BY ANDREW FISH
When System of a Down first hit, they fit right alongside their nu-metal contemporaries, yet their sound and sensibilities came from somewhere else. Serj Tankian’s voice shattered and soared with cultural history, out to educate as well as entertain. I suspect there are many who would never have heard of the Armenian Genocide if not for Tankian’s visibility and activism, and as he’s set out on his own, his work has developed an even finer focus on the state of the world. His latest solo effort is Harakiri, a release that offers pounding licks and flowing melody while taking on issues of environmental degradation, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, reality television, and American corporatocracy — all fitting topics for the performer who co-founded the social-action organization Axis of Justice with guitarist Tom Morello.
When I first heard System’s music back in 2001, I remember wanting to hear more of the Armenian performer’s softer vocals, like the ones that crept into “Toxicity” and “Deer Dance,” and — amid the hard-hitting rock — Harakiri provides just that. The album’s title was inspired by the eerily synchronous mass die-offs of fish and birds in early 2011, to which the musician applies the metaphor of hara-kiri, a samurai’s ritual suicide. “They crown the sun,” he sings on the title track, suggesting a spiritual significance to the creatures’ mysterious demise. Tankian has just finished up the North American leg of his album tour, having performed his final Stateside show at L.A.’s Club Nokia to an adoring audience, and now he’s off to Europe. Harakiri is my favorite of Tankian’s solo works thus far, and it’s one of several projects he’s currently working on.
Also in the works is a fusion of classical jazz and dancehall synth called Jazz-Iz-Christ, and a full-orchestra symphony entitled Orca — a beautiful work, if this sample is any indication. The Lebanon-born artist collaborated with Jimmy Urine from Mindless Self Indulgence on a project called Fuktronic, an experimental mix of jazzy, “Euro-trash electronic music,” Tankian explains, which plays underneath British mobster-style dialogue. “We started ass-backwards. We did the music and the voiceovers with a small script. Now we’re starting to work with a company to do these really awesome, interactive, mobile, visual applications. So we’re making it into an interactive, illustrated film.”
Tankian is also planning to adapt Prometheus Bound, the theater production he composed in partnership with Amnesty International — a collaboration with Steven Sater and Diane Paulus — into a “virtual web-based musical,” he says. “I’m thinking of doing things that haven’t been done before, because that’s exciting, artistically, creatively, technologically. Some of them might be successful, some of them might not, but either way, it’s a success when I want to do them and I can do them. That’s a success!”
It’s a serene drive through the mountains to meet with Tankian at his home in Calabasas. I had interviewed him once before for his Elect the Dead Symphony in 2010, and I was looking forward to the follow-up. He’s flanked by two friendly dogs — one named Bowie for his different-colored eyes — when we meet in his peaceful, hardwood sanctuary overlooking a forest valley. The quiet, thoughtful rocker kicks back on the couch to chat about Harakiri, social change, spirituality, and the blast he’s had back on the road with System.
How did you decide you were going to put an album like this together?
I started early last year and I had no intention of doing another rock record. I was in New Zealand, I remember, in January of 2011, and we were experiencing the massive deaths of birds and fish around the planet. I was playing those chords on the piano, which turned out to be the title track. I sat down at the piano, and I was playing this tune already, and I kind of put the two together, and that became the title track. I stepped back when I was singing it and playing it and I’m like, wow, this could be something really amazing. Because it felt powerful, even as an acoustic song on piano. And for whatever reason, right after that, the songs just started coming to me, like from the universe. By April or May, I had most of the record, as far as writing — not the production so much, but the basic elements were done. So by the end of the year I had finished the record and started mixing it, and I finished mixing it early this year.
Harakiri is almost like a collage in the way that it incorporates so many different styles. Was this intentional or just how it happened?
I think it’s the working process that created that, because the songs that I wrote originally were these three or four that had this certain flavor, like “Harakiri,” like “Forget Me Knot,” that I wrote in one period in New Zealand. And then I started doing a musical [Prometheus Bound] in Boston and I wrote one or two songs there — “Occupied Tears,” and I want to say “Uneducated Democracy,” maybe. And then I got on the road with System — it was a busy year! — so I wrote a few songs there. And then I did the three songs that I had sketched out on the iPad, so depending on where I was and what was going on and how I wrote, the songs came out accordingly. There’s one song from the musical, actually, called “Weave On,” which is the last song on the record.
