Hello again Reddit! According to Wikipedia, I'm an Armenian-American singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, poet, and political activist. You may know me from my work as a solo artist or perhaps as the lead singer of System of a Down.

I've just released two new albums that I'm extremely proud of. You can listen to them both for free on Spotify. My first classical symphony, ORCA and Jazz-Iz-Christ, an electro-jazz collaboration that was protested by some very concerned Christians in Boston last weekend. :)

Here's some proof that I am who I say I am. I'll be back at 5pm [EST] to answer your questions.

[EDIT: I've gotten a few PM's asking about the score to ORCA, here's the score to the first act for those of you that are interested. Enjoy!]

[EDIT 2: Hey everyone, I've got to head out now-- thanks so much for all your question! :) Ciao!]

Comments: 3288 • Responses: 58  • Date: 

deosculate1130 karma

Is it true that there's a new System of a Down record in the making?

serjtankianofficial1173 karma

No, that is not true. A quick scan of press online will show that we have not yet agreed on a timetable for another record due to its time commitments.

D0gskull352 karma

Trying so hard not to cry...

serjtankianofficial1032 karma

Crying is clinically healthy :) relax

smcanarchy346 karma

Do you have any desire for another album? We all understand that the time commitment is huge but I would only want another album if your heart was behind it.

serjtankianofficial769 karma

Yes of course, otherwise I wouldn't be discussing it at all.

ChrisTheGinger439 karma

Seriously I think everyone wants a new System of a Down album. It's been too long since the last one.

serjtankianofficial1273 karma

We really appreciate that, but we have to make a record when we think it's time, not anyone else.

Euphonius204 karma

As a relevant follow-up question to u/deosculate's, can you tell us how much truth there is to Shavo's controversial claim that there has been no new SOAD album "because Serj doesn't want to", and your feelings about the statement coming from a fellow band member and friend?

serjtankianofficial405 karma

Shavo's comments have been redacted by the author :) The truth is above in my first answer.

TheBoredMan109 karma

And if so are you totally behind it? From the rumors and such, it seems like you didn't want to do a new album a few months ago.

serjtankianofficial393 karma

I am not opposed to making a System record at all. It just has to be the right time for us all in the band.

Armando9093961044 karma

Oh wow sadly this is the closest to meeting you ill prolly ever get, aha but may i ask what is the song chop suey about?

serjtankianofficial2202 karma


creeplet1021 karma

Why do they always send the poor?

serjtankianofficial1512 karma

Due to the empire's pecking order.

goldshades691 karma

Can you record a studio version of this?

serjtankianofficial668 karma

hahaha!!! that song was what we would sing before getting on stage with the FCC

vampfredthefrog665 karma

I just got a new cat. Will you name him?

serjtankianofficial1376 karma

Pss psss

whatwhat27661 karma

hey serj,

just one question: approximately how long does it take to grow that wonderful beard of yours?

serjtankianofficial1109 karma

Longer than it takes for you to think of an inept question like that :)

whatwhat271477 karma

oh.... ok


serjtankianofficial1402 karma

Hey, I was just kidding. Don't get all serious on me ok?

PcgamerForlife573 karma

Hey Serj I don't have any questions except it would be great to get a hi back

serjtankianofficial1054 karma


jamestporter494 karma

Any thought on Snowden, the NSA spying Scandal and Obamas presidency?

serjtankianofficial1014 karma

Snowden: He's brave and did his whistleblowing with class. I respect him His actions have created the conversation about the NSA's program and there are people already taking precautions to safeguard our liberties accordingly in Congress and elsewhere.

GTiHOV433 karma

As an Armenian, SOAD made me extremely proud. Please help keep it alive!! Without you guys, we'd all have to rely on the Kardashians!

Also, I loved your work with Viza! Thank you for all you've done!

serjtankianofficial361 karma


yesrno374 karma

What is the "official" meaning behind the song Soil of System of a Down ? What is it truly about ?

serjtankianofficial752 karma

A friend who committed suicide.

