Serj Tankian has released a video for the song “Rumi”, a tribute to both the 13th century Sufi poet and Tankian’s six-year-old son of the same name.
“Lyrical specificity in music is generally discouraged because less people internalize them as they have less of a personal connection,” explains the SYSTEM OF A DOWN frontman of his out-of-character decision to share the lyrics to the track. “But there are cases where it is vital if the inspiration and muse is specific. In this case, a father talking to his son and reverence to the poet that inspired the son’s name could not be re-written so one can generalize.”
The Craig Ray-directed and -produced video is the fourth song from the widely praised five-track “Elasticity” EP (Alchemy Recordings/BMG) to receive a visual companion, with the Los Angeles- and New Zealand-based musician previously releasing clips for “Your Mom”, “Elasticity” and “Electric Yerevan”.
Regarding how the idea for “Elasticity” came about, Serj said: “When I conceived possibly doing another record with the guys from SYSTEM OF A DOWN a few years back, I started working on a set of songs that I arranged in rock format for that purpose. As we weren’t able to see eye to eye on the vision going forward with an SOAD album, I decided to release these songs under my moniker.” With his trademark eclecticism and one-of-a-kind vocal style, Serj delivers a collection that runs the gamut from hard-driving, electronically enhanced anthems like the title track, a rallying cry for his beloved Armenia (“Electric Yerevan”), the piano-laden “How Many Times?” and “Rumi”.
SYSTEM OF A DOWN hasn’t released a full-length album since the “Mezmerize” and “Hypnotize” LPs, which came out in 2005.
In 2018, guitarist Daron Malakian publicly accused Tankian of not wanting to record, with Tankian responding that creative and financial issues with Malakian led to the stalemate. In a message on Facebook, Tankian wrote that Malakian wanted to control SYSTEM’s creative process, take more of the publishing money and be the only band member to speak to the press.
Photo credit: Travis Shinn