Few metallic acts formed the 90s and 2000s fairly like System Of A Down. With over a billion performs on YouTube and platinum promoting albums worldwide, the group are on the prime of an period of music that each allures and polarizes followers.
In our latest interview with founding frontman Serj Tankian, reflecting on the turbulent interval of the discharge of the bands’ landmark album Toxicity and 2002 followup Steal This Album!, Tankian expressed combined emotions of an period for the band that might be finest described as wild.
“They’re actually different feelings for Steal This Album! and for Toxicity, even though they were, you know, technically written at the same time and then split apart. We released Steal This Album! after, because when Toxicity came out it was the week of September 11, 2001,” Tankian recalled in a latest sitdown with Metallic Injection.
“And I had written a piece called ‘Understanding Oil,’ which questioned U.S. adventurism in terms of its foreign policy in the Middle East and the reactions that were prevailing in a very kind of sobering and, you know, innocent way trying to understand what had actually occurred and why something like this could have happened to us.”
Tankian defined that, within the speedy aftermath of September 11th, being labelled a politically minded artist carried with it sure pressures. Throw in a full scale riot through the Toxicity launch in L.A., and the frontman has combined emotions surrounding what is mostly thought to be System Of A Down‘s opus.
“Simply being on tour the week after 9/11 for months at a time by itself, even if you happen to weren’t a political band, could be difficult as a result of there’s these day by day type of threats proper, that had been on TV and the orange, the purple threats, all these totally different calibers of terrorism threats and stuff. And but we had been additionally being threatened by many parts due to our outspokenness. So it was a really, very tough time.
“And the release of Toxicity itself was a riot in L.A. We unintentionally ended up having a riot in Hollywood due to our launch occasion that, mainly, we had too many individuals. And the hearth marshal closed it down and other people reacted and fights ensued. We misplaced our tools, our crew was punched, after which L.A. riots occurred and we needed to clarify what was happening to the media, and it was a fucking mess.
“So after I consider Toxicity, everybody thinks, oh, it is your type of finest report or your finest promoting report, no matter you wish to name it. And so they’re like, ‘How was it? How did it feel?’ Like they anticipate some actually constructive type of reminiscence or response. It was fucking demanding as fuck. That is what I keep in mind. I did not really feel like a musician. I did not really feel like I used to be doing music. It was fucking demanding as fuck. It was actually, actually dicey. That is what I keep in mind, that is the emotion that prevails.”
And whereas trauma from the interval nonetheless lingers within the thoughts of the heavy metallic polymath, the albums, and all that surrounded them, nonetheless paved the best way for who he and his bandmates are at present.
“But I think there is something to that. I think there is something to success where it’s not just monochromatic, whatever your creative output is. And those other layers, those other possibilities might be building into what we know as this successful time and this successful record for this band per se. So that’s really interesting to me.”
Keep tuned for our remaining excerpt from our interview with Serj Tankian, reflecting on his solo profession, from Elect the Lifeless to Perplex Cities
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