On assignment for ABORT Magazine, NINJASPY vocalist/guitarist Joel "ninjoelspy" Parent recently went one on one with SYSTEM OF A DOWN frontman Serj Tankian for a candid interview to discuss Serj's new album, animal rights and a black metal choir. The chat is now available for streaming using the audio player below.Serj Tankian, a Grammy Award winner and one of rock's most unconventional frontmen, will perform "Elect the Dead Symphony" — a very special orchestral interpretation of Tankian's critically acclaimed solo debut "Elect the Dead" — for two very special live shows to take place this summer.
Tankian will recreate "Elect the Dead Symphony" — which had its dynamic inaugural performance at New Zealand's majestic Auckland Town Hall with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in March 2009 — with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at Chastain Park Amphitheater on July 9 in Atlanta, and with an orchestra put together by The Greek Theatre on July 30 at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. The shows follow a series of symphonic performances Tankian is giving in Europe in June. The performance in New Zealand has also been captured on the "Elect the Dead Symphony" CD/DVD, which was released by Serjical Strike/Reprise Records on March 9, 2010. The iTunes LP version of "Elect the Dead Symphony" went on sale exclusively on iTunes on February 23, a full two weeks before the CD/DVD package was released by Serjical Strike/Reprise Records. The long-form concert film also went on sale exclusively on the iTunes store.
This iTunes LP version features 14 tracks from "Elect the Dead Symphony". It also recreates the "LP" experience by providing exclusive photos, complete lyrics, credits, and acknowledgements, plus a behind-the-scenes interview with Tankian and others involved in the creation of the "Elect the Dead Symphony" CD/DVD experience.
"Elect the Dead Symphony" 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 BUBLÉ, MADONNA, SCISSOR SISTERS, SARAH MCLACHLAN, and many more. Tankian is also working on his second solo album, which is tentatively titled "Music Without Borders" and which the singer describes as "electro-orchestral-jazz-rock." He hopes to have the album out by late summer. Tankian's band, SYSTEM OF A DOWN, has been on hiatus since late 2006 and shows no signs of regrouping any time soon. Serj Tankian interviewed by ABORT Magazine (click on player below to launch audio):