That does explain the frenetic feel of the album, bouncing between landscapes.
Frenetic is a good word for it. I was bouncing around continents, landscapes, projects. I was working on four records at once, all of completely varied genres, so I think all of that lent itself to making each project really interesting. I would say Harakiri is the easiest record I’ve ever written in my life, the least filtered record, and the least amount of time I’ve spent making a record. I just put it down, and didn’t question what I was saying, didn’t question what the arrangement was, I didn’t fuck much with it, basically. I mean, I played around with it to make it as great as possible in its presentation, performance, and recording. I spent a lot of time mixing because I didn’t want to use a mixer; this time I wanted to do it in-house with my engineer. So all of that stuff took time, obviously, but it was very, very raw in how it got together. And I think the message comes out that way, that there is a certain urgency, a certain direct connection, a certain unapologetic sense of transference.
How did it feel to let loose without questioning yourself?
It felt great, but it was also because I didn’t have time to question myself. [laughs] I’m on tour, I’m doing this, I’m doing that, the musical, the book release [for Glaring Through Oblivion], in the studio today, next day I am out playing with an orchestra in Armenia, so it was just like, all right, let’s do it, let’s do it, let’s do it! It was crunch time; the whole year was crunch time! And there’s something pure to be said about that, because I think when you have time as an artist — John Lennon said it best that if he could go back, he would change every Beatles song. [laughs] Because he’s a perfectionist and he would! He’d think of a different way to do it. So in some ways it’s good when you have to be forced to disconnect.
Do you think you might make an album with that kind of process in the future? Did you learn from the experience?
I learned a lot from making Harakiri; I learned a lot from making all the records, actually. That’s one of my reasons that I like doing different types of genres and going on this musical adventure, is because — number one, I learn a lot from everything that I do differently. And number two, each has a unique form of expression that cannot be rivaled by the other genre. Working on, for example, the Jazz-Iz-Christ record, made certain parts of songs on Harakiri, which had jazz influences, so much better, because I honed in on that vibe in that area — and vice versa. It’s like if you’re writing for a political magazine and a music magazine and social magazine, the things you learn, the lessons you learn from each, if you integrated them into a really great, well-rounded article, it would probably be really interesting because you’re drawing on all these awesome resources and putting them together.
This song “Harakiri” talks about the recent mass animals die-offs. It seems like, at least metaphorically, you’re holding these creatures up as heroes, or as representing some larger idea.
That song has a mystical quality to me. It talks about a very deep topic of environmental degradation, but it leaves you hopeful. And that’s interesting, because those two are antitheses of each other in some ways. [laughs] So there’s that aspect of it. I’m not exactly sure why it turned out that way. Maybe it is heroic, you know? I don’t know, maybe massive suicide is a heroic thing. [laughs] That’s going to be an awesome quote. [There’s a climatologist] out of Devon, U.K., James Lovelock. He wrote Gaia, The Revenge of Gaia. Years ago, Rolling Stone did an interview with him, and in it he was quoted — of course it was the most sensational quote you can get — it was like, “If you want to help the planet, just stop breathing.” Because human carbon dioxide is “x”-amount of our footprint on the planet. That was a funny jest, [but] you know what really trips me out about all of these bird and fish deaths, is these are beings that are so interconnected to nature that their early warning systems far outweigh ours. Before there is an earthquake, fish start jumping out of the aquarium, for example. They know before it’s coming because they’re more in tune. Dogs run up to higher ground before tsunamis, before our or early warning system sirens. So these beings, that are so interconnected to nature, either decided to leave or were given a sign to leave. Like, it wasn’t just one that died, it was massive within the same time periods, a month before the Japanese earthquake and tsunami nuclear disaster, where the ocean level radiation went up, and all that stuff. I’m seeing ties — of course I can’t immediately connect them and make you believe — but there’s a lot of data that you’re like, wow, how did that happen? But in the end, I use the word “free.” I believe that they are free, as you can only be in death, to a certain degree, I guess. And then I say I believe that they are “me” at the end, which basically makes the connection between all beings and human beings, and saying that this planet is interconnected, this universe is interconnected. What happens to them happens to us, their death is our death, their life is our life. So the biggest query that I have would be, what does this mean for us? 40,000 sturgeons died a month ago in the Midwest, 500 penguins washed up in Brazil like a month and a half ago, it’s happening every fucking day! It’s still happening. It’s somewhat biblical. And the rest of the songs that came [after that] seem to be picking off of topics stemming from environmental degradation — to political strife, economic strife. You’re talking the Occupy movement, Arab Spring, were talking Euro crisis, we are talking all of this stuff happening at the same time. The Japanese nuclear disaster. That was last year. That was 2011. So all of this is springing from that same kind of mixed up world.