Dsvkb338 karma

Why is it that Steal This Album! has been largely ignored in the live shows since its release in comparison to the support the other albums get?

serjtankianofficial671 karma

Good Question: One I always ask the other guys. That is why we rehearsed and played A.D.D. and rehearsed a few others from Steal. i would one day like to do a full Steal this Album live show or tour.

punkrockchick302 karma

hi serj. I went to go see you guys perform at the Hollywood bowl & you guys were truly amazing. I loved every moment of it. I got chills when daron sang soldier side & when you guys performed sugar, that got me pumped up! it was fucking incredible! it was my first concert ever & it was my favorite band. I love you guys so much & it was such an honor to be there. thank you for putting out extra tickets, if it wasn't for that I wouldn't have been able to go. you are an inspiration to me. i love your work. i have a huge soad poster of you, daron, john & shavo above my bed. i love your music so much, it's so beautiful. thank you for doing an ama! when I found out that there were no more tickets for the hollywood bowl on monday I started crying but that soon changed! soad is my favorite band & always will be. you fucking rock serj! here are a few questions that I've been wanting to ask you.

  1. out of all 5 system albums, which album do you think succeeded the most?

  2. the song roulette is fucking incredible, any meaning behind that song? & why don't you guys really play that songs in your concerts?

  3. the song 36. I'm not sure if it's true but I heard that you were trying to make that song under 36 seconds? what does 36 stand for?

  4. why do you dress so nice & casual? I love your style it's just so perfect.

  5. I know that a lot of people have been asking you about another soad album. what are the possibilities that there might be another one?

  6. how was your first performance like? the first time ever performing on a live stage?

  7. any possibility of soad doing a meet & greet in california?

  8. out of all songs. which is the funnest to perform?

  9. what made you want to start a band? what inspired you to do it?

  10. who's your favorite musician?

  11. what are you looking forward to in the near future?

thank you so much serj for taking your time & doing this ama. you are the fucking best. if I were to meet you in person I'd probably faint. you are a legend man. rock on serj!! & thank you soooo much. oh & you look way more cuter in person haha. :)

serjtankianofficial573 karma

  1. Commercially Toxicity
  2. I wanted to play it on tour but haven't rehearsed it yet
  3. it's SOAD's mythical number
  4. I'm not trying to impress
  5. Great if you're patient, not so great if you're not
  6. It was playing keyboards for a band in Hollywood. nerve wrecking :)
  7. We already met and greeted our 1000 strong friends and family at the Hollywood Bowl :) Any more may kill us..haha..
  8. Viscinity of Obscenity
  9. It was my vision and I followed it
  10. Don't have favorites
  11. The present

Neutrahl294 karma

Hi Serj, what did you have for breakfast?

serjtankianofficial734 karma


gpac99280 karma

what's your favorite scars on broadway song?

serjtankianofficial553 karma

Don't know them by name.

springinslicht445 karma

Daron is not happy.

Khiva194 karma

Serj is dropping some serious burns in this thread.

serjtankianofficial37 karma

No burn intended. I enjoy Scars, I just don't know any of the song names off the top of my head. Sorry :)

asegal136253 karma


I'm curious, what's your relationship like with the guys from RATM? Any chance at more collaborations with them/their members?

serjtankianofficial451 karma

Tom (Morello) is one of my best friends and I consider the other guys friends as well. We don't have any collabs in mind but you never know what the future brings

Ultanski251 karma

Would you ever consider composing music for a videogame?

serjtankianofficial488 karma

Already doing it for a game called Morningstar coming out for the ipad this year. Soundtrack to follow

ChopSueyEater270 karma

He did, "Total Paranoia" for Batman: Arkham City.

serjtankianofficial429 karma

I've done that and John Woo's videogame Stranglehold but those were mostly licenses of songs. Morningstar will be a full score.

JDefined249 karma

Have you ever considered performing SoAD songs with a symphony? I've heard your solo work performed that way and was amazed.

