perplex ! ” [ 16 ] Some music videos were initially released entirely to those who purchased the limited edition of Elect the Dead, while all of the music video recording, except “ Money ”, have since been publicly released on Tankian ‘s web site and YouTube channel. Some videos have option versions which were primitively released a well, but former altered. [ citation needed ] Three different promo versions of the album have surfaced to the public. The instrumental promotional translation, issued by Serjical Strike/Reprise Records and intended for the music and movie diligence, contains implemental versions of the twelve album tracks. Another promotional version, issued by Reprise Records and made only for person reviewers, features the album in concluding chief form. This promotional CD-R, which was labeled “ smart talk ” as a codename for “ Serj Tankian ” to prevent leak by unauthorized persons, besides indicates that the album was finalized prior to August 20, 2007 ( ). [ 17 ] Before this a like but dateless promo, besides under the identify ‘Smart Talk ‘, was issued featuring the final versions of the songs, albeit not so far mastered. [ citation needed ] Whilst the print track list on this version is identical to the released album, tracks ten and football team are in fact juxtaposed on the promo itself .
The official go for Elect the Dead commenced on October 12, 2007, with a picture at Chicago ‘s Vic Theatre. Roughly one thousand people attended the first concert. Although Tankian had stated he would not be performing any material by System of a Down, he performed “ Charades ” and “ Blue ”, songs co-written by Daron Malakian, the guitarist of the band. “ Blue ” had previously appeared on their Fourth Demo Tape in 1998, and Charades was attempted during the 2005 Mezmerize / Hypnotize sessions, but never released ( although a short video clip of Tankian and Dolmayan playing the song in a commemorate studio was featured on “ the Making of Mezmerize / Hypnotize “ ). Although it is primitively a birdcall restricted to piano and vocals, Tankian used his back band, the Flying Cunts of Chaos ( F.C.C. ), [ 18 ] to provide guitars, drums, and bass. [ citation needed ] The songs “ Beethoven ‘s Cunt ”, “ Empty Walls “, and “ Sky Is Over “ are available as downloadable content for the video game Rock Band. A part of the song “ Lie Lie Lie ” is presently featured in the opening entitle sequence of NBC ‘s Fear Itself, a horror anthology read from the creators of Masters of Horror, and can be viewed on the show ‘s main web site. [ citation needed ] Tankian sing with Les Rita Mitsouko on the song “ terminal smasher ”. besides, he sang with the band Fair to Midland during a alive improvisational version of their song “ Walls of Jericho ”, from the album Fables from a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True, which was a massive hit with fans. [ citation needed ] Tankian is besides politically imply. together with Tom Morello, he founded the arrangement Axis of Justice and much speaks publicly against violence and injustice in the earth. Tankian released a new song “ Fears ” in November 2008 entirely in hold of Amnesty International ‘s Global Write-A-Thon. [ 19 ] On March 16, 2009, Tankian performed an orchestral translation of the album Elect the Dead with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in New Zealand. The be operation was captured in a CD/DVD titled Elect the Dead Symphony, which was released on March 9, 2010. [ citation needed ] In 2009, Tankian collaborated with the band Viza ( previously known as Visa ) for their track “ Viktor ”. [ 20 ] Viza is signed to Tankian ‘s Serjical Strike tag .

Imperfect Harmonies ( 2010 ) [edit ]

Tankian ‘s second solo album was in the first place due in 2009. It is said to be more of a sleep together and orchestral based sound. Said Tankian said of the second album :

“ I ‘m structuring the following read kind of like a jazz orchestral. I ‘ve got a full orchestra matter to, thus I want this giant electric guitar in the vent to be played by a full orchestra. I want the orchestra to be the electric guitar. I want to make an orchestra do what it ‘s never done ahead, like a GG Allin character orchestra. Think of that. ” [ 21 ]