How do you see all of this as connected?
I’m not sure I could draw a line between each and every one of them in a distinct way or sequence, but I think that I can see certain lines between them. I think drastic environmental change pushes political and economic change, and it will more in the future. I always give this example: lack of rainfall in the sub-Saharan continent, equatorial areas, push migration. No rain, no farming, gotta move, literally. That migration usually goes north or south — polar, colder. And if you’re talking about Africa, you’re talking about Europe. If you’re talking about Europe, you’ve got bad immigration issues already, which are getting compounded, and that will lead to what? Political extremism, growth of the right, unemployment, financial crisis, and polarity — politically. So here you have an environmental change that leads to political, social, and economic change. That’s one example. And if you really think about all of the examples, I think you’ll find plenty.
You would get creation of scapegoats in an environment like that.
Of course. Think about the Holocaust, think about the [Armenian] Genocide, think about Rwanda. Absolutely. I’ve been reading an interesting book. There is a book a friend of mine wrote; her name is Maria Armoudian. She’s at KPFK; she’s had a show there for many years, and she’s been in different political offices, and she wrote a book called Kill the Messenger. It deals with the media’s role in disastrous invents. It starts with the Holocaust and goes to Rwanda and Pinochet’s Chile. It talks about how the precursor to any major humanitarian disaster is a group of people either buying up or controlling the media. Which, if you think about it, obviously; it’s a given. But it goes into specific examples, with the names of the media companies, with the journalists that were threatened, those that were jailed, those that were killed, those that were exiled. It goes into specifics with each scenario. And it’s so interesting seeing that kind of blueprint. And then it shows how media can be so constructive. Like with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, and what the media was doing in association with that. With the Tutsis and Hutus getting together and forming one talk show that’s openly talking about the subjects, and building a consensus around that. It’s so basic and you don’t think about it, but if you ever wanted to control a country, just buy up the media or scare the media and you’ve got everyone’s ear.
This is a really fearless album. Do you feel that you overcame any personal fears when you recorded this and put it all together?
I did get married this year, so maybe that’s one fear I got over. [laughs] Jokingly, I say that. But I can’t think of any specific fears that I overcame that I can kind of gloat about having to do with the record, to be honest. I’m sure there are.
What about in general, as you’ve evolved in your career? Have there been things that you have let go of?
Definitely. I think my years with System were very instructive of the other things that I want to explore in my life. They were great because they launched me into this musical career that’s been a dream-come-true, that I still appreciate every morning that I get up. But there was also, in any band situation, you also have limitations in the amount of material you can bring, the amount of things you can do on your own, because four people have to decide together. It’s like an editorial board. So getting out of that, I’m like, oh cool, I want to do more music! I am known as a lyricist, but I’ve got all these compositional ideas that I want to enact, and do all of these things, and maybe be less apologetic, politically, and more forthright and straightforward, because I’m no longer representing three other guys. I’m representing myself. So I can say it as-is, rather than say what I have to say and then go, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to get you guys involved in all of this!” And the experiences of the past, having to do with that, post-9/11, when I wrote “Understanding Oil,” and we started getting all these crazy death threats and craziness going on. I was on Howard Stern defending my position on what I had written — it’s still on the Internet now, and you can read it. It’s a very, very non-offending statement of cooperation and hunting down those responsible and preserving peace around the world, in a multilateral fashion. It’s what Obama likes to do. But at the time it was, like, so reactionary. So I felt like I was getting these guys in trouble in some ways with my incendiary statements, even though I didn’t mean for them to be incendiary. So that was lifted, I think, when I started doing my solo stuff. I guess things got more raw with my statements, because I’m no longer feeling responsible that I’m representing other people.
You are carrying on a long tradition of rock ‘n roll harnessed for social change.
