System of a Down will continue their mission to provide humanitarian aid to Armenians affected by the conflict over the disputed area known as Nagorno-Karabakh this weekend with a charity livestream that will also see the premiere of a new video for the song “Genocidal Humanoidz.” The event will take place on the group’s YouTube channel on Saturday at noon ET. All proceeds raised will go to aid Armenians.
During the broadcast, the band will interview notable Armenians to discuss the cause. Maria Mehranian, a representative for Armenia Fund USA, will speak with the group, as will musician Sebu Simonian, Armenian Parliamentarian Narek Mkrtchyan, and Good Day L.A.’s Araksya Karapetyan, among others. Lt. Colonel Sargis Stepanyan from Armenian Wounded Heroes Fund and others will also provide special videos. Other guests include Lilit Garibyan, a Harvard clinician who leads a charity that helps treat victims of burn and trauma scars and director Adam Mason, of Deep Sky Animation, who helped create the “Genocidal Humanoidz” video. The clip itself will debut at 2 p.m.ET.
The group released its first new songs after 15 years — “Genocidal Humanoidz” and “Protect the Land” — in November as a means of raising awareness about Armenians’ plight during the country’s conflict with Azerbaijan. Troops from Azerbaijan invaded Nagorno-Karabakh, which Armenians call Artsakh, last fall in an attempt to wrest power over the region from Armenia. The region, which exists within Azerbaijan, has been in dispute for centuries, leading up to a bloody conflict in 1994 and several disputes thereafter. The most recent struggle ended in a truce in mid December via a peace deal brokered by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The money System of a Down raises with the livestream will help provide prosthetic limbs to soldiers left paraplegic as a result of the conflict and laser therapy for people burned by chemical weapons.
“I have been to Artsakh twice,” frontman Serj Tankian told Rolling Stone in November at the peak of the battle. “It’s just beautiful countryside, and it’s just really sad seeing all of that destroyed right now and the people having to move. The people are just incredible there. They’re the old Armenians. They have been living on those lands since 500 B.C. They’re very strong and beautiful and funny. They don’t get scared, man. They’ve seen this before, but it’s really, really fucked up.”