Serj Tankian ‘Angry’ After Fans Booed System of a Down


Brian ‘Head’ Welch was recently interviewed by Machine Head’s Robb Flynn on the No Regrets Podcast, and they discussed Serj Tankian being upset about fans hating System of a Down on a tour in the 90’s.

Flynn said about System opening for Machine Head, “It was just on the [SOAD] demo [the band released five demos between 1995 and 1997 before 1998’s self-titled debut].

“I had the demo, and I was loving the demos, like, ‘We got to take these fuckers out, this shit’s killer!’

“And our fans hated them. [Laughs] I was like, ‘What the fuck? This band’s so awesome, what the fuck?’

“And it was great too because back when Serj [Tankian, vocals] was really angry. It was angry Serj, it wasn’t Serj that you see now. It was like, ‘Hey, man, fuck you!’

“He’d just fucking flip out on people and scream at the audience. I loved it.”

Head added:

“I remember when ‘Sugar’ came out, and I liked pieces of that song, but some of it reminded me of L.A.P.D., the band before Korn, so I don’t know…

“It was a bit goofy when I heard parts of ‘Sugar,’ and then when I heard the record, I was like, ‘OK, I get this.’

“And then when their next record came out, I was like, ‘Uh-oh, this band’s gonna change things.’ Dude, ‘Chop Suey,’ I heard it on the radio.

“We were working on our ‘Untouchables’ record, and I was like, ‘This is one of the best rock songs, it’s gonna go down in history as one of the best rock songs.’

“It’s just so good, I just love that song, and to this day it’s almost, maybe over a billion hits on YouTube, crazy. All we are are fans of music, right?

“We get to do it, but when you look deep down inside of us, we’re just fans of music, that’s all we are.”

Was there ever a time when in the height of your success – there comes a time when these peripheral people outside of the band somehow gain more importance in some ways than the band. It could be a friendly roadie, security guy, they somehow, you’re just like, ‘What, what are you doing?’

Head: “100%, you nailed it. Yes, that happened to us because you live with these guys, and back then we had one bus and we’re rowing down with certain people, but it was the security guars, you know?

“Some of our past security guards, I love them to this day, but it was crazy how, it was like they were telling me what to do at one point, I’m like, ‘Wait…’

“They’re like, ‘You’re not going to the mall by yourself.’ I’m like, ‘I pay you, I don’t want you, you’re more of a scene than me going by myself.’ It’s these big security guards walking behind me, that’s telling people, ‘Who’s that?’

“No. I’m a grown man, I’m going to the mall by myself. And I would have to sneak away sometimes because it was like they were controlling me, it was very weird.

“We had some crew members too like that – but those ties got cut when it got toxic. You got to do that because, it’s like, ‘How did we get here?’ type of thing.

“I will say that we didn’t have any problems with the creative aspect with anybody like that, maybe a producer here and there, but as far as all that other stuff, it was mainly the road, it was the road life.

“You know how it is – it’s two separate worlds. You’re on tour, and that’s the majority of the time, and then you do the record, and that’s different people.

“Your tour family is not there with you during that, but the security guards, they were on, like, they were full-time pretty much for the band back then, all year round.” transcribed their remarks.