System Of A Down’s John Dolmayan: “Serj Tankian Hasn’t Really Wanted To Be In The Band For A Long Time”

During a recent interview on the “Battleline Podcast,” System Of A Down’s John Dolmayan shared his thoughts on the group’s inability to release a new full-length album. Notably, the drummer placed some of the blame on frontman Serj Tankian, claiming that he “hasn’t really wanted to be in the band for a long time.”

Dolmayan said the following:

“Serj hasn’t really wanted to be in the band for a long time. And quite frankly, we probably should have parted ways around 2006. We tried to get together multiple times to make an album, but there were certain rules set in place that made it difficult to do so and maintain the integrity of what SYSTEM OF A DOWN stood for. So we couldn’t really come together and agree. And part of that is Serj’s fault, and part of that is my fault, and [bassist] Shavo [Odadjian]’s and [guitarist] Daron [Malakian]’s as well. But at the end of the day, if you have a majority of the band thinking one way and one person thinking the other, it’s very difficult to come together and make music thinking that person is important. And every member of this band is very important to the overall sound of the band. And you’ll know this by listening to anybody’s side projects; they’re never quite that good compared to SYSTEM. In fact, I think a lot of ’em aren’t very good at all. And when you compare that to what we do together as SYSTEM, you understand why the team matters and having certain talents come together and merge matter and that magic thing captured doing that matters.

No matter what, Daron is one of the best songwriters I’ve ever seen in my life. What he does with SCARS [ON BROADWAY] will never be on the same level or league as SYSTEM. That doesn’t mean SCARS is bad; it just means it’s not SYSTEM. ‘Cause at the end of the day, he doesn’t have me playing drums; he doesn’t have Shavo playing bass and bringing in certain riffs and adding to Daron’s music, and he doesn’t have Serj bringing his melody and lyrics into the play. So it’s all those things that make us SYSTEM.”

He continued when asked what he meant when he said the band “should have parted ways around 2006”:

“I think we should have moved on, and if Serj didn’t wanna be in the band at that time, we should have just moved on and done it with somebody else. But that’s what happens when you’re loyal and you really wanna make it work; you’ll put up with things that may be detrimental to the health of the band or the health of the situation. Maybe it would have been better if we moved on and got another singer for an album or two and continued to make music and brought Serj back later if he wanted to come back. That probably would have been better. But as it is, I think we wasted 15, maybe 20 years of our lives waiting.”

He also added:

“When we’re actually on stage, it’s great. It’s just getting to that point that is disheartening. We have one show booked for next year. One show. That’s it.

I think we would like to be working a lot more, but Serj also has a bad back now; he’s messed up his back somehow. And he just doesn’t wanna tour as much as the rest of us do. Look, if my wife told me that we were gonna have sex once a year, I’d be divorced. So you figure that out for what it is.

I don’t think this is sustainable. The rest of us wanna work a lot more than he does. Now I don’t know if that means we’re just gonna break up and forget about it and call it a career or if we’re gonna move forward with somebody else or if Serj is gonna come around. Ultimately, the best-case scenario for me is Serj comes around and we can do, like, 15, 20 shows a year. Even that would be enough. We’d be able to go to places that we haven’t gone in a long time and play in front of fans that have never seen us play. That’s important to me.

I don’t know what’s gonna happen. Even talking about SYSTEM kind of bums me out, because I know what our potential is. And I know that if we make an album, it’ll be fantastic ’cause we have songs that have been ready for five [or] six years now; we just have to go in and record ’em. And I don’t know if that’s gonna happen or not.

You only get one shot at life. Make the best of it.”

[via Blabbermouth]

System Of A Down’s Serj Tankian Says He’s Not Interested In Doing Full-Scale Tours In The Future

During an interview with Metal Injection, System Of A Down’s Serj Tankian talked a bit about the band’s future. The frontman, who has been dealing with health issues, says he isn’t really interested in doing full-scale tours anymore.

