New Music: Serj Tankian's Harakiri

By Vanessa Butler

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Serj Tankian, one of the busiest guys in music, releases yet another flawless solo album Harakiri.


While we all patiently wait for a new System of a Down album, front man Serj Tankian has given fans the next best thing: a new solo album that’s been streaming for free online since last week. It’s hard to imagine that he would have time to write an entire album, since in the past year he’s been touring the world with SoaD, published a collection of poetry, worked with various orchestras and cowrote the musical Prometheus Bound. Equipped with his iPad, the self-proclaimed political activist has created the album Harakiri, which some fans believe is the best thing he’s written since the highly celebrated SoaD album Toxicity.

“I used the iPad’s different music applications to sketch out three of the songs on the record,” explained Serj during a midday phone call. “It gave me another way of writing a song than if I sat in front of my piano or guitar. The XY-axis iPad is a great controller for different iOS synthesizers and there are really interesting music applications that do things in a different way than you would be able to do it on the computer; it’s a really cool and nifty tool.”

With an album that talks a lot about “environmental degradation and men’s contribution to it,” the thought of utilizing something that brings up so much debate over Chinese pollution is comically incongruous. In the same way, there is a lot of humor in Harakiri as well.

“‘Figure It Out,’ for example, is the single that is a political song but is very comedic. It deals with the complexity of the inequalities in our economic system around the world and it (the song) targets the CEOs. CEOs are the disease so let’s go after them. It’s a comedic way of dealing with really heavy issues for that song. ‘Harakiri’ on the other hand, our second single, is more deep and more of an artistic interpretation of things that are going on around the world, so it’s a little bit of everything there.”

Harakiri has hit stores today and is available on Amazon.


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