Modern rock outfit System Of A Down has compiled a host of odds and ends on “Steal This Album,” which will be released in late November or early December by American Recordings/Columbia. The final tracklist will not be determined until mixing is complete, but expect the set to include between 12-17 cuts ranging from the band’s pre-American days up through sessions for last’s year’s chart-topping “Toxicity.”
A number of the “Toxicity”-era songs were leaked online earlier this year, prompting their authorized release on “Steal This Album.” “We don’t consider any of these songs B-sides or outtakes,” vocalist Serj Tankian said in the statement. “The songs that didn’t make it onto ‘Toxicity’ are as good as, if not better than the songs that did — they weren’t originally included because they didn’t fit the overall continuity of the album, and we’re happy that our fans will be able to hear them in their completed form.”
Songs expected to make the final cut include “F*** the System,” “Boom,” “American Dream,” “Innervision,” and “Pictures.” An acoustic track, “Roulette,” has been in the pipeline for “seven or eight years,” and will here feature only Tankian and guitarist Daron Malakian. The songs will be woven through with interludes, pre-show intros, and “other musical tidbits.” A spokesman says the band is eyeing the last week in November or the first week in December as a tentative release date.
“Steal This Album” will be packaged in a clear jewel case with the title “scrawled across the face of the CD,” and will not include a cover art, J-card, or CD booklet. Instead, fans can access full song credits by inserting the CD into a computer and visiting a special Web site.
In other System of a Down news, Tankian recently struck a deal with Columbia Records for his Serjical Strike label. Since early 2001, Tankian has been selling records under the Serjical Strike name via the Web. Columbia will release four albums with Serjical Strike by the end of 2003, including Serart, a collaboration between Tankian and multi-instrumentalist Arto Tuncboyaciyan, due early next year.
The label will also release albums from Bad Acid Trip, a L.A.-based thrash-punk band, Kittens for Christian, a band Tankian describes on the Serjical Strike site as “Sonic Youth meets the Jesus Lizard,” and rock combo Slow Motion Reign.
System continues to enjoy the success of “Toxicity,” which has sold 2.66 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. This week the single “Aerials” is No. 1 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart and No. 2 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks tally.