SYSTEM OF A DOWN Frontman Is 'More Interested In Writing Instrumental Pieces Of Music': 'Screw Vocals,' He Says

December 3, 2017

SYSTEM OF A DOWN frontman Serj Tankian, who has two new film scores under his belt, was asked in an interview with Russia's Expert magazine if he finds it hard, as an outstanding singer, to write scores without vocals. "Screw vocals," he responded. "I'm tired of it.

"During a conversation with a friend yesterday, I came up with an idea: before we started making music, I was mainly known as a poet and vocalist," he continued. "I wrote poetry every day. It was what I did constantly, what made me release two poetry books. In fact, I came to music from words.

"I wrote so many lyrics that it stopped to be interesting. Not because there is nothing I want to talk or sing about. Sure, there are topics I don't want to write lyrics to, but at least I can pull out some new emotions out of it.

"Poetry is always something that opens yourself up and supports self-determination," he added. "I just did it for too long. Now I am more interested in writing instrumental pieces of music."

The first of Tankian's two new film scores, for a movies called "Intent To Destroy", was released digitally via iTunes and Apple on November 17, while the second, for a movie titled "Furious: The Legend Of Kolovrat", will arrive digitally on December 8.

"Intent To Destroy", from Oscar-nominated director Joe Berlinger, is a documentary that examines genocide denialism. The film outlines the century-old denial campaign of the Armenian Genocide by the Turkish government and brings it into the current age of disinformation and scare tactics. The film was released in theatres on November 10.

Tankian called "Intent To Destroy" "one of the most powerful films I've ever seen let alone been a part of."

Meanwhile, "Furious: The Legend Of Kolovrat" is a Russian historical fantasy film about a 13th century knight named Evpaty Kolovrat, who led a 17-man squad against thousands of Mongol warrior hordes.

Tankian said about this project: "I'm a huge fan of historical action films, so I welcomed the opportunity to create my first epic score for 'Furious'."

Tankian's other film work includes scores or musical pieces for "1915", "The Inhabitant", "The Promise" and others. He also has composed for TV and video games.

His other solo work includes three rock albums, a live set, a classical symphony and a jazz recording.

Tankian has toured with SYSTEM OF A DOWN over the past few years but the band has not released new music since 2006.

SYSTEM OF A DOWN drummer John Dolmayan recently said that it was "very disheartening" that the band hasn't released a new album in nearly 12 years.

Dolmayan revealed in a 2016 interview with Kerrang! magazine that SYSTEM OF A DOWN had written music for more than a dozen new songs for a possible follow-up to "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize", which came out in 2005.

The band went on hiatus in the fall of that year, although they have toured most summers since 2011.

Tankian — long speculated to be the holdout on recording — not long ago said that a new album was not on the radar. "As far as a SYSTEM record, there's nothing in the plans right now," he said. "It's something that we'll do down the line when it's the right time. I've got a lot of stuff going on right now on my own, and trying to get all those releases out and work on them. But we've really been enjoying playing together on tour and having a blast, and I think our performance is actually better than it's ever been in our heyday."

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