Serj Tankian - Biography



Serj Tankian is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer, writer and political activist. He is best known as the frontman for alternative metal band System of a Down.

Tankian, an Armenian immigrant who was born in Lebanon, moved to Los Angeles as a small child where he attended school with his future System of a Down bandmates. SOAD formed in 1995, signing with Rick Rubin in 1998. They have achieved commercial and critical success, releasing five studio albums including Toxicity (American Recordings, 2001) and the double album Mesmerize/Hypnotize (Sony, 2005), both of which debuted at No. 1, making them one of only a handful of artists to have two studio albums debut at No. 1 in the same year. SOAD eventually went on hiatus in 2006, but later reformed for a worldwide tour in 2011.

In 2002, Tankian and Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave) founded the non-profit political activist organization Axis Of Justice. Tankian is also co-host of the Axis Of Justice Radio Network with Morello, on KPFK in Los Angeles and Sirius Satellite Radio.

In addition to Tankian's passionate, political interests and music endeavors, he is also a published writer. Tankian's first poetry book, Cool Gardens, was published by MTV Books in 2002. The book also features artwork by Sako Shahinian. During the same year Tankian also founded his Serjical Strike Records label. The first release from the label, Serart, was a collaboration between Tankian and Turkish avant folk artist Arto Tuncboyaciyan under the Serart moniker.

In late 2007, during SOAD's hiatus, Tankian released his first solo album, Elect the Dead (Serjical Strike). Tankian toured with the album backed by another band on his Serjical Strike label, the FCC (Flying Cunts of Chaos). In 2010, Tankian released an orchestral version of his album, Elect the Dead Symphony (Serjical Strike), which was recorded live with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra. His second solo album followed in September 2010, Imperfect Harmonies (Serjical Strike). Tankian's latest solo album, Harakiri (Reprise/Serjical Strike), was self-produced at his home studio in Los Angeles and released on July 10, 2012.

Tankian also released a second book of poetry Glaring Through Oblivion (It Books, 2011). Tankian is currently working on three upcoming albums including an orchestral album called Orca, a jazz album titled Jazz-Iz-Christ, and Fuktronic, an electronic concept album with Jimmy Urine from Mindless Self-Indulgence.

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