SYSTEM OF A DOWN will be hosting and headlining their annual Souls benefit concert to help raise awareness and pay tribute to the Armenian Genocide on April 23 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. Pre-sale tickets for Souls go on sale through www.systemofadown.com on Thursday, March 9 and the public on-sale is Saturday, March 11 at 10:00 a.m. PST. Details for the pre-sale will be announced on Wednesday.
This is the fourth Souls benefit concert that SYSTEM OF A DOWN has organized and headlined, and as before, the four band members — Serj Tankian, Daron Malakian, Shavo Odadjian and John Dolmayan — have earmarked the proceeds from "Souls, 2005" to benefit organizations that work to eradicate genocides across the globe. This includes the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), an organization that supports legislation in the U.S. Congress to recognize the Armenian Genocide that was perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire during World War 1. During this first genocide of the 20th century, 1.5 million Armenians were annihilated and hundreds of thousands deported from their ancient homeland.
The members of SYSTEM OF A DOWN, who are of Armenian descent, all lost family members and family history to the Armenian Genocide. "Because so much of my family history was lost in the Armenian Genocide," said Malakian in a press release issued last year, "my grandfather, who was very young at the time, doesn't know his true age. How many people can say they don't know how old they are?" Tankian, Dolmayan and Odadjian all identify their grandparents' memories as the only links they have to their respective family heritages, as most of their families were obliterated during the Armenian Genocide.
Why should SYSTEM OF A DOWN fans be concerned about the Armenian Genocide, something that happened nearly one-hundred years ago and far away from the United States?
"It's important for people to be aware of the Armenian Genocide," explained Tankian, "and that those actions continue to be covered up by the Turkish government, the U.S. State Department, Turkey's allies in the defense and oil industries, and by our present U.S. Administration. Had the Armenian Genocide been acknowledged as a Crime Against Humanity as it was, Hitler might not have thought he could get away with the Jewish Holocaust. History does and will repeat itself, unless we stop that cycle."