SYSTEM OF A DOWN's SERJ TANKIAN Says The Pandemic Has Been 'Devastating' For Him In Many Ways

February 22, 2021

This past weekend, SYSTEM OF A DOWN frontman Serj Tankian spoke to Shelli Sonstein of Q104.3's "Sonstein Sunday" about how he and his family have been dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. He said (see video below): "We live between New Zealand and the U.S. I'm in the U.S. now, but we were in New Zealand the majority of the time during the pandemic in 2020. The New Zealand government handed it incredibly well, and therefore it was pretty much back to normal in a few months there. They're having a small recurrence now with a few cases, but they know what they're doing. Then [we] came back to L.A. later in the year last year.

"The pandemic, like everyone else, it was devastating [for me] in many ways," he continued. "I had 22 concerts with SYSTEM, two film openings, two art installation openings — all got canceled. But I used the time to finish new music, which was good, as an artist. So we're releasing this EP called 'Elasticity' with five rock songs on March 19th as part of that. And I have some other music coming up later in the year down the line."

"Elasticity" will be released via Alchemy Recordings/BMG. The EP will arrive four months after the release of "Protect The Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz", SYSTEM OF A DOWN's first new songs in 15 years. The SYSTEM tracks were motivated by the recently erupted conflict between Artsakh and Azerbaijan, the latter aided by Turkey and accountable for the greatest violence the region has endured in 26 years.

Within a week of their release, "Protect The Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz" landed at positions No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, on Billboard's Hot Hard Rock Songs chart.

SYSTEM OF A DOWN hasn't released a full-length album since the "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize" LPs, which came out in 2005.

Earlier in the month, Tankian told Kerrang! magazine that he's got several other projects in the works, including "another EP of a different genre of rock, more electronic and mellow and beautiful. That type of music. I've got two records of cinematic music, instrumental music of stuff that I've had that I created for the sake of it, and a 24-minute modern piano concerto that I'll be releasing this year," he said.

Photo credit: George Tonikian

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