2021

Serj Tankian Talks Toxicity and Activism
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System of a Down’s classic Rick Rubin-produced album, Toxicity, turns 20 this year. Released in 2001 one week before 9/11, the politically charged and wildly bizarre album provided the perfect soundtrack for a world descending into chaos. Serj Tankian, the lead singer of System, is no stranger to conflict. His family is Armenian and migrated to Los Angeles from Lebanon to escape a civil war when Serj was seven years-old. Today we’ll hear Rick Rubin talk to his good friend Serj about how hearing bombs drop outside his childhood bedroom turned him into a lifelong activist. Serj also explains how a funny line about a tapeworm almost caused System to break up, and why the first time Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine heard System play, he called it music for crazy people.

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Check out a playlist of our favorite System of a Down songs HERE. And hear a playlist Serj put together of his favorite tracks HERE.

Get Serj's new solo EP Elasticity HERE.