Serj Tankian

Serj Tankian
Serj Tankian
  • Born: August 21, 1967
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Musician, Singer, Songwriter, Multi-instrumentalist, Record Producer, Poet, Political Activist









Quote Topics Cited
A lot of pop music is based on trying to make people remember it so that they'll buy it. To me, it was not about that. Music, Chants & Rapps
As an artist, you never want to write the same song again, you always want to challenge yourself to writing in a different way.
As long as people are living their truth or their vision, whether they're activists or not, that's the important thing. Truth
Awareness in our society has flipped all types of injustice on its head. Society
Capitalism unchecked is not a democratic system.
Civilization is a failure. We need to think what we can do together in love and peace. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Failure ;War & Peace
Composing is what I love most from what I do. Each genre has a unique expression that you cannot supplant with another. All the records co-inspire each other though they are not tied conceptually in any way to another. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Corporatization is the descendant of industrialization.
'Elect the Dead' is a rock record that takes you on a journey with different types of genres integrated, different lyrical themes digested, and many fun and colorful moments to enjoy.
Harout Pamboukjian is one of the biggest Armenian folk singers in the world. In the '70s, he was making these records that were really Zeppelin-influenced.
I am more interested in how people interpret the phrase 'Elect The Dead' than what I may or may not have intended. I named the album after the track, which is a spiritual song about love, life and death and is the heaviest song on the album without having any heavy instruments. Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Death
I believe very firmly that indigenous populations had a really good, intuitive understanding of why we're here. And we're trying to gain that same understanding through psychology and intellect in modern civilization.
I don't want to spend all my time working as an activist. I don't get satisfaction out of it. I'd rather be doing something else. I'm a musician. Time
I hate injustice, and I can't help but speak against it. But I don't want to get involved in politics. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I have a more direct avenue to expression as an artist than I ever would as a politician.
I like African music, and I'm a huge Ravi Shankar fan. Music, Chants & Rapps
I like having songs that go from the personal to the kind of inter-relational, universal, because everything comes back to micro/macro and everything's tied in.
I think anytime that you go to the extreme of any mode of economics, be it capitalism or communism, you have these feedback mechanisms that make the system turn in on itself.
I think every artist should follow their vision, their hearts is what they need to reveal, not something that society is looking out for. Society
I think every artist should follow their vision; their hearts is what they need to reveal, not something that society is looking out for. That said though, I think also artists have, continuously good artists, have been good for their times. Society
I think I might write a book. I like writing. People have asked me if I would get into politics, but I think I feel a lot more effective being a representative of truth through the arts. Truth ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I think it's my interaction with journalists that has pegged me more as political than my actual records, although they have obviously political aspects to them as well.
I think music is a powerful medium because it co-inspires. It inspires the artist who then inspires the listener, and it's a back-and-forth process. Music, Chants & Rapps
I think that the memory of Armenia's genocide opened my eyes at an early age to the existence of political cynicism.
I write music when I'm free and for no particular project in mind. Music, Chants & Rapps
I'd rather let the music speak for itself. Music, Chants & Rapps
If you allow for a purely capitalistic society, without any type of regulation at all, you will get one monopoly that will eat all of the smaller fish and own everything, and then you'll have zero capitalism, zero competition - it would just be one giant company. Society
If you're using live bass versus orchestral bass, you've got to make sure that you're not stepping on the toes of the other elements, so you've got to balance it out.
I'm a huge Beatles fan, but I've only really gotten into them as an adult.
I'm not comfortable with just entertaining. Although I like entertaining, I also like bringing forward the truth of our times as minstrels used to in the old days. Truth
In America, there's more of the question, should music be political or should it just be for entertainment purposes, whereas around the world that's not even an issue. I think people just assume that music should be everything. Music, Chants & Rapps
In the last few years I've been listening to jazz more than anything else. I listen to a lot of world music and experimental here and there. Music, Chants & Rapps
It's probably a combination of personal and non-personal matters that have led us to where we are musically.
It's the idea of a multi-sensory experience stemming from music that opened my interest into painting, to be honest. Music, Chants & Rapps
I've always tried to listen to a lot of different music from around the world. Music, Chants & Rapps
I've always worked on all different types of music, some with specific project goals and deadlines and some not. Sometimes I would write a piece of music that is almost like a film score or weird electro pieces, wherever the muse took me, and I still do that. Music, Chants & Rapps
I've got my own studio, and I've got four- to five-hundred unreleased tracks. I've got stuff that's electronic, orchestral, jazz, I've got rock, I've got metal, you know, I don't have polka.
I've worked with some great orchestras and amazing classical musicians, but I don't like the conceptualization of classical music as an elitist form of art. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Life is that perfect fine line between ironies. Life
My two interests are spirituality and politics. I would mesh them in some way; maybe try to figure out the politics of spirituality, or the spirituality of politics. Or maybe come up with this really crazy naive solution for the end of civilization. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
People always ask me 'do you think there should be more bands doing political music?' and I say 'absolutely not.' Music, Chants & Rapps
People get so attached to a position which they identify themselves with that they just spurt it out, but they can't really give you a viable reason why they feel that way.
People think our music's very aggressive or angry or whatever, and it's just the opposite, really... I like laughing. And I like being really calm before a show, and smiley. Music, Chants & Rapps
Pretending that we live doesn't make us alive.
Sometimes a good love song can change the world and create positive energy more than any political song can. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Sometimes it's better to have a benign dictator than a dumb democracy, to be honest.
The best way to do that is to pick up a new instrument or an instrument that you don't typically write on and see where it takes you. Whether it's using an acoustic guitar, or piano, or electronics as tools, all of these lead to creating different types of songs and I used all of these methods for this record.
The most important thing about music that I've learned after all this time is that to me, it's a way of reaching the truth. Truth ;Time ;Music, Chants & Rapps
The percentage of Americans in the prison system, has doubled since 1985.
Touring and putting out records is fun and cool, but I've been doing it for a long time. Time
We first fought the heathens in the name of religion, then Communism, and now in the name of drugs and terrorism. Our excuses for global domination always change. Religion & God
We first fought... in the name of religion, then Communism, and now in the name of drugs and terrorism. Our excuses for global domination always change. Religion & God
We're addicted to this concept of civilization - we can't imagine living outside of it because we've had it for 10,000 years, all of what we call history. But according to archaeologists, humanity has been on this planet for millions of years in indigenous form. History
With 'Elect the Dead,' I learned how to make a rock record without a rock band and make the rock record I've always wanted to make.
With most of the songs and music that I've composed, irrespective of the myriad videos made, I was always careful not to overly define the experience, leaving room for people to internalize things for themselves, making their experience more integral. Music, Chants & Rapps
With rock music, the amount of power that you can generate, the intensity behind the intentions of your lyrics that you can really reflect through rock music - you can't do that in jazz. You can't do that with classical. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Power
You can say a lot more with a poem than you can with a song, but with a song you can really be more powerful with it. You can express it a lot more powerfully.
You listen to Bob Dylan and you can't help but think of the 60s, it's very relational and if artists are true artists and not just mere musicians they need to be truthful because the music doesn't come from them it comes from the universe and it's to be shared. At best, we're skilled presenters, and I say that at best. Music, Chants & Rapps