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System Of A Down's Serj TankianTravis Shinn

System Of A Down’s Serj Tankian Offers His Own Definition Of Nü-Metal, Hints At ‘Revisiting’ Early 2000s Metal Scene Next Year


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As part of a recent interview with Revolver and their ‘Fan First’ series (see below), Serj Tankian, vocalist for multi-platinum Armenian American metal trailblazers System Of A Down, was asked to define the genre of nü-metal—a style of music his band helped to popularize in the early 2000s.

Ahead of that he asked which bands led to the rise of late 90s/early 2000s metal scene, to which he responded:

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Tool, Rage Against The Machine, Korn, Deftones–like those combination of bands, pretty much all from Los Angeles area, were kind of like the heavy hitters of our peers coming up at that time. There were a bunch of bands, obviously, that we played with… and it’s gonna be interesting because there’s going to be a chance to revisit all of that next year; that’ll be an announcement for a later time… But those are some of the bands that really changed the sound, the scene, and what was going on when we were coming up.”

When the topic of his hint at revisiting that scene came back up, he clarified that he wasn’t implying “these particular bands” would be involved, before shutting down further discussion by coyly offering “I’m not saying anything.”

Tankian was later asked what led to the explosion of the Los Angeles, CA metal scene in the late 90s/early 2000s. His reply can be found below:

“L.A. followed the grunge scene out of Seattle with what is known as nü-metal—which applies, and doesn’t apply in many cases, to most of these bands. There was the whole hip hop/rock thing—that wasn’t specifically L.A. obviously—but that was a part of it as well with Limp Bizkit and some of these bands. But I don’t know. I don’t know why L.A. followed Seattle in terms of a scene. No idea.”

When asked for his own definition on nü-metal, Tankian offered:

“Nü-metal would probably be… If I was to find a particular definition for it, it would be: low bassy, slow tempo, dark, metal music that came out of LA in that early [period.]”

Tankian, who just released his new solo track “The Race” today (hear it here), will be dropping his new EP “Perplex Cities” on October 21st.

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