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Serg Tankian To Release 'Elect The Dead Symphony' In 2010
December 1, 2009
On March 16th, 2009, Serj Tankian, a Grammy Award winner and one of rock's most unconventional frontmen, took the stage at the majestic Auckland Town Hall in New Zealand with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra to perform a very special orchestral interpretation of his critically acclaimed debut solo album 'Elect the Dead'. The dynamic one-off performance was recorded and filmed in HD by six cameras, and the dramatic result has been captured in 'Elect the Dead Symphony' - a CD/DVD that will be released by Serjical Strike/Reprise Records on March 9, 2010.

With the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra at his side, Tankian's epic songs and operatic vocals take on a whole new sense of grandeur when performed by a full 70-piece orchestra, while the DVD's sweeping edits showcase the drama of the concert. This unique meshing of two very different musical worlds was a vision Tankian has long wanted to make a reality. What sets 'Elect The Dead Symphony' apart from other successful pairings between rock artists and orchestras is that Tankian specifically rearranged his songs to be performed with only orchestral instruments.

"I was elated to have the opportunity to arrange my songs from 'Elect the Dead' for a full orchestra with the APO," says Tankian. "The arrangements are quite different than those on the record, including bonus tracks never played live." Both bonus tracks, "Gate 21" and "The Charade," have never been released and are included on the CD, CD/DVD, and vinyl formats of 'Elect the Dead Symphony'. The DVD also features rare and intimate backstage footage, as well as one-on-one interviews with Tankian and various members of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

John Ure, the APO's Director of Operations, is equally as excited about the partnership, saying: "I was introduced to the music of System of a Down several years ago and became a fan after hearing the first song. Next thing I knew I was speaking with Boh Runga about a dream of mine of the APO performing Serj's music on stage and as it turned out, she knew him and was able to pass on this idea. It seems that dreams do come true! The excitement and anticipation is almost unbearable!"

'Elect the Dead Symphony' will be released as a deluxe CD/DVD 6-panel digi-pack with an eight-page full color booklet, on vinyl in a double gatefold jacket with full color insert, and as a CD-only version in a standard jewel-case with a 12-page full color booklet. Each version of the packaging features unique images not included in the other formats.

The album's track-listing (see below) contains elements of psychedelia, classical, and the trademark surrealist images and skewed time signatures that Tankian has made his own, all of which were scored by Tankian himself and arranged for full orchestra by respected New Zealand composer John Psathas. The album has been mixed by Dutch musician Junkie XL, known for his remixes for such artists as Britney Spears, Beastie Boys, Coldplay, Michael Buble, Madonna, Scissor Sisters, Sarah McLachlan, and many more.

'Elect the Dead' was released by Serjical Strike/Reprise Records on October 12th, 2007 and received glowing reviews from various media, including the Los Angeles Times, which called it "brutally engaging guitar-rock" with "steely lyricism and throttling textures," while Rolling Stone noted that it "delivers amped, intricate, and political hard rock."

The track-listing for 'Elect the Dead Symphony' is as follows:

1. Feed Us
2. Blue
3. Sky Is Over
4. Lie Lie Lie
5. Money
6. Baby
7. Gate 21
8. The Charade
9. Honking Antelope
10. Saving Us
11. Elect The Dead
12. Falling Stars
13. Beethoven's C**t
14. Empty Walls

For more info visit
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System Of A Down Drummer Buys Comic For 317k
March 15, 2009
According to, A rare copy of the first comic book featuring Superman has sold for $317,200 in an Internet auction. The previous owner of Action Comics No. 1 bought it for less than a buck.

It's one of the highest prices ever paid for a comic book, a likely testament to the volume's rarity and its excellent condition, said Stephen Fishler, co-owner of the auction site and its sister dealership, Metropolis Collectibles. "Maybe in a booming economy, it would have done a hundred grand more, but in this economy, I think the price is great," Fishler said.

