Hear Excerpt From Audiobook Version Of SERJ TANKIAN's Memoir 'Down With The System'

June 5, 2024

An excerpt from the audiobook version of "Down With The System", the memoir by Serj Tankian, lead singer of the Grammy Award-winning rock band SYSTEM OF A DOWN, solo artist, composer, activist, painter, poet, and filmmaker, is available in the SoundCloud player below.

In announcing the audiobook's availability, Serj said in a video message:  "Hi, I'm Serj Tankian. I wrote a book called 'Down With The System'. It's a memoir of sorts. The idea wasn't to do a memoir. The idea was to do a book about the intersection of justice and spirituality, a philosophical book, if you will. But it turned out to be something altogether different. So it is a memoir, but it's also a lot of lessons learned, a lot of cool things.

"My favorite part of writing the book was really digging deep into my past, my parents' past, my grandparents' past, learning more about my family, my roots, my intentions," he continued. "It was a free therapy session for me, an incredible one.

"The audiobook was quite different than writing the book. Most of it I've read in a very natural fashion, just like I'm talking now.

"When you listen to an audiobook by an author in their own voice, you want it to be that — you don't want it to be someone reading something; you want it to be someone feeling and living something," Serj added.

"I'm really proud of the book and I'm looking forward to all of you reading it and listening to the audiobook.

"Listen to 'Down With The System' on Audible today."

"Down With The System" was released on May 14 via Hachette Books.

In "Down With The System", Serj explores the myriad influences which shaped both his creative journey and his activism while sharing his unique perspective on the band's unlikely rise to fame. This is a band that redefined the boundaries of music with a sound characterized by wildly aggressive metal riffs, unconventional tempo-twisting rhythms, and Armenian folk melodies. Serj alternately growled, screamed and crooned lyrics that ranged from avant-garde silliness to raging socio-political rants within a single line.

He acknowledges that "it's not easy listening," yet their music struck a chord with millions of fans around the world, leading to more than 40 million album sales and three albums topping the Billboard charts. But this memoir is far more than just a rock 'n' roll fable. It's an immigrant's tale, it's an activist's awakening, and it's a spiritual journey from darkness toward light. Born to Armenian parents in Beirut, Serj grew up hearing bombs drop outside his childhood home during the country's civil war, before moving to Los Angeles at the age of seven. In the heart of SoCal's "Little Armenia," Serj learns about the brutal genocide his ancestors faced while helping his parents adapt to the American Dream's constraints and contradictions.

During a pivotal drive home from an LSAT class, Serj decides to turn away from a promising future in business and law to make music instead — a decision that leads him to touring five continents as the lead singer of a hugely popular rock band. In the years that follow, his uniquely singular story continues, as he
evades glass bottles hurled at a canceled show by angry SLAYER fans, teams up with Tom Morello to push social justice causes on unsuspecting metalheads, argues with LAPD officers over the best way to quell rioting fans, and defines new sounds and singing tactics with Rick Rubin.

Braiding together thought-provoking insight with heartfelt and poetic prose, "Down With The System" retraces Serj's remarkable and unlikely journey, and explores what it's taught him — about music, about art, about activism and about himself. It's an unforgettable ride that will leave readers breathless — and an absolute delight for new fans and old ones alike.

Tankian is best known as the lead singer of the Grammy Award-winning rock band SYSTEM OF A DOWN, but he is also a solo artist, composer, activist, painter, poet, and filmmaker. Since launching on to the rock scene in 1993, he's performed for millions of fans and sold more than 42 million albums worldwide. He's also a proud Armenian-American and a dedicated activist; along with Tom Morello, Tankian co-founded the non-profit organization Axis Of Justice, which strived to bring together musicians, music fans, and grassroots political organizations to fight for social justice. He has composed scores for many films and television series, had his paintings exhibited in galleries in the U.S. and New Zealand, and released two books of his own poetry. He has also been an executive producer on multiple documentaries, including "I Am Not Alone", which tells the story of Armenia's 2018 revolution and which won awards at the Toronto International Film Festival, DOC NYC, American Film Institute Festival, and the Palm Springs International Film Festival, among others. Tankian lives with his wife and his son, splitting their time between Los Angeles and New Zealand.

Hachette Books is a division of Hachette Book Group, a leading general-interest book publisher based in New York and a division of Hachette Livre, the third largest trade and educational publisher in the world.

Photo credit: Travis Shinn

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Serj Tankian’s DOWN WITH THE SYSTEM on Audible Books

My memoir 'Down with the System' is an immigrant's tale, an activist's awakening, and a spiritual journey from darkness toward light. Get 'Down with the System' on Audible now.

Listen: https://www.audible.com/pd/Down-with-the-System-Audiobook/B0CLPWKM4M

Posted by Serj Tankian on Friday, May 17, 2024

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