Features
Serj Tankian Performs Live At KROQ
By Ivetta Babadjanian
Jul 12, 2012 - 5:08:52 PM

LOS ANGELES—As one of many people who enter contests with low expectations, I was pleasantly surprised when I received a call indicating I'd won an opportunity to see Serj Tankian live. Tankian, former front man of the Grammy-winning band System Of A Down, released his third solo album on July 10 titled "Harakiri."
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As a means of promotion for the album, Tankian was scheduled to perform at the Red Bull Sound Space at KROQ on Thursday, July 12 for a private show that would also stream worldwide on the radio's website.

Fans eagerly awaited his arrival while huddled together in a small room that seemed to rise in temperature at every minute. Despite the heat, fans cheered and hollered as KROQ radio host Ted Stryker announced Tankian's arrival. I couldn't help but cheer myself when it was discovered that not only would Tankian perform, but he would also do a short interview with Stryker and even accept questions from the audience.


"From the day I met you to the day I listened to System and your solo record, you always speak about something. You speak from the heart. You have an opinion.You pick a side of the fence [and] you build a house. If people want to agree, they can. You don’t shove it down their throats," said Stryker as he asked Tankian what inspired him to write the album.

"Harakiri is synonymous with seppuku. It’s a Japanese term that is basically a ritualistic suicide...It’s a very respectful term," said Tankian.
He went on to explain that the first time he wrote for the record was the title track "Harakiri" in January 2011 as he was inspired by the massive deaths of birds and fish all around the planet that were occurring during the time.

"It was so biblical and ominous and significant. I didn’t know how to describe it
, what it meant to society and the deprivation of nature. That's what inspired me," said Tankian. "I also used the 'harakiri' term as a general symbolic term to describe our presence on the planet and how we’re unconsciously killing ourselves in our own home."

After answering a few questions from fans, Tankian welcomed his back-up band to the stage.
Tankian performed "Figure It Out," "Harakiri" and "Cornucopia" off his latest album as well as "Honking Antelope" and "Empty Walls" from his 2007 album "Elect The Dead."

During the interview process, Tankian proved himself to be an eloquent and well-educated man with a great sense of humor. As he performed, however, he proved his impeccable capabilities as a musician.


His ability to absorb himself in his music creates a surreal experience for onlooker that can only be described as indescribable. The members of his back-up band enjoyed every note they played and glorified every cheer of approval from the crowd. Tankian is a vocal performer whose quality is not diminished during a live performance and is able to produce high quality music both lyrically and vocally. Fans won't be disappointed with his latest album and should grasp any opportunity possible to see Tankian perform live.



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