System Of A Down will play a special livestream show this weekend in order to raise funds for soldiers wounded in the bitter conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Artsakh.
Late last year, the LA metal quartet released two new songs, Protect The Land and Genocidal Humanoidz, to raise both awareness of and funds for the Armenian struggle in Artsakh. The two songs represented the first new music from the band in 15 years.
"The aggression and injustice being perpetrated against the Armenian people in Artsakh and Armenia by Azerbaijan and Turkey is a human rights violation and a war crime”, frontman Serj Tankian said at the time. “All of us in System realise this is an existential battle for our people, so this is very personal for us.”
The band have now doubled down on their support for Armenian interests in the area by organising and curating a special livestream event, to take place on January 30.
“The freedom fighting soldiers of Artsakh and Armenia have suffered war crimes at the hands of Azerbaijan, later abetted by Turkey,” the band say in a joint statement announcing the livestream event. “Even after the ceasefire signed on November 10, 2020, those heroes wounded in the recent conflict remain in dire need of prosthetics, advanced treatment, and medical care. We are hosting a fundraising livestream event in order to raise money to rehabilitate and outfit the nearly 1,000 soldiers who have lost arms and legs with life-changing prosthetic limbs. The funding will also benefit the introduction of groundbreaking laser therapy for the treatment of white phosphorous chemical burns and the reduction of scarring and agonizing pain. All proceeds from the livestream will be donated to this cause.”
“We welcome you, along with our list of special guests, to join us this Saturday, January 30, at 9AM Pacific / 12PM Eastern to support our efforts – exclusively on our YouTube channel. The official video premiere for Genocidal Humanoidz will immediately follow the live event. Subscribe to our channel now at the link in bio to stay updated. We look forward to seeing you this weekend.”
In other SOAD news, frontman Serj Tankian and Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello recently joined forces for a collaborative cover of Gang Of Four’s post-punk classic Natural’s Not In It. The track is the first single to emerge from The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four, a tribute to guitarist Gill, who passed away in February 2020.
Meanwhile, Tankian’s activism and music have been documented in a new film to screen in February. Truth To Power explores the singer’ “journey through the turbulent intersection of music and activism over three decades,” from LA clubs to the centre of the 2018 Armenian Revolution.