Vartan Garabedian: “Let’s start helping Armenia from within!
What’s going on with your experimental music project of recording Armenian classical themes that you initiated with Petre Ionutescu?
In Arad, we recorded three of the six songs we had chosen. And since Petrich, as we call Petre, and I became fathers this year, we’ve kept our records for now. We hope to meet again in Romania or Sweden and get back to work.
Last March you were involved in the Romanian The rock band B-Ton’s plan to record their version of system of a Downthe song, Protect your land raise awareness of the recent war in Armenia. It was unexpected and touching. Could you please talk about it?
I received a phone call from my friend, the founder of B-Ton, an activist. He knew the situation in Artsakh and Armenia and offered me to play with them a song from System of a Down, one of the most famous Armenian rock bands. We chose Protect your land without hesitation, because at that time we could do nothing but defend the country, which unfortunately we could not do. And we did the recording and the video in about two weeks. But since Romanians don’t pay much attention to the cover band, it only spread to certain regions of Romania. It was not our goal: this work gave satisfaction to me and to my friends, I wanted to do something for my country, my nation and to make hear my voice on Armenia in Romania.
In a recent interview, you said: “Armenians will never give up the idea of returning home, to a small and beautiful country, the most beautiful on earth, but which could never have peace because of their enemies. So are you also thinking about coming back?
Yes of course. People think that Armenians living elsewhere are happy people. It is completely false. Wherever you are, you will speak the local language and you are a foreigner, whether you have German, Swedish or American nationality. It’s a dream for me to return to Armenia, it’s a great pleasure to live there, but for that, you have to make a decision. I haven’t made a decision yet; it depends on me. As we say in Armenian, let it be late, let it be sweet, but this one thing won’t be late. I see myself settling in Armenia before I turn 40. A big problem for us Armenians is that we like to help our country from afar. It would be very good for Armenians to start helping their homeland in Armenia. I will prove my words after a few years, when we drink coffee together in Yerevan. So let’s start helping Armenia from within!