The System Of A Down frontman, who released his solo EP ‘Elasticity’ last month, was asked about his past criticism of Trump in a new interview with NME, and whether he felt more hopeful about Biden’s presidency.
“The word is relieved, more than hopeful. The US president has way too much power in terms of Foreign Affairs, so it affects the rest of the world greatly,” he replied. “I think the whole world felt some relief that Trump was gone and that an adult was now in power.
“Does it go far enough for me as an activist, in terms of my wishes for policies about climate change, wealth redistribution, or free tuition and healthcare in the US? I would like to see all those things come into fruition. And hopefully, Biden’s administration opens the doors to some of those ideas that Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and some other progressives were pushing for.”
He added: “Right now, it’s middle of the road for me, but compared to the chaotic policies of the Trump administration, it’s great.”
Tankian also addressed the conflicting political views between himself and his SOAD bandmate – and brother-in-law – John Dolmayan, who supported Trump in the run-up to the 2020 election and backed an investigation into the results in the wake of the former POTUS’ defeat.
Explaining that “a good band always has a lot of dynamics”, Tankian said the pair’s difference of opinion “became pronounced” during last year’s election campaign, “but it’s a new phenomenon”.
“Find someone who doesn’t have a brother-in-law with a differing political view, and I’ll find you an interesting family,” he added.
“Some of the bands that create the most elastic, interesting music are ones that have very interesting dynamics between band members. I wouldn’t change that. It’s better than four people making what I call ‘corporate music’ where they agree on everything and want to maximise their returns. That’s Pepsi. System of a Down has never been that. We’re fucking punk rock.”
Dolmayan also criticised the Black Lives Matter movement last year, subsequently claiming that people would no longer work with him because of his controversial views.
You can watch NME‘s full ‘In Conversation’ video interview with Serj Tankian above.