"Aerials" is a single by System of a Down, released in 2002 from the album Toxicity, which earned the band its second Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2003.

Aerials hit #1 on both the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks and Hot Modern Rock Tracks charts.[1]

While the album version of Aerials is 6:11 minutes long, a hidden track called "Arto" starts at 3:58 seconds. "Aerials" itself ends at 3:54.


  • It made #106 on the Y2KROQ Top 200 Songs of the Century.

Music videoEdit

The music video was directed by Shavo Odadjian and David Slade.

The video starts out in a desolate, desert-like place. The viewpoint then shifts to a circus tent. Inside, the band is getting ready, and being watched by a very abnormal looking young boy. The eyes are pulled back, and the mouth is very small. The point is that he is an alien and he's unlike everyone else. The band starts playing. It then shifts to the boy surrounded by people in an urban environment, with a large group around him dancing. It then shifts back to the band playing inside the tent. Back outside, the boy is walking down the Hollywood Walk of Fame with two women in red dresses. The scene then becomes that of the boy, two different women in similar dresses as the first, and an older man, who seems to be interviewing them, or making an agreement. Exiting the building, paparazzi swarm the boy and begin photographing the boy. People begin interviewing him, but he is never seen to respond. It then cuts back to the band for a short period of time, where after it displays the boy in a photo shoot, being examined with different clothes. The scene continues to cut between the photo shoot and the band, until near the end, where it shows the boy with two women in red dresses, reaching for money that is falling from above. At the end of the song, every scene the boy has been shown in is shown briefly. He then walks to the middle of the circus tent, lays down in the middle, and closes his eyes, as the song ends.

Some fans of System of a Down claim that the song is about man's nature to be a paradox, i.e. different people at different time[1][2]because of lines such as "Life is a waterfall,we're one in the river, one again after the fall." Other fans interpret the track as a critique of mainstream American luxury compared to the band's rejection of the mainstream, e.g, the scene with the alien leaving the press after being publicly scrutinized for his fame and retreating to the band playing in a barren desert. Some fans believe that lyrics such as "And we are the ones that want to choose/always want to play but you never want to lose" and the line "Life is a waterfall/we drink from the river then we turn around and put up our walls" refers to humankind's tendency to exploit the Earth's resources,something through the eyes of a heavanly being whether it be an angel or an extra-terrestrial[2][3].

Track listingEdit

Aerials (UK Import)Edit


# TitleLyricsMusic Length
1. "Aerials"  Tankian, MalakianMalakian 3:54
2. "Toxicity" (Live)TankianOdadjian, Malakian  
3. "P.L.U.C.K." (Live)TankianMalakian  
4. "Aerials" (Video)Tankian, MalakianMalakian  


# TitleLyricsMusic Length
1. "Aerials"  Tankian, MalakianMalakian 3:57
2. "Streamline" (alternate version)Tankian, MalakianMalakian 3:38
3. "Sugar" (Live)TankianOdadjian, Malakian 4:06

Aerials (Australian LE)Edit

# TitleLyricsMusic Length
1. "Aerials"  Tankian, MalakianMalakian 3:57
2. "Toxicity"  TankianOdadjian, Malakian 4:41
3. "P.L.U.C.K."  TankianMalakian 3:40

Aerials (Maxi-Single)Edit


# TitleLyricsMusic Length
1. "Aerials" (Radio edit)Tankian, MalakianMalakian 3:54
2. "Toxicity" (Live)TankianOdadjian, Malakian  
3. "Sugar" (Live)TankianOdadjian, Malakian  
4. "P.L.U.C.K." (Live)TankianMalakian  
5. "Aerials" (Video)Tankian, MalakianMalakian  

Aerials (Promo Single)Edit

# TitleLyricsMusic Length
1. "Aerials"  Tankian, MalakianMalakian 3:57

Aerials (7" Single)Edit

# TitleLyricsMusic Length
1. "Aerials"  Tankian, MalakianMalakian 3:57
2. "Snowblind"  Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Bill WardButler, Iommi, Osbourne, Ward 4:40

External linksEdit


Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.