Side note: Your work with Tech N9ne was badass. Keep being the awesome person you are.

serjtankianofficial351 karma

Thanks. Loved working with Tech9ne on the track.

I don't like it when bands play with an orchestra. the kick and bass take up too much of the orchestral frequencies, which is why I do orchestral shows with only piano and acoustic guitar. If system ever wanted to do something like that, I'd be honored to compose it.

Toddle5218 karma

Barev Serj, will you ever consider doing a full Album in Armenian?

serjtankianofficial310 karma

Maybe one day

midnightfarmer216 karma

Hi Serj - My friend Steve paints some incredible artwork to bring awareness to the Armenian Genocide. It'd mean the world to him if you could take a look at his artwork here: http://stephenkoharian.wordpress.com/2010/02/04/new-work-on-the-armenian-genocide-new-work-soon-at-www-stephenkoharian-com/oh-lord-from-the-depths-i-cry-to-you-2/

serjtankianofficial349 karma

will do. thanks

[edit: tell your friend that is some beautiful and haunting work.]

AlejandroE202 karma

How did the collaboration with Deftones come by for the song "Mein"?

serjtankianofficial268 karma

Chino asked and I obliged :) We've all been friends and toured together for many years.

ombra186 karma

What's one question no one's asked you that you've always wanted to answer?

serjtankianofficial312 karma

Nothing. I enjoy answering questions with the quantity that you'd like answering questions.

AnyColourYouLike20169 karma

Hey Serj, do you think there is an honest concern for indicator species (ie. sharks, frogs, birds, and bees) dropping dead in mass quanities around the globe? Do you think they are dying because of natural climate change, or environmental effects like Fukushima, and pesticide use from corporations like Monsanto?

serjtankianofficial227 karma

Very good question. I think there are reasons to be concerned. Besides the causes you mentioned there are also soil changes I've read about.

GregShift166 karma

Have any government official personally approached you for any of the lyrics you have wrote, do you think any of the criticism has affected your personal life? By the way thanks, love harakiri and your SOAD music.

serjtankianofficial246 karma

Thank you ! Directly, no. but I am aware of specific attention attributed to our organization and our intentions and actions by many governments, especially Turkey.

kornelij158 karma

Dear Serj, when SOAD finaly will have a concert in Yerevan?! Yes, we need it! :)

serjtankianofficial250 karma

Sooner than later I hope. I am working on it, trust me :)

Frut140 karma


serjtankianofficial388 karma

The spirit that moves through all things is what in-spires.

l0lm4tt136 karma

hey serj. what was it like working with children to create the music video for empty walls? it must have been quite difficult to get them to re-enact those controversial post 9/11 events.

serjtankianofficial187 karma

They were inspirational actually. Their energy was very powerful and liberating. And as you know about kids that age, they never got tired!! It was also fun being around kids and playing metaphors of more serious things in life.

engineer4prez128 karma

Serj will you ever release a studio version of Sounds of War??? I thought it might be on Jazz-Iz-Christ. Such a cool song man.

serjtankianofficial163 karma

Hmm..Not sure I would. There's something cool about that live vibe of it.

Delta61666 karma

Sounds Of War was fucking epic! It was an honor attending the London Forum Elect The Dead performance in '08.

serjtankianofficial98 karma

Thank you..

keirani116 karma

Dear Serj ~

I feel there is a bigger reason you create these albums. (Despite the constant spamming from the system fans.)

Please know your work is greatly appreciated. hugs

Thank you with all my heart~

Thank you for composing, and bringing together these fantastic artists over these different genres. Your bringing a whole new appreciation for music as a whole.

Music without borders.



serjtankianofficial137 karma

Namaste, and thank you.

veloceracing104 karma

If you were to assemble your own musical supergroup who would be in it?

serjtankianofficial195 karma

I already have, once with System, once with the FCC, and every time with world class orchestras, not to mention the Jazz Iz Christ kats :)

MEXACTIV98 karma

Can you do something with the bad government of EPN here in México.

serjtankianofficial340 karma

I wish we could all snap our fingers and have the many ills of modern society, corrupt governments, and injustice altogether disappear. It is a road we are co-travelers on. I am not a citizen of Mexico, you are though.

backslash2197 karma

I have been a lifelong System fan, and I also enjoy your solo records. What is your favorite song to perform live?

serjtankianofficial120 karma

There are many from all my efforts.