Tankian said the following when asked about the possibility of a “Toxicity” 20th anniversary tour:

“‘Toxicity‘ by itself is too short to play as a set. Right, so that’s one. But second is that I have, you know, based on my health issues and kind of redundancy in doing the same thing over and over again in terms of touring, it’s something I’m not very interested in doing at this time. Not just for System, for my own stuff, for orchestra or solo stuff. I just haven’t been touring. I also had back surgery last year.

I’ve got certain issues that I’m getting over that are health issues that are affecting my mobility. I mean, I walk fine and I’m able to do stuff and I could perform. But the travel of a tour really, really affects me at this point. That and, to be honest with you, it’s not in my creative purview, you know? So a show here and there we’ve done and might still do. But as far as doing a specific thing, it’s not really something where I’m at right now.”

He continued:

“When you’re doing a full tour, those first two or three shows are really exciting, you know? Because you haven’t toured in a while and you’re playing the sets. You’re out there and you’re moving around and then you got the same set on the fourth show, fifth show, sixth show. By the 10th show, it’s fucking, what’s that movie? The Bill Murray one? ‘Groundhog Day‘. You know, it becomes ‘Groundhog Day‘.

And you still have fun because it’s a different audience, different city and all that, but it becomes a bit automatic, mechanical, a bit. And to me, that’s redundant artistically. Having one show that’s in a special place, done in a special way, is more interesting.”

Tankian was also once again asked about any future musical output from System Of A Down. The band have infamously been at a creative impasse for over 15 years now. There was a small glimmer of hope in late 2020 however, when the outfit released a pair of new songs. Those tracks were put together to benefit the people of Artsakh and raised over $600,000 dollars in aid money.

He also added the following when asked about the possibility of a new album or new music in general:

“Yeah, I personally focus on the latter because it’s always a compliment [to be asked about a new System of a Down record]. It’s kind of like someone saying, I mean, I don’t know. If you’re an architect and you design this incredible museum and everyone comes back to you and says, ‘when are you going to do a museum again?’ And you’re working on, I don’t know, industrial projects at this point or whatever, but you’re like, oh yeah, I’m grateful that you like that design. That’s rad, you know? And I guess when the opportunity comes up to do a museum again, I’ll do a museum again and that’s exactly what it is.”

System Of A Down’s Serj Tankian: “We Will Be Making An Announcement About Something Next Year”

During a recent interview with Kyle Meredith, System Of A Down frontman Serj Tankian offered an update on the band’s current status. He said the following:

“As of now, we haven’t talked about anything. We will be making an announcement about something next year that I can’t really tell you about. So there is that. But further than that, I can’t really say.”

[via Blabbermouth]

System Of A Down Producer Rick Rubin Says One Line From “Chop Suey!” Was Taken From A Book That Was Opened At Random

During an appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience,” Rick Rubin reflected on System Of A Down’s hit song “Chop Suey!.” Interestingly, the producer says the line “Father, into your hands. Why have you forsaken me?” was discovered after frontman Serj Tankian opened a book at random.

Rubin said the following:

“My experience is, when you are open and looking for these clues in the world, they’re happening all the time. And they’re happening, often right when you need them… This System Of A Down song called ‘Chop Suey!‘… I think. You know that song? It has this big bridge section in it where Serj, lyric writer—the singer—didn’t have words for this one part of the song.

And we’re sitting in the library in my old house and he said ‘I don’t have words for this’ and we were finishing and it’s like, ok. ‘Any ideas?’; he didn’t have any ideas. So I said, ‘Ok, pick a book off the wall.’ He picked a book randomly off the wall, I said ‘open it to any page [and] tell me the first phrase you see.’

He opened it, first phrase he sees: that’s what’s in the song, and it’s a highpoint in the song. It’s incredible, like magic.

It’s the part, ‘Father, into your hands. Why have you forsaken me?’ It’s wild… The context, it doesn’t really make sense to what’s going on, it’s rad.”

[via The PRP]

System Of A Down’s First Two Albums Score New Multi-Platinum Certifications In The U.S.

