Serj Tankian

Serj Tankian (Armenian: Սերժ Թանգեան [ˈsɛɾʒ tʰɑnˈkʰjɑn]; born August 21, 1967) is an Armenian-American singer–songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, poet, and a political activist. He is best known as the lead vocalist, songwriter, keyboardist, and occasional live rhythm guitarist of the Grammy Award-winning rock band, System of a Down.
During his musical career, Tankian has released five albums with System of a Down, one with Arto Tunçboyacıyan (Serart), as well as two solo albums Elect the Dead and Imperfect Harmonies and a live orchestral version of the former incorporating the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra named Elect the Dead Symphony. In 2002, Tankian and Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello co-founded a non-profit political activist organization, Axis of Justice. Tankian also founded the music label Serjical Strike Records.
Serj Tankian is named as the 26th greatest metal vocalist of all time by Hit Parader magazine.
Tankian was born in Beirut, Lebanon on August 21, 1967.[2] When he was eight years old his family immigrated to Los Angeles, California.[2] In his youth, he attended a school for Armenian-Americans, The Rose & Alex Pilibos School,[3] which was also attended by Tankian’s future System of a Down bandmates Daron Malakian and Shavo Odadjian.[4] Doing well academically[3] Tankian attended California State University. This is where Tankian first began to play instruments and write songs.[2]
The early beginnings of System of a Down lie in a band named Soil (not to be confused with the Chicago-based band Soil) with Tankian on vocals & keyboards, Daron Malakian on vocals & lead guitar, Dave Hakopyan on bass and Domingo Loranio on drums. The band hired Shavo Odadjian as their then-manager but for him to later join as rhythm guitarist. Loriano and Hakopyan later left the band feeling that it wasn’t going anywhere, leading to Soil splitting up.
After Soil split up, Tankian, Odadjian and Malakian formed a new band they called System of a Down, after a poem Malakian wrote called “Victims of a Down.” Their original drummer was Ontronik Khachaturian, with whom they had spent time playing with in Soil, though he was later replaced by John Dolmayan after breaking his hand shortly before a gig the band had been booked to play, giving Dolmayan the last-minute call up. The band quickly began touring the Southern California rock clubs, and began to attract a strong following. As a side note, Serj is the only member of System of a Down that has never been seen shirtless in any major performances.[5]
Background information
Born August 21, 1967 (1967-08-21) (age 43)[1] Beirut, Lebanon[1]
Genres Alternative metal, experimental, heavy metal, progressive rock, orchestral
Occupations Musician, singer–songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, poet, political activist
Instruments Vocals, keyboards, piano, guitar, bass, synthesizer, melodica, theremin, sampler, drum machine
Years active 1992–present
Labels Serjical Strike, Reprise, American, Columbia, Axis of Justice
Associated acts System of a Down, Axis of Justice, The F.C.C.


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