Applethiefnz92 karma

Serj! you are the greatest! When are you coming back to New Zealand ? Piha ?

serjtankianofficial190 karma

SHHH...it's a secret mate!!!!

darthsean1987 karma

Hey Serj, long time fan of both SoaD and your solo work, especially ORCA.

Would you be able to somehow get more System of a Down vinyl printed? Anything that exists currently seems extremely limited and costs an arm and a leg on eBay. I know you've put out records for your solo work, and I'd love to get some SoaD as well to add to my collection.

Also, have you seen Buckethead without his mask?

Thanks for all you've done musically as well as politically, and your work as an activist. You've been a big inspiration in my life, especially concerning the Armenian Genocide.

serjtankianofficial204 karma

Thank you. I will check in with Sony to find out why System vinyl is out of print, if so, I wasn't aware of that. As for Buckethead, yes :)

CaptainRipp80 karma

Do you play any video games? If so, what do you play?

serjtankianofficial115 karma

Haven't for a while

theburndoctorfiasco78 karma

I've been so excited for this AMA!! I've been a huge fan and have looked up to you since I was in middle school (10 years ago!) I've always thought that your work across all different art forms, as well as your dedication to your political activism and Armenian heritage, were truly admirable. Also, you never disappoint no matter what crazy shit you release. Keep 'em coming. :)

So anyway I have two questions.

First, do you have any plans to release prints of your "Disarming Time" collection? I think the concept for them is brilliant, even though the prints wouldn't play the music you wrote for them. They're beautiful.

Second, are there any songs that you've written (either as part of SOAD or for your solo career) that you have a stronger personal attachment to compared to the others? Or perhaps the one you are most proud of?

Thank you for doing this! I look forward to hopefully seeing you in the not-so-distant future.

serjtankianofficial90 karma

First off thank you very much :)

As for the musical paintings, we are going to have 2 different types of giclees and one lithograph released in mid-November online and at a gallery in Los Angeles. We are making it such that everything, including the lithos play the associated music. Don't ask me how, that part is a secret. I'm really excited about doing a huge gallery opening in mid Nov.

soaderosenrot61 karma

How is married life Serj? :)

serjtankianofficial117 karma

Good. thanks

MrKaney58 karma

Hi Serj, fellow Armenian here (:) ), i just wanted to know what sports do you like and if so what clubs/sportsmen are you a fan of?

serjtankianofficial116 karma

None...sorry. Used to play and watch Basketball when younger but my sport is now life.

American_Idiot66657 karma

in September you are going to go to Ukraine. you thought of how you will meet there? (Please excuse me if I write something incorrectly)

serjtankianofficial78 karma

I'm looking forward to it.

xmirabella56 karma

Do you get a lot of hate from metalheads who can't appreciate what you're doing now? I totally respect what you're doing and know I never could but I just can't listen to it in my car with the same fervor I can "Sugar" or "Old School Hollywood" and I was just wondering how you respond to those fans that don't dig your solo endeavors?

serjtankianofficial291 karma

Not everyone likes the same food but a good chef cooks both popular and unique dishes. Artists should not be character actors.

yellowbus0d00m51 karma

Hey Serj!

I have met everyone in SOAD except you damnit... Come visit Denver, I will take you out to some great lunch in the mountains and we can talk politics!

My question for you however; What is it about life that inspires so much of your work? Throughout your career you have done so many things, from music to activism, I just wonder what is it that makes Serj Tankian such an outgoing artist? Thanks in advance for the AMA opportunity, and i'm serious, lunch my treat!

serjtankianofficial96 karma

Thanks for the invite to lunch :) What makes me do what I do is my connection with why I am here on this planet. Years ago I realized my vision was to fight injustice and my vehicle was music. Now my vision is also music and art in its many forms with or without the word or thoughts.

