System of a Down’s Serj Tankian on Touring: ‘It’s Not The Top Priority On My List’

Serj Tankian Gary Wolstenholme / Getty Images
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During a recent chat with Revolver, System of a Down singer Serj Tankian alluded that the band’s 2024 Sick New World performance may be their only show next year, and also expressed his lack of interest in touring. This new conversation covers a variety of topics related to different projects involving Tankian, such as his new live album Invocations and his upcoming memoir, Down With The System.

At one point during the chat, the interviewer asks Tankian what it was like to take part in the first-ever Sick New World festival, and then asks if the band’s performance at the fest next year will be their only show in 2024 – Tankian says “I don’t know, but likely.”

Following up on this, the interviewer brings up how, a year ago, Tankian said he wasn’t interested in touring due to health issues and then asks if he’s still dealing with those matters.

Along with addressing his current health, it’s here that the System of a Down frontman opens up about his lack of interest in touring. Starting with his health, Tankian offers, “Some of my back stuff is a lot better, in terms of health, which is cool. I have some other things I’m dealing with right now, which may or may not be affected by travel or touring.

“It wasn’t just a health-related decision as far as cutting down on touring, but also a lifestyle decision. Based on family and vision.”

He continues, expressing his gratitude for touring and what he likes about it, but reveals that it isn’t a matter that important to him:

“I’ve been touring for 20-something years, on and off, of course. Not every year. And it’s fun, it’s profitable, it makes a lot of people happy in terms of being out there and sharing the music and [seeing] the reaction, and people really enjoying it and getting that feedback.

“But after years of doing it and the travel that’s involved, it’s one of those things where it’s not the top priority on my list in life.”

When asked to clarify his comment about family and if he wants to spend time with his son, Tankian notes, “Travel takes you out of… you could take your family with you if you’re doing a small tour, I guess. And that’s something that we have done, even when our son was really young. But it’s just about prioritizing life and what you really want to do. Some people like to tour until they’re ready to go from this plane, and that’s not how I see myself going. To me, doing different things in measured form allows me to be more creative than to take something that’s repetitious and do it for a long period of time. And that includes everything that I do.”

It’s great that Tankian is exploring so many different creative paths and putting out a variety of intriguing work. For System of a Down fans though, unless you’re attending Sick New World 2024, who knows when you’ll get to see the band next?