By Luke Morton | Kerrang!
Foam soundproofing covers the walls. Shelves are filled with various wires and open tech boxes. A framed gold-certification plaque for the Scream 3 soundtrack hangs on the wall. This is Serj Tankian’s Los Angeles studio, where we join the political polymath on a wintry Wednesday morning. He’s all smiles, sporting the regiment lockdown uniform of a T-shirt/hoodie combo and his freshly groomed trademark beard.
To millions of people, he’s System Of A Down’s Molotov-mouthed ringleader, yelping about seeds and terracotta. But this is just one dimension to the Serj Tankian multiverse. Today, perched on a swivel office chair, we find a man who exists not just as a vocalist, but also as a painter, an activist, a composer, a husband and a father. Just as he cannot be boiled down to one thing, neither can his music, exploring everything from bizarro-metal to jazz-fusion to cinematic soundscapes over the past two-and-a-half decades.