SERJ TANKIAN On Possibility Of More New Music From SYSTEM OF A DOWN: 'Time Will Tell'
April 22, 2021
In a new interview with Australia's Heavy, SYSTEM OF A DOWN singer Serj Tankian touched upon his band's inability to record a full-length follow-up to its "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize" LPs, which came out in 2005.
The Los Angeles-based outfit has toured intermittently since ending its hiatus in 2011, but has only managed to record two songs in the last 16 years, "Protect The Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz". Released last November, the tracks were motivated by the recently erupted conflict between Artsakh and Azerbaijan, with all proceeds supporting humanitarian efforts in SYSTEM OF A DOWN's ancestral homeland of Armenia. Along with other donations from fans on their social pages, they have raised over $600,000.
Asked if the aforementioned two songs have led to further discussions about more new music from SYSTEM in the future, Serj said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "The subject has not been raised. We have not talked about it since we put out the two songs. After not having written music together for — I don't know — 15 [or] 16 years, we put put those songs within weeks, which is pretty incredible. It wasn't about our artistic journey, it wasn't about our collaboration, whether we get along on this subject or not, whether we love this arrangement of a song — it was more about, 'We need ammunition. We need a musical weapon. And here it is. And let's make this happen. And let's put it out.' And I'm really proud of SYSTEM OF A DOWN for being able to accomplish that."
He added: "The future is open. I don't know what we're gonna do. Time will tell. That's all I can say."
In 2018, SYSTEM guitarist/vocalist Daron Malakian publicly accused 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.
Last month, Tankian released the "Elasticity" EP, the SYSTEM OF A DOWN singer's first solo release since 2013's "Orca".
In a recent interview with Guitar World magazine, Malakian was asked about the chances of more new music from SYSTEM OF A DOWN in the near future. He responded: "I never say never, but at the same time, I'm not expecting to do any more with SYSTEM OF A DOWN right away or immediately after [these two songs]. It really does seem like our fans like these new songs. That's important to me.
"We've added two new songs to the SYSTEM catalog that are on the level with everything else that we've put out and our fans have accepted it that way, which means a lot to me. That's kinda where we're gonna leave it for now. If more happens later on, then we'll talk about that, but for now I will continue doing what I'm doing and everyone else will just continue what they're doing. It's all cool though, I'm really pleased with the response we got."