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Serj Tankian made his first foray into public life as the idiosyncratic lead singer of the late ‘90s metal band System Of A Down. After releasing five platinum-selling albums with the band, and establishing himself as one of modern-day music’s most outspoken human-rights activists, in 2007, Serj left System to pursue his own artistic pursuits. Since then he’s released solo albums, composed symphonies, scored documentaries, and most recently started producing a line of Armenian coffee.

In May, Serj also released a memoir called “Down With The System” that details his personal story that starts in Beirut before his family emigrated to Los Angeles during the Lebanese Civil War in the ‘70s. Serj’s memoir also details his family’s history in Armenia, and their chilling plight during the genocide of 1915.

On today’s episode Leah Rose talks to Serj Tankian about why he always felt like an outsider—including in System Of A Down. He also explains why it was so essential for him to exercise his demons on stage, and the one fundamental change that needs to take place in order for him to record new music with the band.

You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Serj Tankian songs HERE.

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