The album had the running title Music Without Borders, however, the final examination album title is Imperfect Harmonies. On June 23, 2010, a promo one from his upcoming album Imperfect Harmonies was released called “ Borders Are ”. The first radio individual from Imperfect Harmonies, “ Left of Center ”, was released on July 13, 2010. A third unmarried, “ Disowned Inc. ” was released on August 9, 2010. Imperfect Harmonies was released on September 21, 2010. Preceding the album ‘s let go of, two contests were announced ( one consist of brainteasers related to the album/song titles, the other an art contest ) in which fans could win prizes such as Tankian ‘s autograph and merchandise. On August 22, 2010, a music television for “ Left o Center ” was released on Tankian ‘s MySpace account . Tankian in Armenia, 2011 The premier date for Tankian and Sater ‘s Prometheus Bound at the American Repertory Theater was February 25, 2011. Tankian said that collaborating on the prove has been a big memorize experience for him. “ I ‘ve been using a set of my archives, a distribute of unlike types of music that I had already put together for underscoring and what not, ” he said. “ It ‘s quite diverse, from noise to jazz to electronic stuff to hip-hop songs to rock songs to cool, piano dark underscores, and that ‘s a whole different bag of tricks there because it ‘s always evolving. Unlike a film score that ‘s identical linear and you get a picture to score for, this is something where you do another workshop and one song is gone, that underscore changes to 20 seconds and they need something else on the blemish. Everything ‘s constantly changing until the appearance comes, so it ‘s quite interest. ” [ 22 ] In January 2011, Tankian released a music video for his sung “ reconstructive Demonstrations ” from his album Imperfect Harmonies. Tankian besides announced on his Facebook page, during the video ‘s secrete, that a new EP entitled Imperfect Remixes would be released erstwhile within 2011. On March 1, Tankian released Imperfect Remixes and the music video for “ Goodbye ”, a remix of “ Gate 21 ” from Imperfect Harmonies. Tankian co-wrote a musical with the american english dramatist Steven Sater. It is based on the Ancient Greek tragedy Prometheus Bound. It opened at the American Repertory Theater on March 14, 2011. [ 23 ] [ 24 ]

Harakiri ( 2012 ), Orca ( 2013 ), and Jazz-Iz-Christ ( 2013 ) [edit ]

Tankian performing with System of a Down at the 2012 Soundwave Festival in Perth, Australia In early July 2011, Tankian posted a television on YouTube showing two samples of new songs. During the video he said “ next year ”. In multiple interviews he has stated that he has been working on a rock record that will be released in 2011, and some side projects including sleep together, electronic, and symphonic records. It was belated confirmed that his third base album would be called Harakiri and will be released on July 10, 2012. In 2012, he planned for this to be the first of four new albums. [ 25 ] The first unmarried from Harakiri, “ calculate It Out ”, was released on May 1. [ 26 ] A music television for the song appeared on Tankian ‘s official YouTube foliate. A moment single from the album, “ Cornucopia ”, was released on June 10. A third single, championship track “ Harakiri ”, was made available as a preorder bonus from Tankian ‘s web site on June 20.

On August 12, 2011, Tankian traveled to Armenia, where he was received at Government House by then- Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, who awarded him with a commemorative Medal ( armenian : ՀՀ Վարչապետի հուշամեդալ ) [ 27 ] for his “ contribution to the realization of the armenian Genocide and the advancement of music ”. [ 4 ] Tankian promised to return and put on a concert to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the armenian Genocide, [ 4 ] [ 27 ] which he did on April 24, 2015, playing for dislodge for over two hours in Yerevan ‘s Republic Square. [ 28 ] [ 29 ] He released his fourthly studio album Orca Symphony No. 1 on June 25, 2013. The album takes the form of a authoritative symphony. [ 30 ] A professionally sampled studio translation was released on November 30, 2012, while the live recorded version was released on June 25, 2013, through Serjical strike Records. [ 31 ] His fifth studio apartment album Jazz-Iz-Christ was released on July 23, 2013, by Serjical come to Records. [ 32 ] The turn features Tankian ‘s vocals on merely four of the 15 tracks ; all others are implemental, except for “ End of Time ”, which features a female singer. In 2014, he collaborated with italian DJ Benny Benassi for the single “ Shooting Helicopters ”. On April 9, 2013, Tankian collaborated with Device, a stick out led by Disturbed frontman David Draiman. He had a guest appearance on the song “ Out of Line ” on Device ‘s self-titled album. Tankian besides appeared on the Tech N9ne album Something Else in 2013 on the sung “ Straight Out the Gate ” .

