Serj Tankian, the frontman for Los Angeles rock band System of a Down, is so serious about reducing his impact on the planet that he’s investigating the use of holograms for virtual concerts. It’s not science fiction — we’ve seen both Al Gore and Prince Charles give lectures at conferences from thousands of miles away while appearing to exist on stage. But the technology may not yet exist to translate that experience in terms of a full-fledged rock performance. From the article,
“‘I’ve had an idea for a long time, which might sound a little crazy, but I really want to look into holographic touring,’ Tankian told Billboard. ‘I think we could reduce our need to travel if we could project ourselves into meetings and concerts. We have the technology, and we’re not using it right now. It would open up a whole new world for touring — shows wouldn’t have to be limited to bars or clubs. There would be no travel costs, so bands with very little money could play shows, and tickets would cost less.’”
Tankian has long been a supporter of the environment — having formed the grassroots organization Axis of Justice with Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello. The group rallies musicians and music fans in the quest for peace, human rights and social equity.
Tankian is also quick to draw his inspiration from the people of New Zealand, where he owns a home. He calls the country “ecologically one of the most progressive places on earth.”
But would people really groove to a holographic rock band? Tankian thinks the experience wouldn’t be too different. “After all, it’s not like the audience can touch me, anyway,” he said with a laugh.