Back in July, Daron Malakian made headlines after he basically said Serj Tankian is the one standing in the way of a new System Of A Down album. Tankian then responded with a lengthy statement to offer a more detailed explanation as to why the band haven’t created new music. More recently, Shavo Odadjian said the group aren’t fighting and that they actually “have material that tops everything [they’ve] done.” However, Tankian has now told Rolling Stone that nothing has changed since the public dispute.
Tankian offered insight into what happened following the public grievances:
“We got together to rehearse, said hi and had a conversation and just carried things forward as we’ve always done. We’ve been friends and together for 25 to 30 years. That’s a long time. The difference between business and bands are people know when they’re working within a business, but when they’re in a band, it’s confusing because you’re also very close friends. There are times when you have to say, ‘OK, this is not working on the business end but I love you.’ With bands, you rarely see that happening.
The reason I posted what I did is because I didn’t want any negative security threats against any of us, in terms of, ‘Fuck you. You’re the reason that no System record’s being made.’ For me, it was just saying, ‘Look. I’ve tried. We’ve tried. We just haven’t been able to see eye to eye. It’s not because we’re lazy. We’re still friends. We still tour.’ This is the truth.”
He then added the following when asked if it changed anything:
“No, it didn’t really. I think it released a lot of tension and negativity. Everything became more public and open, and that was that. There were no further discussions.”
He also said the following when asked about his idea to “develop a new concept or theme so that it’s not just a record but a full experience”:
“I just feel like music has been commoditized. If I were to do an orchestral show, I’d also want to do an art show. So it’s using multiple senses, doing experiential events. Music is music: You’re ultimately going to release it and people are going to listen to it, but I thought it would be great if we created some type of event or set of events that stem out thematically from the music that can encapsulate whatever new record or sound we’re propagating. In other news, we’d not just release a record, but do something more grand around it.”
He also talked about the tracks he repurposed from the failed System Of A Down sessions:
“I recently finished mixing a lot of the songs I was hoping we could do with System. I want them to be part of my music film, so I’m waiting for that. I have finished five rock songs. I just did a rock remix yesterday, actually, of one of the revolutionary songs for the Armenian film. It’s a rock song in Armenian, and I did a heavier mix.
But obviously I write in orchestral music, jazz and rock. One reason I like composing for films is because every director wants something different, genre-wise, sound-wise, emotion-wise. It’s fun. I get to make a different-sounding record every time.”