Film scores ( 2017–2019 ) [edit ]

He was a surprise guest performer for the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience in Los Angeles on March 25, 2017, singing “ The Rains of Castamere. ” [ 33 ] His rendition of the song besides made it onto the soundtrack for the eighth season of Game of Thrones in 2019. In June and July 2017, he was a guest on multiple shows of the Prophets of Rage during System of a Down ‘s european tour, singing “ Like a Stone “ in memory of his friend, Audioslave ‘s Chris Cornell. [ 34 ] In November 2017, swedish independent label Woah Dad ! acquired the albums that Tankian recorded for Reprise Records. [ 35 ] Tankian composed music for I Am Not Alone, a 2019 documentary movie about the 2018 armenian revolution. [ 36 ] He was besides an executive manufacturer of the film .

Fuktronic ( 2020 ) [edit ]

Fuktronic, an electronic music collaboration with Mindless Self Indulgence ‘s Jimmy Urine was released in May 2020, after the duet released a sample distribution on SoundCloud. Fuktronic is described as “ the team of Serj Tankian and Jimmy Urine from Mindless Self Indulgence, making a soundtrack for the ultimate british Gangster Film. It ‘s an electronic album with 12 tracks ( 4 instrumental and 8 tracks that have original scripted negotiation that portrays the trials and tribulations of a bracing out of prison british gangster who has n’t learned his example ). ” [ 37 ]

Elasticity ( 2021 ) [edit ]

Tankian released his first gear ever EP titled Elasticity on March 19, 2021. He announced the acquittance of his EP, and released the title track “ Elasticity ”, along with a music television for it, [ 38 ] on February 5, 2021. In his announcement, Tankian stated “ When I conceived possibly doing another record with the guys from System of a Down a few years back, I started working on a put of songs that I arranged in rock format for that aim, As we were n’t able to see eye to eye on the vision going forward with a SOAD album, I decided to release these songs under my nickname. ” [ 39 ] The EP features songs like “ Electric Yerevan ”, which is described as a “ tease cry ” for Armenia, “ Rumi ”, a poetic sung about Tankian ‘s son, and “ Your ma ”, which has been described as a “ political mash-up ”. [ 39 ]

art [edit ]

Influences [edit ]

Tankian grew up listening to traditional armenian music in his expatriate community in Lebanon and sang it with his father Khatchadour Tankian. [ 40 ] [ 41 ] He discovered popular music only once his family moved to Los Angeles in the 1970s via the Bee Gees ‘ soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever, that led him to delve into it. In his 20s, he bought every record by the Beatles, whom he has called the most “ universal ” artists he is aware of. [ 41 ] Tankian said that the foremost hard rock album that left an impact on him was 1992 ‘s Angel Dust by Faith No More. [ 41 ] When System of a Down toured with Faith No More singer Mike Patton, who at the time fronted his other isthmus Mr. Bungle on the 2000 SnoCore Tour, Tankian said that both vocalists “ had some of the most interest conversations ” of his biography. [ 42 ] Besides the experimental vocals of Patton, Tankian is greatly influenced by Frank Zappa, specially by his albums Sheik Yerbouti and Joe’s Garage. [ 43 ] [ 41 ] Tankian holds in high regard the soundtrack of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Ennio Morricone, and the albums Decoy by Miles Davis and …And Justice for All by Metallica. He besides a lot admires the reinvention that the british band Radiohead went through in their 2000 criminal record Kid A, saying that it serves as an example to other artists. [ 40 ]

Views and activism [edit ]

Tankian is passionate about human rights, recognition of genocides, and social justice. These traits have helped to shape his lyric style. He has organized and participated in many protests, from armenian genocide recognition to Axis of Justice ( AOJ ) protests held by him and AOJ co-founder Tom Morello. [ 28 ] [ 44 ] He besides covers current issues in his music. In his music, issues like the War on Terror, overpopulation, genocide, environmentalism, and the American prison organization are addressed. He and his system of a Down bandmates starred in 2006 a movie called Screamers, which covers the United States ‘ status on genocide. In the film, Tankian interviews his grandfather, Stepan Haytayan, a survivor of the armenian genocide, who recounts his experience of it. [ 45 ]

