Serj Tankian and Devin Townsend Working on a Nelson Mandela Tribute Song

Metal musicians join forces for the "We Are" charity single.

Ultimate Guitar

Gathered up by a non-profit record label Revolution Harmony, metal masterminds Serj Tankian, Devin Townsend and former Emperor frontman Ihsahn have joined forces with the producer/composer Ray Holroyd to record a charity single "We Are" dedicated to South African revolutionary and former leader Nelson Mandela.

The single will be officially released on July 18, also known as the Mandela Day, with all the eventual proceedings going to Buskaid charity organization. Lyrically, the tune revolves around the concept of musical harmonies having the power to inspire a revolution towards societal harmony, which is essentially the concept behind the entire label.

"It has been an absolute honor being involved with the Revolution Harmony project to bring much needed financial aid to Buskaid in South Africa," Serj Tankian said via label's official website. "Music has saved my life and has the potential to create positive change in all those young kids struggling to make themselves heard and to survive. The song is a musical collage of complex yet moving colors intertwining genres and vibes."

Devin Townsend has also expressed his gratitude for being involved in the entire project, saying, "I met Ray while he was working at a guitar magazine in the UK. He was very generous with his position there and had convinced me to guest on his charity project. I am happy to contribute and to be involved with the other musicians. I hope the goals he has for the benefit of people in need come to fruition, and I wish everyone involved the best of luck. Please do what you can to help people less fortunate than yourself, it is rarely easy, but it is a testament to the human spirit."

Finally, Ihsahn went on to call the project "something special" and a unique way to help the society, stating, "Knowing how music has shaped and enriched my own life, and how privileged I have been to be able to follow that passion, I really appreciate Buskaid's work to enable young people to follow that same path. Like most, my involvement in charity has been very generic, like signing up for donations to some of the global organizations, but Revolution Harmony has given me the opportunity to contribute with something personal, together with people who share my passion for music. I'm honored to be part of this."

37 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This is a really cool thing. Artists who aren't in the mainstream taking their time out to do something non-profit because of ideals. What the music business should be.
    Agreed. Unfortunately business, and nearly everything else nowadays, is all about the bottom line. Nobody gives a ****.
    This is a surprise for me. Guys from the metal world doing something awesome for the great icon of my country! Upmost respect to the guys!
    Saw this the other day. Tremendous lineup, but from what I read, I don't think Devin is singing in this, just guitars. Which is a shame since he's far and above the best singer out of the three.
    This. Devin is doing guitar, even though his vocal range far surpasses both of them. I'd be curious to hear this song though, as Ihsahn and Serj sing completely different styles of vocals.
    If Devin has any part in the actual composition or overall sound of the song, it may make up for the fact that he's not singing. I'm excited to hear it no matter how much he ends up doing, although I would prefer more than less.
    And so Ihsahn becomes a persona non grata in the black metal scene. What a long way he's come! Very eager to see what they come up with, though.
    Ihsahn pretty much has been that since Emperor broke up, and he released solo albums which are more on the progressive side.
    Flying Afros
    This may probably be one of the most interesting things to happen in the metal world in 2013. I like Serj's work, but Devin and Ihsahn working together... just wow. And way to go UG for not putting Ihsahn in the title.
    They've already "worked together" twice. Ihsahn was on DT's "Deconstruction" album, and DT was on Ihsahn's "Eremita" album.
    Well, Devin and Ihsahn have proven to sound well together already. Just listen to "Introspection" from Ihsahn's latest LP, Eremita
    oh tits, this is awesome. The coolest musicians I know working together.
    Why, why why! Mandela is a figure head and a figment of popular imagination. No cause justifies military (terrorist) action against soft targets, never-mind civilian "targets" As the Head of the ANC, he authorised bombing of fast food outlets, churches, etc. Lets have one for Jerry Adams, Yasser Arafat, Sodamn Insane, etc. etc.
    Wow, now I totally sympathize with the government that tried to come up with race specific biological weapons for use against their own population, thanks for opening my eyes.
    I never said anything about that - you did. I said "NO CAUSE " justifies any attack. None! My point - why glorify false icons. Although, I will admit, he has more dignity than most.
    Actually he was the head of the security group under ANC. The bombing was the last resort, the peaceful protest against apartheid didn't work and the ANC were pressed against the corner from the government. What would you do if your voice wasn't heard against the oppression of apartheid, it would have took longer to show the world of the cruelty of apartheid if it wasn't for Mandela and the ANC, plus the people who helped to let the world know about the oppression. He did serve his time for the terrorist attack and apologized for it. Plus he lead South Africa into a brighter future of unity. But now the ANC government is a failure... Don't let me go there.
    What the hell has Nelson Mandela ever done for me? Screw him, and screw you too!
    Bob Dolan :D
    Come to South Africa, and ill show you literally MILLIONS of people who's lives Nelson Mandela has changed. For the better. Who's life have you changed?
    Are these the millions unemployed living on or below the bread line in squatter camps. Or is it the ruling party riding the gravy train?
    Do you not think the two points you brought up are connected? Ignorance is bliss I guess...
    What have empty posts like that ever contributed to an article? Screw them, and SCREW YOU TOO!
    How dare you use such offensively lame humour? I have to admit the peson reacting as though you where serious gave me a little chuckle and to be honest this comment deserves that level of downvotes either way. Kudo's to gbrooks2, definitely not a new trick but it's a hell of a lot funnier than the this boring shit.
    Go read a wiki on Nelson Mandela. He's one of the most influential politicians to come from South Africa.
    I want this song to be an 80's power ballad with a big chorus and cheesy synths. That would be awesome.
    Anything with the Dev is good news for me.... looking forward to hearing it.