System of Down vocalist Serj Tankian is a video game addict. So much in fact, he twice consciously made attempts to go cold turkey and kick his habit. In a new interview with Loudwire, Tankian explains how intense his gaming was, and how he worried about his music career as a result.
"In my early 20s I was a gamer. I used to have a PlayStation and all that stuff… playing way too many NBA Jam games and my fingers got really messed up. This is before I started touring with System of a Down. At one point I realized this is getting really addictive… and I shouldn't be doing this. I'm hurting my hands, and I need my hands to play. So, I stopped gaming. Then, years later, there was a company that (wanted me to do) some music for a video game and I was like 'Oh, that's great…' but then I realized I don't have a console [laughs]. I was embarrassed. So, then they sent me a console and some games. And what do you think happened? I was up until like 10PM, in bed, going crazy, and again getting addicted to it. So, I got rid of it again! So, I'm not [playing] games now, but I love doing music for them."
One of Tankian's latest video game endeavors is Metal: Hellsinger, to which the singer leant his distinguished vocals to a song. In addition to Tankian, the game also features who’s-who of heavy metal vocalists: Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy, Matt Heafy of Trivium, Mikael Stanne of Dark Tranquility, Randy Blythe of Lamb of God. While the release date for Metal: Hellsinger is still TBD, you can get the latest updates here (there is also a trailer below that you can check out.)
In addition to video games, Tankian has been involved in other musical projects outside of System of a Down, including film-scoring. Of these projects, he said, "[My] creative outlay was so much more than just [the band]. I needed to find a home for some of these stylings that I have. It started out with the [idea] to find another place for my music, but [it's turned into the challenge] of figuring out the tone of a film… I think it's a unique thing. I really, really enjoy it. One thing I've always wanted to do in my life was make a completely different record each time I make it, and with soundtracks I've literally had my dream come true."