John Dolmayan On Lack Of A New System Of A Down Album: “Not One Of Us, Rather ALL Of Us Are To Blame”

Daron Malakian recently made headlines after he essentially 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. Now, John Dolmayan has decided to weigh in on the situation, saying in a way they are all to blame.

Here’s Dolmayan’s statement:

“Many theories and much speculation have circulated through the years with blame focused on one member of the band for the lack of new material, if that is true; then why is that? Every action has a cause , every reaction has a cause and the truth is, each member of the band is equally responsible for both our incredible success on our previous recordings and our unbelievable failure to get along and make music together. Not one of us, rather ALL of us are to blame. Egomania eccentricities ,megalomania-and sometimes just stupidity all play roles.

To our fans, I’m truly sorry for letting you down , to the songs that could have been-I’m sorry you haven’t.”

[via The PRP]


Serj Tankian Issues Statement Regarding His Reasons For Lack Of A New System Of A Down Album

Serj Tankian has issued a new statement to offer an explanation for the lack of a new System Of A Down album. His comments come after Daron Malakian made headlines earlier today (July 11) after he essentially said Tankian is the one standing in the way of new music.

Here’s Tankian’s statement:

“Confessions about Soad by Serj Tankian

We are extremely lucky mofos for our fans to want a record out of our ragtag misfit of a crew after all these years, at times demanding it. This of course has led to numerous rumors about the band and our inability to make a record together coupled with he said/he said excerpts from each of our interviews in the past and present at times by sensationalism seeking media who are in no way, let’s say, changing the world for the better themselves 🙂

So I’m going to attempt to clarify things for all of our sake once and for all hopefully without vilifying anyone in the process.

It is true that I and only I was responsible for the hiatus Soad took in 2006. Everyone else wanted to continue at the same pace to tour and make records.
I didn’t. Why? For numerous reasons:

1. Artistic: I’ve always felt continuing to do the same thing with the same people over time is artistically redundant even for a dynamic outfit like ours. By that time I felt that I needed a little time to do my own work. I wasn’t discounting restarting the process with the band later.

2. Egalitarianism: When we first started out our creative input and financial revenue splits were close to equal within the band. By the time Mezmerize/Hypnotize came around we were at the diametrically opposite end on both with Daron controlling both the creative process and making the lions share of publishing not to mention wanting to be the only one to do press.

3. I wanted to leave the band before Mezmerize/Hypnotize for these developing reasons. This is why I personally don’t feel as close to the music on those records. There were songs I wanted to bring in but was hampered by unkept promises coupled by my own passivity at the time.

Time went by, we all did our own thing. My solo career gave me the confidence as a songwriter and later composer to re-visit Soad from a position of strength at first just to tour and enjoy each others’ company, which we did and do so still.

I knew they wanted to make a record, but given the past I was hesitant. At times there would be emotionally tinged outbursts by one band member or another mostly blaming me for the band’s inactivity.

After a long time thinking and processing, about 2 years ago, I went to the guys with a proposition for a way forward as a band.

I wanted to rectify the wrongs of the past and establish a way we can all be happy moving forward so I recommended the following:

1. Equal creative input: by this time I had released 5 of my own records and was a better songwriter musically and Daron was getting better as a lyricist, so I said let’s each bring in 6 songs that all band members approve fully and work on them along with songs or riffs from Shavo.

2. Equal publishing split: I personally feel that a band is an equal partnership and finances should reflect that.

3. Directors cut: whomever wrote the song makes the final decision after exhausting all types of ideas from anybody within the group. I did this because in the past, I’d bring in a song that would be morphed into an undesirable version that I myself would withdraw from consideration.

4. Develop a new concept or theme so that it’s not just a record but a full experience.

(Obviously I’m omitting many other details here like agreeing on the “sound” of a new record which we couldn’t do either as we went back and forth with songs by Daron and myself. I remember sending lots of notes on songs by Daron, mostly from his current Scars on Broadway record, most of which I didn’t consider applicable to Soad etc, they played around with some of my songs-suffice to say I think we tried).

Ultimately I had to draw a line in the sand because I knew I could never be happy going back to how things used to be within the band.

And as we couldn’t see eye to eye on all these points we decided to put aside the idea of a record altogether for the time being.

My only regret is that we have been collectively unable to give you another Soad record. For that I apologize.

Thanks for reading

Daron Malakian Opens Up About Serj Tankian Being The Holdout On A New System Of A Down Album

During a recent interview with Kerrang!, Daron Malakian opened up about the lack of a new System Of A Down album. As many have assumed, it appears Serj Tankian is the holdout on the effort.

Malakian said the following when asked if System Of A Down are only a franchise at this point:

“No, because we enjoy playing the songs, and we enjoy going out on tour. We have fun doing it. When it comes to making another album, there’s just a certain way that System make albums, and there’s a bunch of us that want to make an album that way and there is, I guess, one of us that doesn’t want to make an album his way. And not everyone is on board with that. That’s been the issue.

I have material for a new System album. Right now, if everyone got together and was ready to play ball, I have an album ready. If it was up to me, System would have never gone on hiatus.”

He also added the following when asked if a ‘creative fracture’ between the band and Tankian could be resolved:

“It may never be resolved, or it may be, but so far it hasn’t been. There was a time, I think, when I would have taken this a little more personally, but not anymore.

I realize that it’s not me. We’ve had so many meetings about it. I don’t want to throw Serj under the bus—he’s my friend and he’s someone that I care about—but I don’t know how to change his mind.

