July 23, 2024

Prior to Imagine Dragons’ September ’23 show in Baku, Azerbaijan, System Of A Down’s Serj Tankian, who is Armenian-American, wrote a personal letter to the band asking them to pull out of the show claiming that proceeding would help “whitewash the dictatorial regime’s image.” Imagine Dragons went ahead with the show.

Months later in a Rolling Stone interview, Dan Reynolds (pictured), Imagine Dragons’ frontman, was ask about the band’s decision to play Baku. “I don’t believe in depriving our fans who want to see us play.”  Reynolds then added, “(there are) corrupt leaders and warmongers all over the world, and where do you draw the line?”

Tankian took to social media on 7/4 to issue a response. “Respectfully, I draw the line at ethnic cleansing and genocide,” wrote Tankian.

“Azerbaijan’s dictatorship with popular support was already into a 9-month starvation blockade of Nagorno-Karabagh… when they (Imagine Dragons) decided to play Baku,” Tankian continued. “Why don’t they want to play in Russia? Because it’s not popular? They support Ukraine but not Armenians of Artsakh? The only ‘slippery slope’ is the farce moral equivalency at the heart of this hypocritical attitude.”


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