Back in the early 1950s, a 9-year-old boy paid 35 cents at a secondhand store for this 1938 comic book -- the first ever to feature Superman. On Friday, John Dolmayan, the drummer for the rock band System of a Down who is also a comic book dealer, purchased it in an online auction for a whopping $317,200.

The winning bid for the 1938 edition, which features Superman lifting a car on its cover, was submitted Friday evening by John Dolmayan, according to managers at In addition to being a musician, Dolmayan is a dealer of rare comic books. The auctioneers said he acquired the Superman comic on behalf of an unidentified client.

"I imagine it's someone from the entertainment world," said Vincent Zurzolo, chief operating officer at ComicConnect and Metropolis Collectibles.

Only about 100 copies of Action Comics No. 1 are known to exist and they seldom come up for sale.
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RATM, SOAD, More Lend Voices To 'Body Of War' Soundtrack
March 11, 2008
The soundtrack to the upcoming documentary 'Body of War', is set to be released on March 18th via Sire Records.

Songs on the double-disk "Body of War: Songs that Inspired an Iraq War Veteran" were handpicked by Iraq War veteran Tomas Young and include picks from the likes of Bright Eyes, Against Me!, Bruce Springsteen, and Neil Young in addition to a previously unreleased, live version of "No More" by Eddie Vedder, which was written specifically for the documentary and performed with Ben Harper at last year's Lollapalooza. All proceeds on the disk go to the Iraq Veterans Against the War (

Check out a clip of Tomas discussing 'Body Of War' below.

Official Track Listing:
CD 1:
1. “Hero's Song” - Brendan James
2. “American Terrorist” - Lupe Fiasco
3. “Light Up Ya Lighter” - Michael Franti & Spearhead
4. “Guerilla Radio” - Rage Against The Machine
5. “Son Of A Bush” - Public Enemy
6. “Empty Walls” - Serj Tankian
7.“Let Them Eat War” - Bad Religion
8. “White People For Peace” - Against Me!
9. “Letter From Iraq” - Bouncing Souls
10. “War” - Dilated Peoples
11. “Overcome (The Recapitulation)” - RX Bandits
12. “Fields Of Agony” - No Use For A Name
13. “Bushonomics” - Talib Kweli & Cornel West
14. “The 4th Branch - Immortal Technique
15. “B.Y.O.B.” - System Of A Down
16. “No More” (Live) - Eddie Vedder & Ben Harper

CD 2:
1. “Devils & Dust” - Bruce Springsteen
2. “Masters Of War” (Live) - Pearl Jam
3. “When The President Talks To God” - Bright Eyes
4. “Gimme Some Truth” - John Lennon
5. “The Restless Consumer” - Neil Young
6. “Battle Hymns” - The Nightwatchman
7. “Anthrax” - Kimya Dawson
8. “WMD” - Blow Up Hollywood
9. “State Of The Union” - David Ford
10. “Yo George” - Tori Amos
11. “Love Vigilantes” - Laura Cantrell
12. “Black Rain” - Ben Harper
13. “To Kill The Child” - Roger Waters
14. “Day After Tomorrow” - Tom Waits

For Neil Young, This music serves as his personal ‘soundtrack for Iraq.’
“The compilation record was an idea that grew out of my love of music and my reliance on it before, during, and after the war,” he says. “The songs I selected for the record were tracks that inspired, motivated, and at times, literally saved me over the past few years.”

Tomas has taught me a great deal, and our friendship has become one of depth and sincerity,” Vedder adds. “It has been a mind-expanding experience. I see how he relies on the strength of the songs to help him through each day. It is a true living example of the power of music.”

All proceeds from "Body of War: Songs That Inspired an Iraq War Veteran", which features original cover art designed and donated by acclaimed political artist Shepard Fairey, go to benefit the non-profit organization Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), as chosen by Young. Founded in 2004 by Iraq war veterans, IVAW’s goal is to give voice to the large number of active-duty service people and veterans who are against the war, but are under various pressures to remain silent. In September, Sire Records donated $100,000 to IVAW in the name of Young, who is a spokesperson for the organization.