It’s always easy to err on the side of public opinion. It’s always harder to take a stand and go, this is the truth. With all my heart and soul and knowledge, I believe this is the truth. And you’re going to fucking hate me for it, but this is the truth and you’re probably going to take my song off the air and not buy my records, and call me unpatriotic sometimes, or whatever, you know? The truth is the truth. It doesn’t change.
Do you feel this is something that is important for you to do as an artist?
Yes. Music has many phenomenal purposes, and entertaining is a great one; dancing is a great one. There’s nothing wrong with that. And there are so many variations of music; it’s such a gorgeous, inspiring, intuitive medium. But I think part of that is to illustrate the times that we live in, to narrate some of the truths of our times, and to inspire for positive change. There’s definitely that aspect of music and I’m very partial to that. Now, I’m partial to that on Harakiri; the jazz record is not partial to that because that’s a whole different vibe. Orca ‘s not partial to that because that’s a whole different vibe. So it depends. Lyrically, maybe, I am partial to that.
From what I’ve heard so far it sounds like there are fewer vocals on those two albums. Is that correct?
Jazz-Iz-Christ has, like, two or three vocal songs; the rest are instrumental. Orca doesn’t have any vocals; it’s a symphony, so it’s all instrumental. We are recording Orca , actually, on [October] 28th in Linz, Austria, with the Bruckner Orchestra at Brucknerhaus. Philip Glass has recorded with them and he’s done his “Toltec” Symphony No. 7. I’ve worked with them before; I’ve done one of the Elect the Dead Symphony concerts with them. They are a phenomenal-sounding orchestra so we are recording there. Right after my European tour, I’m basically jumping there to do rehearsals and record that. We will put that out next year and do some orchestral tours.
Is it cool to be able to go to these creative places you never thought you would go?
Yeah, putting out a record in the traditional sense is becoming archaic. It’s like, let’s see what else there is to do out there!
There are a couple of references on Harakiri to System of a Down, like the line, “Sucking seeds is pastime,” and “Down with the system as we lay helpless against the machine” — the latter of which seems to reference Rage Against the Machine as well. Do you think this relates to your feeling closer with System now that you have gotten back together?
Possibly. I didn’t think about it consciously; it just came out. Maybe homage to where I come and what’s going on, as well. But speaking of the System stuff, it’s been actually really fun! Playing the shows and having a great time with the guys and going off. We did South America and it was explosive. We had never been there. We’ve had fans for 12 years; imagine that that’s the first time they’re seeing you. So you’re like,, okay we got to go, we’re at the airport. “Can I get a [photograph]?” And I’m like, no, you can’t. “Well, I’m doing it anyway because this is the first time in 12 years!” It’s a really extreme kind of situation — interesting. So yeah, they’ve been fun. We did South America, we did Australia and New Zealand, we did West Coast North America last year, East Coast North America this year, and Europe. We did all the major festivals last year and stuff. It’s been great; it’s been fun.
How did you all decide to saddle up again?
I don’t know. It wasn’t a particular event that happened or anything like that. I think one day, John [Dolmayan] and I were communicating — we would always get offers to tour and stuff like that, and it was like, okay, I can make it, [but] no, he can’t make it. Everyone’s schedules and stuff. So Shavo [Odadjian] was about to get married [in 2010], so we all got together then, but even before then, I think we met up one time just to hang out; it had been a while since we had all hung out. So everyone said what they felt like doing; like, this is what I’m willing to do. At first, I’m like, hey, let’s just play a few dates; maybe just play an L.A. show and have fun. And that turned into a whole tour. The whole tour turned into two continents, turned into four continents. [laughs] So it wasn’t like, let’s go back on tour again and tour the world! It was more like, hey, let’s play a show. I miss playing a show, that would be fun. Not thinking of recording, not thinking of anything. Just like, I miss this. I miss the jokes, and I miss having food with you, let’s go play a show! We haven’t done this in six years, let’s go play one!
Is it like going back in time when you’re together with them? Is there a sense of comfort and familiarity, like going back home to visit?
There’s a certain aspect of that, I guess. But it’s not going back in time because everyone has changed, time has changed, time has moved on. Although some of the old jokes come back and you’re like, I remember that from fucking 1995, dude! [laughs] You’re still saying that joke? Are you serious? And we’ll laugh. But it’s a good vibe among all of us, which is the important thing. We’re all actually really having a great time doing it. Sure, it’s comfortable. You’ve been doing it for a while. Doing your own stuff is always a little tougher, of course. There’s more responsibility, more of everything to do. You’ve got to do all the press and everything’s on you. Whereas, when you’re doing it as a band, you separate out the responsibilities and everything else. Plus, touring with System has been great, also, because we’re not supporting anything. We don’t have a record out, we don’t have press to do, we don’t have shit to do! We just go play the shows. We barely sound check — just the first show — because that’s how we like to roll. It’s like, let’s have some fun out there! So that’s been awesome. That’s made the show better, I think.
