System Of A Down's Serj Tankian slams “absolute maniac” Donald Trump: “He’s only interested in himself, his own ego, his own everything. He doesn’t even care about other Republicans”

Photos of Serj Tankian and Donald Trump
(Image credit: Travis Shinn | Curtis Means-Pool/Getty Images)

System Of A Down vocalist Serj Tankian has spoken out against 45th president of the United States Donald Trump.

Tankian savaged the business magnate and former Apprentice star, who’s currently the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in the 2024 election, in a new interview with Metal Hammer.

Talking to Hammer’s Paul Brannigan, Tankian called the idea of Trump returning to power “a fucking scary thought”.

He continued: “Donald Trump is an absolute maniac. He’s only interested in himself, his own ego, his own everything. He doesn’t even care about other Republicans, it just happened to be the party that he took. He’s a showman, he’s almost unreal, but he is very dangerous.”

The vocalist went on to lament the state of the Democratic party and the nature of the USA’s bipartisan system.

He also expressed support for Robert F. Kennedy Jr, a former Democrat who last year announced his intention to run for US president as an independent politician.

Kennedy, nephew of 35th American president John F. Kennedy, is an outspoken anti-vaccine activist and has spread misinformation falsely linking vaccines and autism.

“I’m not saying that I’m a big fan of Joe Biden and what the Democrats have done either,” said Tankian.

“I just heard a figure that there are more independents in America than ever in American history, because both parties have been completely missing the point of what’s going on.

“There are other candidates that have a lot more potential like RFK Jr, for example, but these two parties have a stranglehold on the system, as in [the UK] Parliament.”

Tankian then doubled down on his anti-Trump stance: “But I would say that the propensity of Trump, liking authoritarianism, enjoying authoritarianism, would be dangerous for the world, because he would be on the side of people that think that way, whether it’s [Russian president Vladimir] Putin, or [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan in Turkey, or [Ilham] Aliyev in Azerbaijan.

“Plus he has hotels in those places, he’s got business dealings: again, it’s all about himself. 

“To me, in a perfect world, someone like RFK would take over, and not be a Democrat nor a Republican.

“But if the choice is between Joe Biden and Trump, there is no choice. Trump is very dangerous, very dangerous. I consider Trump an extremist, he’s a right-wing extremist, he’s not a centre-of-the-road Republican or Democrat.

“And to see a country, half of a country, whatever the numbers are, gravitate around an extremist in a country like the United States is incredibly disconcerting.

“It’s a threat to democracy, it’s a threat to the world. I can’t think of a world where Trump takes over again, I really can’t.”

Tankian will release his new memoir, Down With The System, on May 14 via Headline.

The vocalist also revealed to Hammer that he is putting out a new solo EP called Foundations in September, and that it will contain a song originally written for System Of A Down that went unreleased.

A preview of that song, A.F. Day, was shared on Tankian's social media pages yesterday, April 29, and can be seen below. The song will be released on May 17 via Gibson Records.

System Of A Down performed at the Sick New World festival in Las Vegas on Saturday (April 27) and will return to the stage in August for a San Francisco co-headline show with Deftones.

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.

With contributions from