“It Was Actually, Actually Dicey”


Few steel 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 high of an period of music that each allures and polarizes followers. 

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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 blended emotions of an period for the band that might be finest described as wild. 

“They’re really totally different emotions for Steal This Album! and for Toxicity, despite the fact that they have been, you understand, technically written on the similar time after which break up aside. We launched Steal This Album! after, as a result of when Toxicity got here out it was the week of September 11, 2001,” Tankian recalled in a latest sitdown with Metallic Injection.

“And I had written a bit referred to as ‘Understanding Oil,’ which questioned U.S. adventurism by way of its international coverage within the Center East and the reactions that have been prevailing in a really form of sobering and, you understand, harmless method making an attempt to grasp what had really occurred and why one thing like this might have occurred to us.

Tankian defined that, within the quick 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 blended emotions surrounding what is mostly thought to be System Of A Down‘s opus.

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“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, can be difficult as a result of there’s these day by day form of threats proper, that have been on TV and the orange, the purple threats, all these totally different calibers of terrorism threats and stuff. And but we have been additionally being threatened by many parts due to our outspokenness. So it was a really, very troublesome time.

“And the discharge 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 folks reacted and fights ensued. We misplaced our gear, 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 form of finest report or your finest promoting report, no matter you wish to name it. They usually’re like, ‘How was it? How did it really feel?’ Like they anticipate some actually optimistic form of reminiscence or response. It was fucking aggravating as fuck. That is what I bear 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 aggravating as fuck. It was actually, actually dicey. That is what I bear in mind, that is the emotion that prevails.

And whereas trauma from the interval nonetheless lingers within the thoughts of the heavy steel polymath, the albums, and all that surrounded them, nonetheless paved the way in which for who he and his bandmates are right now.

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“However I believe there’s something to that. I believe there’s something to success the place it isn’t simply monochromatic, no matter your inventive output is. And people different layers, these different potentialities is likely to be constructing into what we all know as this profitable time and this profitable report for this band per se. In order that’s actually fascinating 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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