System Of A Down’s John Dolmayan To Release His Own Comic Book

System Of A Down’s John Dolmayan is reportedly planning to release a new comic book called “Ascencia” in April. The drummer told The Pulse Of Radio the following [via Blabbermouth]:

“It’s about the choices one would make if given the opportunity to live in a place that keeps you immortal. Like, who would you betray? Who would you screw over? It would test your moral fiber and it tests who you are as a person, make you question everything about yourself. It’s a sci-fi epic that I’m putting out as a monthly series. I’m self-publishing it, so I’m very proud of it.”

John Dolmayan: “There’s Always Been Dysfunction” In System Of A Down

During a recent interview with SiriusXM’s “Trunk Nation,” drummer John Dolmayan once again commented on the lack of new System Of A Down music and the internal struggles within the group. According to him, “there’s always been dysfunction” in the band.

Dolmayan said the following:

“The reality is none of us should have time to do other projects. We should be so focused on the band and working on the band and exploring our talents within it, making music that people can listen to within the confines of SYSTEM OF A DOWN that we shouldn’t have time for anything else. I shouldn’t have time to be here [giving this interview] right now.”

He also added the following about their inability to release new music:

“Why do marriages break up? Why do friendships that you’ve had for 20 years dissipate? It just happens. Especially when you’re talking about four individuals that are artistic-minded, you’re gonna have rifts.

“The bottom line is the bigger you get as a band, the more people tell you how great you are in the band and how your role is the most important role, and some people listen a little more than others and become enamored with their own ideas and kind of have to have an identity outside of the band, and other people don’t,” he continued. “That’s just the bottom line. And then you also have the natural progression of people where they tend to grow in their own ways. We have four very distinct members in SYSTEM… We’re very different — not better or worse; just different… So, I think it’s natural for some bands to do that and really just get in their own way. And that’s what I think we did.”

He continued after being asked if dysfunction has always been present in the band:

“I can’t speak on the original formation, because I was a late member — I’m the newest guy in the band. Three years [after the band formed], I joined. Yeah, there’s always been dysfunction. I was friends with the guys before I was in the band, and it was there then. But like everything else, the more money and fame you have, the more complicated it becomes. And I feel somehow you lose sight of that mentality that got you there, which is us versus them.

“I’m not the first person to say this. It’s the same thing that happens in every single band. It used to be us versus everybody: ‘We’ve got something to prove. We’re gonna get our music out there. We’re struggling. We’re broke. What are we gonna do with our lives if this doesn’t work out?’ And those types of challenges, that’s what makes the sword resolute; that’s what makes it strong. And then when you don’t have those things, you have to come up with different motivations to still have that fire. Otherwise you just become a greatest-hits band.”

[via Blabbermouth]

System Of A Down Members Share Different Views On Bernie Sanders

System Of A Down have been a politically charged band over the years, but it appears members of the group have very different views on Sen. Bernie Sanders. Frontman Serj Tankian has been a supporter of the self-proclaimed democratic socialist, but drummer John Dolmayan has taken to social media to slam the presidential candidate for some of his ideas.

Dolmayan said the following:

“Childcare / free , healthcare / free, university/ free. Fuck it , if everything’s going to be free and it’s all going to come from the rich anyway then why work at all? Why not just live off the work and profits of the rich? I’m a millionaire and so is Bernie but I only have two houses so maybe I can share this hypocrite’s “summer camp”.

Don’t believe the indoctrination, don’t believe Hollywood/ music elites , and don’t believe communism disguised as democratic socialism will do anything but strip you of your freedoms and make everyone equally destitute. Venezuela, China, North Korea , Nazi Germany, Cambodia (Pol Pot) , Italy ( Mussolini ) , etc.

It doesn’t work , it will not work , and it always leads to poverty for the working class. The same elites pushing this agenda will be well taken care of while the rest of the people starve.”

On the same day, Tankian posted a headline about Sanders winning the popular vote in the first three early voting states with a caption that said “Oh yeah!!!”

