Tankian Taps Fair To Midland, Morello For Tour

Rock act Fair To Midland and Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello have been tapped to support Serj Tankian on select fall concert dates in support of the System Of A Down frontman's debut so

Rock act Fair To Midland and Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello have been tapped to support Serj Tankian on select fall concert dates in support of the System Of A Down frontman's debut solo album, "Elect the Dead," due Oct. 23 via Serjical Strike/Reprise.

Fair To Midland will open for Tankian on Oct. 28 at Slim's in San Francisco, along with an as-yet-unannounced West Coast date. The act will then travel overseas in mid-November for support slots in the U.K., Holland, France and Germany. Morello, who will be performing as the Nightwatchman, will open a handful of North American dates, beginning Oct. 12 at Chicago's Vic Theatre.

"[Serj] is a great person and we can't wait to go on tour with him," Fair To Midland guitarist Cliff Campbell tells Billboard.com. "With him, it's always a lot more laid back and chill."

Tankian signed Dallas-based Fair To Midland to his Serjical Strike label after seeing back-to-back performances at Los Angeles' Roxy Theatre and Malibu Inn. "They're an amazing progressive rock band and really nice guys," Tankian tells Billboard.com. "I find their live show undeniably powerful."

Fair To Midland is currently touring the States in support of its debut effort, "Fables From a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True," which was released June 12 on Serjical Strike Records/Universal Republic. The set, which debut at No. 2 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart, has sold 30,000 units in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The upcoming support dates won't be the first instance Tankian has used his celebrity status to help give the young act a push. Tankian joined Fair To Midland onstage at this year's Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival to help sing the band's "Walls of Jericho." Campbell says the collaboration helped expose his band to thousands of new listeners at the annual Indio, Calif., festival.

"A lot of people know who we are now", the guitarist says, noting that album sales in Los Angeles increased following the performance. "It helped a lot."

Fair To Midland is currently working its second radio single, "Tall Tales Taste Like Sour Grapes." And while new songs are being written on the road, fans shouldn't expect to hear new material live any time soon. "We change songs at least 20 times before they're written," Campbell explains. "But we're working on new stuff as we go."