Serj Tankian Announces 'Down with the System' Memoirs for 2024 Release

The System of a Down vocalist's book is said to be "an immigrant's tale, an activist's awakening, and a spiritual journey from darkness toward light"

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Oct 24, 2023

Serj Tankian has announced the release of his memoirs. The System of a Down vocalist and primary lyricist will share Down with the System on May 14, 2024, via Hachette Book Group.

Tankian's memoir charts his personal and professional journey through life and "explores what it's taught him—about music, about art, about activism, and about himself." The 304-page book is said to be at once "an immigrant's tale, an activist's awakening, and a spiritual journey from darkness toward light."

Sharing news of the book on X (formerly Twitter), Tankian wrote, "I had a blast working on this accidentally hatched philosophical memoir as it's given me the unique opportunity to deep dive into my family history, my own motivations from a young age and lessons I didn't know I had learned."

An abstract for Down with the System reads as follows:

Born to Armenian parents in Beirut, Serj grows up hearing bombs drop outside his childhood home during the country's civil war, before moving to Los Angeles at the age of seven. As a young man, he is immersed in the SoCal community of "Little Armenia," learning more and more about the brutal genocide faced by his ancestors while helping his parents adapt to the constraints and contradictions of the American Dream. Then, during a pivotal drive home from an LSAT class, Serj decides to turn away from a promising future in business and law to make music instead—a decision that leads him to touring five continents as the lead singer of a hugely popular rock band, hitting number #1 on the Billboard album charts the morning of 9/11, and then having the hit single from the same album banned from radio two days later. In the years that follow, his uniquely singular story continues, as he evades glass bottles hurled at a cancelled show by angry Slayer fans, teams up with Tom Morello to push social justice causes on unsuspecting metalheads, argues with LAPD officers over the best way to quell rioting fans, and defines new sounds and singing tactics with Rick Rubin. 
Exactly a year ago today, Tankian teased that SOAD had an announcement to make in 2023, though a full-blown reunion still seems improbable. 2020 saw the band deliver singles "Protect the Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz," marking their first new music in 15 years.

As a solo artist, Tankian shared EP Perplex Cities last year, which followed another shorter effort in 2021's Elasticity.

Earlier this year, System of a Down's "Chop Suey!" was covered by Lil Uzi Vert.

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