Views on religion [edit ]

Tankian said in an interview that he has “ the lapp religion as that tree over there ”. He said, “ It ‘s a mix of native American, Buddhist, and Transcendental ideas. I like to think of earth as mother. I like to think of flip as grandfather. God has been used for ulterior motives. ” [ 46 ] In another interview, he said, “ I believe identical firm that autochthonal populations had a truly good, intuitive agreement of why we ‘re here. And we ‘re trying to gain that same understand through psychology and reason in modern civilization. ” [ 47 ]

political views [edit ]

Following the September 11 attacks, Tankian wrote an try in which he stated, “ If we carry out bombings on Afghanistan or elsewhere to appease public demand, and identical likely kill innocent civilians along the way, we ‘d be creating many more martyrs going to their deaths in retaliation against the retaliation. As shown from yesterday ‘s events, you can not stop a person who ‘s ready to die. ” [ 48 ] [ 49 ] In the 2008 Democratic Party primaries, Tankian in the first place supported Dennis Kucinich, but subsequently stated that Barack Obama “ presents the best possible scenario for a hopeful future, but I do n’t personally put my trust in any political office ”. [ 46 ] In the 2016 Democratic Party primaries, he endorsed Bernie Sanders and wrote on Facebook, “ When it comes to standing up to the oligarch, leading the fight for civil rights, income equality, and so a lot more, no early politician has been therefore consistent and incorruptible as Bernie Sanders. ” [ 50 ] He far praised Sanders, “ He ‘s said what he ‘s done and he ‘d done what he says in the Senate. All his contributions are from secret individuals ; everyone else ‘s are from major donors and corporations. It does not take a genius to see who ‘s working for whom here. ” [ 51 ] Concerning the syrian Civil War, Tankian advocates negotiating with Bashar al-Assad, letting Iran deal with Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ( ISIS ), whom he accused Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey of supporting. [ 52 ] Tankian is besides friendly with current armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who wrote a birdcall called “ Hayastane ” ( Հայաստանը, ‘Armenia ‘ ) which Tankian performed in April 2020. [ 53 ] Tankian was besides an administrator manufacturer and composer for the documentary I Am Not Alone, which chronicled the rise of Pashinyan. [ 54 ] Tankian is a athletic supporter of the Black Lives Matter bowel movement, as he stated in his consultation with h-pem. [ 55 ] In 2020, Tankian condemned the actions of Azerbaijan in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and expressed his support to Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh. [ 56 ] Since September 27, 2020, when the war broke, Tankian has been very active agent on social media, posting day by day messages and has spoken to a number of media outlets about the emergence, including Forbes. [ 57 ] [ 58 ]

Animal rights and environmental issues [edit ]

Tankian is an advocate of environmental and animal protection. He became a vegetarian, claiming in an consultation with PETA that his change was due to “ touring and its assortment of edible bullshit ”, and he besides felt it was “ natural slightly ”. furthermore, he besides feels the motivation for deference towards “ mother earth ”. [ 59 ] In July 2009, he signed a PETA prayer against the slaughtering methods of chickens in KFC slaughterhouses. [ 60 ]

personal life [edit ]

On June 9, 2012, Tankian married his long-time girlfriend Angela Madatyan, an armenian womanhood from Vanadzor, in a private ceremony in Simi Valley, California. [ 61 ] On October 24, 2014, he announced that they had a son named Rumi. As of 2015, they split their clock time between Warkworth, New Zealand and Los Angeles. [ 62 ] Tankian is the brother-in-law of his organization of a Down bandmate John Dolmayan, as their respective wives are sisters. [ 63 ] [ 64 ]

discography [edit ]

solo albums [edit ]

EPs [edit ]

  • Elasticity (2021)

soundtrack albums [edit ]

With System of a Down [edit ]

With Jazz-Iz-Christ [edit ]

collaboration albums [edit ]

bibliography [edit ]

Filmography [edit ]

Awards and nominations [edit ]

system of a Down has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, of which they won one in 2006 for “ Best Hard Rock Performance ” for their song “ B.Y.O.B. “. [ 66 ]

Grammy Awards [edit ]

General [edit ]

References [edit ]

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