Tankian Eschewing System Songs At Fall Shows
System Of A Down remains on "indefinite hiatus," according to frontman Serj Tankian, with the four band members "all doing our own thing." As such, Tankian says fans shouldn't expect to hear System muSystem Of A Down remains on "indefinite hiatus," according to frontman Serj Tankian, with the four band members "all doing our own thing." As such, Tankian says fans shouldn't expect to hear System music from him when he tours this fall to promote his first solo album, "Elect the Dead."
"If I wanted to do System songs, I'd do it with System," Tankian tells Billboard.com. "This is another record, another project."
"Elect the Dead," on which Tankian played most of the instruments -- although System drummer John Dolmayan contributes to a few tracks -- is due Oct. 23 via Serjical Strike/Reprise. Tankian plans to play special promotional shows during October in North America and in Europe during November, as well as radio shows back in the U.S. in December. Some "full-fledged tours" are planned for 2008, he adds.
"We'll do a couple of covers," Tankian says, "a couple of acoustic songs, a couple of bonus tracks from the premium package of the record. There will be a lot of music to play."
There will be plenty to see as well: Tankian has filmed videos for all 12 of the album's songs, mostly by "impassioned director friends who took small budgets and made some of the best music videos I've ever seen." Tankian, who scored the William Friedkin film "Bug" earlier this year, says the clips will be rolled out via a variety of outlets, including MTV and iTunes, and collected at some point on his Web site.
"Elect the Dead" represents just a portion of the music Tankian has created over the years. "Some of my music's electronic," he notes, "some is classical, some is goth, experimental, noise -- you name it. I've got a lot of jazz songs, actually."
Tankian also has an idea for what he wants his next album to sound like. "I'm shooting for a more classical vibe," he says. "Maybe some jazz elements but a lot of classical instruments -- a lot of strings, pianos, that kind of stuff. My goal is to write songs that are just as powerful emotionally and intuitively as rock songs, but without any drums or heavy guitars. It's an interesting way to approach things."