Fan First: Serj Tankian on ‘Toxicity,’ Mike Patton, Nu-Metal & New Music

Serj Tankian of System of A Down speaks about fighting injustice with guitars, his early musical loves, why the release of Toxicity was SOAD’s most challenging moment, becoming an artist, his new solo record Perplex Cities, his next live project, his forthcoming memoir and lots more.


00:00 Fighting injustice with guitars
00:26 Introduction
01:00 Activism before art; SOAD’s latest tunes
02:44 How does it feel to initiate change?
05:35 Heavy audiences & compassion
08:06 What was the first music that got you?
09:31 Teenage music & his first gig
12:12 Rumi loves guitars
14:29 Different kinds of music & their impact
16:41 The moment he became an artist
19:55 30 years of System of a Down
21:44 His new solo record
28:24 September 11 and Toxicity
31:11 What is the song people scare you with?
32:45 The song you’d use to introduce System of a Down
33:56 Mike Patton
35:09 Defining nu-metal and his peers, revisiting it all
38:30 Morning listening
29:17 Becoming a composer
41:53 No limitations & his new live show
44:51 Rumi quotes
46:41 Anthony Bourdain and Armenia
49:39 His memoir, justice & spirituality