Monday, 23 June 2008

Will SOAD or Serj Tankian represent Armenia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 in Moscow?

I've heard such rumours - that System Of A Down (SOAD) rock band (the band is on hiatus now) may at some point represent Armenia at the Eurovision Song Contest - approximately a year ago. Speculations on such possibility for the year 2009 in Moscow are currently number one Eurovision related rumours spread over the Internet. Band's Wikipedia page has already been updated to reflect the news citing Oikotimes, Eurovision related popular website:

System of a Down is very politically active and are noted for the liberal political views expressed in their songs, tackling myriad subjects including the War on Drugs, religion, drug use, and especially censorship. They have actively campaigned to get Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide and the subject is often-tackled in their songs. System of a Down is a part of the Axis of Justice, a non-profit organization formed by band member Serj Tankian (along with Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine), dedicated to bringing together musicians, music fans, and grassroots political organizations to fight for social justice. [...]

System of a Down has shown a keen interest in representing Armenia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 to be held in Russia next year. However, the soloist of the band, Serj Tankian, has openly stated in a recent visit in Finland that this will be under one condition: if they will be able to use Eurovision as a way to make the much-debated Armenian Genocide issue known. "Esc would be an excellent way to make this theme known. We must seriously think of this." (reference)
However, it must be said that European Broadcasting Union's Eurovision related rules do not allow overtly political songs, which of course did not prevent their appearance in past, under various 'covers'. Serj Tankian understands this perfectly, and as Finnish blogger Ilkar reports on his Eurovision related Life After Helsinki 2007 blog, he stated over the weekend in Finland that "a love song would probably do better than political song" for the cause.

Serj Tankian, the solist of System of a down, declared his interest for represanting his native Armenia in the Eurovision when visiting Finland this weekend. The band's on break and Serj tours the world as a solist from New Zealand where he resides these days. System of a down has been active in a group that is trying to make Turkey confess the 1915 genocide where even up to one million people lost their lives. "The idea is very, very interesting. It would be a very good forum to talk about this. A love song would probably do better than political song however" he stated.
The question is still open. I suppose one of the reasons that Serj Tankian openly suggested such possibility was to check the reactions of all 'stakeholders' involved, including fans, Eurovision organisers and Armenia's Public TV. It is still hard to believe that rock band with serious reputation and cult following might consider performing at the Eurovision Song Contest which many consider as cheesy pop fest. However, we had examples in past, and if SOAD's or Serj Tankian's representation for Armenia become true, it will be the most talked about topic in Internet forums for sure. It will be Armenia's THE CHANCE to get the Eurovision trophy in Moscow and host it in 2010.

Will Armenia rock the Eurovision 2009 in Moscow? I hope so, even if without SOAD, but even more with...

8 comments:

tablaqueen said...

er...
i'm not sure what to say really! i can't quite imagine it, but it would be great...finally some good music at Eurovision! but SERJ not being political? hmm, that would be hard...

Onnik Krikorian said...

Well, although it is not prohibited for a country to enter a song or artist without a public vote, it is to be encouraged. Personally I'm already unhappy with the way artists are selected in Armenia with the public voting on which song they will perform. That's not democratic enough for me and this would be a step back too unless the public could choose either the artist or the song.

And more than that, what if they were to lose? It would be quite an embarrassment for SOAD with a song to lose to a much worse one that might actually be more popular among a European TV audience. I also think it would not be entering the spirit of things when it comes to Eurovision.

Still, why do I care about such a stupid contest such as Eurovision?!?!?!?!? I'm surprised that SOAD are even taking the idea seriously, to be honest.

Onnik Krikorian said...

What is interesting, however, is that I've noticed some activity re. Serh Tankian on Facebook involving two people closely associated with the Armenian National Eurovision team.

So, might be true...

artmika said...

This could be the most intriguing Armenian entry ;)

Anonymous said...

I`m far from being the patriotic, nationalistic, fanatic type but when it comes to the issues of Genocide I do think it`s something that shouldn`t be forgotten no matter how long it`s passed.

ESC has had political songs in the past so I don`t see why it would be a problem for ESC if SOAD or just Serj entered with a political song (as long as they tone down the language a bit, not use so much swearing ect). I agree with Serj, ESC would be a good platform to reach out to ppl that you usually don’t reach out to with political campaigns, infos and education programs. And on top of that u`ll reach out to millions of ppl at the same time. This would be the 1st time so many ppl will get 2 hear about the Armenian genocide and for many of them it`ll be their 1st time.

What will we achieve with it? What will we get out of it? Will this change something for Armenia and Armenians? I hope it will, that more countries will recognize the genocide but most likely it won`t change anything, but again the important thing is not 2 change something (coz after all it`s a song contest) but to use this opportunity to get our story heard, to give voice to our ancestors that suffered and died during that genocide, to have it told in a different, musical, artistic way instead of the usual political way, to sing about it instead of swear and fight on different online forums/blogs and yeah, we`ll also win if SOAD goes.

artmika said...

Eurovision 2009: Arame for Armenia?

artmika said...

Turkish politician ‘nervous’ of possible SOAD performance for Armenia in Eurovision 2009

artmika said...

‘Two alternatives’ for Armenia re Eurovision in Baku? I don’t think so. No ‘music wars’, please