System of a Down’s Serj Tankian – The Whole World Felt Relief When Trump Lost
System of a Down's Serj Tankian doesn't hide his criticism of former President Donald Trump. But now that the 45th U.S. president is out of office, and President Joe Biden is in, how does Tankian feel?
That's one of the questions NME posed when it spoke with the System of a Down singer in a video discussion that emerged this week (April 6). When asked if he was feeling hopeful after Trump's loss, Tankian resisted the word, instead suggesting that he, along with the rest of the globe, were just relieved that Trump was gone and that a more responsible person was now in office.
Watch the video down toward the bottom of this post.
"I think the word is 'relief' more than 'hopeful," Tankian responded. "With Trump gone and Biden in, I think there was a sense of relief that we all sighed, not just in the U.S. but around the world. Because U.S. policy affects the rest of the world more than any other country. … A U.S. president has way too much power in terms of foreign affairs, so it affects the rest of the world greatly."
He added, "So I think the whole world felt a bit of a relief that Trump was gone and someone more of an adult was now in power."
But that doesn't mean Tankian is necessarily pleased with the circumstances surrounding the new president. For someone as outspoken as the musician, it's no surprise he would like to see more.
"Does it go far enough for me as an activist in terms of my wishes for pushing the envelope on lifestyle changes having to do with climate change?" Tankian pondered. "Does it go far enough in terms of my wishes of wealth distribution or free tuition and free health care in the U.S.?"
Because the System of a Down rocker "would like to see all those things coming to fruition. Hopefully, Biden's administration opens the doors to some of those ideas that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and some other progressives were pushing for. So, personally, it's kind of middle of the road for me, but compared to the chaotic policies of whatever the Trump administration was … it's great."
Tankian and his System of a Down bandmate John Dolmayan have opposing views, with the drummer a Trump supporter. Last year, Tankian called the situation "frustrating" but clarified that he respects Dolmayan "irrespective of our extremely polarized political commentary and differences."
The NME interview with Tankian arrived as the musician is coming off two new projects released outside of System of a Down — his Truth to Power documentary and a solo EP titled Elasticity.