SYSTEM OF A DOWN drummer John Dolmayan has once again expressed his frustration over stalled attempts to record a follow-up to the band's "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize" albums, which came out in 2005. Speaking to U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine about SYSTEM's inability to make new music, John said: "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," he continued. "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," he added. "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."
Asked if he thinks his realization that his and his bandmates' side projects have all been "mediocre" compared to "the mothership" will eventually unify them all to create together once more, John replied: "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."
Back in 2018, SYSTEM guitarist Daron Malakian publicly accused singer Serj Tankian of not wanting to record, with Tankian responding that creative and financial issues with Malakian led to the stalemate. In a message on Facebook, Tankian wrote that Malakian wanted to control SYSTEM's creative process, take more of the publishing money and be the only band member to speak to the press.
SYSTEM OF A DOWN played a couple of live shows last May, including headlining slots at Columbus, Ohio's Sonic Temple festival and Chicago Open Air.
The band will perform a number of European concerts in 2020, including at Finland's Provinssi and Germany's Rock Am Ring festivals.
Dolmayan will release his debut solo album, "These Grey Men", on February 28.