Serj Tankian studied marketing at California State University and started his own software company before beginning his music career with System of a Down in 1995. In 1998, System of a Down signed to Rick Rubin's American imprint, and over the following seven years released five albums, the second of which, Toxicity, thrust them into the forefront of the metal community. Tankian remained active with System of a Down throughout the mid-2000s and also released a book of poetry, titled Cool Gardens, before SOAD chose to go on a hiatus of undetermined length. Tankian made use of this sabbatical to record his first solo album, 2007's Elect the Dead. ~ Gregory McIntosh
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