We’ve all sat down and we’ve had meetings, and he’s totally set in his way of thinking. Serj was never really a heavy metal or a rock guy. I don’t know if he has the same love for this kind of music as I do.

I’m the kid that grew up with Slayer and KISS on my walls. I wanted to be like them some day. Serj didn’t grow up feeling that way. He didn’t grow up a diehard fan.

So I feel like the whole experience of becoming the lead singer in a hugely successful band was different for him than my experience was for me.”

Malakian then said the following when it was mentioned that he hadn’t released much music himself for a long time:

“…A lot of that is System-related. I could put a song out as System Of A Down and it would be a bigger deal than if I put it out as a Scars On Broadway song, even though it would be the same song, same melody, same lyrics, same everything.

But as Scars On Broadway, it isn’t such a big deal. And it makes me think that it’s funny that people listen to music in the same way that they’d choose a pair of jeans. It’s become like a brand. Bands are like brands, I suppose, and that’s kind of frustrating for me.

To be honest with you, Serj didn’t even want to make “Mezmerize” and “Hypnotize“. We really begged him to make those records. At the time he felt like he was out.”

Malakian also commented on how System Of A Down led to Scars On Broadway’s hiatus:

“I realized that my songs were not getting the same love because they were not played by System Of A Down. Nobody knew that when we went on hiatus that it was going to last for this long.

I didn’t even want System to take a hiatus. If you were talking to me back then I would have said that we’d be taking a three or four-year break, tops.

That is my biggest frustration. I thought, ‘Why am I starting this whole brand new thing? I’ll just take a break for a few years and then we’ll go back to System Of A Down.’

That way of thinking has kept me from putting out an album for 10 years because every few years the discussion about making a new System album would come up again.

And I made System my priority—I mean, I formed the band, for Christsakes. It was my baby and I stayed loyal to that.

Because of that commitment I haven’t put out music for 10 years, even though I’ve been writing a lot of stuff. I have a shit ton of material.”

[via The PRP]

System Of Down’s John Dolmayan & Shavo Odadjian In The Studio Together

System Of A Down’s John Dolmayan and Shavo Odadjian have been in the studio together recently. It is unknown what they are working on, but considering Serj Tankian has already decided repurpose the tracks he wrote for System Of A Down and the fact that Daron Malakian has moved forward with Scars On Broadway after initially saving the material, it’s probably safe to assume it’s not related to the band. Some have speculated that the collaboration could be part of Dolmayan‘s These Grey Men covers project, but the fact that Dolmayan said Odadjian is “a very strong songwriter” in the below Instagram post seems to suggest otherwise.

Great song ideas flowing from a very strong song writer . Stay tuned @shavoodadjian

A post shared by John Dolmayan (@johndolmayan_) on

Serj Tankian To Repurpose Songs He Originally Wrote For System Of A Down

Considering System Of A Down still can’t agree on what direction to take their new album in, Serj Tankian will now be using the tracks he wrote for the effort for a new solo EP or film soundtrack. He said the following about that in a recent newsletter:

“I have five rock songs that I wanted I do with SOAD but it doesn’t look like that’s gonna work out, so I am finishing those up to release them as a solo EP or possibly as a soundtrack for my film cause they are interrelated.”

Aside from this, Tankian has a number of other projects he’s working on. They include a recently finished score for the film “Spitak,” which focuses on a man looking for his family after the Armenian earthquake in the 1980s, his Fuktronic project with Mindless Self Indulgence‘s Little Jimmy Urine, and more. This news comes after Daron Malakian previously said he held off on releasing Scars On Broadway’s new album “Dictator“ (out July 20) for years, because he wanted to use some of the material for a possible new System Of A Down album.

John Dolmayan On Possibility Of New System Of A Down Album: “I Don’t Know If It’s Ever Gonna Happen At This Point”

During a recent interview with KROQ, John Dolmayan was asked about the possibility of a new System Of A Down album. He responded with the following:

“It’s a complex question. You know I’m ready to go any time and certain members of my band haven’t been able to make it work for themselves. And it’s one of those things where if you can’t get everybody to… If you can’t get everybody to come together and do it, it just doesn’t happen.”

He later added:

“I don’t know if it’s ever gonna happen at this point. I don’t like saying that but you got to live in the realm of reality and anything we do outside of System is never gonna anywhere be close to System. System is the best thing that anybody in System will ever do. But we still do the other things.”

His comments echo recent comments made by Daron Malakian.

Daron Malakian On Possibility Of New System Of A Down Album: “It’s Not Looking Like We’re Doing Something Together Soon”

During a recent interview with Revolver, Daron Malakian was asked about the possibility of a new System Of A Down album. He responded with the following: “I couldn’t say ever, but as of right now, it’s not looking like we’re doing something together soon.”

Here’s Malakian’s full statement:

“I couldn’t say ever, but as of right now, it’s not looking like we’re doing something together soon. I can’t close the book on it and say it’s done forever. We still play live. We’re all still friends. All my band members posted [Scars On Broadway’s single “Lives“] on their own Facebooks and Instagrams, so we’re all very supportive of each other.

It’s more a combination of where each person is at a different point in their life, and each person wants to do a different thing. There are some creative differences as well on what direction each one of us wants to take the next System album, if that ever happens. Which is fine. I’m not sitting here upset or anything.

The only thing I’m a little frustrated with was waiting for that to maybe happen or not happen. Too much time has passed by since I’ve released anything with Scars or System. But it’s never too late.”