Unconventional in his vocals, lyrics, tempos and time signatures, the Lebanon-born, Armenian-American singer-songwriter is a multi-instrumentalist with a mad-scientist metal mentality, who boasts political intellect and a social conscience to boot. Serj Tankian first emerged onto the metal scene during the late '90s as lead singer of System of a Down, an immediate favorite among the Ozzfest crowd. Unabashedly fierce in stating his opinions about 9/11, governmental control, genocide, societal injustices, and denial, hypocrisy and tyranny among those in power, Tankian raises political awareness not only through his music, but also through his work with Axis of Justice, a grassroots activist organization he started with Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello. When System of a Down took a hiatus in 2006, Tankian started work on his solo debut, Elect The Dead, which was released in October 2007. He wrote, produced and played nearly every instrument, experimenting with classical cadences, progressive rock, manic metal, start-stop tempos and gutting vocals that flash between madman "la la la"s and haunting, cavernous drones.