View this post on Instagram

Childcare / free , healthcare / free, university/ free. Fuck it , if everything’s going to be free and it’s all going to come from the rich anyway then why work at all? Why not just live off the work and profits of the rich? I’m a millionaire and so is Bernie but I only have two houses so maybe I can share this hypocrite’s “summer camp”. Don’t believe the indoctrination, don’t believe Hollywood/ music elites , and don’t believe communism disguised as democratic socialism will do anything but strip you of your freedoms and make everyone equally destitute. Venezuela, China, North Korea , Nazi Germany, Cambodia (Pol Pot) , Italy ( Mussolini ) , etc. It doesn’t work , it will not work , and it always leads to poverty for the working class. The same elites pushing this agenda will be well taken care of while the rest of the people starve.

A post shared by John Dolmayan (@johndolmayan_) on

John Dolmayan On Failed New System Of A Down Album: “Nothing Is Finished Until All Four Members Are On It, And Serj Had Nothing To Do With It”

During a recent interview with Loudwire Nights, John Dolmayan addressed System Of A Down’s inability to release new music once again. Interestingly, the drummer also revealed that frontman Serj Tankian was not involved in past writing sessions for a potential album.

Dolmayan said the following when asked about bassist Shavo Odadjian previously claiming that the band “have material that tops everything [they’ve] done”:

“I don’t know if it’s the best thing we’ve ever written — we haven’t finished it,” John said. “Nobody can tell you that it’s the best thing we’ve ever written. First of all, what does that even mean? Until the record is finished and released — which I don’t think it ever will be at this point — but until it is, I don’t know how good it is or bad it is. We’re gonna do something that we’re proud of.

I guess what Shavo means by it is we’re extremely proud of the music, but, first of all, nothing is finished until all four members are on it, and Serj had nothing to do with it. He wasn’t at those rehearsals, he wasn’t in the process of bringing the songs in and working on ’em, writing them. These are just things we did in anticipation of the record happening, which never happened. But they are really good — I will tell you. A lot of potential in those songs.”

Despite his comments, it is worth noting that Tankian did write some new material for System Of A Down, but he was thinking about repurposing the tracks for a solo release.

Dolmayan also had the following to say after being asked if the band have considered group therapy:

“I think it was brought up back in 2006, but it never happened. It would probably help, just because you have somebody that has no motivation and no stake in the game and can look at things from an outside perspective. They’re also trained to figure things out and come to the bottom of feelings and all that. But I don’t see that happening either.

We’re a very stubborn and stupid band. And we don’t make decisions necessarily based on what’s best for everybody. There’s a lot of selfishness in this band. It’s the reality of being human beings, I guess, to a certain extent. So, no, I don’t see that happening. It’s unfortunate. I find it very unlikely that System Of A Down will ever record again. And as sad as that is to say, we never reached our potential, and I don’t think we ever will.”

Nevertheless, he still tried to be positive adding: “You never know what happens.”

[via Blabbermouth]

Listen To System Of A Down’s Serj Tankian & John Dolmayan Cover David Bowie’s “Starman”

John Dolmayan is streaming a cover of David Bowie‘s ”Starman“ from his These Grey Men project. The track features his System Of A Down bandmate Serj Tankian and it will appear on These Grey Men’s self-titled debut album, which is set to be released on February 28.

John Dolmayan On The Lack Of New System Of A Down Music: “It’s Not Something That’s In My Control”

During a recent interview with Kerrang!, John Dolmayan once again commented on the lack of new System Of A Down music. The drummer said “it’s not something that’s in [his] control” and that they would be “making an album now if it was up to [him]”

Dolmayan said the following:

“First of all, thank you to everyone for actually giving a shit still – to our fans who have been waiting patiently [for a new album]. I appreciate it personally, and I’m sure the rest of the guys do, too. Unfortunately it’s not something that’s in my control. I wanted to make an album in 2007…and 2009…and 2012…and 2015…and 2018, and we’d have been making an album now if it was up to me. As long as we were making music that we felt was of the same quality, there was no reason to stop making records, but not everybody in the band shares my mindset for whatever reason.

