Serj Tankian unleashes more venom toward Imagine Dragons

Imagine Dragons refused to cancel a gig in a country unworthy of their appearance. Tankian remains unhappy about that fact.
Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons
Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons / Medios y Media/GettyImages

Imagine Dragons played a concert last September in Azerbaijan despite the political issues surrounding the country. One issue is the genocide of ethnic Armenians. Maybe Dan Reynolds and his mates just needed the money so badly. Or worse, they just wanted to entertain people whose government is trying to rid themselves of an entire group of people.

One can assume that Imagine Dragons would have played Berlin in the 1930s. There is little difference between how Nazis treated Jewish people and how the Azerbaijani government treats ethnic Armenians.

System of a Down's Serj Tankian is an Armenian-American who is very outspoken about the events happening in Azerbaijan. Last summer, Tankian was among several artists who pleaded with Imagine Dragons to cancel their September 2, 2023, show in Azerbaijan. Imagine Dragons refused to do so.

Serj Tankian is still angry with Imagine Dragons

Besides Tankian, other musical artists who reached out to the band in hopes they would cancel the concert were Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, Brian Eno, and Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore. In other words, the System of a Down vocalist was not the only one trying to keep Imagine Dragons from playing. Oddly, if one does an internet search for the band's gig, there will be few hits for how Imagine Dragons reacted to the plea to cancel the concert. Tankian says he never heard back from the band.

According to a recent article from Metal Hammer (via Louder), Tankian has not forgotten about the incident. He has just as much anger about the issue as he did last summer. He will also probably have just as much rage at Imagine Dragons in 20 years.

Tankian said, "I don't know these guys, but who are these people?... Look, I'm not a judge for people to tell bands where to play, or where not to play...But when there's a government that's about to commit ethnic cleansing, when Azerbaijan was starving the 120,000 Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, and not allowing any food or medicine in...if I found that out, there is no (expletive) way I could have gone and played that show. But some artists do."

One can assume Tankian was biting his tongue when he said the "I'm not a judge" part. He might not be a judge, but he certainly would happily play the part of the prosecuting attorney.

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Tankian did not stop there, however. He said, "If you are that blind to justice that you will go play a show in a country that's starving another country, illegally, according to the International Court of Justice...If you still go and play that country, I don't know what to say about you as a (expletive) human being. I don't even care about your music. If you're a bad human being...I have zero respect for those guys."

One might have hoped that Imagine Dragons had any response to fellow musicians asking them not to play the concert in Azerbaijan, and not to have any reply only makes them look worse. They should not have played the concert. There is no real argument otherwise.

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