Back in September, Serj Tankian performed Queen’s 1991 anthem The Show Must Go On with Brian May at the Starmus festival in Yerevan, Armenia, an event held to celebrate science communication and art that “brings together the most brilliant minds on the planet.”
The performance took place at the event’s sixth instalment, which also featured Sons Of Apollo’s Jeff Scott Soto, singer-songwrtier Graham Gouldman and opera singer Montserrat Martí, as well as the Armenian National Orchestra.
While speaking on the Full Metal Jackie radio show, System Of A Down frontman Tankian reflects on his experience of performing alongside the Queen legend: (as transcribed by Blabbermouth): “[Queen is] an incredible band. They don’t need me to say that, obviously; they’re a huge band. And I’ve always respected the band and Brian’s work.”
Of how the pair ended up performing at the science festival together, he continues, “We have a mutual friend who is an astrophysicist, an Armenian astrophysicist, and this gentleman, Garik Israelian, along with Brian May, have created a festival, a science and music festival called Starmus.
“And that Starmus festival, they’ve done it in six or seven different countries around the world so far, one every year — except for the COVID years, I think. And this year was in Armenia, and they invited me to perform a few songs with the national orchestra, which was really amazing.
“And I also got to perform a song with Brian May. And he’s a sweetheart — a really gentle but smart person, and extremely talented, needless to say. And it was just a pleasure meeting him and hanging out for a bit.”
Each year Starmus festival features presentations by famed astronauts, Nobel Prize winners, celebrated scientists and more. 2022’s edition, titled Starmus VI: 50 Years On Mars, marked the 50th anniversary of the first soft landing on Mars by “Mars 3” and the first orbiter “Mariner 9”.
Listen to the full interview and watch the performance below: