System Of A Down on crisis in Armenia: “it’s like waking up to 9/11 every morning”
System Of A Down recently released their first new music in 15 years to raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis currently happening in Artsakh and Armenia, and to raise funds for those seeking aid. The band detailed some of the background of that crisis in a statement they shared with new songs "Protect The Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz," and now vocalist Serj Tankian and bassist Shavo Odadjian have expanded on it further in a new interview with Fox 11 Los Angeles. "This is a fight for civilization," Serj said. "This is a fight against terrorism. So the whole world should be involved in this." He continued:
I was thinking of the United States and how we were formed as a nation and the independence movement. And how, imagine if England came back 26 years later after U.S.’s independence in 1776 with a grand army, huge military ships and just attacked. What would Americans do? Would they just say this used to be a colony? So this is not our land we should leave or would they fight? For their survival and their families, the Armenians of Artsakh are indigenous to those lands since 500 B.C. They have lived on those lands forever. They've never lived under any other jurisdiction, including Azerbaijan. Joseph Stalin stole those lands in 1921 and decided to redraw the map. But Armenians have always lived there autonomously. And so in 1994, they won their independence through a war with Azerbaijan and it should have been all settled there. But Azerbaijan took 26 years to arm themselves, use xenophobia to train their children, to hate us in a really horrible racist fashion, as we can all see it, you know, everywhere on the media right now. And they attacked with the help of Turkey, Erdogan of Turkey. They’ve brought in mercenaries over from Syria and Armenian forces are fighting Turkish forces and also mercenaries jihadis. Now, this war is going to destabilize the whole region. It already is destabilizing, the whole region with Russia and Iran on the border.
"I'm just really crushed," Odadjian said. "It's... It's like my wife said this, it's like waking up to 9/11 every morning for us, you know, remember 9/11, how we woke up. We have to prevent it because if we let it go, this could lead to another genocide. They're systematically killing civilians saying, leave the land, of you don't leave, we're going to kill you. But this is our land. It's been our land for thousands of years. You could see with all the monasteries, the churches, all of the, the beautiful landmarks that we've created throughout the years, they're there and they're getting destroyed to be erased. So we need to prevent this in order to survive, in order to keep our culture alive."
They also discussed how it felt to come together to make music again after so many years. "We’ve been together as in, we've gone on tours together, played shows together, hung out together, gone to lunch, going to dinner," Odadjian said. "We're friends, you know what I mean? We're all friends. It's just, we haven't been in there creatively together. So when we got in there, at first tension was a little high because we didn't know how everyone was going to be, but about five minutes into it, we were talking, laughing's talking about the song, how it's going to be, how we're going to help and what this is going to do for our people."
Read the interview in full on Fox 11 Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, drummer John Dolmayan continues to be a delusional Trump supporter and wrote "this election is not over" on Instagram over the weekend.