, the visionary frontman for multi-platinum rock band System Of A Down
, has set a date to release his debut solo album, entitled Elect The Dead
, which will be released on Serjical Strike/Reprise Records on October 23rd.
Known for his work with hard-rock agitators SOAD, Tankian says he had no clue he was about to make a rock record when he began to record at his home studio in Los Angeles last summer. "I was writing more traditional type songs on my piano and acoustic guitar, with a classical, almost operatic flavor; and lo and behold, it ended up being a rock record. Funny what happens when you add distorted guitars and drums," he says. "There are political songs, funny songs, love songs, songs about painful experiences, vanity, and the environment. It has a deep melancholy that runs from the personal to the global, with a glimmer of hope in the solidarity of spirit."
Tankian produced Elect The Dead
himself and played most of the instruments, though the album does feature guest drummers John Dolmayan (SOAD) and Brian "Brain" Mantia (Guns n' Roses
). "The singularity of vision is strong when you work alone," he says. "I was a bit skeptical about producing it myself, but I knew how I wanted it to sound. And as I kept going, I realized it was coming together really well so I just finished it on my own. But I had to be careful to push myself like an outside producer would until it was great. I had the same energy and enthusiasm making this album as I did making the first System record."
Born in Beirut, Lebanon, to Armenian parents, Tankian is known as an outspoken political activist who puts his money where his mouth is. In 2006, he and Dolmayan met with members of Congress in Washington, D.C., to campaign for support for the Armenian Genocide Recognition Bill. Tankian is also the co-founder, along with Rage Against the Machine
guitarist Tom Morello, of Axis Of Justice, a non-profit dedicated to uniting musicians, music fans, and grassroots political organizations to fight for social justice.
With System Of A Down, which has released five best-selling albums, including two Number One's in 2005 -- the critically acclaimed Mezmerize and Hypnotize -- Tankian helped the band earn a reputation for musically innovative, politically uncompromising rock. Through it all, Tankian, who has also published a collection of his poetry, has written his own songs, amassing an archive of material from many different genres. "I write all the time for no reason but to write," he says. "I'm just doing what I'm told to do by my heart and nothing more. I just follow my vision and end up where it takes me."
Serj Tankian US Tour Dates:
10/12 - Chicago, IL - Vic theater
10/14 - Toronto, ONT - Guvernment
10/15 - Boston, MA - Paradise
10/17 - NYC - The Fillmore & Irving Plaza
10/18 - Philadelphia, PA - TLA
10/20 - Atlanta, GA - The Roxy
10/22 - Dallas, TX - Granada theater
10/25 - Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues
10/27 - Los Angeles, CA - Avalon
10/28 - San Francisco, CA - Slims
VIDEO: "Empty Walls"
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