MLaw200826 karma

Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit, holy shit. Not that this will ever be seen (which is why I don't give a shit about being a fan boy) but man, your sound is the only kind that I have come to truly "idolize", if you will. I've been listening to you since I was introduced to System of a Down in 2000 and it never gets old.

I don't even have a question. Just wanted to thank you for keeping on doing what you do!

serjtankianofficial28 karma

Thanks so much :)

IrisxMinerva13 karma

Can't think of any good questions, MONGOOSE TURDS, have a good day.

serjtankianofficial32 karma

you too :)

Musichead246811 karma

Who are your favorite bands?

serjtankianofficial14 karma

Too many to name here

serjtankianofficial10 karma

Too many to name...sorry

SallylleyA8 karma

Hi Serj… I don´t know any question for you but only there is chance that you will read my little and stupid monologue. xD Serj, I know that this things you hear every day from all fans….I don´t want to look like a fanatic fan but I want to tell you that your songs are absolutely the best, of course, and with these songs you can do better days in the moment for all of us. You and your songs are our reason to live...everybody hopes that he will meet you and take a photo with you but unfortunately, this experiences only one of thousands... and we -the other rest of the people- every your smile to us is the best exp. ever... ...And your charity and activist actions? When is someone so good-natured like you in showbiz- in the World can´t be evil... So...sorry for mistakes (because you can see I can´t speak english so much) :)...so see you on 8/14 in Czech rep. on the Aerodrome festival and I´m going to throw you all –Systems- some little presents - I hope you´ll get it!...thanks for all....and thanks for your time - SallylleyA :)

serjtankianofficial11 karma

Thank you :)

Rob_Saget6 karma

Serj, I cannot thank you enough for this AMA and your music. It's been a big part of my life and I am grateful for it.

  • What was the reason behind the recent change in heart to make another SOAD album? Nevermind this question.
  • When can we expect t see Fuktronic released and are you still planning on releasing a graphic novel with it?
  • What is a current band/musician that you cannot get enough of?
  • I host a podcast that features well-known musicians and what they nerd out about. We've been wanting you on for the longest time. I know this is a long shot, but would you be interested in being a guest?

Thanks again and look forward to your responses!

serjtankianofficial14 karma

We are working with an animation company and an artist to do something cool and fun with Fuktronic (A British Gangster film soundtrack with lots of cussing I did with Jimmy from MSI).

Nallio6 karma

What were some major influences or experiences that you feel aided towards the creation of ORCA and/or Jazz-Iz-Christ?

serjtankianofficial7 karma

We're clumping them together since they were released a month apart but they are completely different of course. My repertoire with orchestras started in Auckland with the live DVD in 2009 and transformed my palette, which in turn influenced Imperfect Harmonies and Orca and my scoring efforts of course. Jazz-iz-Christ are mostly jazz songs I've been working on for many years that I got to finish with top jazz cats. Influences are all over the place.

Steven97224 karma

Serj I would just like to say that your solo work has been simply breathtaking. Elect The Dead and especially Imperfect Harmonies had IMO some of the most unique music you've written, and after hearing those albums later I heard you were writing a symphony!? You should have seen my face...But my question is, are you planning on releasing ORCA as recorded by a live orchestra? The music still sounds beautiful with the samples, but I feel a live orchestra would really do it justice!

serjtankianofficial3 karma

The ORCA record is exactly that recorded with the Das Karussel Orkester in Linz, Austria.

ridge173 karma

Hey Serj! I want to ask you two questions.

1) When is the next time you will tour ANY of your projects in America, specifically Chicago?

2) What is it like knowing literally millions of people have heard your voice? What is it like knowing how much of an influence you have become?

Thanks Serj! ps. You put on an amazing show with System last August in Chicago!

serjtankianofficial2 karma

1) Not sure 2) I honestly don't think about either of those things. I focus on my vision.