Whether or not this means the end of System of a Down, frontman Serj Tankian is currently in the studio mixing his debut solo album while SOAD guitarist Daron Malakian has announced the formation of his new band, Scars on Broadway, which also features System of a Down drummer John Dolmayan. Tankian's debut album, hElect the Dead, will be released on Serjical Strike/Reprise Records this fall.
Tankian says he had no clue he was about to make a rock record when he began to record at his home studio in Los Angeles last summer. “I was writing more traditional type songs on my piano and acoustic guitar, with a classical, almost operatic flavor; and lo and behold, it ended up being a rock record. Funny what happens when you add distorted guitars and drums. There are political songs, funny songs, love songs, songs about painful experiences, vanity, and the environment. It has a deep melancholy that runs from the personal to the global, with a glimmer of hope in the solidarity of spirit.”
Tankian produced Elect the Dead himself and played most of the instruments, though the album does feature guest drummers John Dolmayan (SOAD) and Brian “Brain” Mantia (Guns N' Roses, Primus). “The singularity of vision is strong when you work alone,” he says. “I was a bit skeptical about producing it myself, but I knew how I wanted it to sound. And as I kept going, I realized it was coming together really well so I just finished it on my own. But I had to be careful to push myself like an outside producer would until it was great. I had the same energy and enthusiasm making this album as I did making the first System record.”
For more information on these projects, visit serjtankian.com and scarsonbroadway.com