Question!

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"Question!"
Single by System of a Down
from the album Mezmerize
Released August 29, 2005
Format Vinyl, CD, airplay
Recorded The Mansion
Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, California
Akademie Mathematique of Philosophical Sound Research
Los Angeles, California
Genre Alternative metal, progressive metal, art rock
Length 3:20
Label American/Columbia
Writer(s) Serj Tankian
Producer(s) Rick Rubin, Daron Malakian
System of a Down singles chronology
"B.Y.O.B."
(2005)
"Question!"
(2005)
"Hypnotize"
(2005)
Maxi single
Cover of the maxi single of "Question!".
DVD single
Cover of the DVD single of "Question!".
Mezmerize track listing
"Violent Pornography"
(7)
"Question!"
(8)
"Sad Statue"
(9)
Music video
"Question!" on YouTube

"Question!" is a song by Armenian American rock band System of a Down, released as the second single of their fourth album Mezmerize. The song was first premiered by the famous Los Angeles, California radio station KROQ-FM on May 23, 2005 and was released to alternative and rock radio stations on July 12 of the same year.

The song is sometimes compared to one of System of a Down's other songs "Aerials", which also deals with the nature of life in the lyrics. Both are primarily sung by Serj Tankian and have Daron Malakian as back-up in the chorus.

Music video[edit]

The video was released on August 5, 2005 on MTV and the band's website. The opening scene is of a boy with gray hair, clothes, and skin shooting a red bird with a slingshot, which coincides with the start of the song. At this point the video switches to a scene of the band members on a theater stage, performing music for a play. The play is based on a theme of life, death, and reincarnation, revolving around two lovers, a man in a dark suit and a woman in a red dress, who are shown both as children and adults. As the music reaches its climax, the woman collapses after eating a red berry and the man screams in grief. The video closes with an intense scene of a woman giving birth followed by a shot of a newborn baby wrapped in red cloth. The color red is central to the video, tying together the bird, the girl, the woman, and the baby in a cycle of rebirth.

Shavo Odadjian produced the video (and co-directed it alongside Howard Greenhalgh) after allegedly having an image of the video in a nightmare. It is claimed that before the dream he had no intentions of producing the video. In fact he didn’t want any special treatment over other possible producers for being in the band so he submitted his idea anonymously.

The video was shot in the now-closed Los Angeles Theater, which opened in 1931. "It's an amazing old theater that is due for renovation," Tankian said of the place. "I'm glad they haven't renovated it yet, because it has the right character for what we were looking for. It has a fairy tale vibe."

Composition[edit]

"Question!" is written in the key of E minor — a somewhat unusual key for System of a Down, which normally relies heavily on Cm, C#m, and F#m. The song uses five different time signatures (5/4, 9/8, 6/4, 3/4, and 4/4). The acoustic guitar intro and part of the verse is in 9/8, expressed as 3+2+2+2 (This phrasing suggests a hemiola, and is essentially 4/4 with an extra eighth note on beat 1). The verse briefly switches to 6/8 (when Serj sings "Are you dreaming?"). The guitar motif after the acoustic intro is in 5/4. This same section appears throughout the song as well. The chorus is in 6/4. The heavy tremolo-picked section towards the end underneath the vocals is in 4/4. Serj Tankian plays acoustic guitar in the intro and deeper in the background behind lead guitarist Daron Malakian.

Track listing[edit]

CD single
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Question!" (Album Version) S. Tankian S. Tankian, D. Malakian 3:21
2. "Sugar" (Explicit Live Version) S. Tankian D. Malakian, S. Odadjian 3:54
Maxi CD single
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Question!" (Album Version) S. Tankian S. Tankian, D. Malakian 3:21
2. "Forest" (Explicit Live Version) S. Tankian D. Malakian 5:11
3. "Prison Song" (Explicit Live Version) S. Tankian, D. Malakian D. Malakian 3:27
4. "Question!" (Live Video) S. Tankian S. Tankian, D. Malakian 3:25
DVD single
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Question!" (Concept Video) S. Tankian S. Tankian, D. Malakian 3:48
2. "B.Y.O.B." (Concept Video) S. Tankian, D. Malakian D. Malakian 4:17
3. "Sugar" (Explicit Live Version) S. Tankian D. Malakian, S. Odadjian 3:54
4. "B.Y.O.B." (Explicit Live from Astoria) D. Malakian, S. Tankian D. Malakian 4:19

Personnel[edit]

External links[edit]