System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian has confirmed that he will release his forthcoming solo EP Elasticity February next year.

The tracks on Elasticity were penned years ago with the intention of System of a Down performing them. “I’ve played them for the guys [in System of a Down], and we even kind of messed around with some of ’em, and whatnot,” Tankian told Rolling Stone.

Though Tankian revealed that the band “were unable to see eye-to-eye on continuing the future recordings.” So instead of ditching the tracks, Tankian decided to release them as a solo artist.

“They are really interesting and beautiful songs,” he admits. “Going from really heavy type of System-esque type of music to really beautiful, ballady piano and string arrangements and stuff like that. So, it’s quite diverse for just five songs.”

Serj went on to detail that thematically, the record covers a lot of ground. “It’s quite diverse,” he shared. “A song about terrorism; a song about protests in Armenia years ago; a song about my son Rumi, kind of also cut with the poet Rumi, in a way — it’s an homage to the poet Rumi and his namesake, basically, in a way. And a few other pieces. So it’s kind of all around the place, as everything I do is.”

Elasticity was originally slated to come out in October, but Tankian put it on hold after war Nagorno-Karabakh broke out. Instead, choosing to hit the studio with the band to pen two tracks that highlight the unrest in their homeland.

‘Protect the Land’ and ‘Genocidal Humanoidz’ were both released on Bandcamp. With all proceeds from the songs donated to the Armenia Fund, an organisation that provides humanitarian relief to the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.

The EP “was supposed to come out in October, but when the war started, and when we decided to put out two songs with System, that took priority for me,” he explains. “And I just called the record company that we’re working with and just said, ‘We need to push this. Can we make this work?’ And they were very cool about it.”

In a previous interview with Rolling Stone, Tankian emphasised that the turmoil in Armenia far outweighed any differences between bandmates.

“I’m not doing this as an artist for myself or for System of a Down or for any of the guys in the band; we’re all doing this for our people,” he said. “So this is not a creative decision, this is not a business decision. This is a decision of activism, and that takes precedence over all other things for us.”

A new documentary about Serj Tankian and his activism, Truth to Power, is set to arrive early next year. The film is set to explore Tankian’s involvement in the 2018 Armenian Revolution.

“[It’s] looking through my eyes at how message becomes reality through the arts,” he explains. “Instead of focusing on me as an artist, it asks, how does one’s message come to fruition? Can music change the world?”