How Rick Rubin Made Perfect ‘Chop Suey!’ Of System Of A Down, Serj Tankian Shares The Story
System Of A Down vocalist Serj Tankian talked about the band’s one of the most successful songs, Chop Suey, during a recent appearance on 93X Radio.
As well as being one of the best songs of SOAD, Chop Suey is earned the band’s first Grammy nomination in 2002 for Best Metal Performance. It has also become the signature song of the band since then.
In the conversation, Serj stated that he was struggling to finish the breakdown lyrics of Chop Suey but didn’t really come up into his mind. After a moment, their producer Rick Rubin wanted to take a break and invited him to his house.
After going to his house, Rick wanted Serj to pick a book from his huge library and open a random page afterward. Then, he wanted Serj to put his finger on the page and that’s how the lyrics started to come out.
Here is what Serj Tankian said:
“With Rick Rubin, our producer, during ‘Chop Suey!’ in the lyrical process, I had the chorus and we had the verse, and I was looking for the breakdown, the middle eighth section, lyrically.
I was just trying to come up with something, and I was just stuck for a second. We were in the studio, hanging out, and he said, ‘You know what? Let’s take a break, let’s go to my house.’
We went to his house, he had this huge library, and he goes, ‘Just pick a book, any book.”’And I just reached out, picked the book. And he goes, ‘Open to any page.’
I opened to a page, put my finger on it, and that was the middle eight lyrically. Using the universe to guide you was incredible, and the way that it worked with the rest of the lyrics was what stunned me.”
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