SYSTEM OF A DOWN's SERJ TANKIAN: 'We Can No Longer Withstand Stupid Leadership'

June 21, 2020

During a June 14 interview with "Vahe Berberian Live", SYSTEM OF A DOWN frontman Serj Tankian spoke about the importance of focusing on the right issues in the particularly hot political climate the world is in right now.

"There's not a lot of reasonable leaders left," Serj said (see video below). "I was thinking of [Germany's] Angela Merkel being one of the few. Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand, and [Armenia's prime minster] Nikol Pashinyan, he's reasonable. But there's a lot of leaders that are unreasonable. And it's kind of interesting because — I hate to put it this way, but if you look at the top 10 countries with the highest coronavirus infections, it's a lot of countries with unreasonable leadership, or inadequate leadership. And it's a scary thing to see, how one is affecting the other and how it could affect so many people's lives, innocent lives taken. It's really a horrible human tragedy in that sense. And there are people to blame, obviously. But that's not the important thing.

"I think there's a lot of polarization happening in the United States politically. I think it's gone really crazy, [and] it's dangerous.

"We've come to a time to where, coming out of this lockdown and looking at this lockdown and what it's taught us, what we've seen through it, we've come to a place where we can no longer withstand stupid leadership, we can no longer withstand brutal, oppressive leadership anywhere in the world," he continued. "We don't have time for that. Our civilization, based on unsustainable constant economic growth, will not last the way that it is, with our exploding, accelerated population rate. So we have to rein in our consumption. We don't have time for fucking brutal leaders. We don't have time for the King of Saudi Arabia, and we don't have time for this [Turkish president Recep Tayyip] Erdogan. There's just not enough time to deal with them and the climate issue. So they've gotta go — they've all gotta go."

Last week, Tankian implied in an Instagram post that fans who listen to SYSTEM OF A DOWN music and support U.S. president Donald Trump are "hypocrites."

Tankian's views are in sharp contrast to those of SYSTEM OF A DOWN drummer John Dolmayan, who has praised Trump in recent weeks.

Earlier in the month, Tankian called for Trump to resign and described him as "completely useless" over his handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

Other members of SYSTEM have also been outspoken in their criticism of the U.S. president, with guitarist Daron Malakian telling The Independent: "[Trump is] not careful with his words, and he doesn't seem to realize that everybody's listening to him. He does things that would have got another president impeached. Because we live in the social media world our attention spans are so small and so brief... that's why Trump works, because he makes himself the biggest conversation, and the biggest news, every day."

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