Serj Tankian

Serj Tankian

One of the most unconventional frontmen in rock, System Of A Down singer Serj Tankian emerges as a solo artist with his debut album Elect The Dead. System Of A Down, whose five genre-bending studio albums have sold over 16 million copies, went on an extended hiatus in August 2006. Since then, Tankian has been holed up in his home studio in Los Angeles writing, recording, and producing Elect The Dead. It is an album that showcases the writing and arranging prowess of a man best known for his inimitable vocals, incisive lyrics, and unwavering dedication to humanitarian causes.

Says Tankian: “Making Elect The Dead, I felt the exact same energy as I did recording System’s debut in 1998, that sense of open experimentation, the idea that – œWow, 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.”

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1967 to Armenian parents during tumultuous political times, Tankian lived in Beirut until 1975 when his family emigrated to Los Angeles. A graduate of Marketing & Business from California State University, Tankian was running his own business developing Propriety Vertical Industry Modular Accounting Software (surely a first for a budding rock star?) when in 1995 he co-founded System Of A Down with three friends from the Armenian-American community.

Over the next ten years, System rose to become one of the most inventive hard rock bands of their generation — a band with a conscience, a message, and a desire to constantly evolve. Tankian’s contributions included not only the confrontational and often cryptic lyrics, but also a unique singing voice heavily inspired by growing up listening to his father sing traditional Armenian music. Tankian sings in a cadence like no other: An abrasive, paint-stripping, pulpit-bashing roar one moment, a maudlin lament the next.

Having achieved their goals, the members of System Of A Down decided to pursue their own projects. Tankian continued his work with Axis Of Justice — the grass-roots activist organization he launched with Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello — and nurtured his own Serjical Strike Records. He also lent his vocal and remix skills to a number of artists, ranging from Tool and Deftones to Wu Tang Clan and Notorious B.I.G., and published a book of poetry, Cool Gardens (2002), which remains a best-selling poetry collection. In 2003, he recorded a pan-international sounding album with acclaimed multi-instrumentalist Arto Tunçboyacıyan, under the name SerArt.

It should, by now, be pretty obvious that Serj Tankian is not your typical frontman.

ELECT THE DEAD will be released in Australia on October 27 2007 through Warner.


System of a Down threaten to record new album without singer Serj Tankian11

System of a Down threaten to record new album without singer Serj Tankian

By Tom Mann 21st May, 2013

"I’m furious that he let us down like this, but we gotta do something to keep this great band alive!!!”

First listen: Serj Tankian68

First listen: Serj Tankian

By Tom Mann 2nd May, 2012

System of a Down's leader has four new albums for release this year, but none of them will be with the reunited Soundwave headliners.

Serj Tankian's classical hit34

Serj Tankian's classical hit

By Tom Mann 30th Mar, 2010

System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian battles it out with Il Divo on the Billboard Classical Music chart.

Serj Tankian and Fantomas @ The Enmore Theatre, Sydney (24/01/09)117

Serj Tankian and Fantomas @ The Enmore Theatre, Sydney (24/01/09)

By Kate Reid 29th Jan, 2009

In tonight's battle between Patton and Tankian, there was only one winner.

Serj Tankian, Fantomas @ The Palace (25/01/2009)3

Serj Tankian, Fantomas @ The Palace (25/01/2009)

By Barbara Penn 27th Jan, 2009

Chinese New Year Eve was spent with Serj Tankian and the amazing Fantomas.

Big Day Out @ Sydney Showgrounds (23/01/09)1069

Big Day Out @ Sydney Showgrounds (23/01/09)

By Jack Tregoning 27th Jan, 2009

If you had to sum up the stage banter at this year's Big Day Out in a word, it'd be - œoverheated'.

Serj Tankian, Fantomas @ The Tivoli, Brisbane (21/01/2009)23

Serj Tankian, Fantomas @ The Tivoli, Brisbane (21/01/2009)

By Abigail Lees 25th Jan, 2009

A night of metal to remember. Tonight's crowd of black shirts is divided in their preference for Serj Tankian or Mike Patton, but united in their passion for great music and shameless man-crushes.

All Big Day Out 2009 sideshows!28183

All Big Day Out 2009 sideshows!

By Jack Tregoning 18th Nov, 2008

The full list of Big Day Out 2009 sideshows has now been announced, and our livers are quivering in anticipation.

Big Day Out second lineup is in!18126

Big Day Out second lineup is in!

By Jack Tregoning 4th Nov, 2008

We've been gas-bagging about it for months now, but now the real deal is here: round two of the Big Day Out 2009 line-up.

Serj Tankian - Elect The Dead

Serj Tankian - Elect The Dead

By Sean Stockham 13th May, 2008

The ending track Gratefully Disappeared showed more variety within the instruments producing an intriguing choice of bongos and strings, rather than Serj's vocals which stuck to a more listless talking.

Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival @ Empire Polo Fields, Indio, California (25/4 - 27/4/08)98

Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival @ Empire Polo Fields, Indio, California (25/4 - 27/4/08)

By Mike Brown 1st May, 2008

To many music lovers, the idea of going into a boiling hot desert to see a bunch of bands play isn't the wisest idea in the world. Yet for the majority of the punters at Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, there was no better place to be.

Big headliners for Reading/Leeds44

Big headliners for Reading/Leeds

By Jack Tregoning 1st Apr, 2008

The Reading and Leeds double-header returns in August, with both festivals sharing the same acts over one mammoth weekend. The banner names are suitably colossal: among them Rage Against The Machine, The Killers, Metallica and Bloc Party.

Check out the new Serj Tankian tracks on FL's minisite!1

Check out the new Serj Tankian tracks on FL's minisite!

By Angus Paterson 30th Oct, 2007

Check out the new streamable tracks available online on Fasterlouder from Serj Tankian, taken from his solo album 'Elect the Dead'.

New Serj Tankian tracks for your listening pleasure1

New Serj Tankian tracks for your listening pleasure

By Cec Busby 23rd Oct, 2007

We've just uploaded a stack of new tracks from Serj Tankian's new album Elect the Dead for your listening pleasure.

Listen to Serj Tankian's new album

Listen to Serj Tankian's new album

By Cec Busby 19th Oct, 2007

We've got our hands on tracks from Serj Tankian's new album, Elect the Dead...and thanks to the crew at Warner we can stream these tracks for you so that you can get a sneak peek of what's on offer before you hand over your hard earned... Enjoy!

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tyler07 tyler07 said on Sun 26th May, 2013
" Am I the only one that read this comment? The Bea..."
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grattan grattan said on Fri 29th Jun, 2012
"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZRhMxUAo4o"
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feelingsinister feelingsinister said on Sun 11th Apr, 2010
"I'm not a fan of his music or System of a Down at all, bu..."
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kat627 kat627 said on Wed 25th Feb, 2009
"Wish granted hehe"
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Vocoda Vocoda said on Sun 8th Feb, 2009
"the organises would've been a bit nervous having prodigy ..."