“I’ve said in the past that we’ve got to put our egos aside when it comes to this type of stuff. We started as a band that struggled; none of us had money, and tried to make it, not because we wanted money but because we had a passion for what we were doing. We wanted to make that into our careers, whether that made us enough money to survive or into multimillionaires, whatever got us to the point of making a living as an artist, that’s what we were pursuing. The mistake that many of us make is that you start to believe the hype about yourselves, you start to believe how wonderful you are and anything you do is gold. If you listen to your fans on Instagram, you can drive yourself nuts, as the vast majority on there are telling you how great you are, but then there are others telling you you’re shit. Once you start believing anyone but yourself, you’ve already lost and you can’t recover from that.

“For whatever reason, System Of A Down has done a really good job of getting into that in our own way. But we’re not alone; Tool did a very good job of that for a long time and Rage Against The Machine has done a fantastic job of that for as long as we’ve been a band.”

He also added the following about the members’ side projects:

“We made side projects that compared to the mothership were mediocre, and that includes mine. My stuff doesn’t compare or compete with System It’s just something I’ve done for enjoyment, and I hope people enjoy it, but System isn’t comparable to anything any individual member of System can accomplish, musically — I don’t care how many things you put out there! I know Daron is probably making another Scars On Broadway album, Serj is doing his orchestral and solo work, and I’m doing my stuff, but let me tell you: none of it will mean shit compared to System because it was the four of us together, with our talents unified to one purpose. That’s what makes System great. The lack of that is just that — a lack. If we lost any member we’d be poorer for it.

He continued:

“This is just the reality of life. People can’t get it together and can’t get out of their own ways. Maybe they’re upset about something that happened 20 years ago, or maybe they want to create a new reason to be upset. Either way, it is what it is. At a certain point you move on to other things. If you’re dating a girl, you’re in love with her and you want to marry her but she doesn’t love you, you’ve got to move on.”

System Of A Down Drummer John Dolmayan‘s These Grey Men Project Share Video For Cover Of Radiohead‘s “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” Feat. M. Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold) & Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine)

These Grey Men, the covers project featuring System Of A Down drummer John Dolmayan, have shared an official video for their cover of Radiohead‘s “Street Spirit (Fade Out).” The track, which features Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows and Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello, will appear on the band’s self-titled debut album, which is set to be released on February 28.

Dolmayan told Rolling Stone the following:

“This song in particular is a really touching and moving song. I love the morose, in-your-room-and-it’s-raining-outside, it’s cold and your girlfriend dumped you feeling that this song always gave me… But when I listened to it, I’d be like, ‘I kinda wish the drums came in earlier’, or, ‘How would [John] Bonham approach this song if this was a [Led] Zeppelin song?’ Because I’m such a fan of the song, I wanted to do a version of it in homage.”

M. Shadows added:

“When John told me he wanted to reimagine some of his favorite songs for an album I was very intrigued. I’ve always respected Radiohead but wasn’t familiar with their full catalog. When John sent ‘Street Spirit’ I instantly was blow away by the sounds. Since then I have been on a huge Radiohead kick. Adding Tom Morello to our version was the icing on the cake. I feel this recording stays true to the original while adding John’s overall vision.”

Here’s the full track listing for These Grey Men’s debut album:

01. “Hung Up” (Madonna cover)
02. “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” (Radiohead cover) (feat. M. Shadows & Tom Morello)
03. “Beautiful Thieves” (AFI cover)
04. “Road to Nowhere” (Talking Heads cover) (feat. Serj Tankian)
05. “Rock Bottom” (Eminem cover)
06. “Runaway” (Del Shannon cover)
07. “Starman” (David Bowie cover) (feat. Serj Tankian)
08. “What You Know” (Two Door Cinema Club cover)