During a recent appearance on Avenged Sevenfold bassist Johnny Christ‘s “Drinks With Johnny,” System Of A Down drummer John Dolmayan opened up about the current state of the band. Among the topics covered was the group’s live shows, some of which Dolmayan “was not proud of recently.”
Dolmayan said the following:
“I’m gonna be honest with you — we played a couple of shows that I was not proud of recently, because we didn’t put in the practice, and we had, like, a skeleton crew. They [are the ones who] set up the equipment, they set up the lights, all the production. All this stuff has to be set up so that we can go up and do our jobs, which is to entertain you ultimately. And these guys all have to work when we’re not working.
Avenged does it the right way — they’ll do an album cycle, they’ll do a hundred shows, or whatever it is in that cycle, which means they can employ these people for a year to two years. System does it the complete opposite way and half-assed. We employ people for three to four weeks, which means we get who’s available as opposed to who we wanna work with long term.”
He also had the following to say about the band’s lack of new material:
“We’ve been enormously successful with each other. So, ego gets in the way a lot. It gets in the way of relationships, it gets in the way of business relationships, and sometimes you lose sight of why you started to do something together. In any industry, but more so in music, people get into their heads sometimes. You’ve gotta let things go in life.
You have to let things go in that you’re gonna offend each other, you’re gonna have problems. Every relationship has them. So you’ve gotta get past it and get out of your own fucking way ultimately, and System just hasn’t been able to do that. We have some things that have gotten in the way of doing what we do best.”
On another note, Dolmayan also talked a bit about his These Grey Men covers project, which will feature guest appearances from M. Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold), Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, etc.), and more:
“I worked with really cool people… Again, I’m not trying to create something to compete with System. I’m just doing it because I enjoy playing music. I’m not a songwriter, but I can arrange the fuck out of songs. So, I arranged these songs in a way that I thought was interesting and I listened to songs that I thought maybe there was a lack. Or what would I do if I played this song? What would I do if I was presented this song?”