BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi and SYSTEM OF A DOWN singer Serj Tankian appear on new Gibson charity song together
Gibson has announced the launch of the GIBSON BAND, which features a revolving collective of Gibson artists. The official lyric video for the GIBSON BAND‘s first single, “Deconstruction” which was co-written by Serj Tankian of SYSTEM OF A DOWN and Cesar Gueikian, CEO of Gibson, and features Tony Iommi of BLACK SABBATH on guitar, can be seen below.
In addition to fronting SYSTEM OF A DOWN and co-writing “Deconstruction”, Tankian is an accomplished painter. The cover artwork for the “Deconstruction” is based on an original work of art by Serj titled “Our Mountains”.
Gibson Records, Gueikian, Tankian and Iommi will donate all proceeds from the sale of “Deconstruction”, as well as the funds raised from an auction of Serj‘s original painting “Our Mountains” in addition to a unique Gibson Les Paul Standard guitar customized with the “Our Mountains” artwork, via Gibson Gives. Corporacion America and the Eurnekian family will match all funds raised which will be donated directly to the Armenia Fund‘s Artsakh Refugee Initiative.
The exclusive global auction will run from Friday, December 8 through Monday, December 18, closing at 11:00 a.m. PST, via Julien’s Auctions.
Tankian, Gueikian and the Eurnekian family are all of Armenian descent, and the Armenia Fund provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Armenia and global Armenian communities through the development of vital infrastructure projects, educational, cultural, health care, and disaster relief programs, as well as direct assistance to families and individuals.
“We are thrilled to launch the GIBSON BAND project and release the first song, ‘Deconstruction’,” says Gueikian. “We have been working on this project for a very long time. The concept of the GIBSON BAND was born out of a love of writing and recording new music and having a new venue for collaboration between our team and our Gibson artists.
“The first song, ‘Deconstruction’, brings multiple emotions together for me, including the dream of collaborating with Serj Tankian and Tony Iommi, two artists I admire and who have been influential and transformational in so many ways. Serj and I are both diaspora Armenians therefore, we immediately decided we wanted ‘Deconstruction’ to be dedicated to the Armenian community. I hope everyone loves ‘Deconstruction’ as much as we loved making it!”
Tankian said: “It’s a dream come true to have collaborated with my good friend Cesar Gueikian and Tony Iommi, who I have collaborated with before. I am happy that we are using our platform to donate the music, my art, and Gibson‘s incredibly unique guitar for such a great charity. Music with the right intentions can inspire and also create positive change.”
Iommi said: “It was great to hook up with Serj again and also to do a track with Cesar (I think that he’s trying to steal my job!! ) ha-ha!! The Armenian people are really lovely people, and it’s a great pleasure, a great cause, and I’m very happy to be involved in it.”
“We are delighted to participate in this initiative alongside Gibson Records,” says Martin Eurnekian, CEO of Corporación América Airports. “We are committed to fostering positive change within our communities, and we pledge to contribute a donation to the Armenia Fund which will match the funds generated from the auction of Serj‘s painting, and the Gibson Les Paul guitar. This collaboration with Gibson presents an exceptional opportunity for us to further our strategic goal of making a meaningful impact in Armenia.”
“We asked ourselves how to use this song to bring awareness to Armenia and the Armenian situation and raise funds for Armenia,” Gueikian told Rolling Stone. “In addition to making music, Serj is an activist in service to Armenia, and Tony has ties to Armenia because many years ago, he was part of a group that funded a music school there. So the three of us have pledged any income the song makes to go to Armenia through the Armenia Fund.”
Regarding his initial reaction to the song when Gueikian first sent him the music close to a year ago, Tankian said: “I thought it was really cool. It sounded like a very SABBATHy kind of song, like an old-school, classic-rock vibe. When he said, ‘I want you to sing on this,’ it was like, ‘Okay, I’m in.’
“The funny thing was as I was singing it, I got the Layne Staley vibe, like ALICE IN CHAINS — that really deep, dark thing with harmonies like Jerry Cantrell‘s,” he continued. “There’s a certain aspect of what I did that reminded me of [Layne], almost like paying him homage, because it’s slow but hard. And then the second part was more trippy, almost poetry. But Cesar liked it.'”
When Serj heard the fully mixed version of the song with his vocals and Iommi‘s guitar, “It sounded kicking,” Tankian said. “I was really happy to be a part of it,” he says. “It’s something different, and it’s good that it’s for a good cause.”
Photo credit: Gibson