Auckland – World famous band System of a Down is an Armenian-American heavy metal band with more than only a love for music. The Armenian bandmembers, who haven’t released a new band album for years, have a firm commitment for creating awareness and recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Especially singer Serj Tankian is very vocal in his call for recognition of the genocide on the Christian Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks in the Ottoman Empire in 1915.
The genocide of 1915 is a personal topic for the Armenian-American singer of the band. His grandparents survived the 1915 Genocide on up to 1.5 million Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks due to their religious beliefs. Serj Tankian publicly expresses his criticism that many countries recognize the genocide, but do not go further than that. He thinks that countries should do more. Being active and commemorating the genocide on Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks would give a better understanding of history at full length and hopefully helps avoid similar happenings.
“It’s important for people to be aware about the genocide – the first genocide of the 2nd century,” Serj Tankian told New Zealand’s Newshub – Tankian lives partly in New Zealand. On 12 March the System of a Down frontman spoke at an event that day in the New Zealand Parliament where politicians from across the Kiwi House of Representatives were invited and where he called on New Zealand to recognize genocide. The New Zealand Government’s position remained the same: to encourage Turkey and Armenia, as the parties directly concerned, to discuss the issue.
Of course, this much found argument remains a disappointing for Serj Tankian. When parliamentarians argue for the recognition of the genocide, it is not unusual that they are threatened by the Turkish people and even government as Turkey does not recognize what they have done back in 1915, they even see it as a lie. Tankian makes clear that this is a critical point as many countries work alongside Turkey for their economical profit. He says that Turkey itself should first accept that they did commit this mass murder before one works with them.
System of a Down was founded in 1995 in California. All the members have an Armenian origin. In their music and many of their songs they express their feelings and thoughts on the events of 1915. Their first professional release in 1997 was called Hye Enk (“we’re Armenian” in English), an Armenian Genocide recognition compilation. In 2015 did a “Wake Up The Souls” Tour to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.