Empty Walls

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"Empty Walls"
Empty Walls Serj Tankian.jpg
Single by Serj Tankian
from the album Elect the Dead
Released September 10, 2007 (Internet)
October 15,[1] 2007 (CD)
Format Digital download, CD, Airplay
Length 3:49
3:53 (Music Video)
Label Serjical Strike/Reprise
Writer(s) Serj Tankian
Producer(s) Serj Tankian
Serj Tankian singles chronology
"Empty Walls"
"Lie Lie Lie"

"Empty Walls" is a song by musician Serj Tankian. The song was released as the first official single and first track off of Tankian's debut solo album Elect the Dead.[2][3] The song has been described as a "traditionally pummeling rocker".[4]

"Empty Walls" was released on September 10, 2007 as a digital download and September 25 as a CD single. It can also be found on a 2 track Reprise promo issue dated September 4, 2007[5] as well as in edited form on promotional copies that have been sent out to radio stations.[citation needed]

An acoustic version of the song also appears on the limited edition of Elect the Dead.[6] The "Victorious Club Mix", as featured on the single, was produced by DJ LethalRush.[citation needed]

The music video for the single was released onto Serj Tankian's official YouTube link on October 26, 2009. The video, which shows activity in a children's playroom that echoes the events of the September 11 terrorist attacks and the subsequent war in Iraq, contains an amended version of the last verse where it repeats "empty walls" instead of "fucking walls" and "goddamn walls".[7]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Serj Tankian.

CD single
No. Title Length
1. "Empty Walls" 3:51
2. "Gratefully Disappeared" 1:41
2 track promo
No. Title Length
1. "Empty Walls" 3:49
2. "The Unthinking Majority" 3:47
Radio Edit promo single
No. Title Length
1. "Empty Walls" (Radio edit) 3:52
7" single
No. Title Length
1. "Empty Walls" 3:51
2. "Empty Walls" (Victorious Club Mix) 5:45

All tracks written by Serj Tankian.

UK Digital download
No. Title Length
1. "Empty Walls" 3:49
2. "Gratefully Disappeared" 1:41
3. "Empty Walls" (Victorious Club Mix) 5:45

Music video[edit]

Serj released one of the videos on September 11, 2007, matching the video's War on Terrorism theme. The music video was directed by Tony Petrossian[8] and was uploaded to YouTube on September 12, 2007. The video shows young children playing in a daycare center with their play imitating the War on Terrorism.

The video opens with a felt Homeland Security Advisory System scale (accompanied by a seal reading "U.S. Department of Playground Sekcureity"), followed by a young girl building two towers of blocks. A boy launches a toy airplane into the towers, knocking them down and upsetting the girl, and she is shown to want revenge.

Various scenes in the video refer to the War in Iraq: the children preparing for play war, a teddy bear being pulled down (referring to the symbolic pulling down of Saddam Hussein's statue), a presidential figure with a sign declaring "Mission Accomplished", an imitation of the capture of Saddam Hussein, a child in a cage reminiscent of one of the Kenneth Bigley hostage videos, the aforementioned collapse of the block towers, a child dressed and positioned in imitation of a published picture of Satar Jabar from the Abu Ghraib prison, and several children pulling another from a toy house to play execute him with a can of silly string (in reference to the Hamdania incident). A boy inside a toy car puts on goggles and is driven into a plastic ball pit wall to cause a burst of confetti, symbolic of the many suicide bombings at US Army checkpoints. The children performing acts similar to those of the US military are clearly distinguished by wearing helmets reminiscent of soldiers' helmets.

Meanwhile Serj, dressed in a top hat and suit, sings as they play. The video concludes as the children all look out the daycare window and solemnly watch a Marine Corps detail load a flag-draped casket into a hearse. Meanwhile, the dead Marine's grief-stricken parents are looking in horror and disbelief at the day care, after seeing what the children have done.

The video has also appeared on Much Music's Video On Trial.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2007) Peak
position [9]
Billboard Canadian Hot 100 72
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 97
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 3
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 4
UK Singles Chart 78
UK Rock Chart 1


  1. ^ Serj Tankian - Empty Walls (Reprise) - Single reviews
  2. ^ Serj Tankian Tuned. July 18, 2007. Accessed September 7, 2007.
  3. ^ Harris, Chris and Yasmine Richard. (July 20, 2007). System Of A Down Frontman Serj Tankian On Intimate Solo LP MTV. Accessed September 7, 2007.
  4. ^ Brown, August. (July 15, 2007). Tankian works outside the system. LA Times. (Free registration required.) Accessed September 7, 2007.
  5. ^ Elect The Dead 2 track promo
  6. ^ Warner Bros. Records online store (September 27, 2007)
  7. ^ Official video
  8. ^ System Of a Down singer to make album videos, by Metal Hammer, August 28, 2007. Accessed September 7, 2007.
  9. ^ "Sky Is Over chart history". Retrieved February 21, 2008. 

External links[edit]