For more information on the Documentary, and the soundtrack, head on over to any of the following places:, or
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System Of A Down Bassist Launches Site For Unsigned Acts
April 22, 2007
Launch Radio Networks reports: System Of A Down bassist Shavo Odadjian is launching a new online music initiative called According to a press release, the site is an "innovative digital community and record label designed to give independent and unsigned acts a promotional platform to showcase their talent, receive community feedback, monetize their art and land a record deal." The site will go live on June 14 and will be the first online label to sign artists based on audio and/or video performances uploaded by the artists themselves and voted on by members of the urSession community.

Odadjian said in a statement, "urSession will help revolutionize an artistically stagnant music industry and impact significant change. This isn't about a couple of suits in their ivory tower force-feeding the population a steady diet of bland and blander music. It's about the power of community pushing the envelope to help drive a more evolved level of talent."

Odadjian is named as the co-founder and president of the site, while its CEO and other co-founder is Narb Avedissian.

System Of A Down has been on hiatus since last summer. Odadjian has also directed videos and played with members of the Wu-Tang Clan during the break. Singer Serj Tankian has overseen his Serjical Strike label, while guitarist Daron Malakian has started a new band called Scars On Broadway and drummer John Dolmayan is launching an online comic book store called Torpedo Comics this November.
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System Of A Down's Serj Discusses Band's Future
December 29, 2006
World Entertainment News Network reports: System Of A Down insist they are not splitting up but admit the band has an uncertain musical future.

John Dolmayan, Daron Malakian, Serj Tankian and Shavo Odadjian announced their hiatus from the band earlier this year to work on separate projects.

And frontman Tankian believes the break was long overdue.

He says, "I've wanted to make my solo record for years, but I just haven't had the time. For the last 11 years we've all been wedded to this band, and now we want to take a break.

"I honestly don't know if System Of A Down are over or no. Maybe in a few years we'll want to make another album. It's impossible to tell right now. It'll be later down the line that we'll be able to tell what might happen."

System Of A Down is featured in a new documentary called "Screamers", about the history of genocide throughout the 20th century. The film premiered in Los Angeles on December 8 and will expand to other cities in January.

System Of A Down's last two albums, 'Mezmerize' and 'Hypnotize', were released in May and November 2005 respectively. Both debuted on The Billboard 200 chart at No. 1 and have sold a combined total of three million copies in the U.S.
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(7 news stories listed.)
HOME TOWN: Los Angeles, CA
Serj Tankian (vocals)
Daron Malakian (guitar)
Shavo Odadjian (bass)
John Dolmayan (drums)

"Our heritage, our politics are really important, but our musical vibe together is the thing. Our live performances speak for themselves." -- System Of A Down System Of A Down formed organically, the members' shared diverse musical and personal experiences created an explosive musical mine field of such volatile, incendiary ferocity that Rick Rubin elected to sign and produce the group as the first new act on American Recordings under a recent pact with Columbia Records. The intensity of metal, the social commentary of rap and a plethora of influences -- ranging from the band's Armenian heritage to jazz to Middle Eastern melodies to the nightly news -- has made System Of A Down a top draw in their home burg of Los Angeles. The band's agenda has always been clear and uncontrived: "Our goal has been to stay open to whatever currents guide us through our lives -- musically, thematically, in every way, to be ourselves," explains SOAD's soft-spoken, but big-voiced, singer Serj Tankian." Our songs and themes range from political to social to daily angst to love to hate to dope." However, the band emphasizes, "we do music because we love it, and our agenda is not just political. We'd like to touch every sense of our audience: visual, auditory, taste, touch...." "We don't just concentrate on an aggressive emotion, though we have that. Anger becomes more angry when you're quiet at first. That's key to our dynamics," Serj explains. "We have the openness to go anywhere. It goes without saying we're a heavy band, but we can also do a love song." In other words, in the musical milieu of System Of A Down, all are welcome. "If you're into surprises, being taken for a ride, I think you'll like the music, no matter what type of music you're used to listening to," Serj believes. "We have a lot of people who like our sound who have never been into heavy music. We have cross-genre types of music lovers."