SOAD tour takes on ‘world issue’

System Of A Down hope their upcoming world tour, marking the centenary of the Armenian Genocide, will help prevent similar atrocities taking place in the future.

But the American-Armenian band aim to entertain as well as inform, and want to avoid been seen to preach.

Over 1.5million Armenians are thought to have been killed by the Ottoman Empire in April 1915 – although authorities in modern-day Turkey have never officially accepted that it ever took place.

SOAD’s Wake Up The Souls tour include their first-ever show in Armenia, plus an appearance at London’s SSE Arena on April 10.

Frontman Serj Tankian tells Billboard: “What’s important to us is the fact that genocide still occurs today. There is no international, executable agreement – irrespective of the Genocide Convention and many ad hoc committees around the world.

“There’s nothing that all nations have signed that says when a genocide is occurring, all bets are off. It’s important to not just raise awareness, but to help bring justice to this cause.”

But drummer John Dolmayan says that, while the purpose of the tour is to highlight the atrocity, the band aim to avoid becoming “too preachy.”

He adds: “You want to provide information but you don’t want to push it down people’s throats. We’ll have information available, and some video presentations during the show. We’re in a position we can entertain people and also give them information – if they’re open to it.”

Bassist Shavo Odadjian last month said SOAD had begun writing songs for their long-awaited sixth album.

But Dolmayan says no work will be done on the project until the band come back off the road, saying: “This tour is something that transcends music. This is more important than the next album.

“It’s actually bigger than the Armenian Genocide itself – this is a world issue.”

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.