Is it good to have some metal in your life?
Yeah, it’s good! It’s good to have a little bit of it all in my life, to be honest with you. I think when it was just System, it was way too planned out, and it was like this is “the thing.” and now that I’ve done my solo stuff and I’ve got all these other projects — some musical, some not — integrating System back into my life has been the perfect rounding off of everything, in some ways.
In the song “Ching Chime” on Harakiri, there’s some some traditional Armenian music and a Middle Eastern sound. I’ve always wondered about the influence your background has had on the way you use your voice.
That’s a good question, and I’ve thought about that before. On “Ching Chime,” first of all, it’s kind of interesting because I think the musical parts are kind of Middle Eastern, not so much Armenian, but I got on Armenian friend of mine to play the oud on it, so his playing made it more Armenian than Middle Eastern, [or] mixed with it. They’re quite different, musically. The Anatolian sound and the Caucas sound is different than the Middle Eastern sound. I guess my cultural influence on my music is multifold. Because when I grew up — I was born in Lebanon but I grew up in an Armenian family, so we used to listen to all kinds of music. We used to listen to Armenian music, Arabic music, French music, Greek music. When you grow up in the Middle East you listen to all these, plus English. I remember my parents listening to all sorts of stuff, growing up. And then coming to the U.S. in the ’70s and listening to all sorts of music, from disco to a lot of what we used to call soul music, which is now R&B. Then the Bee Gees came out and the ’80s… I think the influence on my voice, which is your specific example, there is a certain melancholy to my voice that’s inherent in my people, in the Armenian people, because of all the 600 years living under the Ottoman Empire as second-class citizens. And the pain behind the Genocide and all that. I think there’s something behind my voice that has that tinge to it. I can’t really describe it.
You were seven years old when you moved the States?
At what point did you become interested in pursuing music?
The first instrument I picked up was a small Casio keyboard. I was in college; I was going to Cal State Northridge.
So it wasn’t an interest of yours when you were growing up?
My dad would sing at home; there was always that influence. He loved music. Growing up, he played instruments, although he never played them at home because he was too busy working to raise the family — but not as a musician, as a designer. So I remember as a kid singing with my dad at home and stuff like that, and that song that we used to sing together, I sang with him on his record, when I put out his record [Inchbes Moranak] two years ago. My dad’s name is Khatchadour. [Writer’s note: see Tankian and his father sing together here.] But I never really got into playing music until I was in college. I just had a little Casio keyboard, just to get my mind off my studies. It was a great way to relax, and that’s what it was. But I started getting more and more into it, so after college, I was writing these little pieces, and I had a more professional keyboard, and singing along — and I’m like, wow. But I still didn’t consider it a career choice. I think coming from a culture that has seen hunger, everyone wants their kids to be professionals — doctors and lawyers — because they’ve seen hunger and they want the best for them. They want the most security possible. But we have such inherent cultures that have the arts as part of our blood, that it’s hard to avoid, you know? So after college, I’m working in the jewelry industry. My uncle is a jeweler and he’s had a place in Downtown for many years and I grew up working for him summer times and stuff. So I worked with him full-time. It was going great but I was very complacent. I knew this wasn’t my thing. I didn’t know what my thing was — so I’m, at this point, 22, 23, and I’m like, you know, maybe I’ll be a lawyer. [laughs] So I went and took the Kaplan classes and signed up for the LSAT. And that’s what made me a musician; almost becoming a lawyer made me a professional musician. Because what happened was on one of these dark, late nights after work and after those classes. They were in Long Beach; I drove from Studio City to Downtown, back to Studio City, to Long Beach for those classes, and it’s like 11 or 12 at night and I’m driving back home to Studio City. It was a rainy night in my Jeep Wrangler and I fucking hated it! It was one of those moments where I was like, do I want to be a fucking lawyer? And I hit the brakes, dude, out of nowhere. And I’m like, no! I want to do music! The words jumped out of me. I yelled it in my own car by myself on the way home. That was it; my whole life changed. Because at that point, whatever I did was designed so I could be doing what I do now. This is before System, obviously. One day I decided to stop working with my uncle and do my own thing. I started a software company. The goal was, if I worked for myself then I had control of my time and I could do more music. The problem is the software