Kerrang! magazine conducted an interview with singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and political activist Serj Tankian at this year's Reading festival, which was held this past weekend in the United Kingdom. You can now watch the chat below.
Tankian's new solo album, entitled "Imperfect Harmonies", is scheduled for release on September 21 via Serjical Strike/Reprise Records. The CD is the second solo effort from the SYSTEM OF A DOWN frontman, following up his critically acclaimed 2007 solo debut, "Elect the Dead". As with "Elect the Dead", Tankian produced "Imperfect Harmonies" himself at his home studio in Los Angeles.
"Where 'Elect the Dead' was essentially a rock record with progressive melodic elements," Tankian says, "'Imperfect Harmonies' could be classified as rock because it is punchy with many peaks throughout, but the instrumentation is somewhat different. Though there are live drums, bass, and some guitars, the driving aspects are electronic and orchestral. It's quite unique in its sound palette. This is, in essence, music that has sat in the vat and matured to a ripe sensation and is now ready to serve."
"Imperfect Harmonies" is as powerful and musically eclectic as its predecessor. "I have been calling the music 'electro-orchestral-jazz-rock' because it has all of those aspects in prominence within the songs," Tankian says. "A few are more stripped down, but the majority of the songs have this huge wall of sound presented in a way I've never heard before. It's not common to have a song that is both electronic and orchestral since one is synthetic and the other organic, but I found a way of meshing a lot of these colors together."
The album has been influenced by Tankian's experience making "Elect the Dead Symphony", a symphonic interpretation of his debut that had its inaugural performance in New Zealand with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in March 2009. The performance has been captured on the CD/DVD "Elect the Dead Symphony". "The making of 'Elect the Dead Symphony' gave me the confidence and tools to create ensemble pieces for orchestra more confidently and effectively than before," Tankian says. "And that became one of the primary colors for this record along with electronic, jazz, and live instrumentation."
Tankian kicked off the "Imperfect Harmonies World Tour" last month with a series of European festivals and headlining shows, including appearances at Belgium's Pukkelpop and the Leeds and Reading festivals in the U.K. He is being accompanied by his backing band, THE F.C.C., as well as an additional ensemble of musicians.