Serj Tankian is best known as the frontman of alternative metal/hard rock band System of a Down with which he has been playing since 1994. The band's relationship to the Armenian Genocide is a rather direct one: They're all Armenian-Americans and themselves descendants of survivors of the Genocide. Tankian himself has already distinguished himself as a passionate activist for a variety of causes, from criticising the US prison system to environmental issues.
Needless to say, the struggle for the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide is particularly important to him.
Between their spasmodic rhythms and jagged melodies, System of a Down have always been committed to a sobering cause: raising recognition for the Armenian genocide of 1915. The group's self-titled debut LP contained a song called "P.L.U.C.K.," in which Tankian sang: "A whole race, genocide/Taken away all of our pride." Over the years, the band has held several one-off "Souls" concerts to help raise awareness of the tragedy.
In a tour commemorating the Armenian Genocide, the band gave a free concert on April 23 (the night before the Official Centenary) in Yerevan's Republic Square which was attended by thousands of Armenians, as well as Georgians, Iranians, Ukrainians, among others.
At the beginning of the show its guitarist Daron Malakian said: “This is not just a rock and roll show. To our murderers, this is revenge.”