Serj Tankian has plans for a classical-based project with System Of A Down

"Doing something crazy like 'Chop Suey' with an orchestra would be incredible"

Serj Tankian says he wants to recreate System Of A Down songs in a classical music format in the future.

The band returned this year with their first new music in 15 years, ‘Protect The Land’ and ‘Genocidal Humanoidz’. The songs were released as a way to raise awareness and funds for the conflict between Artsakh and Azerbaijan.

Though the band have openly shared their struggles to write new music, Tankian told Rolling Stone in a new interview that he’d like to incorporate his work as a classical composer and movie scorer with his job in the band.

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“Speaking of classical and System, one day — and I’ve told Daron [Malakian, guitarist] this —  we should really do that,” Tankian said of merging the two worlds. “We should arrange a classical version of some System songs and play them with a nice proper orchestra, like Metallica did, and like other artists have.

Serj Tankian
Serj Tankian of System of a Down. CREDIT: Carlos Tischler/Getty Images

“I think it would be uniquely different for System. Doing something crazy like ‘Chop Suey’ with an orchestra would be incredible… but fast. Really fast tempo. I’m talking about a badass orchestra going [sings ‘Chop Suey’ intro quickly]. Whatever we need to do. That would be insane.”

Speaking of his relationship with his bandmates, Tankian added: “The important thing to me is that we’re all close friends. We all respect each other. We all love each other. Our kids hang out with each other.

“We’re family. We’ll disagree over stuff and we’ll agree on stuff. Whatever we disagree over, we won’t do; whatever we agree over, we will do. And it’s that simple, and it’s that beautiful.”

Earlier this year, drummer John Dolmayan said System were “very unlikely to make new music,” and has shared opposing political views to his bandmates, and shared regular support for Donald Trump in the run-up to the 2020 US Presidential election.

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Guitarist Daron Malakian also said that in-fighting is preventing the band making a new album, admitting it is a “shame” that the band are unable to put aside their differences to record new music.

In other news, Serj Tankian is set to be the subject of a new documentary called Truth To Power. Released by Oscilloscope Laboratories, the documentary will reportedly focus on the way Tankian built awareness around the Armenian revolution of 2018 with music, as well as examining his long history of activism.

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