System Of A Down’s first two albums have scored some new multi-platinum certifications from the RIAA. The band’s self-titled debut album has since gone 2x platinum, while “Toxicity” has since gone 6x platinum.

Watch System Of A Down’s Serj Tankian & John Dolmayan Perform “Aerials” With A Street Band In Mexico

System Of A Down frontman Serj Tankian and drummer John Dolmayan recently joined a street band called Médium for a special performance of “Aerials.” You can see footage of that below. The performance took place while the bandmates/brothers-in-law were celebrating Dolmayan‘s 50th birthday in San José del Cabo, Mexico.

System Of A Down, Korn, & Russian Circles Announce Two More Shows Together

System Of A Down, Korn, and Russian Circles have booked two more shows together. Here’s their updated schedule:

01/31 Phoenix, AZ – Footprint Center
02/01 San Diego, CA – Viejas Arena
02/04 Los Angeles, CA – Banc Of California Stadium (with Helmet)
02/05 Los Angeles, CA – Banc Of California Stadium (with Helmet)

System Of A Down’s John Dolmayan Complains About Los Angeles’ Vaccine Mandate: “Self-Imposed Tyranny And Mental Slavery Is Rampant”

System Of A Down’s John Dolmayan, who has continuously made headlines for his right-wing political ramblings, is at it again. The drummer recently took to Instagram to complain about the vaccine mandate in Los Angeles, CA:

“Why does history repeat itself in the most tragic ways? People forget to capitalize on the lessons of the past and ignore the signs of a disastrous future. Today I went to a restaurant in Los Angeles that had a security guard that demanded paperwork for entry and watched as dozens of patrons capitulated and showed their “papers”. Things really don’t change do they? As long as you have a strong propaganda machine in place and find a way to take away basic rights even temporarily most people will do anything they are asked to gain back a sense of normalcy. The funny thing is three miles East in Glendale life is far more free and normal. Self imposed tyranny and mental slavery is rampant and infesting far too many places world wide. Hopefully this madness will pass.”

System Of A Down’s Serj Tankian On His Battle With COVID-19: “Being Vaccinated Helped Minimize My Symptoms And Suffering”

As previously reported, System Of A Down were forced to postpone two shows after Serj Tankian tested positive for COVID-19. Now, the frontman has shared a new update on his condition, while also thanking fans for their support:

“…I am overwhelmed and extremely grateful for the outpouring of love and concern from friends and strangers alike. I am doing well and hoping to be clear of all symptoms soon. I believe that being vaccinated helped minimize my symptoms and suffering. We have many in our community who are resistant to the vaccine. I do understand and am not someone who takes sides on this issue. I think every medical situation requires proper understanding of the patients gender, age, medical history and preconditions. Vaccines should be not different and their side effects taken into serious consideration. The health industry cannot operate as a one size fits all on anything anymore. It’s medically irresponsible. That said I’m happy I along with my elder parents are vaccinated. Thank you again for all the love.”

System Of A Down Postpone Los Angeles Shows After Serj Tankian Tests Positive For COVID-19

System Of A Down’s Serj Tankian has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, the band have been forced to postpone their Los Angeles, CA shows with Korn, Helmet, and Russian Circles. The concerts will now take place at Banc Of California Stadium on February 4-5.

The band said the following:

“It is with great regret that we must reschedule our Los Angeles performances to February 4th and 5th, 2022. Despite multiple precautionary measures, Serj has unfortunately tested positive for COVID. We’re sorry to disappoint our amazing fans with this last minute news, as we could not wait to finally play for you.

However, the health of our band, crew, venue staff and all of our fans is our top priority. All tickets will be honored the rescheduled dates. Refund availability will be sent to all ticket buyers via email.”

Tankian also issued his own statement:

“After having 3 really fun shows, I got back to LA with flu-like symptoms. I am shocked that it could even be Covid as I am not just vaccinated but also incredibly careful. I am so sorry to have to push these dates yet again especially to those who made sacrifices to be here from out of town. Touring is not something I intend to continue doing down the line so these handful of shows have meant the world to me. Thank you for your love and understanding. Peace Serj”