company started doing really well! [laughs] I had designed this vertical industry system for jewelers. Daily gold price recalculations, digital scale integration, pictures, industry-specific pricing based on weight vs. piece, diamond clarity and user-defined fields. And this is before Windows, before the Internet. We were using FoxBase and FoxPro to program. I had a programmer, coding. I had my own metal tracking system for jewelry manufacturers so you could track your loss at the end of the year. All of this really cool stuff I designed. Now I’m making real money, more than I made working for my uncle. I’m doing music at nights, but that time is decreasing because I have my own business. I was like, fuck. So finally I just had to face myself and go, okay, I have a choice here. I can continue with this software business that’s actually booming. It was a very tough choice, because I was helping to support my family — my parents and my brother — so I could not make the wrong choice. And I remember sitting down with my dad at the dinner table and saying, “I have a conundrum. I like doing this business and we’re making money and it’s a great thing, but it’s taking all my time, which is why I started doing this in the first place. I want to do music!” Now, my dad, being a frustrated musician that never was able to do music because he had to support a family — even though we needed money at the time, he looks at me and he goes, “If I have to get a second or third job, I’m going to. You’re going to do music. That’s your dream; it’s also my dream. Don’t give it up right here. This is your interchange, your crossroads. Don’t do it. Go for the music. You’re going to be okay. Everything’s going to be okay.” And it has been. I ended up selling my software company for very little, enough to just take us over for another six to eight months — a year, maybe. System started and it started picking up. It took a couple of years, obviously. The first check I got from System covered things a little. Still living day by day, scraping by, hoping for the best, but working really, really hard. And then the rest is history. I’ve been in a lot of industries, man. I’ve done retail, I’ve done wholesale, I’ve done manufacturing, I’ve owned my own company before coming into the music industry.
When did you discover this voice that you’ve become known for?
It progressed. When I first started singing, I was really into the Seattle sound, what Pearl Jam was doing at the time. The first song that I actually sang — I don’t want to say professionally because we never sold the song — but recorded, was a song called “Waco Jesus.” It was at the time of David Koresh and the whole Waco thing. I had written this song about it. The vocals were very Eddie Vedder meets Jim Morrison kind of vibe. It didn’t sound like who I am today. The voice just progressed doing all these different things. The thing about my vocal progression is that I never saw any limits. I never studied music, I never studied to be a vocalist, so I didn’t know what my range was; I didn’t know what I’m supposed to not do. I tried anything. I used it as an instrument. I pretended it was like a keyboard or a guitar, whatever I wanted it to be. The lyrics were, I don’t want to say secondary, but what I did with my voice was as important as the lyrical output. The lyrics, at first, came second, to be honest with you. But later I realized the weight and importance of words, and started paying more attention and skillfully crafting the recording.
What do you see as the ideal state of the world in which things could work out better rather than worse?
If I could make everyone believe in one thing that they all share together, it would be interconnectivity. If everyone can feel interconnected with other beings, other animals, other people, the environment, everything around them. If everyone was like that — they could be of any culture, any race, any religion; it doesn’t matter. If they could just believe in interconnectivity, I think the world would be a different place, altogether. Because if you yell at the guy in front of you and honk at him in your L.A. traffic, and you believe in interconnectivity, you’re connected to that guy. He could be your brother from another lifetime. He could be you, really. So am I yelling at myself now? All compassion would rise automatically. We’d still go into our states of egoic existence, which we all have, but if I could change one thing on this planet in everyone, then you would go, “Wait, my actions are causing this. So if I reverse them or if I do this, there will be less of this.” You’d look at global warming — or climate change, I should say more correctly — and you’d go, “Okay, what’s causing this?” It’s very factual. You look at our meat industry, you look at the water that we use, what most of corn is used for, and all this stuff, and you go, “If I believe in interconnectivity, and if I did this, this, and this, then I could help, here, here, and here.” Everything would be simple, really. I guess knowledge, too. Interconnectivity is one thing and knowledge would be the other.
*Photo by Vladimir Petkov, used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.