Serj Tankian calls Imagine Dragons “not good human beings” following controversial show

Serj Tankian, frontman of System of a Down, has criticized Imagine Dragons for performing a concert in Azerbaijan despite his prior warnings. Tankian had penned an open letter last August urging Imagine Dragons to reconsider their show in Baku, citing a “humanitarian catastrophe” under Azerbaijan’s regime.


Expressing disappointment with Imagine Dragons’ decision to proceed with the concert in September, Tankian told Metal Hammer that he couldn’t comprehend their rationale. He emphasized his longstanding advocacy for genocide recognition and condemned artists who perform in countries accused of ethnic cleansing, such as Azerbaijan’s actions in Nagorno-Karabakh.


Tankian’s activism extends to System of a Down’s music, notably with their 2020 releases ‘Protect the Land’ and ‘Genocidal Humanoidz,’ aimed at raising awareness about the conflicts in Artsakh and Armenia. The band has consistently condemned Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenia, highlighting Western media’s handling of the situation compared to the conflict in Ukraine.


In their statement, System of a Down appealed for support in exposing Azerbaijan’s actions, which they described as bolstered by Turkey and overlooked by the global press. They stressed the urgency of addressing what they termed as Azerbaijan’s “evil aggression” against Armenia.


Tankian’s critique underscores a clash between artistic freedom and ethical considerations amidst geopolitical tensions, as Imagine Dragons’ decision to perform in Baku continues to draw controversy.

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