Serj Tankian (born August 21, 1967) is an Armenian-American singer–songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, poet, and political activist. He is best known as the lead vocalist, songwriter, keyboardist, and occasionally live rhythm guitarist of the Grammy Award winning rock band, System of a Down.
In 2002, Tankian and Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello co-founded a non-profit political activist organization, Axis of Justice. During his musical career, he has released five albums with System of a Down, one with Arto Tunçboyacıyan (Serart), as well as his debut solo album Elect the Dead. He was named the 26th-greatest metal vocalist of all time by Hit Parader magazine.
With Elect the Dead, one of the most unconventional frontmen in rock, Serj Tankian, emerges as a solo artist, activist, poet, and songwriter. System Of A Down, whose five genre-bending studio albums have sold over 16 million copies, went on an extended hiatus in August 2006. All throughout his musical career, Tankian has always involved himself in bringing awareness and activism to many social and political causes. This website focuses on some of his ideas.
Musicians Against Military Trauma Training
Musicians Against Military Trauma What do guitar god Tom Morello, System of a Down’s Grammy-winning vocalist Serj Tankian, seminal skate punk band Pennywise’s founding member Fletcher Dragge, hip-hop legend Chuck D, and peta2’s favorite vegetarian socio-political punk band Anti-Flag have in common? They all stand behind our campaign to end the military’s use of animals in trauma and chemical casualty training exercises.
Every year, thousands of animals, including pigs, goats, and monkeys, are used in exercises organized by the Department of Defense. Current exercises include shooting, stabbing, and burning live pigs; cutting goats’ legs off with sharp shears; and poisoning monkeys with toxic chemicals—all to train medics on how to treat human injuries on the battlefield. These exercises are still being conducted on many military bases in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world, despite the availability of superior non-animal methods.
In a recent campaign win, Bolivia’s president banned the use of all animals in military exercises after we broke an undercover investigation video showing Bolivian soldiers who were violently stabbing live dogs for trauma exercises—citing the U.S. Army as their influence in doing so! The U.S. and the rest of the world need to follow Bolivia’s lead and stop shooting, stabbing, poisoning, and mutilating live animals in trauma exercises now!
If you agree that the military needs to end the use of animals in cruel and outdated trauma training exercises, and would like your signature forwarded to the people that can make this happen, please join Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine; Chuck D of Public Enemy and his wife Dr. Gaye Theresa Johnson, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara; Serj Tankian of System of a Down; Fletcher Dragge of Pennywise; and every member of Anti-Flag in signing our petition urging the military to end the use of animals in trauma training and chemical casualty exercises.